Boudoir Photography Tips: Top Ten Mistakes New Photographers Make
Mistakes aren’t all bad. They are often good learning experiences, times when you as a new photographer figure out what works best for you, and what really doesn’t. In this regard, mistakes early on in your career can be, in a way, your guide.
But let’s be real for a second. Nobody actually enjoys making mistakes. Most of the time they lead to a loss of some sort, sometimes pride, sometimes money, often both. So if you can avoid making common mistakes, like these, the mistakes you do end up making will be fewer and more far between.
Although there are dozens of ways to undercharge a client, either with prints, or editing or with the session itself, the point is:
Don’t do it.
Know your value before you set up a pricing plan, and understand what will go into the process. It makes me cringe to see so many new photographers charge one flat rate for the session, editing, and images altogether, a flat rate that will eventually ruin the future financial success of their business.
9. Not Knowing Your Limitations
Although you may be proficient in several genres of photography, you simply will not have the time to specialize in all of them professionally. So many new photographers start off thinking they can cover everything from Weddings to Newborns to Real Estate, and because they can do all this they will get more business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We live in a society who adores specialists. Spend your time becoming the best at a few things, market those things, and your business will profit from it.
8. Not Investing Time in Improving Their Craft
As a photographer, it is your duty to never stop learning. Go to workshops, attend lectures, even pursue a degree at a university if you don’t already have one (or even if you do), and above all else, keep shooting. If you want to have any chance of keeping up with your competition, and to become the best photographer you can be, invest the time to improve your craft.
7.Falling Back on Old Habits
This goes along with #6, if you want to remain relevant and continue to create good work, do what it takes to create good work. Have an old habit that’s getting in the way of making good photographs? Do what you can to eradicate it. Feeling uninspired? Seek out other photographers who have tips to help you. Don’t just rely on your old way of doing things, try new things, and you may be amazed on how well it works out.
6. Ignoring the “Boring Legal Stuff”
In the industry, this is a BIG problem, especially for new photographers. They spend so much time research lenses and gear, talking to clients, and scouting out locations that they forget one essential aspect.
It’s a business.
And as it is a business, and since you’re doing it professionally, there’s a whole other skillset that you have to master before you can even dream about being successful. You need to become savvy about insurance, contracts, liability, etc. etc. etc. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can get away with ignoring this stuff, or you might be in big trouble, not only with your clients but with Uncle Sam.
5. Not Taking Time Out for Personal Projects
After more than a decade of doing this, I can’t tell you enough how stale certain aspects of the business can get, and how stagnant your work can become as a result if you don’t watch out. Spending the time to work on personal projects, in the midst of shooting for clients, will help you stay fresh and inspired after years of doing it. You’re only human, and your mind needs that creative break.
4. Not Investigating the Competition
You do not operate in a vacuum. Whether you are in a big city or a little town, odds are there is at least one photographer in the area who you need to know about. More likely, there will be hundreds. It’s your job to research them, find out what they charge and what their processes are. It will not only clue you into your area, and help you find clients, but will let you know how hard you need to work if you want to make it in the town or city. I’m not saying that you need to be obsessive about it, because your business comes first, I’m just saying you need to be aware.
3.Forgetting about E-mail Marketing
Long gone are the days where you could tell your friends about your new business and they would tell all your friends and you would be up and running in no time. You also can’t just post signs on street corners and pray that clients will come knocking on your door. In the modern age, you need to go to them. You have to find clients, and one of the best ways to do it is via e-mail marketing.
If you are under the impression that being a Boudoir photographer is easy to think again. Unless you are extremely resourceful from the get-go, not only are you the head honcho, lead photographer, and master editor, you are also your own accountant, PR person, and human resources department. You will be working 40 hour weeks, minimum. Often much more than that.
1. Not Getting to Know Clients
Here’s the real zinger that most photographers fail to understand. Besides yourself, your clients are the most important people to your business. Without them, you would not have a business. Take the time to learn about their needs and go beyond that. Build relationships with these people so they’ll refer their friends to you, and book you for more sessions themselves.
These are just a few pointers to help you get started, but if you have your own advice or if you have a question, don’t hesitate to comment below.