If you are considering setting yourself up as a professional photographer, there are a few business skills you might need apart from being able to take a good photograph.
1: Be a people person
Perhaps if you are a photographer of wilderness scenes, such as the middle of the Sahara desert or the Artic circle, this may not be an issue. It is inevitable with every other type of photography that you will have to deal with people at some point. People will be the focus of a PR, press, fashion and even corporate photographer, so you will need to have the people skills to get your subjects to engage with you, so that your photographs end up being engaging for the viewer. If you don’t like dealing with people, then photography might not be the best career choice for you.
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2: Learn about running a business; accounts, marketing, legal requirements
If you are a freelancer, you will also have to take care of your own marketing, running your own business, making sure you know the legal requirements of getting permission from people or guardians if you want to sell their image, etc. If you aren’t able to control your finances, or follow up on potential business leads, you won’t have a business for very long.
3: Put the client’s needs first
It doesn’t matter how artistic you think you can be with your photographer, if you are hired by a client, you give them the images they want. Your images have to suit their business and their profession, even if those type of photos are not particularly interesting to take. You also need to remember you are there to perform a service; the event is not staged for the sole purpose of allowing you to unleash your creative abilities with a camera. Think of all the annoying gig photographers you’ve cursed for ruining your enjoyment of a performance by standing in the way to get the perfect shot.
4: Develop managerial skills
If you want to grow your business, you will need to take on extra staff, or an assistant or two. The freelancer’s life is relatively uncomplicated, but you will never be able to handle covering a large event on your own. Those are the gigs that pay well, and if those are the gigs that you want to aim for, you will need to learn how to corral your mates or professional peers into capturing an event in the style that you want or your client wants.
Lensmen Photography & Video have been in operation for six decades, and we have the capacity to act as a professional service provider as well as the ability to take great photographs. You can rest assured that if you hire us as your photographers, you will be dealing with practised professionals from start to finish.