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5 Ways to Dip your Toe into the Business of Photography

  1. If you’re not ready to formally establish yourself as a business, then schedule portfolio building sessions with friend and family. Shoot everyone and everything and don’t charge a penny. Because, like I said, as soon as money changes hands you’ve entered into a client relationship and are liable for all sorts of yuckiness you’re not ready to handle.
  2. In these portfolio building sessions, set some of them up where you create the concepts, choose the wardrobe and location and get to flex your creative muscles. But also have some sessions where you ask what the client wants and see what it’s like for us paid-for photographers who have to cater to our clients’ every desire. This will help you learn to work with people on a professional level. You can even try it out like a full-on professional session with client questionnaires, a contract, an order form for prints – try out different versions of paperwork to see how you want to operate when you’re in business for real.
  3. Try all sorts of different types of sessions like children, couples, maternity, newborns. This will help you find your niche for when you’re ready to go into business.
  4. Even though you might not feel ready for heavy duty legal forms, at least have a model release that everyone (yup, even your own mom!) needs to sign so you’re free to do what you wish with your work.
  5. Instead of charging money for sessions, use your talents to raise funds for charity (don’t take the money in your own name – have checks written directly to the charity) or as bartering power with your babysitter, plumber, anyone! Trade sessions and prints for other products and services – everyone loves a good trade!

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Note to self:  There's an LJ-like button now???


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October 2013

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