Becoming an photographer’s assistant…

I received this email a few days ago and wanted to take this opportunity to talk about turning your photography passion into a profitable business…what are the first steps.

Hi Noemi!

I missed some of your blogs so I read back through and wanted to write about our “Canvas Vs. Print” entry on the 16th.  I recently presented at my first
wedding show this weekend and it was a lot of fun – very intimidating, but also a GREAT chance for me to get my name out there. (use every opportunity to let people know who you are and what you’re doing…do you blog yet?)

I am really eager to start learning more about photography – I want to go to workshops, seminars, etc. – and I saw your WPPI information in your blog,
which sounds SO great but probably not something I’d be able to do this year. I also think I’m a little too “green” to attend; I’ve done a few weddings,
some families, some seniors, etc. but I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and want to start from the beginning!  The problem is, I am having a very
hard time just finding these types of courses – where do you find yours?  I took pictures everywhere and anywhere for free. I built my portfolio from shooting friends and family and learned as a went. I also took a couple of photography classes but mostly I read and got along side of anyone who knew more then me and asked a ton of questions. I searched online but come up with a lot of WAY out of state stuff and I keep hoping I’ll come across something a little closer to home, and more my speed. I received a letter in the mail today from a recent photography graduate looking for a photographer to shadow and be willing to take her under their wing! This is the key. Being a great photographer is not just about shooting good pictures. It’s tons more and tons of work…don’t try and reinvent the wheel! Learn from someone who learned from someone else.

When I’ve been printing, so far I have only used Pictage for one event, and loved the book I had for my wedding couple, but I don’t know yet how I’ll add
that in to my event pricing.  I’m spending quite a bit on materials  and time and not making a whole lot in the long run so a book like that, running about
$200 with all my photos, definitely takes another chunk out of any profits.  (setting up a business means putting  money out and having some risk…in most small businesses people don’t see profits for the first 2 years! Photography is a profitable business but you have to charge for your time or you’ll just be volunteering. Make it worth you’re while! You don’t want to resent the client for all the work you put into it. Charge what you’re worth.)

I handed out about 200 brochures and items with my web information on it, so I hate to up the prices when they may contact me because I’m very budget-
friendly already!  Up-ing your prices is a part of owning your own business. If they contact you and like you…they’ll higher you at the higher price. And if they talk about the old prices you can always compromise and through something extra into the package. Let them know you’ll take care of them and you’re worth every penny.

I know you use your e-mails for blog stuff so you can clean up this e-mail and use it, along with any tips you might have for me…I’d really appreciate it!
Thanks for reaching out to the new photographers out there!

Jenny

Jenny, I hope this is helpful…thanks for letting me talk it through on the blog. I guess I’m always hoping it helps others who are wondering the same things but didn’t know they could ask.

Jac Senske - January 24, 2008 - 1:05 pm

Thank you Jenny for asking those questions! Noemi has such a great wealth of knowledge and she obviously loves sharing it! Noemi, thank you for answering Jenny’s questions for all of us to read…your expertise and knowledge are invaluable to newer photographers!!

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