For many the wedding season is upon us, for some who are starting out they see photographers posting glamorous bridal photos and want to join the ranks. Many times in order to do this, things are done, that later down the road hurt their business and break down their drive, and they give up.
Many times this is because they want to get to the place of shooting weddings without the hard work and the time to learn the camera, and the business. So they offer to do a wedding for free, or cheap, and they offer to do photos for friends for free, and later everyone wants them to continue shooting for free or cheap. But you cannot sustain a business doing this.
(Now, just for the naysayers, I fully support doing shoots for free or cheap when you get started. Everyone starts somewhere, and many times we suck when we first get started. I look back on my first year weddings and cringe. But the issue that many starting out face is the lack of communication).
First year vs This Year
So there is the purpose of this post.
Have a solid contract, get it checked and stick to it. If you agree to shoot for 2 hours. Shoot for 2 hours.
Stick to your guns, this is your business, and your artistic vision. Make sure that the the client is hiring you for that and not because you are free or cheap. If you are starting out, communicate you ability honestly, tell them what they are going to get and stick with that. If you want to shoot longer, or if you want to provide more images, then do it. But make it work for you.
But in all this BE BOLD.
I am sure that you have heard the term, "Fake it till you make it." This is true, there have been times for every photographer that we are faced with a situation that we are unsure what to do, how to pose, where to shoot, and how to pull it all together. But the worst thing that you can do is to show this visibly.
So BE BOLD.
Many of these things can be avoided with preparation. If you know just how far you can push your ISO and still recover an image, you will know what to do when the wedding coordinator decided to turn out all the lights for the first dance, and your flash is across the room in your bag.
If a client keeps demanding the Raw files, or more photos from the session, but you have that covered in your contract, and are able to firmly but politely tell them, "I do not release the Raw files unless the contract has a commercial agreement and the purchase price of the Raw files has been agreed upon in advance." Or "I only give the very best of the photos that are taken. It would not benefit me or you for me to with hold any images that you look amazing in."
So BE BOLD
You can do this. Keep your chin up and be open to learning. You will make mistakes, but learn from them, seek out a mentor, a photographer who has been around and can help. Let go of your ego, it will not serve you well.