Top Features Of The New Sony A7000 For Enthusiasts And Professionals

Sony a7000 photography

Sony is a major player in the field of electronics and is always pushing the envelope with new products and features, giving Canon a run for its money with advances and innovations. Sony cameras are known for the quality, attention to detail, and features that users want. In fact, rumors began in 2014 that there … Read more

How to Become a Professional Photographer – Tips for Greatness

wildlife photographer

Asking yourself how to become a professional photographer if you feel like you have what it takes? Well, it really isn’t all that hard as long as you’re committed to the goal. If you want to quit playing and get in on the serious stuff, you’re going to have to push for excellence. It’s a … Read more

Wedding Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid  

Weddings are serious events. So, if you are not actually a professional photographer yet but still want to venture in the vast world of wedding photography you need to keep your eyes open for some pieces of advice. Here you will find some of the most common photography mistakes you need to avoid if you … Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Have A Checklist For Your Wedding Clients

Are you a wedding photographer? Do you use a checklist to let your clients tell you what images they want?

Stop handing them out and let your creativity soar. While checklists may seem like a great way to communicate with your client, they actually turn you into a subpar photographer. Here’s why.

It Is Unprofessional

You are a professional photographer. Do you really need a client to check a box telling you she wants a photograph of her and her new husband? As a professional, if you don’t understand the basic images that are needed to fulfill a wedding package, you shouldn’t be shooting weddings.

It Sets The Stage For Failure

Imagine you have a checklist with 200 photographs on it. The bride goes through and starts checking them – check, check, check – before she knows it every boxed is checked. It’s her wedding, she wants it all. Now you have the task of having to fulfill every check. Did you get this image? Yes. Oops, I forgot one, now what? Pretty soon you’re missing a lot of the wedding because you’re so worried about getting all the check marks. And if you miss one, the bride will pull out her checklist and ask you about it. Then she won’t be happy with the images you took; instead she’ll be disappointed in the one’s you missed.

It Limits Creativity

Every wedding is different. Every bride and groom is different. If you’re working from a list that says “close up of the bride”, “profile of the bride”, and on and on, you’re not paying attention to what is happening around you. You move from checklist, to pose, to shot, to check, and to the next image on the list. You’re not watching the groom sneak in to make the bride laugh. You don’t notice the bridesmaids off on the side dancing and twirling. You miss everything that will cause this wedding to be unique.


Instead of working with a checklist, use what we call a wedding worksheet instead.

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The One Thing That Makes You A Professional Photographer

Its probably one of the hottest topics online when it comes to the photography profession:

The differences between amateurs and professionals

Is there truly a difference? Do you need something special to move from one to the other? And is it truly possible to make a living as a professional photographer with amateurs filling up the marketplace for part time work?

Right here on this blog we’ve discussed this concept again and again.

Dig Deeper: The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

Dig Deeper: What A Pro Captures Versus What an Amateur Shoots

Dig Deeper: How To Lose A Million Dollars in 3 Seconds

I just found a video that touches on this very topic. Michael Freeman says it in the simplest way possible:

Professional photography means making a living from it.


Can’t argue with that.

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10 Things You Have Heard As A Professional Photographer

Chances are when you started thinking about becoming a professional photographer, you held the dream close inside for a while. I know we did. After all, it had been generations since any of our family had broken into the entrepreneurial world. What would they think? What would they say? Well as chance would have it, … Read more

10 Things To Think About Before You Turn Professional

It seems as if everyone you run into is a photographer these days. And part of that is true. With mobile technology, its easier than ever to capture photos and video simply because you always have a camera ready and with you.

And while many people love taking pictures, not everyone with a camera is ready to be a professional, nor do they want to be. They are happy with their day jobs, and are just as happy to take the occasional portrait of a friend or loved one when they ask. They don’t want to worry about marketing or finding clients. They don’t want the responsibility of writing up contracts and buying business insurance.

Yet for some, the thrill grows beyond just snapping a few pictures. They love the art form, and want to use their love of photography to grow something more. They want to share what they do and love with the world.

When you’re ready to move from hobby to professional, it takes a lot more than the photography. Here are 10 things you’ll need to do along the way.

1. Set Up The Business

In order to charge for what you do, you have to set up the business side of things. You can do that as simply as visiting your local government, establishing the business, and taking out a tax license. And you can get a lot more complex with it by filing for corporation status. But in order to keep things legitimate, make sure you take the necessary steps before your first client. The last thing you need is “complications” down the road because you didn’t get things established the right way in the first place.

Dig Deeper: Setting Up Your Photography Business In The Right Way

2. Think About Insurance

When you work for someone else, or buy a home, you sign on the dotted line, and have all the coverage you need. Running your own business is a bit different. You have to have business insurance to cover the cost of doing business. And if you are making this a full time career and don’t have a policy through a spouse, you may have to invest in your own health insurance policy. And finally, think about long term disability as well. If something we’re to happen to you, and you couldn’t pay the bills for 6 months, 1 year or longer, what would you do?

Dig Deeper: How To Lose A Million Dollars In 3 Seconds

3. Be Covered Legally

Every industry has its own set of legal requirements. While a handshake and a smile may have worked years ago, its hard to rely on that today, especially if you are in long term negotiations. Make sure you have a solid contract in place for all types of photography you will cover – portraits are different than weddings. And make sure you have model releases if you will be using your images for anything outside of handing them over to the client. I also use online model releases just to make sure clients know I will be using their images online and approve it. Its not a complicated process, and in many cases you can find examples to follow through other photographers. Be sure to check in with a lawyer to make sure you are fully covered for your circumstances – if its already written, reviewing is much less expensive than going through the entire process.

4. Establish Your Pricing

Don’t just guess at it; make sure you charge what you need to for your photography in order to stay in business. There is an art form to pricing your services and packages. Make sure you price to cover your costs, and to make a healthy profit.

Pricing Your Photography – the best way to build a successful business

5. Have the Right Attitude

Business doesn’t just come to you; you have to work for it. In hard economic times, it may take a bit longer and a lot more work. But if you have the attitude that says “I’ll do it no matter what”, you have a much greater chance of success.

One of the things that sets great business people apart from average one’s is keeping a professional attitude, no matter what. If a client gets on your nerves, you have to learn to handle it in a professional manner. And when you type a word, phrase or entire report online, you have to think of appearances first, not your opinion. Professionalism maintains 24 hours a day, and is affected by everything you do.

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Moving From Hobby To Business: What It Takes To Get To The Next Level

This post is Day 5 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

A hobby can be different things to different people.

It might mean taking a camera along on vacations and to family events, snapping up a few images.

It might be taking a few portraits or shooting a few weddings for people you know, making very little, and doing it more for a portfolio.

However you define it, I tend to look at the way the IRS defines it.

The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year. A person should be able to able to determine if its hobby or business by asking the following questions:

  • Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
  • Does the taxpayer depend on income from the activity?
  • If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
  • Has the taxpayer changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
  • Does the taxpayer or his/her advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  • Has the taxpayer made a profit in similar activities in the past?
  • Does the activity make a profit in some years?
  • Can the taxpayer expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?

For me, your photography turns from hobby to business the minute you decide you want it to be a business. If you feel you can in any way generate income from taking photographs, and you are ready to set out on the adventure called entrepreneurship, then you are ready to start a photography business.

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