Mistakes are lessons learned...


If you didn't read part 1 of the things I wish I knew before starting my photography business, head on over there and read that first (link below). I touch base on the more personal side of being a photographer and what I wish I knew behind the scenes.


This week I'm going to go over the more technical side of things and the mistakes I made. Again, there was a loooooot of them. I had no idea the things that actually went into photography, until I started.


Don't Give Out RAWS:

Have you had a client come to you asking for the raw images from their session? If you haven't, it's only a matter of time before you do. Giving out RAW images to client is a horrible idea, mostly because of the access they have to alter your image. If a client gets a hold of a RAW file, slaps an IG filter over it and posts it to their feed and tags you, people who see that image are going to assume that's your work. Handing over RAW files to clients is not a representation of you, or your photography style. It can actually hurt your business down the road. The only time I would consider giving out RAW files is to a commercial client, and even then a contract will need to be in place to protect you and your business. JUST.DON'T.DO.IT


Don't Buy A Camera Because It's Cheap:

No one has thousands of dollars to spend on gear right out the gate (or maybe you do, and that's great) but gear matters. I started out on a Canon Rebel T3i and kit lens, it was a great camera, and it served it's purpose but it also hindered my work. Not all camera's and lenses are created equal, even all the different brands have major differences. I would suggest doing your own research to find something that can fit within your price range. It doesn't have to be brand new, All of my camera's up till now have been purchased second hand. Just make sure its a body and a lens that can grow with you.


All Lenses Are Not Made Equally:

There is no doubt you could create a beautiful image with a kit lens... but prime lenses will up your photography game 1000%. Yes, the camera body you choose is important, but... (now some photographers may argue with me on this one) the lens is what truly makes the image. You can put a $150 kit lens on a $5000 camera, but it will not look better than a $2000 lens on a $700 camera. Investing in lenses that can grow with you as you get new bodies is truly the best decision you can make when it comes to gear.


Manual Mode:

Get to know your camera, and learn how to shoot in manual mode. Getting to know your camera, and all the in's and out's will only help you get to the level of work you strive to be at. Shooting in manual opens so many more possibilities for your images, and it also helps you understand your camera's function. Before you even shoot a session professionally, make sure you have an understanding of your camera's manual mode. YouTube is a great resource for this!


Learn How To Create A Sharp Image:

There's nothing worse than getting home from one of your first sessions, all excited to look at the photos and start editing only to find 90% of them are out of focus, grainy, over or under exposed. Photography isn't as simple as turning the camera on, pointing it at your subject and pressing your shutter button. Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO are all things you need to know how to work to create a beautiful image worthy of sharing with your clients. This all loops back to learning how to use manual mode on your camera. Make sure you can create a great image before taking on a client.


For The Love Of The Photography God's, Shoot RAW:

Did I know the difference between JPEG sizes, and RAW files? Absolutely not. But let me tell ya, there is a huge difference. Shooting in JPEG is so hindering. JPEG files are the compressed version of your RAW file. Yes they take up less space on your memory card, but you also lose some image quality. If you shoot in RAW you get that full uncompressed file with all of the information. This means you can manipulate the photo more in post.


Find An Editing Software:

There are many editing software's out there. They aren't all built the same. A favorite among photographers is Adobe Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop (both can be downloaded from Adobes website, linked below). When I first started out I would edit all my photos on my phone in the Lightroom CC app, and had no idea how limiting it was. Take the time to learn the software you choose to work with, and really get to know how to use it to get the most out of your images.


BACKUP Your Images:

Having backups of your images is so, so important. I suggest a cloud based backup as well as a SSD backup. I keep all of my clients images for one year. This includes EVERY.SINGLE.IMAGE captured at their session, as well as all the edited photos. Not only is this a fail safe for you, but it's also great to go back and edit old photos as your style and skills evolve.


If you make mistakes... that means you're trying.


Well, if you've stuck with me this far.. I hope you'll be taking a thing or two with you. You will still make plenty of your own mistakes (I stressed this in part 1 of this 2 part series) but if I can help you and prevent just one or two of those mistakes from happening, I'll be doing my job as your peer in this industry. Remember, at the end of the day, mistakes will only help you grow and growth is to be celebrated, always.