My Top 5 Photography Business Mistakes

"We are truly a success when we let our story and lessons learned the hard way make an easier path for someone else." I always learn the hard way :)

1. Rushing. I’m not sure why, but I always felt like the clients were in a hurry to be finished with the shoot. I respect other people’s time and I don’t want to waste it because I don’t like to have my time wasted. Do unto others and all that. But I would sometimes miss things: A pose I wanted to try, or hair that I needed to spend a lot of time on in post-production (Photoshop), things like that. It didn’t really affect the client, but it affected my time. Big time. Now I take my time and keep a print out of posing ideas on a bulletin board in the studio while I’m shooting. And after an hour of touching up one image to remove stray hairs, I won’t forget to check for that. As long as I’m not rushing.

2. Hiring professional hair and makeup artists. Don’t get me wrong. They are awesome and so very talented. These artists have amazing ideas and know all the latest trends. But that’s the problem for the average portrait client. These clients want to look great but not trendy. Portrait clients should look like the very best possible version of themselves. Professional HMUA (cool people in-the-know abbreviate like that) often want to do more than that. And it’s so hard to talk them out of it. However, the artists are perfect for any fashion or beauty shoots I do, as well as any creative shoots. For that, I can’t image NOT having their talent.

3. Thinking there was only one way to do things. I was taught how to photograph a certain way. I always assumed that was the only way until about 5 years ago. I have watched YouTube photography videos endlessly and found that there are countless ways to do things. There is no right or wrong. It’s about whatever works for you. I love to provide each client with a unique shoot and now I can do that.

4. Buying too much equipment. I don’t know how I could have avoided this. I was convinced I needed it at the time. See point #3. I have so much backdrop equipment I have been giving it away to college students.

5. Not taking a Photoshop class. I had no idea what Photoshop could do. Soon Photoshop will be able to build a house. Well, almost. It’s abilities are colossal. Knowing Photoshop better would have saved me a lot of money on all that equipment I purchased that I later found out I didn’t really need.

Looking forward to viewing you all in front of my lens!!

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© Copyright Tracy Whiteside, St. Charles, IL 630-234-9506