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HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY – Things I wish I knew


(upbeat instrumental)
(low groan) (chuckles) – We’re getting a little
carried away with these. This is like, completely modded with like, (cocks gun)
a hardcore spring in here. And it’s just, it’s,
it’s getting out of hand. Yeah. (funky guitar instrumental) (cracks can open) I don’t need this. I’ve got enough energy. What’s up everybody, Peter McKinnon here and welcome back to another tutorial. This is part three in mistakes that you want to avoid as a
photographer or filmmaker. The first part we were
talking about shooting actual applications with the camera. The second part, we talked about editing, mistakes that you make when
editing when you’re a beginner, and the third section today’s video, we are covering the
business aspect of mistakes to avoid as a young entrepreneur, photographer or filmmaker, setting out into the world to
try and make this a career, or try and make some money from this. Maybe it’s just some
extra cash on the weekend, or a full blown like paycheck. These are a couple things I’ve compiled that I wish I had when I started
or wish that I did better. And we’re going to start with those. Number one contracts. Contracts are so important. They are no fun at all to make. They’re no fun to read. And they’re no fun to sign. But they are there to protect you. No matter who you are shooting for. Listen to me, no matter
who you’re shooting for. If it’s a friend, if it’s family, it doesn’t matter. Get a contract, lay out everything that you hope to do for that person. Both of you sign it, date it, whatever. If there’s compensation, both
of those things are agreed, you both signed, it’s done. That way if anything comes
up, if extra work is piled on, if you didn’t do enough work, both parties have a signed document clearly outlining what the expectations are. Because I find that’s the biggest loophole that’s the biggest mistake is expectations are always different from
one person to the other. And if those expectations are set clear at the very beginning and
they’re followed through to the end because you have a contract business is better. So if you don’t have a contract, download a sample template,
check it out, read it, maybe fill in your own stuff. Instead of the sample. Do whatever you gotta do. Take it to a lawyer, get
a friend to look at it. Get your parents to look at it. Get your older siblings
to look at it, whatever. Start with something. Okay, signed agreements. That is point number one. (upbeat instrumental music) Number two is not charging enough. Now I’m an advocate for working for free at the beginning to get
your foot in the door. A lot of people are like, no, you should never undersell yourself. Your time is worth, yes,
your time is valuable. And your time is worth money. But hustling and doing work pro bono it’s going to get you into more doors, it can open up more doors for you, it’s gonna get you into more
places, meet new people. It helped build my career. It helped build careers
like my friend D Rock who just put a great post online about how he worked for
free right up to hustling to be Gary V’s personal videographer. That is awesome. But not charging enough is something I could have done better as a growing entrepreneur
and a photographer trying to make it in the field. I was always just so excited to get a gig that I completely forgot
what I should be charging, what my time is worth. Not only are you supplying
the equipment for this job, you’re taking your gear that
you bought to a photoshoot, you’re driving your
vehicle, using your gas, taking the time out of your day and you’re coming back and you’re editing all those photos that’s also skill with software that you’re paying for. So the list goes on and on and on and on. Those things are valuable. So once you start charging for your work, make sure you’re charging enough, I mean you think about it
like some of these cameras are thousands and thousands of dollars. You’re gonna go do some portrait shots and you’re only gonna charge
100 bucks or 200 bucks for a quick portrait session, one what does that say
about you as a photographer and the quality of work that you put out and two how has that ever
actually going to make you money or pay back your gear or actually get you ahead in this game. So make sure you’re charging enough. Sometimes you can throw numbers out there that might even seem a little crazy to you and that client comes back and
goes yeah alright no problem and you think yourself, oh, oh, I did (stutters)
(gasps) it can be very exciting. But it’s something that
you got to take seriously. So really sit down and factor in all of those things I
listed to know what your time is worth and charge accordingly. Point number three coming up. (upbeat instrumental music) Point number three is checklists. I can’t stress this enough. So if you’re going on a shoot, let’s just say you’re shooting a wedding, you’ve got the contract in place, you’ve charged what you wanted to now comes to the actual shoot day. I always recommend getting
a checklist from the client of everything they want done. That way, you can reference
that throughout the day throughout the shoot, and you know, you’ve got everything. If that client fails to
provide you something on that checklist it is not your fault. Example. Let’s just say you’re shooting a wedding, you’ve got that checklist, get the dress, get the drinks in the
morning, and the gifts, the first look blah, blah, blah, blah, you’re knocking off all those things. But it may be two weeks
later, that client comes back and says aunt Margaret never
had her portrait taken with us. And we’re very upset about this. And she flew all the
way here from Australia. And we’re not going to see her ever again. And you didn’t even take photos. And then you can pull out that checklist that you had that client make for you and sign off on you can say, look, you didn’t tell me to
take any pictures of this aunt from Australia,
it’s nowhere on this list so how was I supposed to know that. So it’s there to protect you as well. At the same time, it’s
there to help you make sure that you get everything that client wants. That’s a good thing. Checklists. Moving on to point number four. (upbeat instrumental music) Number four is my favorite. It’s meeting in person. So much of today’s
correspondence is done via email, text message even or over the phone. But there’s nothing quite like sitting across from a prospective client and being able to sell yourself. You’re as much as the
product as the actual images and video that you’re shooting. So sell yourself. Show them why they want to hire you show them that charming personality. Show them that excitement and enthusiasm for what it is that you do. That’s going to get you more bookings than hiding behind an email. Meeting in person can go so far for building your brand and your rapport. I don’t know why people
don’t do it enough. Pick a coffee shop, set up
camp, meet some clients there, show them your work, build a
rapport, pay for their coffee, just have a good time, kind of
get that friendship rolling. So they feel comfortable trusting you with their big day or
with their huge project or giving you money if
you’re younger than them. That is a huge advantage. Instead of just sending off a text message or just leaving a voicemail. Meet them in person. Tip number five. (slow instrumental music) Closing out this video and closing out this three part series. And don’t worry for
everyone who was complaining about this microphone. I don’t like that I can see the mic. It’s okay I change things up all the time. That’s the kind of guy am. This backgrounds here. Then it’s there then it’s there, then it’s (makes silly noise) Tip number five is putting
yourself out there. I remember when I started photography, and I wanted to make this a business and I wanted to make a living. I sort of expected the work to come to me. I was like, okay, I’ll build a website, I’ll get some business cards. I’ll send a few texts. I’ll put my stuff on Facebook, I’ll start writing a blog. And they’ll come, people
will just knock on my door. They’ll just call my phone and like, hey, this is Peter
McKinnon, the photographer who just built that brand new website and has fresh business cards? I’d love to hire you. Doesn’t happen that way. It won’t happen that way. Maybe once in a blue moon. But for the most part,
that’s probably cause it’s family related. You’re never gonna get
just random cold calls, knocking on your door offering you money. You got to go get that work yourself. Get to put yourself out there. Always have your gear with you. Always. Let’s just say it’s a
simple family barbecue. You got your camera with you. You’re snapping photos of
the family, of the event, of people smiling and laughing, and then you send them out to the family. Maybe a family friend was there. Or the cousin says, hey, these
are actually great photos. And when their friends is
they need a photographer. Oh, my cousin did some great work. Like here’s some photos
he took out our family. Oh yeah we’d love him to shoot
our family barbecue, boom, job done secured. Or maybe you’re at a restaurant, and you’re taking some pictures of food. And the owner comes up
to you and says, hey, I might need some photos. Like what’s what’s what
does your work look like? Or better yet, finding that
manager and saying hey, I’m a photographer. I’d love to do food photography. And I would be interested
in possibly working for you. Maybe reshooting your menu
or do some social work for you for your Instagram account. putting yourself out there to
kind of generate those leads generate that work doesn’t hurt anybody. The worst case scenario, the worst thing that’s gonna happen,
someone’s gonna say, no, I don’t need it. I don’t want it. You can either to try to convince them or you can move on to the next person. But sitting at home because you
got a nice Instagram profile or a nice website as need
anyone’s gonna come knocking to hire you. You got to go knocking to get those jobs. When those jobs start coming. That word of mouth starts, you know, snowballing into more and
more and more prospects. Then the phone starts ringing. But you got to put in
the legwork to get there. Alright, those are my five
tips, business mistakes, things to avoid and things to help you build a career as a
photographer or cinematographer. Thank you so much, guys. I hope you like this series. It was a really fun three videos to make. I had a really great time and it all comes from personal experience. So if you guys like this, let
me know what you liked below. Let me know which video you like the most. I’d love to hear from you.
get the conversation going. Hit that like button
if you like this video, smash it if that’s
something that you’re into, 2018 style. Subscribe if you aren’t already and, and I will see you in the next video. I’m gonna go find Maddie. (upbeat instrumental music)

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