Tips for Mommie Photogs: Shooting Weddings While Pregnant

shooting-weddings-while-pregnantSome women can’t wait to go on maternity leave once they find out there’s a little one on the way. Along the same lines, shooting wedding photography with a pregnant bride can be one of the most endearing, delicate, and special experiences you’ll have as an artist. However, today’s post is about neither one of those scenarios, but about what you can do if you’re shooting weddings while pregnant. Since wedding photographers are largely freelance, many female professionals choose not to abandon their business, or put in on hold, while pregnant. If you’re about to face this situation, you might wonder how you’re going to be able to manage it all – the baby that’s on the way, the business, and the actual, physical challenges of working when you’re a few months away from giving birth. We’ve scoured the web left and right and checked out some true stories from photographers who have gone through this. We’ve come up with a list of resources and tips you might find useful.

The checklist for shooting weddings while pregnant

  • Flip flops

If you’re the kind of photographer who cares a great deal about looking professional at all times when working, this might be a bit of a challenge for you, but it’s probably unavoidable. Chances are your feet are going to start swelling as your pregnancy progresses and if you want to keep working, you’re going to have to find yourself one (or several) nice pairs of flip flops to change into, in order to keep your feet from killing you. Shooting weddings while pregnant does involve a lot of standing, you know?

  • Back support

The same pretty much goes for back aches. They’re very difficult to handle for some women, even if they’re not up on their feet and running about, taking pictures all day. Those women who want to keep shooting weddings while pregnant might want to invest in Maternity Support or a similar form of support for their back.

  • A breast pump

There’s no way around it: if you want to keep working during and immediately after the pregnancy, you’re going to need a carry-on with a special portable breast pump.  Alternatively, you can opt to breastfeed at weddings, if you’re comfortable with this. Most wedding guests are tolerant about it, according to several real life mommy wedding photographers. However, if you can’t afford the downtime, or just want to pump for whatever reason, then an “on the go” breast pump is your best bet.

  • Water & protein

Much like you are going to have to feed the baby on the go, you’re going to need to nourish yourself, too. If you’re a newbie wedding photographer, don’t think there’s going to be any time for you to snack at the wedding party – there usually isn’t. And keeping hydrated and well-nourished while pregnant is essential, both for your health and stamina, as well as for the baby’s well-being. As such, make it a point to never leave home without plenty of water and protein bars, to keep you up on your feet all day long.

  • An assistant

Yes, it’s an added cost, but one which might just save your wedding photography business while you’re carrying. The assistant will help carry your gear and other bags – and they also come in mighty handy when it comes to remembering that you actually have to eat those protein bars if you want them to have any effect.

  • A backup

We’re talking an alternate wedding photographer that you can call on, if need be. Someone you trust is able to step in at the last minute, in case anything goes wrong with you and you need to step down from an engagement. Always have the phone number of such a trusty friend on hand, you never know when you might need to use it.

The One Trick to Get Your Wedding Photography Clients to Follow the Rules

Have you ever had to deal with those kinds of nightmarish wedding photography clients that you just couldn’t convince to follow the rules, no matter what approach you took? You tried sweet talking them and they just got even more relaxed about the rules. You tried to be more firm about your principles (think punctuality, clear-cut decisions about locations, make-up, etc.). They failed to take you seriously – or, conversely, gave up working with you altogether, because you had turned ‘dictatorial’. If such conundrums sound familiar to you, you’re probably also wondering if there’s a way out of them. We’re here to tell you that there is: you can get your wedding photography clients to become more rule-abiding, with the aid of this single simple psychological trick.

Reverse that psychology on your wedding photography clients

wedding-photography-clients-rulesIf you’ve ever visited Trafalgar Square in London, you may have noticed the big signs that say “Please, don’t feed the pigeons – they cause damage and nuisance to the square”. Even if you have, even if you haven’t, try to imagine what such a sign would rouse in you. Be honest about it. Would you be tempted to do the exact opposite of what the sign would ask you? If so, it’s not because you’re particularly naughty or have a penchant for disobeying: it’s because rules like this one tell you two things. 1. That it’s not good to do a certain thing. And 2. That a lot of people are doing it anyway. So, the basic takeaway from this lesson, is that if you want your wedding photography clients to follow rules, you need to word them right.

As the old adage goes, people are social creatures. If a group of people does a particular thing, chances are others are going to follow in their footsteps. It’s the principle of social proof, deeply ingrained in our mentalities, which tells you that if other people are doing it, you should probably be doing it, too. Psychology has countless examples in this sense: for instance, when the IRS announced it was hiking tax penalties because tax evasion had been rampant during a particular year, tax fraud actually increased the next year. Because, hey, “if everybody else is doing it, why can’t I?”, right?

How to formulate rules your wedding photography clients will actually respect

If you’ve been following this post up to now, it’s probably quite clear to you. Combine reverse psychology with the principle of social proof and you’ve got yourself a good rule on your hands, which people are going to want to abide by. Here are a few examples and counter-examples.

Example #1: Late bookers

BAD: Don’t book me two weeks before your wedding! It’s annoying, unprofessional and messes up my schedule!

GOOD: Most clients I’ve worked with successfully in the past had booked me right after setting the date. This gave us a lot of time to get to know and understand each other, figure out all the details and come up with great ideas for photos.

Example #2: Sharing photos with no watermark

BAD: Do not share my photos on Facebook without a watermark on them!

GOOD: All clients receive a set of watermarked images, which they are more than welcome to share on Facebook. In fact, I love it when wedding photography clients share my work, because this basically works as free advertising for my business!

Example #3: The chronically late

BAD: If you’re always late for shoots and appointments, I’m going to become really annoyed and frustrated working with you.

GOOD: Most clients do their best to respect the set times of our meetings and this helps us work better together, since we’re all more relaxed.

4 Best Practices for Wedding and Event Photography

best-practices-for-wedding-and-event-photography01During the past few years, the recession and economic turndown notwithstanding, it’s become ever clearer that event photography in general, and wedding photography in particular, have turned very competitive. It’s not just the fact that money is harder to come by generally speaking – there are now more hobbyists turning pro than before, since (semi-)professional DSLR cameras have gotten more affordable and accessible to handle. So we though a guide of best practices for wedding and event photography was in order, which is why we’ve collected some of the most essential advice on this topic that we could find on the web. Check it out and let us know if you think anything essential is missing from our list.

The selection is up to you, not the client

Events (and weddings in particular) are occasions for shooting non-stop. You fire away and, before you know it, your memory card is filled and you’ve got hundreds of photos to choose from. Curating the entire raw material and selecting the best photos might sound like a drag, a bore, and a chore, but you still need to do it. It’s up to the artist to select their best photos and present them to the client; allowing customers to wade through dozens of blurry, out-of-focus or otherwise inadequate pictures is entirely unprofessional.

Market yourself with deadlines

The above principle might sound counterintuitive, but it’s all about marketing your photography business properly in the digital era. You see, the Internet is altering purchasing mentalities as we speak – clients are much more prone now to put off a buying decision. However, with the right attitude and best practices for event and wedding photography, you can counter that. Set a deadline for yourself, create a special offer which expires after a certain date, and watch how your clients respond. Chances are many of them will react to this sense of urgency.

Business is business

Among the best practices for event and wedding photography is the fact that you need to remember you’re running a business. Sure, you may have gone into photography because it was fun, enjoyable, and you are passionate about it. However, at the end of the day you still have bills to pay, a studio to maintain, and equipment to purchase. Tailor your products and service cost planning according to your financial needs. Understand your market segment: take a good look at what sells and what doesn’t and always keep improving.

best-practices-for-wedding-and-event-photography02Build relationships

Photography is, to a large extent, a people-oriented field. If you work exclusively in non-wedding event photography, you probably already know how important it is to create a good relationship with your returning customers. The same applies for wedding photographers that regularly collaborate with a particular MUA, wedding planner, or wedding planning agency. So, what’s the best way to hone a successful professional relationship? It’s as simple as being personable, sociable, and friendly. Get people talking about you. Create word of mouth and work consistently toward building a reputation.

Looks like a pro, walks like a pro, talks like a pro…

Don’t dismiss the final item on our list of best practices for event and wedding photography as superficial. It’s important to present yourself as a professional photographer whenever you come into contact with (potential) clients. This means keeping your gear in good shape, having business cards prepared, and pitching your business – but not excessively and ad nauseam. What you want to achieve is to make (potential) clients understand that they need you. You will want them to seek you out, not the other way around, so do your research on trends, take part in wedding expos, and put your best foot forward, both in terms of professional attire, as well as in terms of professional portfolio.

Why Photography Contests Are Good for Business: 3 Arguments

photography-contests-are-good-for-business01Photo competitions have been around since the art of photography itself, but their history in itself doesn’t mean they are without detractors. On the one hand, there are those photo aficionados who tend to believe  that such contests are a sheer waste of time, organized by money- and rights-grabbing brutes with no real interest in the art. Yet, on the other, photo competitions do have value for the artists, since they prompt them to take an honest, objective look at their own work, cull it, curate it, and put their best foot forward. That’s why we at Virtual Photography Studio believe photography contests are good for business, no matter if you’re into wedding photography, glam, editorial, or photojournalism. They can help you carve out a niche and build a name for yourself and they can also do a whole lot more – join us as we explore three essential arguments in favor of photo contests.

#1 The money

It might sound petty, but one way to tell apart professional competitions from lame ones is the cash prizes. The winner of the International Photography Awards gets $10,000 in cash; the winner of the Deeper Perspective section within the same contest receives $5,000, and there’s also a $2,500 prize for the year’s best new photographer. If you win the grand prize of the Smithsonian Photo Contest you get $5,000 and there are also five $500 cash awards for the categories, plus a Readers’ Choice award worth just as much. The National Geographic Photo Contest awards its Grand Prize winner with $7,500 and each category winner with $2,500. Petty or not, when a serious chunk of cash is involved, one can’t help but think of how great money would be for making further investments into business.

#2 The exposure

Some photography contests are good for business even though they provide no actual cash prize, as is the case with the Photography Masters Cup. This competition asks for a $30 entrance fee and promises exposure in the PHOTO Paper Magazine, as well as several online media outlets. The above-mentioned IPA has had the work of its winners published on Buzzfeed, as well as on EYEMAZING. It goes without saying that some photo contests are great for exposure even only by sheer association (Smithsonian and National Geographic are two examples).photography-contests-are-good-for-business02

#3 The business leads

If you win the IPA, you get a trip to the prestigious Lucie Awards in NYC – and if you’re double lucky, you can even get your image selected for a 45-photo exhibition in the build-up for the show. And most local winners will get automatic exposure in local media outlets, irrespective of how prestigious the competition is – you can usually count on national/local pride to boost your prestige. Many previous winners of the contests mentioned above explained that photography contests are good for business because they allow you to become more connected with actual buyers in your niche. As such, winning the right contests is highly likely to ultimately boost your revenue.

Verdict: Top photography contests are good for business every time

Yes, we did say top photography contests are good for business – because the shady ones can actually be detrimental. Here are a few guidelines, if you’re looking to expand the notoriety of your wedding photography business by entering a contest and don’t know where to start:

-          Be wary of contests that charge entrance fees, but don’t offer any cash prizes. These are the money-hungry leeches we were referring to in the beginning.

-          Always, always read each competition’s policy on copyright. You do not want to give rights to your work for free, no matter how otherwise prestigious the contest sounds.

-          Make sure you enter the right category, when applying – and also check out the profile of each contest. Some are geared toward editorial work, while others tend to lean toward photojournalism more.

7 Useful Tax Deductions for Photography Businesses

tax-deductions-for-photography-businessesLooking forward to filing your taxes on Tax Day? Well, to be earnest, who is? The good news is that, if you own and run a photo biz, there might just be several tax deductions for photography businesses that you are eligible for. Of course, take our advice below as just what it is: friendly advice, dispensed with the best intentions at hear; understand, however, that such advice is not meant to replace professional consultancy from your accountant and/or lawyer. That being said, provided you’ve kept good records of your spending throughout the past fiscal year, here are seven such deductions you should probably look into.

1. Car costs

It’s likely you drive to get to your clients or move around the area, from one shoot to the next. You may be able to pass off your automobile expenses as one of the tax deductions for photography businesses. You can track the mileage on your car, when using it for photography and apply the government’s per-mile rate to each mile driven for photo purposes (the current rate stands at $.565). Alternatively, you can work out the percentage of time that you drive your car for photography business purposes and deduct the costs for that span of time from your overall car maintenance costs.

2. Travel costs

Similarly, you can count all travel expenses that are accounted for and were incurred for your art as tax deductions for photography businesses. Of course, this means you will have to start storing and filing plane tickets, car rental receipts, taxi fare and public transport receipts, restaurant bills, hotel bills, and just about any piece of paper that proves you spent money while away traveling for a shoot.

3. Housing expenses

This one is probably going to come in handy for any photographer that runs a studio or office right out of their own home. You need to calculate how much space inside your home is allotted to your photography business, work out the costs for maintaining that particular amount of space and then file for deductions from your mortgage, home insurance, bills (for electricity, water, and anything else).

4. Office/studio costs

This is one of those tax deductions for photography businesses that’s mutually exclusive with another one – namely, the one listed above. In other words, you can’t get a tax deduction both for a home office/studio and for such a space that you’re renting out elsewhere. However, if you don’t operate your office and/or studio from the comfort of your own home, you will be able to file for a deduction for these separate business expenses.

5. Phone lines

In order to get tax deductions for photography businesses for phone lines, you need to have a separate line that you only use for your photography business. Also, it goes without saying that you need to keep a clear record of the calls you’re making, be they local or long-distance, in order to talk with clients or arrange other aspects that have to do with your business.

6. Internet and site bills

No, you can’t get all your internet bills written off as business expenses, but if you own a site dedicated to your business (and we can only hope that you do, given the fact that this is 2014) a fraction of those costs become deductibles. Figure out how much bandwidth you use for website maintenance, then file for a deduction.

7. Training

Photography is one of those fields in which an ongoing education really goes a long way. That’s why the government sees photography workshops, seminars, and courses as potential tax deduction areas. Keep good track of those expenses and make sure to include them  all, when you file for taxes.

5 2014 Wedding Photography Trends to Watch out for

The year is well underway, yet many in the field of wedding photography are wondering what the most relevant 2014 wedding photography trends are. Read on to see our picks, which include online advertising, printed albums, and a whole new esthetic, in terms of actual picture-taking.

2014-wedding-photography-trendsFine-art photojournalism is in, vintage is out

‘Fine-art photojournalism?!’, you might exclaim. What’s that? Just what it sounds like: a blend of styles that brings together the candid quality of photojournalistic shots with just a dash of the impeccable style you would expect from fashion and editorial shoots. In other words, it’s the type of photography that manages to look both glamorous and unscripted. The vintage style, popular a few seasons ago, is reportedly falling out of grace with an increasing number of photographers, who are striving for a timeless look, instead of one that just looks dated from the get-go.

Truly professional photography

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? On the one hand, we’ve seen a virtual boom of DSLR ownership among non-professionals over the past few years. On the other, an increasing number of photography hobbyists are going pro. These two factors combined bring us to one of the most interesting 2014 wedding photography trends. The experts predict this to be the year when the professionals will need to learn to set themselves apart from the non-pros. What’s the best way to do that? By finding a niche all your own and catering to the tastes of clients who know that a friend armed with a DSLR (no matter how expensive) is not quite the same thing as hiring a professional photographer.

Spectacular wedding albums2014-wedding-photography-trends02

In terms of 2014 wedding photography trends, one thing is for sure: much like in 2013, high-quality fine-art printed albums will continue to rule. Yes, yes, we know: these days everyone and their grandmother has Internet access and is dying to share digital wedding photos on social media. However, while providing your clients with a DVD of pictures taken on the big day will remain the standard, what will truly set the professionals apart is the energy they invest into creating a beautiful book of hard-copy mementos.

Stagnant pricing

The economy is ever so slowly recovering, but while this doesn’t justify price increases, the afflux of hobbyists turned professionals in the field of wedding photography warrants that prices will stay the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it means the clientele is getting used to the idea that access to professional wedding photography services is something that comes at a price. In brief, the clients are becoming educated – and this is happening thanks to a handful of professional wedding photogs who are standing their ground, even in the face of economic sluggishness. What they’re doing actually benefits the entire field, since it means that emerging photographers don’t have to start out from the very bottom, in terms of fees.

2014-wedding-photography-trends03Wedding photography blogs

They’ve been around for just about as long as high-speed Internet connections, but the experts in 2014 wedding photography trends say that they’re here to stay for this year. It’s all thanks to the increasing weight and importance of online advertising. Social media has a lot to do with it, but so do the hefty prices that photographers are expected to pay, in order to have their work exhibited in bridal shows. Print advertising overall is declining and that’s obviously because there’s no comparing online publicity to what money can buy offline. As numerous professional wedding photogs are saying, these days a massive part of their business is coming in from their blog – so if you don’t have one already, you’d better get to it.

Rekindle Your Passion for Wedding Photography in 3 Easy Steps

It happens to the best of them: we haven’t asked, but we’re sure that, were you to catch her on an off day, even contemporary glam photography guru Annie Leibovitz sometimes feels like the spark is just gone.

passion-for-wedding-photography01

Bottom line, no matter how passionate you may be about wedding photography, sometimes that passion just vanishes without a trace. Sometimes you feel stuck in a rut and, no matter what you do, you’re just not happy with your work. It happens to us all, which is why we’re here today to show you what you need to do, in order to rekindle your passion for wedding photography in three simple steps.

Ever felt this way? You need to find your passion for wedding photography again!

The danger of feeling stuck and trapped within monotony is that you develop an entire range of very negative, self-deprecating thoughts about your work. And while, at first, it may seem like these ideas will propel you toward creating ever better wedding photos, this rarely ever happens. Rather, you become more prone toward creative blocks, which, in turn, lead to creative frustration and a whole lot of resentment. In fact, what these thoughts are there to tell you is that you need to take better care of yourself, both as a person, as well as a creative individual, who happens to work in wedding photography. Here’s what could have gone wrong and made you feel that your work is subpar, or otherwise inadequate:

-          You keep compromising. Instead of working toward honing your creative vision, you’ve let go one time too many.

-          You don’t value yourself and your work enough. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to turn down a job or two every now and then – especially if you’ve been feeling stressed, overworked, and burned out.

-          You feel underappreciated and, hence, uninspired.

The good part is that all creative individuals, no matter the field they’re working in, feel this way every now and then. If they say they don’t, they’re lying (either to you, or to themselves). The part that’s even better: you can fix these feelings and make them work for you, not against you. Here’s how:

Step #1: Where do you see yourself?

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This may sound like a total cliché, but in order to find your passion for wedding photography all over again, you need to refocus on your vision. Your ‘voice’ as a photographer. Your signature style. This may mean that you’re going to have to start learning to turn down projects that don’t align with that creative vision. It’s all a matter of prioritizing and of asking yourself: ‘does this job make me feel proactive? Am I working to achieve a dream, or simply going with the flow?’ If your answer is geared more toward the ‘going with the flow’ option, perhaps it’s time to step back and assess whether or not you really need to say yes to the umpteenth White Wedding gig this year. Refer the potential clients to someone who can do the job and move on.

Step #2: Step outside your comfort zone

passion-for-wedding-photography03

The paradoxical thing about being a wedding photographer is that you sometimes end up saying yes to engagements that you know won’t help you learn. They are clearly not the type of work that you want to be known for. You would like to change, but simply can’t seem to motivate yourself to try something new, and would much rather stick to the beaten path. But if you genuinely want to find your passion for wedding photography once again, you need to step outside that comfort zone and experiment. What’s the worst that could happen? No, seriously. Consider the best and the worst possible outcomes of doing things differently. Hint: it’s always worth trying out something new, if only for the sake of the experience.

Step #3: Kick back

Take a break from work. Drive off a few hours away. Be with yourself and no one else for a few days. Learn to unwind and enjoy your own company.

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Think you can’t afford that?

That’s a fair issue. If money is standing in your way to relaxation, then work your way through this problem. Price your shoots better and as soon you’ve got some money saved to take a short break away from work, do it. You’ll thank yourself for it.

How to Choose a Makeup Artist for Wedding Photography

Choose-a-Makeup-Artist-for-Wedding-PhotographyPortraiture and wedding photography are definitely the two photo niches in which you can’t possibly do without the presence of a professional Makeup Artist (or MUA). Now, the problem with knowing how to choose a makeup artist for wedding photography is similar to finding a good photog for a wedding. Just like anyone with a camera believes they can pull off a great wedding shoot, so anyone with a makeup palette is convinced they know all about professional makeup. Hint: they don’t. If you want to see great results and happy clients, you need a pro MUA, and here’s how you go about finding and hiring one:

1. Go to Model Mayhem

Aspiring pro photographers, who dabble in either portraiture, fashion photography, fine art, wedding photography or anything that has to do with setting up a setting that also involves people, need to know Model Mayhem. This is a great platform for finding models and MUAs, irrespective of your skill and experience level. If you’re just starting out, you can help the MUA build their own portfolio, while you also improve yours, through TFP (trading for pictures) instead of paying them for the work. If you’re a more experienced photog, seeking to improve their business, choose a makeup artist for wedding photography who’s worked with a modeling agency. Try to find someone who is not only like-minded, but similarly experienced.

2. Choose a makeup artist for wedding photography who is great

While there’s no such thing as the perfect MUA, a great wedding photography makeup artist does need to tick off a few qualities on a checklist. Here are some things to look for in an MUA:

-          Punctuality. Nothing spells professionalism (or lack thereof) more in this business than respecting meeting times and deadlines.

-          People skills. If you want to choose a makeup artist for wedding photography in particular, then you need to look for someone who understands they’re not working with professional models. They’re working with real-life, nervous, often stressed out couples to-be.

-          A flair for branding. And not just their own. The best MUAs are both adaptable and pour their own vision into each shoot. This means that they understand and respect your own brand of wedding photography, while also pitching in their flair and skills.

3. Gauge your chemistry with your MUA of choice

In fact, let’s take the above pointer one step further: as you work with more MUAs, find a few of them (three or four, let’s say), with whom you’ve got chemistry. Chemistry, in this case, can be defined as similar work ethics, similar creative visions, and respect for each other’s skill and experience. It also has a lot to do with basic human interaction: if the two of you generally get along and can share a few laughs, then you have yourself a winner. We can’t possibly stress how important this is. The last thing you want is a meltdown between you and an MUA during an (already charged) wedding shoot.

4. Create a money-making wedding photography team

As you evolve and your wedding photography business progresses, make sure to stay as consistent as possible, in terms of how you choose a makeup artist for wedding photography. Work with the same people as often as you can, if you’ve found some who meet your standards and the above criteria. Have a go-to list of MUAs that you know you can rely on and book for shoots. This way, you can have the comfort of knowing what to expect, in terms of makeup, so you can go ahead and focus on your share of the work.

6 Common Mistakes for New Wedding Photography Businesses

common-mistakes-for-new-wedding-photography-studiosSeasoned photographers, who have been in the niche of shooting weddings for several years now, will come to you at various points in your career, with advice that’s more or less welcome, valid, or solicited. Now, most of them mean well and should be taken at face value, as well as with a pinch of salt. But, occasionally, you will also come across the revelation of committing common mistakes for new wedding photography businesses. There are those errors which are part of the learning process, and which you probably need to go through, in order to evolve. And while the list below does not, by any means, aim to be exhaustive, it is meant to save you at least some of the trouble these mistakes come with. So read on and try to take some of them to heart.

Common Mistake #1: You don’t use the manual mode

Don’t get us wrong – it’s not like using the Aperture and Shutter Priority modes is wrong. They do serve their purpose, when there simply isn’t enough time, or the situation is too complex to set your camera right on Manual Mode. However, if you’re serious about becoming a professional wedding photographer, this is one of the foremost common mistakes of new photography businesses you’re going to want to avoid. If you don’t use Manual Mode, there’s no way you’re ever going to learn anything about lighting, as well as about your camera in general.

Common Mistake #2: You’re only a photographer

That’s also one of the more serious common mistakes of new photography businesses. You see, when you go into this business, you should walk in assuming that you’re going to be doing so much more than just taking pictures. You’re going to become, in turn, a social media expert, a marketing expert, a treasurer and accountant, a PR person, a secretary – and just about any other business running role you can think of.

Common Mistake #3: You believe success will come quickly

Get that out of your head pronto. It’s going to take years before you start making a comfortable amount of money. That’s because, no matter how much your heart is in it, there’s still a lot you need to learn – and not just about wedding photography, but also about all those other skills and lines of work we mentioned before.

Common Mistake #4: You have no people skills

Photography in general, but wedding photography in particular, is all about knowing how to work with and relate to people. People are your clients, prime material, and everything in between. Without them, you have no business to speak of, so if you really want to turn your pipe dream into a success, then you’d better get cracking at honing those people skills – it will pay off tenfold, time and time again.

Common Mistake #5: You spend a lot of money on gear

Yes, we know – it’s hard to hold back from buying that one lens/tripod/case you’ve always dreamt of. However, if you don’t control your purchases, especially in the beginning, you risk running yourself into debt and a very sad case of business failure. And that is just about the opposite of what you want to do, especially since it’s never just that one purchase. It’s a vicious circle and you know it, so practice some restraint.

Common Mistake #6: You don’t have referrals to rely on

In entrepreneurship, getting business to come your way is all about word of mouth, references, and referrals. Yes, paid advertising can help to, but there is no publicity like the one a satisfied client can provide. So always make sure to encourage referrals, or even ask for them upfront.

6 Common Mistakes for New Wedding Photography Businesses

What Will Be Your Biggest Regret?

When people look back over their lives, no one will ever tell you they regret trying something new. Even if it doesn’t work out quite the way they anticipated, they still learned and grew from the experience.

Yet the number one thing everyone regrets are the things they didn’t do.

“I remember a time I had this experience in front of me and I chose not to move forward. That’s my biggest regret.”

Starting a business is difficult at best. In fact it can be so difficult and overwhelming it’s easy to shut down and decide not to move forward with your plans.

Yet what do you have to lose?What Will Be Your Biggest Regret

Take this opportunity to …

Take your first step. Nothing feels better than doing something concrete that moves you one step closer to your goal.

Move out of your comfort zone. People hold back because they like familiarity instead of something new. In small business, every day presents something new. Get used to feeling uncomfortable … and learn from it so you can take your next big step.

Educate yourself. The only way to keep moving forward in big ways is to learn all the time. Mistakes help you grow. New ideas help you move forward.

Never forget yourself. Your happiness is key to all others around you. You can easily control the mood of those around you – build on your own happiness and watch all others follow suit.

Practice. The great thing about photography is there is always room for improvement. Just because you know how to use a camera, doesn’t mean you understand a new lens. Once you have a concept down, there are always other things to learn. Choose new concepts all the time and perfect them in your mind before you move on to the next idea.

Eliminate the negative. Years ago I learned a secret … eliminate the negativity in your life and you’ll automatically be happier. Talk with a person that leaves the news on all day long. Now talk with a person that doesn’t own a television. Big difference. By making simple changes – eliminating negative news sources in your life – you’ll automatically see a difference in your outlook.

Let go of what doesn’t work to make room for what does. With only 24 hours in a day, you’ll have to leave something behind in order to have the time to put a new photography business into your life. What doesn’t work any more? What could you happily eliminate and never miss it again?

It’s the only way to move forward. And think of it this way.

20 years from now, will that be your biggest regret? What can you do to change that today?