The 5 Heartaches Every Photographer Should Have (only once)

1. The Time You Lost An Important Bid To Someone Else

You want this job. You’ve been working towards building your business in this field, and this job will be perfect for your resume. You know you could instantly walk into a dozen other places and start photographing … when you can tell them you’ve done this job. So you spend hours on the bid. You make sure its perfect in every way. You stay in touch with the decision makers. You promise everything you know they want. You send the bid off. And you wait. And wait.

Nobody likes the feeling that comes with not getting the job. Yet in some aspects, it may be the best thing. Maybe you were meant to take on a different job. Or connect with a different person. What did you learn from this? If you know the person you applied to, ask if they can give you 5 minutes to learn why your bid wasn’t accepted. Yes, it may be because of your lack of experience. But it might also be because the boss’s daughter has decided to try photography and they gave her the job without any experience. Learning the real reason can help you move forward and plan for the next opportunity. Don’t take it to heart – in every case there is something to learn.

2. The Time You Lost An Entire Project

One of the reasons Andrew and I ended up pursuing wedding photography was due to the loss we incurred at our own wedding. Our photographer was there from beginning to end, capturing things from a variety of angles. Yet when we picked up the proofs, the entire section at the church (ceremony and some formals) was missing. She lost several rolls of film – and a big chunk of our memories.

What would you do if your last wedding was stored on your computer … and it was stolen before you worked with the images? Or the flash card with every image from your last shoot fell out of your bag as you made your way through the airport? Losing the entire project is much harder to salvage than a piece of a project. But in either case, it pulls everything out of you. You learn people skills when dealing with your client. And it gives you “systems” skills for making sure that never happens again. [Read more…]