Photography 101 : No One Wants To Be Your First Client

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Professional Photography

Rule #1

"No one wants to be your FIRST client"

This is something I always think about when talking to clients. I always try to give them comfort by finding out as much information as I can so and find  ways of letting them know "I've got you". Maybe its that Ive been to their venue before, or did a couple their same age, ...no matter how limited your "experience" is, clients are not gonna risk their event or job on your potential

So what are the options Scooter? 

Whatever you need to do to make sure your client can be confident you can get the job done ....do it. Its not your portfolio that will get the client to book...its YOU

Option A - offer to be an assistant and maybe a second shooter on an event with a Wedding Photographer. Valuable experience but most likely wont be allowed to help your actual portfolio 

Option B - take classes that involve shooting a model. Keep in mind other photographers are also attending the class and shooting the same model. How will YOU stand out?  .....and you have to pay for the class

Option C - offer photo sessions to family / friends. This option is only available a limited time each year (October) and the field is VERY crowded as its the kind of family photography that is relatively easy to provide. 

Option D however I feel is the best route to getting eventually paid work.......volunteering for nonprofits. Not where they call you (exposure bucks anyone?) but where you call THEM. Call up an animal shelter and offer to take photos of the available pets. Call up a nonprofit and offer to take photos of any products they are selling, help their fundraisers, shoot one of their events etc. Its volunteer work so you have breathing room to make mistakes, they will feel a client and will share your work. You get to feel like you are growing and giving back to the community without feeling like you are being taken advantage of. 

Doing a variety of volunteer photo jobs will put you in a more comfortable position to find what you are good at and enjoy, and ultimately build your confidence to start charging what you are worth.....and youll have a portfolio that is yours 

So get to it and sign up