5 Mistakes I Made as a Beginner
Sometimes I’m thinking back about how much is changed in my career as a photographer. I already wrote a post before about ‘How photography changed my life’, where I’m sharing about the fact that I’m an introvert and that I was very shy as a kid. I’m still an introvert of course but I’m not shy anymore. I learned how to see this as something positive and how to feel more secure about myself and my work. As I’m still learning everyday about the business side of fashion photography and working with new gear and techniques, I started to write about mistakes I made as a beginner so you can learn from it!
Comparing myself with other photographers
I think every creative person is comparing hisself with others, but it’s so important to know when you have to stop. It’s good to know what others are doing and to see how they are doing it, but the moment when you feel bad because it seems like other photographers are getting all the fun jobs and when you think they create the most beautiful editorials all the time, you know you are in a negative vibe. Make sure to tell yourself that you only see the good thing when you follow them on social media, you don’t see what was going on in real life. Maybe that ‘perfect job’ wasn’t perfect at all but that is not what they are showing on their Instagram and website where you only see the final results. I compared myself with photographers who were already working in the fashion industry for many years while I just started. Luckily I discovered that I should only feel inspired by them instead of feeling overwhelmed. I also unfollowed the photographers who made me feel bad about my own work. I know it’s hard, but it’s really better for you and your work if you don’t compare yourself with others too much.
Over editing my photos
As soon as I discovered Paint Shop Pro, an editing program that I used when I just started, I started editing my photos like crazy. I wanted to try it all, but the result was not good at all. I think it was good to discover what editing can do with your photos and it’s important to discover your own style, but over editing is never a good idea. Since many years I don’t like over edited photos and my style is quite natural, so I really learned from it.
Always giving discounts
My prices where super low when I just started, and even then people where asking for discounts or I already gave them a discount without any good reason. I was scared that my photos where not worth the money. I think this was just because I was not used to earn money with something I really loved to do and because I had to create the prices myself. There is no standard price for photography and every photographer has a different rate. After my graduation I joined a photography agency where I learned about pricing your work and I learned what are the business standards. This helped me to keep it real, not only for my clients but also for myself. There is no reason to give discounts all the time, it’s even better to provide the client something extra, instead of lowering your prices all the time.
Feeling insecure on set or during a meeting
In the beginning I thought my work wasn’t good enough and I knew that I was a little bit shy. That is not a good thing when you are a photographer: you have to give directions to your team and they have certain expectations from you. Soon I noticed when I felt more secure about myself and my work, it was more easy to do my job, give directions to the model and I also had a nice conversation and fun day with the team. I enjoyed the meetings with new clients and they wanted to work with me. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will…
Not understanding my gear enough
I remember those early days at the art academy where we learned about new studio- and camera techniques and it all sounded very difficult and I didn’t want to use these techniques because I was sure that I didn’t need them. But when I realized it’s so good to know a lot about photography and to learn to work with other camera en studio brands because you will probably need this in the future. It’s way more professional if you know what is going on in the photography world and if you can talk with others about their gear as well. I learned a lot during the days when I worked in a photography store because there is so much more equipment out there that you think… You never know when you need it, so never stop learning en exploring!