by Elizabeth Halford

This is week 2 and in this second video, Elizabeth will be discussing the #1 thing you need before charging money for your services. And that's consistency! Elizabeth says:

Before taking anyone's money, you absolutely need to be able to consistently produce the same level of work over and over again. So many photographers are guilty of displaying happy accidents on their website which they aren't able to recreate and this will snowball into a whole lotta different problems. If you're going to be charging for your services, it's not going to be that simple and you have to have consistency! Take pictures on purpose - don't shoot for luck.

6 ways you know you're a lucky shooter:

1. You take way too many pictures.

2. Your sessions take hours longer than they need to

3. You feel panicky, nervous and out of control while you’re shooting

4. You can’t explain to someone later on how you made a portrait or the settings you chose

5. You either shy away from manual all together or you ‘wing it’ and take the same shot over and over with different settings ‘just in case’

6. Your clients are confused as to why they spent hours with you, witnessed you taking a bazillion photos but they only ended up seeing 20 of them (note: clients will ask this anyway, but the less you rely on luck, the less they will ask)

There are a few reasons why this can be dangerous to a photographer who is charging for their sessions:

1. Your clients have gone to your website for a product but when they come to you for their session, you won’t be able to produce the same product for them.

2. Following on from the above, some of you might know of the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree. He was enticed by the leaves of the tree, but when he approached it, there was no fruit. He cursed it and it died. Being a haphazard photographer is like a tree of leaves enticing clients who later find that there isn’t actually any fruit. A business built on these principles can’t last.

3. You will smash your own confidence if you rely on luck. You will feel out of control and deep down inside, you’ll know that it wasn’t really YOU creating the images.

When I look back, I can see that I have learned many things from my lucky shooting days. I learned about composition. I learned about self restraint and, most importantly, I learned how to stop shooting for luck and how to start taking pictures on purpose. Here are the things I wish I knew back then to get started sooner:

1. Learn light

2. Learn your camera

3. Learn posing

4. Try bracketing

5. Have restraint

I'll be watching the comments below this week for questions and discussions on these topics!  Watch our first video from the series here.

Enjoy the series!

Part 1: What is a Professional Photographer

Part 2: All about Consistency and why you need it!

Part 3: 5 Things To Consider When Starting Your Photography Business

Part 4: Big Business vs Small Business

Part 5: The Importance of Insurance for Your Business

Part 6: Branding for Photographers

Part 7: Your Website and Web Presence

Part 8: Pricing Your Photography

Part 9: Portfolio Building for Photographers Part 1

Part 10: Portfolio Building for Photographers Part 2