Avoid These Mistakes Because They May Cost You

When I first started in the photography industry, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of mentors that guided me. Due to their mentorship, I was able to avoid some mistakes early on to help give me somewhat of a head start. Even still, I've had my fair share of "facepalm" moments, and some of the points discussed in this video feel uncomfortably familiar. 

In a recent video, Tony and Chelsea Northrup discuss some of the mistakes they made that actually cost them. For the most part, when you do a photo shoot, you're probably expecting to be paid. For many photographers, unpaid work or work for "exposure" is completely unacceptable. In many cases, I would cosign that sentiment, because it's not as though paid work doesn't get exposure. The issue, however, as discussed in the video, seems to be paid work where clear agreements haven't been made. This is a mistake I have and I'm sure many photographers have made. Sometimes, trying to agree on every point or discuss every little detail can seem a little awkward or make you seem difficult. It's these situations that generally end up costing you more, and even if it's a paid shoot, on occasion, it's just not worth it. 

My favorite point that Northrup discusses is "scope creeping." I've had to deal with this plenty of times. I have managed to find ways around it and it's mostly down to clear expectations. I think this video is extremely useful, because it highlights some of the many problems photographers may be faced with when looking for work. Check out the full video linked above. 

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4 Comments

Simon Patterson's picture

This is relevant to pretty much any business that provides a service, not just photography.

I like how the Northrups are open about their mistakes as well as their successes - not many people have the guts to do that in such a socially abrasive public space as the online photographic community.

Usman Dawood's picture

I agree, it occurs in almost every service based industry for freelancers and self employed people.

Michael Jin's picture

I couldn't help but cringe because I've encountered so much of this nonsense... It's especially super awkward when friend or family are involved.

Usman Dawood's picture

I know right lol.