Jasmine Star is one of our favorite local photographers here at SLR Lounge, because she is not only a great photographer but also one of the most giving people in our industry.Not just a big name and a face; Jasmine’s willingness to freely share information about her business techniques and everything else is part of what makes “J-Star” so well-loved.
Her latest video in the “Shooting Star” series is about DISCOUNTS and BOOKING POLICY.Simply put, if you are a new aspiring professional photographer, you MUST watch this video.It perfectly nails the benefits AND the problems associated with “shooting for free”, and exactly HOW you can progress from “that friend with a camera who shoots for free” …to… “that friend who is an amazing professional and totally worth their price!”
But, don’t take our word for it; watch the video, and then leave some love on Jasmine’s blog post by clicking HERE!
I have to say, this is exactly how I feel about the “friends discount”.I would like to also add, that yes it takes a while to get where you’re going, and you may sometimes feel like you NEED to take a discount job in order to get from point A (valueless) to point B (big bucks)…If this is the case, just be careful.You may get yourself into a downward spiral of clients who expect more and more, and pay less and less.Again I’m not talking about at first when you’re shooting free portraits left and right for anyone who will pose in front of your camera, I’m talking about when you feel you’re ready to get OUT of that initial phase.
The best way to avoid this is to just “have the conversation” like Jasmine describes.And also, this sounds like a no-brainer but it’s very important-Plan ahead so that you can have financial stability on your side during this stage of your career.Because you NEED to be able to survive through those handful of clients who decide not to book you, before you get to the first few clients who decide you’re worth your new, higher price.I say this because it may NOT work out well if you try and keep secretly filling your schedule with low-dollar gigs, while you ALSO wait for that next higher booking.Because even WHEN that next big higher booking does come along, you’ll be stretched so thin taking care of all those demanding, low-dollar clients that your new high-dollar client may end up getting the same low-dollar, under-whelming “client experience.”
Of course this discussion could go on forever and has many, many other points of debate, but that is another post for another day. The best way to learn EVERYTHING is by taking it one little bite at a time.Which is why you should definitely be subscribed to Youtube and other feeds like Jasmine’s.:-)
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