The right fit

Have you ever said in an interview or resume "I believe I would be a good fit for this company."? What if you really aren't a good fit? I researched a lot before going in to business. I'm still very new at it. I have made mistakes, and I'm probably still making some as I type and will make some more in the future. Owning a business isn't easy. A lot of people have the dream of working when you want, being your own boss. No one to answer to.  However, that's all wrong. That is not really how it works.

Sure I can block off a weekend that I don't want to work, but I may lose money doing so. I am my own boss at A. R. Sallot Freelance Photography, but I do have to answer to someone; my clients. If I mess up it needs to be fixed. I can not pawn off a problem or a mistake to my supervisor.  I am the supervisor.  For someone who doesn't like confrontation, that's not a good thing.

I am just another photographer that popped up in an over saturated market. Everyone is a photographer, and a lot of them are "in business." I hate to say it, because I'm sure there are some photographers that feel the same about me, but not everyone that owns a DSLR should be in business.

Before I got my business license (yes, a photographer should have one AND pay taxes) I researched as many photographers as I could in my area. I wanted to see the price range for my skill level. I didn't want to undercut those with the same skills and experience as I had, but I knew I shouldn't charge what well established AMAZING photographers with years and years under their belts were charging. In that search I saw tons of photographers that really probably shouldn't be charging or doing important events such as a wedding. Now, before anyone calls me out for being judgmental and snobby, I'm not. Well, not really. Have I've been doing this for years and years? No. I'll be honest, I haven't. Have I poured every spare moment I've had since starting into learning and educating myself in the art and craft of photography? Yes, well, damn near every spare moment I have I am reading, practicing, learning, watching, the list goes on. When I'm not doing that, I am working on the business part itself.

Just recently my husband has scheduled Monday and Tuesday to be about the family and us. Monday is family night and Tuesday is date night. No ands, ifs, or buts.  I am not allowed to come home from my day job start up the computer and start learning a new technique in shooting or editing on those two days. I can't work on my marketing or the books until family night or date night is over. If it's still early enough in the evening to even do that. A lot of times he keeps me busy until it's time to go to bed. Why did he do this? Doesn't he want me to be successful? Yes, he does, but I have become so engrossed in to photography and the business that I was missed. I was home and I was being missed.

My point about this is, I am dedicated to this.  Not everyone is a good fit for running a photography business. I am seeing a lot of photographers that are not honing in on their skills. They have been in business for two years and focus is still missed or the image is yellow or the lighting is all wrong, and they are charging people. These are basic things that need to be fixed before accepting money. Have I taken money when I was still missing these areas? Yes, I told you I made mistakes.  I have been put in situations that the person "had" to pay me.  They insisted, and I didn't want to pass up an opportunity to grow.  I went in to business early because more and more people that I didn't know personally were contacting me to do pictures. It got to where I couldn't justify either being known as the "free photographer" or taking money and not being legitimate.  So the choice was to continue doing my friends and family for free or open up shop. Since I've wanted to be a pro since I was 10, I figured I may as well fork over the money to the state and be called a professional, but I better get really good at it.

Am I the best their is? No, I stated that already. I am not the best in my area. I have a ways to go.   That's OK, there is a market for me. There is also a market for those that I feel need to improve. It's just my opinion. We all know what they say about opinions "Everybody has one".

So, if you want to get in to photography, and do it as a business, spend as much time as you can learning. Don't stop learning. Every great photographer will tell you they are still learning. Stick to friends and family if your pictures are still yellow (psst calibrate your monitor), or your focus still misses the eyes most of the time. Every photographer has "crap shots" in every shoot, they just don't show them.  I learned, I invested, and I've sacrifice. I will continue to do it so that I can proudly say "I am good enough to be in the photography business because I fit."

 Here's where I started next to my current skill levels. Let me help you (as if you need it). The first one is out of focus, cheeks and forehead are blown, busy background, and the black and white conversion is plain and boring. The crop is weird and I chopped off all but one finger. The second one: again with the fingers, wish they were there, her jaw could be more relaxed and I probably could have shot a touch wider.

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