Now you are getting paid, what to pack

This is a discussion on Now you are getting paid, what to pack within the Making Money From Photography forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; I got a great email asking what are the basic items a pro should have in their bag for a paying gig. Now this is ...


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  1. #1
    Proud Nikon Shooter
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    I got a great email asking what are the basic items a pro should have in their bag for a paying gig.
    Now this is just my opinion, but should be considered a good starting point for those getting paid to shoot.
    If you are not sure that you need the items on this list read So you think that you are ready to charge like a pro? before reading further.
    When you are getting paid to deliver images, it is your responsibility to deliver. Clients will not want to hear excuses. They don't care if your camera breaks, if your memory card fails, or if the weather turns bad. They are paying good hard earned money and expect results.
    Never, ever think that a camera or lens won't fail. When money is on the line, back up everything.
    Never, ever think about shooting for money without a contract.


    Now this is just a short list. Personally I pack like I am never coming home again.

    Small shoot: This could be portraits, small event, or other small assignment.

    Contract !!!!!!
    Release and usage agreement
    1 camera (preferably 2)
    2 lenses or more
    1 flash (again preferably 2)
    Flash bracket
    Extra memory cards
    Extra batteries
    Tripod / Monopod

    optional: Lighting, backdrops and stands, light meter, props, card reader

    Commercial shoot / large shoot: This will be weddings, large events, or corporate assignment.

    Contract !!!!!!
    Releases and usage licenses.
    2 cameras (with additional backup)
    4 lenses or more
    3 flashes
    Extra batteries
    Extra memory cards
    Card reader
    Tripod / Monopod (with backups)
    Professional lighting (flashes used for backups when all else fails)
    Helper / back up shooter

    Your gear should be capable to handle the situation that you are being paid to cover. If low light shoot, your camera should comfortably shoot at high ISO. You may not always be able to use lighting. You should have very fast glass. You should have lenses to cover the range of zoom needed, whatever that may be. You should always have at least one good prime lens in your bag.
    Once again this is not a cheap and easy list, but you decided that you want to get paid
    Steve

    Never complain, Never explain. Learn it, live it


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  • #2
    Administrator
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    Pinned.
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  • #3

    Join Date
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    Egypt
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    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    Thanks for your explanation , and I have some questions please

    1-For Wedding Party why must I bring 2 camera , 4 lens and 3 flashes ?
    2-What is the form of the contract ? could you please give an example for it ?
    3-Do I have to hire a layer to write this contract ? or I just can print it and ask customer to sign it ?
    4-My customers always ask for a CD contains all photos even those ones they don't like , When I say no these are mine they hate me and never hire me again or recommend me to their friends .... What is your advice ??

    Thanks in advance

  • #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Lawrence, KS
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    1-For Wedding Party why must I bring 2 camera , 4 lens and 3 flashes ?

    Because stuff breaks. It breaks on it's own, and it breaks when you drop or bash it. If you use the gear a lot it's not a matter of if it will break; it's a matter of when it will break. On a bad day more than one might break. All the little stuff can break too. You need back-ups of everything: flash cords, brackets, remotes, batteries, etc... If you are presenting yourself as a professional the client is going to assume you can handle little glitches such as malfunctioning gear. An amateur can get away with warning a friend who has requested wedding photography that they don't have back-up gear, but most of the time if you start out by telling a stranger who is contemplating hiring you that you don't have back-up gear that will pretty much end the interview.


    2-What is the form of the contract ? could you please give an example for it ?
    3-Do I have to hire a layer to write this contract ? or I just can print it and ask customer to sign it ?


    You should talk to a lawyer who deals with contract law where you are working.


    4-My customers always ask for a CD contains all photos even those ones they don't like , When I say no these are mine they hate me and never hire me again or recommend me to their friends .... What is your advice ??

    Make sure they understand this before they hire you. I explain this to people in our first meeting, and it's clearly written into my contract. If this is an issue then we both know I am not the right photographer for them. Do your best to inform the potential client of your policies before they choose to become your client.

    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt

  • #5
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    I totally agree on the contract part. While I am not a pro photographer yet, I would like to add photography to my advertising services once I get some studio experience under my belt.

    A well worded and specific contract and usage license/sales term agreement is vital. It not only protects you and your propert but also makes you look more professional. At first I was worried that clients would be put off by the number of things I request they sign, such as contract quotes, proofs, transfer agreements, ect. But I quickly found that people like having the terms out in the open since many do not understand copyright law very well. Ofcourse my work for hire arrangements were also very non-restrive and agreeable, too.

    But I don't really think it matters what the contract is exactly, so long that it is clearly written and not too terribly off the wall. People like good communication.

    Definitely have an attorney draft the contract. It really won't cost too terribly much to have done. $200 might seem like a lot for a piece of paper, but just like your images it's what's on the paper that is valuable.
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #6

    Join Date
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    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    To add to the above, know your states contract laws when it comes to terminology. For example, most professionals have a non refundable deposit required. However, some states do not support the word "deposit"...it needs to be called a "retainer". This is another good reason to have a lawyer draft a contract. While I expect my clients to read the contract, I do go through a quick review of the contract. I don't read it word for word, I summarize each category and this will often lead to a full understood contract before any possible problems could occur.


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