HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY – Things I wish I knew


(upbeat instrumental)
(low groan) (chuckles) – We’re getting a little
carried away with these. This is like, completely modded with like, (cocks gun)
a hardcore spring in here. And it’s just, it’s,
it’s getting out of hand. Yeah. (funky guitar instrumental) (cracks can open) I don’t need this. I’ve got enough energy. What’s up everybody, Peter McKinnon here and welcome back to another tutorial. This is part three in mistakes that you want to avoid as a
photographer or filmmaker. The first part we were
talking about shooting actual applications with the camera. The second part, we talked about editing, mistakes that you make when
editing when you’re a beginner, and the third section today’s video, we are covering the
business aspect of mistakes to avoid as a young entrepreneur, photographer or filmmaker, setting out into the world to
try and make this a career, or try and make some money from this. Maybe it’s just some
extra cash on the weekend, or a full blown like paycheck. These are a couple things I’ve compiled that I wish I had when I started
or wish that I did better. And we’re going to start with those. Number one contracts. Contracts are so important. They are no fun at all to make. They’re no fun to read. And they’re no fun to sign. But they are there to protect you. No matter who you are shooting for. Listen to me, no matter
who you’re shooting for. If it’s a friend, if it’s family, it doesn’t matter. Get a contract, lay out everything that you hope to do for that person. Both of you sign it, date it, whatever. If there’s compensation, both
of those things are agreed, you both signed, it’s done. That way if anything comes
up, if extra work is piled on, if you didn’t do enough work, both parties have a signed document clearly outlining what the expectations are. Because I find that’s the biggest loophole that’s the biggest mistake is expectations are always different from
one person to the other. And if those expectations are set clear at the very beginning and
they’re followed through to the end because you have a contract business is better. So if you don’t have a contract, download a sample template,
check it out, read it, maybe fill in your own stuff. Instead of the sample. Do whatever you gotta do. Take it to a lawyer, get
a friend to look at it. Get your parents to look at it. Get your older siblings
to look at it, whatever. Start with something. Okay, signed agreements. That is point number one. (upbeat instrumental music) Number two is not charging enough. Now I’m an advocate for working for free at the beginning to get
your foot in the door. A lot of people are like, no, you should never undersell yourself. Your time is worth, yes,
your time is valuable. And your time is worth money. But hustling and doing work pro bono it’s going to get you into more doors, it can open up more doors for you, it’s gonna get you into more
places, meet new people. It helped build my career. It helped build careers
like my friend D Rock who just put a great post online about how he worked for
free right up to hustling to be Gary V’s personal videographer. That is awesome. But not charging enough is something I could have done better as a growing entrepreneur
and a photographer trying to make it in the field. I was always just so excited to get a gig that I completely forgot
what I should be charging, what my time is worth. Not only are you supplying
the equipment for this job, you’re taking your gear that
you bought to a photoshoot, you’re driving your
vehicle, using your gas, taking the time out of your day and you’re coming back and you’re editing all those photos that’s also skill with software that you’re paying for. So the list goes on and on and on and on. Those things are valuable. So once you start charging for your work, make sure you’re charging enough, I mean you think about it
like some of these cameras are thousands and thousands of dollars. You’re gonna go do some portrait shots and you’re only gonna charge
100 bucks or 200 bucks for a quick portrait session, one what does that say
about you as a photographer and the quality of work that you put out and two how has that ever
actually going to make you money or pay back your gear or actually get you ahead in this game. So make sure you’re charging enough. Sometimes you can throw numbers out there that might even seem a little crazy to you and that client comes back and
goes yeah alright no problem and you think yourself, oh, oh, I did (stutters)
(gasps) it can be very exciting. But it’s something that
you got to take seriously. So really sit down and factor in all of those things I
listed to know what your time is worth and charge accordingly. Point number three coming up. (upbeat instrumental music) Point number three is checklists. I can’t stress this enough. So if you’re going on a shoot, let’s just say you’re shooting a wedding, you’ve got the contract in place, you’ve charged what you wanted to now comes to the actual shoot day. I always recommend getting
a checklist from the client of everything they want done. That way, you can reference
that throughout the day throughout the shoot, and you know, you’ve got everything. If that client fails to
provide you something on that checklist it is not your fault. Example. Let’s just say you’re shooting a wedding, you’ve got that checklist, get the dress, get the drinks in the
morning, and the gifts, the first look blah, blah, blah, blah, you’re knocking off all those things. But it may be two weeks
later, that client comes back and says aunt Margaret never
had her portrait taken with us. And we’re very upset about this. And she flew all the
way here from Australia. And we’re not going to see her ever again. And you didn’t even take photos. And then you can pull out that checklist that you had that client make for you and sign off on you can say, look, you didn’t tell me to
take any pictures of this aunt from Australia,
it’s nowhere on this list so how was I supposed to know that. So it’s there to protect you as well. At the same time, it’s
there to help you make sure that you get everything that client wants. That’s a good thing. Checklists. Moving on to point number four. (upbeat instrumental music) Number four is my favorite. It’s meeting in person. So much of today’s
correspondence is done via email, text message even or over the phone. But there’s nothing quite like sitting across from a prospective client and being able to sell yourself. You’re as much as the
product as the actual images and video that you’re shooting. So sell yourself. Show them why they want to hire you show them that charming personality. Show them that excitement and enthusiasm for what it is that you do. That’s going to get you more bookings than hiding behind an email. Meeting in person can go so far for building your brand and your rapport. I don’t know why people
don’t do it enough. Pick a coffee shop, set up
camp, meet some clients there, show them your work, build a
rapport, pay for their coffee, just have a good time, kind of
get that friendship rolling. So they feel comfortable trusting you with their big day or
with their huge project or giving you money if
you’re younger than them. That is a huge advantage. Instead of just sending off a text message or just leaving a voicemail. Meet them in person. Tip number five. (slow instrumental music) Closing out this video and closing out this three part series. And don’t worry for
everyone who was complaining about this microphone. I don’t like that I can see the mic. It’s okay I change things up all the time. That’s the kind of guy am. This backgrounds here. Then it’s there then it’s there, then it’s (makes silly noise) Tip number five is putting
yourself out there. I remember when I started photography, and I wanted to make this a business and I wanted to make a living. I sort of expected the work to come to me. I was like, okay, I’ll build a website, I’ll get some business cards. I’ll send a few texts. I’ll put my stuff on Facebook, I’ll start writing a blog. And they’ll come, people
will just knock on my door. They’ll just call my phone and like, hey, this is Peter
McKinnon, the photographer who just built that brand new website and has fresh business cards? I’d love to hire you. Doesn’t happen that way. It won’t happen that way. Maybe once in a blue moon. But for the most part,
that’s probably cause it’s family related. You’re never gonna get
just random cold calls, knocking on your door offering you money. You got to go get that work yourself. Get to put yourself out there. Always have your gear with you. Always. Let’s just say it’s a
simple family barbecue. You got your camera with you. You’re snapping photos of
the family, of the event, of people smiling and laughing, and then you send them out to the family. Maybe a family friend was there. Or the cousin says, hey, these
are actually great photos. And when their friends is
they need a photographer. Oh, my cousin did some great work. Like here’s some photos
he took out our family. Oh yeah we’d love him to shoot
our family barbecue, boom, job done secured. Or maybe you’re at a restaurant, and you’re taking some pictures of food. And the owner comes up
to you and says, hey, I might need some photos. Like what’s what’s what
does your work look like? Or better yet, finding that
manager and saying hey, I’m a photographer. I’d love to do food photography. And I would be interested
in possibly working for you. Maybe reshooting your menu
or do some social work for you for your Instagram account. putting yourself out there to
kind of generate those leads generate that work doesn’t hurt anybody. The worst case scenario, the worst thing that’s gonna happen,
someone’s gonna say, no, I don’t need it. I don’t want it. You can either to try to convince them or you can move on to the next person. But sitting at home because you
got a nice Instagram profile or a nice website as need
anyone’s gonna come knocking to hire you. You got to go knocking to get those jobs. When those jobs start coming. That word of mouth starts, you know, snowballing into more and
more and more prospects. Then the phone starts ringing. But you got to put in
the legwork to get there. Alright, those are my five
tips, business mistakes, things to avoid and things to help you build a career as a
photographer or cinematographer. Thank you so much, guys. I hope you like this series. It was a really fun three videos to make. I had a really great time and it all comes from personal experience. So if you guys like this, let
me know what you liked below. Let me know which video you like the most. I’d love to hear from you.
get the conversation going. Hit that like button
if you like this video, smash it if that’s
something that you’re into, 2018 style. Subscribe if you aren’t already and, and I will see you in the next video. I’m gonna go find Maddie. (upbeat instrumental music)

100 thoughts on “HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY – Things I wish I knew

  1. Office max has excellent contractor proposals for making any type of deal

  2. 1. Contracts: always get one
    2. Not charging enough: consider lots of things such as your time, gear, gas, editing etc..
    3. Checklists: client and yourself can always refer back to checklist.
    4. Meeting in person.
    5. Putting yourself out there.

  3. Peter, you are godsend for photographers trying to establish themselves! Thank you immensely for the work you put into your channel. 😊

  4. I really like how you made up the first 45 seconds of that video with the typing, and the effects. Very nice! 🙂 (Haven't watched more, let's see if the rest of the video holds up 😀 )

  5. Anyone else notice the hair under his arm at 7:12 ? Man does it bother me now that I know its there!

  6. Thank you for this. I plan on getting a good camera tomorrow because this is what I want to do. Starting freelancing and I was was i was wondering how I'd get up and off the ground. To be noticed. This is great

  7. @ 7:00 all the way it's me back in 2007 in Toronto did what he said lol and it's true 🤪

  8. Super funny when you mimicked the getting the expansive job where the client says ok. I mean the whole video is pretty funny and great.

  9. “Only charging $100 or $200 for portraits” LOL I’m starting my business and only charge $60 and people still refuse to pay🤣

  10. This is very helpful and it's really fun to watch. I love the humor.

  11. HAHAHA, man i was creasing when those dollar signs came up loooool

  12. No thank you due. I am new to your channel can you make more videos about business? I love photography. What lights do you for small objects.

  13. I'm just so impatient right now for my camera to come I'm binge watching tons of camera and photography videos idk what to do

  14. Absolutely great tips Peter. I think your tips are not limited to just photography and can be used in any field. Thanks for the amazing video 😉

  15. Ohh my god peter I can't stop laughing at that expression of yours at 4.03 🤣🤣

  16. The Aunt Margret Joke cracked me so badly… ha ha ha i don't know but it made me laugh so hard….

  17. Peter sir, I'm truly inspired from you, after watching this video. Maybe you will not read this comment but I have learnt lots of this of photography, I'm not a pro photographer but I really love taking photos. Lots of love and respect sir.

  18. Man, l dont care what you are saying, I think your success is mainly because of your awesome energetic and funny ( without being cheesy) personality. Your energy is also off the chart… Where do you get these from.? I watched your friend casey's channel for a while and he is very similar in these aspects ( just not that funny for my taste). Are you all NYers like that? Either way, I am impressed . Keep it up!

  19. Hey Peter, loved this video! I want to dive a bit deeper with #4: Meeting in person. When you do set up that meeting, what are some typical things you would prepare for your client (besides showcasing your previous work)? Would you include a mood board, examples of photog styles, ideal shots (tying into checklist point), etc..?

  20. Really loved the video . Can i ask you what software you use to show that saturation affect and stuff !! ??

  21. I just graduated from a photography program and I find it hard to get jobs doing photography or photo editing.

  22. I unexpectedly received a Canon rebel T6 the other day and I just wanted to say I'm enjoying your videos a lot and learning what I need. keep bringing that fire content My friend!

  23. Wow 😮 impressive as Darth Vader would say … 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿👏👏👏👏👏most impressive

  24. I am a beginner.
    I want a buy a cam and do some practice.
    Want to learn more about photography.
    I want to do a course too.
    What kind of cam do i need to start?

  25. thanks for making great videos am just starting in the photography world, been a great help. side note D-Roc is awsome

  26. that pro bono seeing was cool man i was just about to search about what that's meaning hh

  27. Loads of helpful points here and earned you a subscriber 🤘🏻 if you have any special tips for vehicle (Custom cars and hot roads/ Motorcycles and such) that would be awesome too!

  28. People think they can treat photographers like dirt which is why I’m afraid to start making money from it.

  29. Ok so tip five is so true!! I take my camera with me everywhere. I was at a wedding shower and the grooms mom was taking pics on her phone so I was like “hey I’ve got my camera would you like me to take pics for you?” And I ended up doing pics for the shower and on the wedding day as the bride and her girls got ready!! First time taking pics for an event and it was awesome!!!

  30. 100% Agree with all of these tips. I've seen others reference this in their comments, but understanding your worth as a creative is SO vital in becoming successful. Learning to be a decent business person is also VERY important, maybe even more so. There's a reason why certain creatives that are as talented as others get projects worth significantly more, and most of the time it's based on having good business acumen and understanding how to sell the perceived value you can provide to that client. It took me getting my first project, which paid me right under $4,000 (Definitely not a flex, it was a lot of hard work but invaluable experience) that showed me that we as creatives need to fight off the "imposter" syndrome as much as possible. To understand we are worth what we want (and probably more so), but we have to first believe that ourselves before we can expect others to. Keep killin' it everyone & good luck! 🤙🏼

  31. Yeah I'm starting out at $150 and am not sure if I should do more. I'm shooting on L lenses now so maybe I need to up that rate 😂

  32. bro youre too good for business once Donald steps down i will vote you as next president

  33. Doing stuff for free at first is great, but I found it hard to tell those people (generally friends and family) that I had to charge them the second (or third time). Putting my foot down was difficult, but eventually, they agreed. They saw it was a passion, and that I wanted to make money doing it (or at least pay off my camera). It all works out in the end, and I think what Peter said about putting yourself out there and seeking out the work is what it ALL boils down to. If I'm the only guy in my town who is out seeking all the jobs and getting the gigs, then all the photographers who sit at home, waiting for people to call them, won't get anything. I'm taking their work. Having skill and technical know how doesn't really mean anything if you don't put in the work on the business end. Work ethic matters.

  34. I work in a different industry entirely and this list is STILL useful. Great post

  35. Has anyone tried to be an Airbnb listing photographer to build a real estate portfolio?

  36. Get a first paid client is really hard, especially when you moved to another non-English speaking country. 😭

  37. And if they say no, then you shoot them with the toy gun that you were branding at the beginning of the video?

  38. What camera do you use for all of your video editing or the one your currently using in this video? Such great quality!

  39. Solid advice. Standard business practices that can be applied to many professions.

  40. I’ve obtained details for you fellas. My companion informed me how he’s been bringing in major cash using the incredible new “Sοnkοnet Weebly” (Google it) and now it’s my brand new business. I have already had incredible results from this method. In case you still have no idea about it, you have to be informed at this time. .

  41. I work in medicine sometimes I still think about getting into photography 4 pay. Just Basics to make any serious money… Then again they say do what you love and the money will come people routinely comment on the prints I've got hanging from my walls on what great shot say where they want to know where I bought the pictures

  42. From what you said about meeting in person, what if you deal with social anxiety?

  43. Im new to photography but dude.. I love your vibe and you're so helpful!!

  44. Anybody got some video/blogs that teach more about the Business aspect of photo/video, i'm looking to learn more about earning a living out of filmmaking.

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