This article is going to stray a little from my usual photography business growth and marketing related advice, and give photographers some valuable ideas that I’ve built up while working with photographers from around the world…
They’ve shared with me numerous tips and tricks that they use in their businesses that could certainly help other photographers. Of course some of these tips seem obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things that we tend to neglect!
So here goes…
#1 – Spare Batteries and SD Cards
Ok, so this is exactly what I was talking about above… super obvious right?
Maybe not! The amount of photographers I’ve worked with who have told me horror stories about working at an event like a wedding where you simply can’t say “oh, I’ll be right back, just need to grab a fresh battery” is at least in the dozens.
Even go so far as taking more than you know you’ll need, because all it takes to totally screw up a shoot is to pack a flat battery instead of a full one, and you’ll be in pretty big trouble!
One pretty cool and simple tip I learned was to put a red mark on one end of the battery, and a green on the other. When a battery is fully charged, put it in your camera bag with the green side facing up, then when you’ve used it up and it’s flat, put it back with the red side facing up – This saves you a little time when changing batteries. Some of the newer batteries do have an indicator built in.
#2 – Touch Up Make-Up
I know, you’re not a make-up artist, but having a few very basic make-up products handy can be very valuable. Especially on hot days, or at wedding shoots where brides tend to get a little teary-eyed after the make-up artist has already gone.
This is always highly appreciated because your clients know it’s not your job to provide make-up and they’re always pleasantly surprised!
#3 – A Needle and Thread
Another thing you’re probably not is a seamstress, right?
But I’m sure you’ve seen situations where a button pops off or a seam splits a little which can turn into a really big problem.
You don’t even need to know how to sew, just provide the emergency sewing kit and let someone who can sew take care of things. This is another chance where you can become the ‘hero of the day’ and get mentioned over and over by those who were there, often resulting in a lot more referrals than if the situation never happened… kind of like a blessing in disguise!
#4 – Water and Small Snacks
This one mainly applies to wedding and even photographers, but is useful for any tog who shoots for more than a few hours straight.
Nobody likes that photographer who either expects to get a plate of food at the wedding/event (unless it was agreed upon before-hand), or even worse, the one who sneaks appetizers and drinks while nobody is looking. Even if you do a great job in every other area, this can leave a sour taste in the clients mouth, negating you from potential referrals.
Just pack a few snacks and some water to sustain you until the end (just plan on getting no food or drink at all). 99% of the time the client will see you eating your snacks and say something like “You’re more than welcome to have any food or drink that you like!”, and they’ll be impressed that you didn’t simply assume it was OK. This is almost like another way to ‘wow’ the client and guarantee future referrals.
#5 – An Iron or Hand-Held Steamer
Another job that you’ll never be expected to do is iron the wrinkly clothes, but every client is always super impressed with this one.
Just leave an iron or travel streamer in your car/ suitcase and whip it out when needed.
My photography students have told me dozens of stories where the groom, one of the groomsmen or simply a male (it’s always the men) will show up with an incredibly wrinkly shirt or pants. The kind of thing that’s near impossible to correct on photoshop and would almost certainly ruin the photos.
I’ve even been told by a couple of my students that the man who had the wrinkled garment gives them a bonus at the end simply for saving him from hearing “I can’t believe you showed up with a wrinkled shirt” for weeks or months from their partner.
Use these really simple tips to become the hero in the eyes of your clients, earning you a lot more referrals down the track, much more repeat business, and the simple benefit of your clients absolutely loving you.
It’s not hard to pack a few extra things before you head out to a job, but it can save you from a lot of stress and worry down the track.
Do you use any of these tips in your business? Let us know in the comments below, and share any that you think I’ve overlooked (you’ll be helping out a lot of photographers!)