Earning a living in this creative line for over a decade. What is some of my fear of been a creative service provider? I wish to share my personal insight and maybe this will relate to photographer out there who maybe dealing with tough situation.
Regardless of job type, no freelancer wants to go unpaid. Two examples i can share.
1. Completed an event assignment, prior agreement with your customer is $550 for this number of hours. By the end of the event, the client said let’s round it off to $500, he gave you cheque and expect you to accept, without giving you the change to rebuke. The client quickly shoo you off, went on to be busy with his guests.
2. Client who has no experience in understanding how to see a good picture. Commented on how poor the images at different angles, negative feedback throughout, citing the boss is not happy with the images. All for the sake of pushing down the final payment as low as possible. The funny thing is, when those so call poor images posted up on client’s social media, it was well-received.
3. First time working with a new client, there will always be some worry about client not paying when the client is not communicating professionally or pulling down the price.
Struggle with creativity - All creative people will go through mental block at time. Struggling to find it own voice or relate an idea. Sometimes it can be unclear which images are the best for your portfolio. Personal problem, busy raising a family or health issue for example will also affect the way creative people think of good idea.
Dealing with weather - Am doing lots of outdoor photo shoot in the past few years. Having a bliss of blue sky is more beneficial than a cloudy weather. There are 2 side of bad weather here in Southeast Asia. First, dealing with Cat 1 (storm) to long day of drizzle. Second, to deal with high temperature and humility. Either way is a nightmare, the last thing i want to getting my electronic equipment damage which is totally unnecessary.
Breakdown of equipment - To me this is the worst case scenario. Camera went error for no reason during a job, shutter falls off when taking pictures during stage ceremony, modelling light burst, crash of memory card, gear fell on the ground even if you took precautions, assistant drop your thousand dollar gear, getting bloated batteries, on and on.
Technology- More tech gadgets for creative usage on the market in the last few years. If a photographer is sticking with his good old gears, business will start to crunch up. There are more interesting or fun things to learn today than just clicking on your trusted camera. The market demand new type of visual and requirement for their business. Or even people will invest in the gadgets rather than engaging a professional photographer to do the job.
Business challenge - Finding clients, getting clients and converting them to be your paid client. Is a lot of hard work and precious time spent like any other business. There is no shortcut and is a brutal reality. Not only worth of mouth is useful but networking, blogging, vblogging, advertising, social media and so forth.
Internal conflict - We all have to deal with negative thoughts daily. We doubt ourselves whether are we worthy, thinking of the worst scenario can happen. These will leads to anxiety which need to be deal with quickly.
Very fortunately, i hardly deal with bad clients, 98% of clients were awesome human being. The other 1-2%, i already sniffed them out or i took a gamble. The good news is, people are generally good soul, some client does respect and understand is not an easy job. Don’t trust the internet saying photography is an all glamour career. Hustle enough and the sweetness will come.