Hiring an assistant will allow you to work faster, be more creative, and less tired at the end of the day.
Be yourself, unless you’re a jerk. In that case, learn to keep your mouth shut.
Commercial photography is not about you. It’s a collaborative process and you are one part of a creative machine built to get results in a timely and profitable way. Don’t throw a wrench (ego, doubt, fear, miscommunication, etc.) into the gears and you’ll do well.
Always meet your client’s expectations, but strive to go above and beyond that.
Never settle for good enough.
Always be open and upfront with your clients about costs.
Estimating is an art and is something you’ll spend your life perfecting.
Shoot personally and keep it personal. Free your mind of the confines of commerce once in a while.
Be excited about your work and show enthusiasm for what you do. Be confident.
Show interest in your client’s project and get invested with them. Stay away from the “us versus them” mentality.
Build relationships with your clients, but keep a professional distance.
The photography business is cyclical. Protect yourself from slow times by building a 3 to 6 month operating expenses cushion.
If you do it for work, you can write it off. But you can’t write off your own labor (so when someone asks you to shoot for free as a write-off, know that you won’t be able to write it off).
Your friends and family will have a big influence on you directly and indirectly. Make sure you listen carefully to the advice they give you. It may be beneficial or it may lead you off track. Weigh any opinions carefully.
Negative thoughts, emotions, and actions will spread through your success like a virus. Be mindful of the company you keep and what you say to yourself.
Do what you love and the money will follow.
Live below your means.
Don’t buy anything for your business on credit.
Know yourself and be yourself.
Enjoy and celebrate food. Especially if you’re on the road, seek out a good place to eat rather than settle for chain restaurants and fast food.