Hooo, boy, where to begin?
I could write a book, not just a blog post, on what NOT to do when starting out. But if I have to boil it down, these are the five biggies, the low-lying fruit of what to do.
1. Hire an accountant:
Nothing kills your creative buzz quicker than money probs. Even if you are determined to DIY, this is a place where every dollar spent on a pro is worth it. Even a small sole proprietor needs to stay on top her dollars and cents. From HST remittances to paying yourself to making sure the ole Government of Canada gets it due, an accountant will keep you in the black. Believe me, you do NOT want the CRA mad at you!
2. Aperture Priority is your friend:
This is where things get technical. But if you saw my earlier posts about getting out of auto mode and venturing into the exciting realm of manual, this is where things get fun and super-creative!
3. Don’t say yes to everyone:
A fool’s errand. You will run yourself ragged trying to be all things to all people. You can’t. Figure out your favourite style and subjects and stick with them. It’s WAAAAY better to be awesome in a niche than so-so at everything. Maybe food photography’s your bag. Or you want to fill up your Instagram with pretty portraits. Or create gorgeous shots to run with your blog. Find your thing, and stick with it.
4. Under-do the photo edits:
This is a case where grandma adages about doing things right the first time and less-is-more totally apply. Shooting is the fun part of photography. Editing can become tedious real quick. Plus, heavy editing can really kill the spirit of your original pic. Work towards getting the right shot, rather than fixing it afterwards.
5. Make time for shooting.
Ever heard the saying “writers write”? Like, literally, the definition of a writer is someone who writes. Not necessarily well. Not even for money. But
I want to rent a plane and write it in the sky: if you want to be a great photographer, you have to practice. Nothing improves your photography better than, well, photography.
That’s it. Follow these five steps and you will be sprinting out of the gates. And if you’re jonesing to take it up a notch, c’mon down to my beginner photography class.