5 photography business mistakes I made… why did I do this!? 😫

5 photography business mistakes I made… why did I do this!? 😫

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Anyone want to share a story when they made a mistake? Also – drop links to your photo websites/business below. I want to see your portfolios and businesses 🙂

  2. Writing down the job and the pay is critical out of all of these mistakes because I was ripped off when I finished 40+ products photoshoot and only got paid 240!! I talked to a pro in school and said that’s Atleast 500! $ ( in between job the client wasn’t sure what he wanted he later demanded for 2 shots rather then 3-4 shots per product! Wasted so much of my time !! ) write everything down. Period.

  3. Hey Chris.

    My profession is Workplace Health and Safety, unfortunately a lot of my clients come to me after an incident to assist in managing the outcomes of incidents and injuries. Prior planning prevents poor performance and injuries. Risk assessments and planning are not sexy, not hard to do, and once the skills are learned save time, money and can prevent mistakes that could cost more than money. Incidents may still occur, but the consequences and severity could be significantly reduced.

    There is, on the internet, a raft of information, tools and expertise to assist our community to prevent incidents and injuries.

    Be safe, have fun and be successful


  4. Awesome video! I'm still trying to figure out how to land clients in a brand new city I just moved to. Any tips for that?

  5. I love this. I haven't watched you in awhile, but after taking a long hiatus it seems like your doing better than ever! Great Video Chris! It was entertaining and informative!

  6. Dude! you are the only guy on Youtube who reminds me so naturally to hit the like button. Works every single time!
    Thanks for the insight, have a great trip and come visit Norway 🙂

  7. Cool tip for you. Use the egg shell to remove broken shells. Works like a charm.
    Thank you for all your tips and inspiration!

  8. The thumbnail was sucks compare to the video, your videos are the best ones man, but you need to improve your thumbs hahahaha, makes some mistakes is normal.

  9. WOW, seriously ?!?! I have learned a lot with this channel and love you man BUT… charging for a job you didn't do because you weren't there and charging for things you didn't agree to charge for are NOT MISTAKES these are complete DOUCHBAG MOVES. WTF?!?!?! Here's a little something I learned about business from of all people Bruce Springsteen. Always give your customers more than they expect. Follow this rule and you will have a successful business.

  10. Dude, this is aaa amazing advice! Thank you for your videos, been learning so much from you Matti and PM. ❤️😊

  11. My man spent $3K and billed for $4K, but he ended up getting $2K so he was in the hole $1K. Wow. OK, moral of the story is the dude was not charging nearly enough for his creative fee. Even if client would have ponied up $4K he would have only made $1K on the shoot. And I'm guessing for a shoot that required $3K of expenses, it was probably a pain in the ass to shoot. Lesson number whatever: Charge more. 🙂

  12. I've obviously loved your videos for a while now but idk something about this video took you to another level for me. Everything was paced and timed perfectly! And the constant back and forth of having a camera in a weird/unique spot to someone filming you (I'm assuming Lizzie?) worked perfectly! And all your videos (especially this one) have a genuine and unique charm to them. Loved this video!

  13. Great set of tips!! When you were cracking the eggs, I thought to myself, yup. I constantly make that mistake. haha.

  14. Awesome video! To someone who's last day of the 9-5 is tomorrow and finally going in full time, this is all great to hear. Thanks man!

  15. My first wedding. I was principally an editor, and covered events with videocameras (tripod, in auto, you know) and I thought I was able to go further…and was learning to shoot with borrowed DSLRs and had no more than two or three shots of experience…and I was hired as third camera to shoot a wedding…and I decided to trust in the live view (it was a Nikon 5200 and I did´nt noticed it had 2 stops + of exposition compensation activated) and decided to proof my new steadycam…with a 50mm on the camera, he he he. The other guy told me "hey bro, are you going to use a 50mm with this steady?"…and I said: "oh…of course…I know what I´m doing"….yeah…right.
    As a result, my footage was almost unusable; overexposed (specially the bride´s dress), and so shaky than was almost imposible to rescue something (I did, because I was good as editor and colorist). So I decided to take the footge and…rescue something to help the person who hired me. It was so embarassing.
    But thanks to that, I decided to not take any shortcuts and study really consciously my triangle of exposition, lenses, the steadycam correct balance, etc, etc, etc…and now…I´m considered a good DP, he he he…but I have this dark past…he he he

  16. Julia Moriah Photography on Instagram 💕 Mistake #1 allowing friend to take raw images from me after she convinced me that she needed them and didn’t like my style of editing. 🤦‍♀️ Senior Portraits, man.

  17. maybe add some insurance to those extra sandbag purchases. Things can go wrong even if you do plan ahead so being insured is helpful.

  18. Great video Chriss! So… basically i just started filmmaking about a year ago… This definately helps! But im sure ill make a ton of mistakes. ^^

  19. Keeps these vids coming! Absolutely loving the style you’ve got going right now!
    Extremely helpful btw! I can say I’ve been in that… some of those positions before 🙄🙈

  20. at 4:05 counter you had leather purse in your hand and when you turned up you have something else in your hand..continuity problem….heeee…sorry

  21. ok.. I have to admit that I started watching your videos a long time ago, then stopped. This has brought me back. Thank you

  22. Solid video. I respect those that aren't afraid to share their mistakes. It's a humbling transparency that we don't see enough of. As far as the end of the video, however, instead of shooting your outro, I feel that it may have been more impactful to fade out everything except for the text saying, "Its okay to make mistakes". Let that black screen with white text just sit there as a beacon to everyone that are afraid of messing up. Ending it there would leave us with the reassurance that we don't have to be perfect, and it could give someone the courage to face that fear, and finally start their business. This is just my opinion though. I still very much liked the video, and as always, you nailed it.

  23. Man I know you are busy and much more but I need your help to teach me I need a little from your time. I hope you read it and appreciate the reply in advance

  24. Great tips! I'm currently trying to figure out how to invoice clients and your 'know when to give a discount' really gave me a 'aaaahhhh' moment.

    I love Lowe's sales btw. I'm redoing my flooring and they have great deals on baseboards.

  25. Oh thank godness, he's swearing ……phew, now Im so much more relaxed. To be hearing an honest & believable guy that does that really makes me feel like we're finally connecting! (Sarcasm)

  26. Great video Chris! Can you make a video or point us towards place to learn the legal/business side of a photography/video business? Aka Setting up an LLC/Sole proprietorship, how to factor in taxes, legal contracts, that kind of stuff?

  27. Mistakes are the prices of getting there…Here is one I made. My business was booming and I hired someone. We were both overworked and I had a shoot in Africa in order to get everything done had them pack my gear for the trip while I finished up a project. When I got to Africa I discovered I had no tripod mounting plate and battery charger. I was in the jungle with no chance of replacing them. What did I do? I mounted the camera with gaff tape or went handheld – that was the easy part. For the batteries, I figured I had about 8 hours of roll time for a week shoot. So I shot listed everything turned the camera on only for the shots I needed never reviewed the shots. I got through the week sweating bullets got home and delivered a video the client was crazy about (I did get rehired) but I nearly had to bite the dust. I never go anywhere without a checklist for gear which is doubled checked by me or whoever is actually traveling I also take 2 battery chargers and I have a phobia for not having enough batteries so I always carry at least 2x more than most shooters would ever think is necessary.

  28. Thank you for this video! Do you have any idea of how to convince people that a photography business can work out? I am trying to get help to start my own business, but so far all I am hearing is "you cannot make money in photography", "photography is a hobby, not a career" and more of that nonsense.. And I know it's possible, I'm convinced that it is.. Just how to convince them.. I've been thinking about taking the risk and just starting without help, it's getting frustrating..

  29. Am at your couple of years ago……thanks for letting me know …it's ok if we make mistakes….keep inspiring bro

  30. Dude I think you just became my new favorite YouTuber. Your content is dope. Great dynamic storytelling. I like how you're moving from place to place. It gives the story momentum. And of course great on screen presentation.

  31. This is a great video Chris. I’ve been starting my photo/video business from the ground up and sometimes I get discouraged because I have so little gear. But yeah, this is encouraging because nobody ever started out perfect.

  32. Just started my business a year ago, in a tiny 1 horse town where half the population is over 50, and the rest are either kids in school that can’t wait to get out or druggies. Talk about bad location. So besides working on a portfolio, and saving up for pro gear, I’m also saving up to get the hell out of small town Iowa.

  33. Very insightful and great gear suggestions! I love my Sony Tough SD cards, average lifetime of previous SD cards were about 1 year but spending a bit more for a 10x stronger and many times faster SD card has saved me a bit of money.

  34. good video, everyone shows success only, they never talk about how much they failed before reaching where they are now after years and years of hard work . thumbs up 👍👍👏👏✌

  35. Hey Chris

    Been following you for a while now (I started looking into agency businesses a while ago) and found myself invested in your story and becoming a fan of your video and photo work.

    So much so that you inspired me to start my own Instagram (@cantuseacamera) and YouTube channel (this one) and invest in a semi-decent camera to start creating content.

    Hopefully it gains some traction and maybe we could create some content together in the future!

    Thanks for the great work!


  36. I wish I were like everyone else and just felt my way through things and learned from my mistakes as I went along. I overthink things to the point where I need to be perfect in order to start. Can anyone else relate?

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