I've been doing a lot of research over the past few months and some with a lot more depth within the past few days. It's interesting because as I'm getting a hand on developing my presence as a photographer, and running J. Cameron Photography as a business and not merely a hobby, I've been looking at the details that it requires. While time consuming, I feel as though there are each very simple entities to have.
For one, I really am working hard to develop a brand that I really love and enjoy. Something that is timeless. Something that stands out. Something that adds power to the pictures that I take. While it is fairly simple, I have yet to get to something that I will like long enough to keep. I have one that's practically text. It is nice for the time being, but I really would like to have something different.
Creating a contract
I never felt as though I needed to necessarily have a contract for my business. From doing research and observing the business strategies of other photographers, I felt as though it is really important to have a contract for client's. I believe that it is important to have one for portrait sessions and one for weddings. I managed to have my general contract completed and will be working on one for a wedding.
This is something that I feel should be done anyways. I have usually told my Clients that I charge $50/hr for shooting and provide a certain amount of images on a CD for the client. For one, I believe that this is very cheap. However, I am keeping it at that pricing until I have developed a consistent clientele base. I have a package set for once that happens and I'm glad that I do have it.
Another package setup that I haven't done was prints. I usually do not do prints, but I have had people ask for them. When that happens, I am usually just throwing together some random pricing and giving it to the client. Whether it is offered or not, I believe that having a print package established for clients is a good thing to do. It's better safe than sorry. Especially because you don't want to under value your time and expenses to get those prints.
Don't be shy
This is something that I feel is a big part in the actual photography portion of the business. I tend to find myself a little bit more shy when it comes to actually photographing people. I am not a touchy-feely person so I'm usually just verbally trying to explain a pose instead of showing or moving the person when shooting. In the photography world, that's not going to work all the time. You have to touch and feel. You have to be willing to do the uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone.
I think all of these are equally important and I don't think you can really cut any one of them out of the equation.