(Last Updated On: October 2, 2018)

First Photography Job

Three things to think about before you go on your first job are:

Pretty female professional photographer

  1. Honestly appraise your skill level. When you are getting paid to do a photography job, you never want to make promises you cannot keep. Save the guessing for workshops and self assignments. The worst thing that could happen after your first job, or any job is that you make a mistake within the session that could have been avoided with more practice beforehand.
  2. Know your equipment. Be prepared! Every set of equipment has its own strengths and challenges. The best way to know about your camera isn’t to ask other people about it, it’s to try things out for yourself. Instruction can be very helpful to get you going in the right direction, but you shouldn’t try using your equipment in a job unless you’ve personally become familiar with it. Do you know your equipment so well that you can use it under any circumstance? What will you do if your equipment fails?
  3. Be in control of your business. Know your cost of doing business.  Take the time to create at least a basic business plan and marketing plan. You need to know what it costs you to press the shutter button (and no, the answer isn’t free because I use a digital camera). By having a business plan and knowing your cost of doing business, you will be more likely to take care of your business.  You will also be less likely to let others talk you into discounts that are not healthy for your business or to take jobs that do not support your business goals.


  1. Thank you for taking space to address the importance of CODB – Cost of Doing Business – to your students. This important subject has been overlooked for too many years and its damage has never been more significant than in the digital age.

    Students, if you want to start a photography business, please take some basic business and accounting classes.


    Matt Lit
    photographer & photography educator


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