When I grabbed my first proper camera — a Canon 450D — many years ago, I never considered going pro. But there are camera owners out there who have, intentionally or not, found their equipment getting a solid workout for little in return. So when do you bite the bullet and start putting a price tag on your time?
Alan Steadman over at PetaPixel has put together a list of seven things you should look out for as a photographer and point number one is exactly what I've mentioned here: Seriously consider charging for your work. You've picked up an expensive DSLR and a set of lenses to go with it and now your family and friends are getting you to take photos of birthdays, weddings and other assorted events.
If you're churning out a quality product and giving up large parts of your day, then definitely consider asking for compensation. As Steadman explains:
I don't know a single photographer, pro or hobbyist, that hasn't done a job for free when they clearly should have charged for it. Some people will read this and ignore it thinking their instance is a special case but I assure you you'll come to regret it. Assuming something doesn't go wrong and you have somebody mad at you for doing them a favor, you'll still most likely end up spending money (gas, food, etc) to work during your time off. So now you're actually paying to work. And what's worse, you'll set a bad precedent as being cheap and easy. Nobody wants that reputation.
Of course, this is just one of the "mistakes" Steadman covers — be sure to check out the full list at PetaPixel below.
7 Mistakes Every Photographer Makes [PetaPixel]