Sarah Sakamoto blog »

Getting Started: What I’ve Learned

Quick list, like a “mental download” if you will:

– Don’t be afraid to put your name out there, apply for jobs, offer to assist, drive a couple hours out of the way. It’s most likely worth it. If you do a good job, you may have more work in the future.

– On that note, you won’t always get paid the first few times you work with someone. It’s almost expected. Don’t let that get you down.

– While you’re on the job, make friends. However, if you’re working for someone else, unless explicitly asked, do NOT promote yourself. You are working for a company.

– If you’re working for someone else, and something goes wrong, you have the right to step aside and tell whoever is pointing fingers that you’re a hired third party and that they should speak to (boss) to get answers. That’s probably the best solution, instead of saying something… not to say completely avoiding their questions, but you know.

– There’s a difference between telling the photographer/videographer what to do, and suggesting what to do (and maybe even getting them to think that it was their own idea).

– Always be ready if they need help (especially if you’re there to assist) and try to anticipate their moves and wants — which gets easier the longer you work with someone. The easier it is to work with you, the easier you make their job, the more likely you’re going to be thought of when they need someone for the next job.


– When you’re assisting, you may be asked to do things you don’t want to do. Do it anyways.

– There WILL be long hours. Either early mornings or late nights.. or maybe even both. Be prepared.

– Have comfortable shoes. Probably two pairs, just in case.

– Find ways to condense your gear. In other words, be space efficient. Sure it’s fine carrying it for 2 hours, but when it gets to 6 or 8, you’ll regret it.

– If you are getting paid, there’s a point between “reasonable” and “the price they’re asking because you’re a newbie and they think they can rip you off”. Know the difference. Don’t sell yourself short. It hurts other photographers/videographers in the industry, because some people take the job for $200 just because it’s money.

– However, don’t be a snob. Don’t expect $10k per job right when you start out (unless you’re very lucky and have very good connections and are an awesome photography/videographer and person). Everyone has to start somewhere. Just know your worth and your goals and figure out when to stop accepting “jobs for less”.

– Remember, it’s your CAREER, not a hobby! It’s a business, not a lemonade stand. Plan for the future. What do you want to be doing in 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years? Keep plans flexible. Check on your goals every so often, and see how you’re doing. Review and revise as needed.

I never thought I’d really be into weddings.. I don’t really like “shooting” people. Yet here I am, working with ImagiQue weddings and for the past few days, have been here in Carlsbad with StillMotion (a team I never thought I’d be able to meet, much less work with!). It’s pretty awesome, and I’m definitely excited about where life is going right now.

More posts coming later, preferably some with pictures — one post about composition (requested). Or maybe just more “mental downloads”.

Kat - All very true and excellent points!! Nice to be reminded of them.

Glad you like what you’re doing 😀 Do what you love and love what you do ^^ <3333

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