Always get your clients’ requirements and expectations as a commercial photographer.
Before you take on any commercial photography projects, you should always zero in on what the clients want to get out of it. You should find out right off the bat if this is something that you will be able to go ahead and satisfy in the first place. You certainly would not want to end up wasting each other’s time. When trying to find out about the requirements, make sure that you make notes as you go along so that you can address the concerns point by point and line by line without missing anything out somewhere along the way. At the same time, you should also be very vigilant in being able to manage the expectations of your clients while you are at it.
Some of your clients’ expectations will be spot on and passable while some might be a little out of touch with reality. It is your job to make sure that you get to balance the scales and educate them about what the norm is in the commercial photography industry. This is something that you do for a living and your opinion or what you have to say does count to a certain degree.
Get a contract drafted up because this is every commercial photographer’s protection.
It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with a close friend or a total stranger as a commercial photographer. Business will always be business. All of your dealings in commercial photography will always be a business transaction. What this also means is that at some point or so, there will be a lot of ensuing risks somewhere along the way and this is what you need to really protect yourself from when it all comes down to it. A contract is not something that you will just be able to do on the fly by yourself. Like what these commercial photographers did, you will need to consult a professional contract lawyer for this and you will need to make sure that it stands up to the legalities of the area that you are currently in.
Get sign offs done as much as possible.
Commercial photography is at times riddled with fickleness and with ever changing dynamics. This is something that you will need to protect yourself from as well as a professional commercial photographer. Redo’s or reshoots can turn out to be extremely time consuming and it can eat up on the profits that you were supposed to make out of the deal. Try to ask if you will be able to include your clients or bring them in on the photo shoot that you are going to be holding for the project so that they can go ahead and get their sign offs done the right way.
Learn about user and copyright laws.
You don’t have to be particularly well versed with these concepts but you should at least know the basics enough to navigate them the right way while you are at it.