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Why You Should be Scheduling Free Shoots as a Photographer

I’ve found there’s a lot of hate behind not booking free session. Personally, I think they’re huge opportunities for a few reasons.

1. No pressure

I think it’s common for photographers to feel pressure to make every shot a stunner, and that comes from a good place in our hearts. But I’ve also found that to squish my creativity. Instead of reading the environment to pose, I’ll scroll Pinterest for poses in similar environments, instead of trying new angles or lighting, I’ll stick with what I know will work. Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with either of those things, especially when you’re in a time crunch. But the fact is, when you have paying clients, you as a photographer have a responsibility to deliver great photos. That means your first responsibility is to get shots you know will dazzle your client, this means you’ll be spending the majority of your time getting your tried and true shots and less time spent being creative.

2. You Run the Show

Free shoots are great because you decide what’s what. You choose the location, the time, props, everything. Possibly you’ve been wanting to get good at a new type of shooting-this is your chance! Don’t leave your late night sessions/wedding up to chance with your flash photography. Practice first when there’s no pressure!

The reason so many of us are photographers is because we fell in love with the creative aspect of photography-so bring that back into your shoots. Find some fun props to use, smoke bombs, sparklers, champagne, whatever. This is your shoot, so play around a little!

3. Attract your Ideal Client

Whatever clients you’ve been wanting to book, this is your time to post the content that they’ll be attracted to. If you want to be an elopement photographer, rent a dress, buy a cheap wildflower bouquet and get out to the mountains! The fact is is that it’s extremely difficult to book your ideal client without the actual content to draw them. Even if you have to spend a little money in order to make that shoot happen, it’s an investment in your business and yourself.

4. Marketing

If you can organize this shoot with another photographer then you’re really set. You both get practice shooting, can combine your creative talent, you both get personal branding, plus when you post each other’s work you are giving and receiving some free marketing. What’s not to love?

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