I'm going to list simple words of advise, things I should've done when I first started professional photography. This is life, we learn from our mistakes and grow.
- Don't take what the art director says literally, you're not hired to be a photocopy machine. Understand the message, think, sketch your concepts, present, argue, argue some more, then execute.
- Don't rush… Never rush… Oh dear don't rush.
- Safety is your enemy, anybody can do safe compositions. Pull the rabbit out of the hat, be aggressive and shock the audience.
- Use the internet and search for images with keywords of your objectives. You never know what can inspire you. If you use a concept of another, give credit and ask permission.
- Be ready for surprises with contingency plans: backup location, models, props, lights, cameras, memory cards.. Backup photographers too.
- Think of a photography request as a project, not a quotation for n number of photographs. Think of a complete solution, make suggestions, be a team player, and increase your value.
- You own intellectual copyrights, always. However, you can sell unlimited and exclusive production rights. Include agreed rights in the contract
- Always insist on a contract. It will define the scope of work, responsibilities, execution timeline, team members from both parties, payment terms, and amounts.
- Link milestones to payments. Example: Photography will start one week after receipt of first payment.
- Credits and discounts are earned, not dictated.
- Learn to say NO to harmful business engagements.
- Document all calls or meetings with emailed minutes.
And remember, to always have fun :)
If you have any questions, write a note below. . Best of luck