Going Pro - Say "No" Gracefully
You should learn to use the word "no" as a tool to shape your portfolio and your future career. Take work that could be used in your portfolio to land your dream job, and turn down the work that doesn't excite you. It helps keep your portfolio looking fresh, sharp, individual, and creative to photo buyers, and it keeps you sane. The trouble is, how do you say no to a job without offending the client?
Turning down a job doesn't have to be a heart wrenching experience, with sad faces and gnashing of teeth. One way to say no without being offensive is to quote a high price for your services. When somebody asks you how much you would charge to shoot, don't allow yourself to think about how much they can afford or how much you think other photographers would charge. Think, "how much money would it take to make me excited about this job?" The funny thing is, I've had some clients enthusiastically agree when I was trying to turn them down gracefully by quoting a high price to them. I just smiled and ran with it, and what could have been a nightmare if I felt like I was wasting my time turned out to be a good experience for everyone, and it gave me hope, by proving to me that there really are people out there willing to pay a premium for a pro, even when there are hordes of amateurs out there happy to work for free.
I've turned down three jobs this week using this method, and no tears were shed by anyone. If you think I'm crazy for turning down paying work -- watch this space. You're gonna love the jobs I said "yes" to!