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After a shoot, I often send an email (or leave a MySpace comment, ModelMayhem tag etc) to the model saying that I enjoyed the shoot and had a great time working together. This isn't essential, especially if the model is someone you know well and see all the time, but it is nice if the shoot you're referring to is the first time you've met and/or worked with the model.
SENDING OUT THE PHOTOS
I usually upload zip files of the finished photos to my own webspace and email the model with a link to download the zips. If the shoot yielded a massive amount of images and it would take forever to upload and download them, I'll upload the web-res versions and send the model a link, and then post a CD of the print-res photos.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
If I'm working with a new or inexperienced model, I wait until they have seen the photos before I post them online. Although I'm aware that I have the legal right to display and distribute the photos, I have no desire to hurt or upset a model. If someone I've worked with emails me to tell me that they aren't completely happy with a couple of the photos from the shoot, I won't display those ones online. I always incorporate this option of choice into documentation for paid shoots.
TALKING OF PAID SHOOTS...
I'm not getting into massive detail relating to paid shoots here because that would be a whole other series of tutorials (which I may or may not write in the future), but one issue that is useful to consider at any stage of your career is payment-related etiquette. Even if you're just starting out, you could still get a paid commission and when this happens, you should be prepared to deal with it!
As with everything else I've talked about here, I suggest that you should be up-front and honest about how much you charge and what your payment terms are. A lot of photographers don't have their prices on their website. I do. I charge based on the job, not the person hiring me. If you receive an enquiry about a paid commission and don't have a clue what to charge, DO NOT admit this to the person who wants to hire you! Ask a photographer you know how much they think you should charge and how much they charge, then get Googling for other photographers and have a look at their prices. dA is an awesome place to access experienced photographers who will be able to help you, or at least point you in the right direction.
Should you get paid in advance? At the time of the shoot? After the shoot? When proofs of the images are sent to the client? When the finished images are received and approved by the client?
I charge a non-refundable booking fee which MUST be paid up-front to book the shoot and then take payment for the rest of the fee on the day of the shoot. VERY occasionally the process is altered for certain jobs, like clients who hire me at very short notice or commercial clients who aren't physically at the shoot. But in general, a booking fee is charged and the rest is paid on the day.
Your payment terms are YOUR payment terms. You may wish to talk to other photographers about this and the way they work may be relevant to you but the most important thing is that you avoid any awkward moments by being open about your payment terms as soon as possible.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you're interested in learning about photography in a structured way, you can study it at college or university, at an evening class or a local camera club. If you'd rather not go that route, there is a wealth of information out there, waiting for you to find it and learn from it. Read books and websites, read camera manuals, read tutorials, talk to photographers at your own level, talk to more experienced photographers, force yourself to shoot subject matter than doesn't instantly interest you (this is an important challenge!), basically absorb as much information as you possibly can and put it into use at every available opportunity.
If you want to learn more about photography as a career and gain some practical experience, investigate getting a job as an assistant in a studio or with a working photographer. If there isn't any paid work going, contact a local photographer or photography studio and ask if you could spend some time with them while they work. Bear in mind though, if you email a working photographer telling them that you shoot in a similar style and live in close proximity to them, they may not jump at the chance to train you to be the competition, so please be respectful of their choice.
NO RELEVANT EXPERIENCE?
Being a photographer of people requires people skills. Obviously. But these skills needn't be the result of photography-related work. ANY job that involves working with people - communication, training, helping, calming, informing people - will give you valuable experience when it comes to creating a rapport with the people you point your camera at. And that, coupled with your creativity, will set you on a wonderful path.