Sorry we can’t help, let’s try and find a photographer who can.

To fellow photographers:

As a photographer, we would love to be able to assist every client that walks in the door, sends an email, or calls us on the telly. The sad truth is though, through bookings and other obligations we are not always able to accommodate all our potential client’s requests for photography services.

Just before Thanksgiving I had a perspective client call asking if I could photograph his grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (married 1956). The problem being as he had stated to me, the few other photographers he had already talked to said they were unavailable due to the anniversary falling on Thanksgiving and didn’t want to help point him in the right direction. I explained to him I was already out of the area for an extended holiday week away and that I would not be able to help him.  Before hanging up I asked if he would kindly give me his email address I would send him the links to a few other trusted photographers I know and that one of them might be able to help him in his quest to find a photographer.

Some might say this is not the brightest of business moves sending a person to the competition. As I see it, we should be striving to help others even if it doesn’t necessarily help us. When I tell a client “no” it does leave a bit of an unsettled feeling. I would truly love to be able to cater to the client’s needs. When I suggest them to other photographer (competition) we should only sending them to photographers we trust. For me these are photographer who are competent, that we would ask to cover our own wedding, anniversary’s and family photos.

If you think about we are not really losing out on anything but maybe the three to five minutes of time to send the email and collect the links to our other trusted colleagues. Also as photographers we a providing a service that it relatively quick and does help a potential client find someone who can help them with their request. It can also help us in the long run, other photographers who we recommended might in return recommend us when they are busy or the non-client we helped find another photographer for might come back to us because we helped.

So consider not just saying “NO” and hanging up the photo but say “NO” and be willing to maybe take five minutes of your time and help out.

Helping Baby Zachary

Dear Clients, Friends and Readers,

As photographers we learn from other photographers with years of experience who help us grow and become better at what we do, providing cherished images for people.

When I first became a member of PPA I had the great fortune to run into and get to know several photographers who helped me with everything from posing and lighting set ups, to better business and contract practices. During that time they never asked for anything in return. Well now it’s time to help pay it forward.

A few weeks ago on April 6 our friend, Janaye, who runs Visually Speaking Photography & Design of Cedar Park, Texas along with her husband, welcomed their first child Zachary into this world. Little Zachary came into this world kicking and screaming like a true Texan, but since day one the little man is kinda having a bit of a rough go of it, with platelet transfusions and digestive problems. So with medical bills mounting Mom and Dad started a Go Fund Me page for lil Zachary to help offset the medical cost. They also have been using their blog site The Melsha Travels to give regular updates on how little Zachary is doing.

I would really like to see our clients, friends and readers at least take a look at their site, read their story and considering helping out, a new young family who is in a tough spot at this moment in their lives.

Best and kind regards,

Tim Gumz owner of Vagabond Photography


Consider joining a photography group

I’d like to take a minute to invite any photographer who is just starting out or is a seasoned veteran to be more and join a photography association or local group. A while back I touched briefly in my blog post on "Finding the right Photographer" about being part of a photography group such as PPA, WPPI, APA or others. They are a great resource to belong too if not for networking with other photographers but also as an association helping especially new photographers avoid many pitfalls we tend to make starting out. Even if you do not want to join a large national group look into join a small photographers group in your local community.

I do belong to Professional Photographers of America ( and have been an active member for the past two and a half years. I also belong to a small group of local photographers with no affiliations to any large national group. They have both helped me out greatly when I was starting out and still do several years later.

When I made the switch from being a sports, live events and news photographer to being primarily a portrait and live event photographer these two groups were there to help me navigate some of the pitfalls that beginning photographers or photographers who have been out of the business a while normally face. With the small local group of photographers I learned how to better light my clients along with better posing practices. Then with the national group they were better able to help with setting up better business practices and creating better contracts that protect both me and my clients.

The fun thing about being with groups like these, is that after being with them for so long and getting help from so many great people, it eventually becomes your turn to help other beginning photographers become and be more.

You may want to ask the question hey where can I find these groups? The answer is fairly simple go on Facebook use the search bar and you can find plenty there. Also for the national groups other than the ones listed below you can google them or for PPA just click “here” and you can learn about their mission to help and support photographers.

Professional Photography Groups:
American Photographers Association (
Wedding & Portrait Photographers International – WPPI (
American Photographic Artists (