My brother, Erin, who is probably the most talented photographer EVER, is in the process of building his rep as a freelance photographer. He is also in the process of learning all those reallllly hard lessons that someone starting their own business must learn. He shot a wedding, then deleted part of the photos from his card before he had looked at them.
Lesson 1? Back up your work!
He signed a contract with a girl who post-dated her check to the day of the wedding, causing it to return, unpaid, to his bank.
Lesson 2? When signing a contract with someone, check the date on the check. (Hey, this is a new one for me, so I learned a lesson from this as well!)
His computer crashed. He had taken 800-900 pictures at a wedding, had weeded out the 350 or so best, and had photoshopped about 90 of them for The Best of the Best, which (luckily!) he had already burned to disc. If indeed his hard drive is toast, he will have to go back and find the other 260 pictures out of 900 to burn onto disc for the bride.
Lesson 3? Back up your work...wait, didn't he learn that already? Well, he did learn it, and had at least put all of the raw pictures onto his other computer, so he has them, but he reeeaaaalllllyy doesn't want to have to wade back through them all!!
I can't wait to see where his business goes, because he is SO talented! He has an incredible eye.