Should I accept jobs I don’t know?

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This would have been a photography only related topic but it appears not to be only generic to photography:
Will you take on a job, related to your field but which you don’t know about? Perhaps you have heard about it or seen someone doing it but you didn’t show interest. It could be an easy thing or hard.

The originator of this article recently had an experience recently where he had a gig and had to use a drone to cover parts of the event but he couldn’t pilot a drone. He had to employ the service of a pilot!

There are different ways to think this, and either choices can benefit you depending on how you see it. If you are a person that is interested in knowing all that encompasses your field, you will see it as an opportunity not only of getting paid but also learning. Perhaps like Leonardo Da Vinci who had a number of interest, related or unrelated to the arts that brought him much fame. He was into painting, sculpture, drawing, mathematics, sculpture and others. Bet if he were of this era, he will also be a photographer!

Or you could be someone that wants to stay within one chosen medium and focus on being the best there, which is also a good thing. Therefore, you wouldn’t think you are losing out on an opportunity.

So, if you are offered a job, related to your field but at which you know nothing about, how do you go about it? Let me first stress the most important thing is honesty. You make sure the person who is offering or contracting you the job knows you know nothing about it. But at the same time you have already looked it up and you can decide whether it’s feasible for you to learn it and be proficient within a space of time before you are required to deliver on the service or job.

If this is possible, you input this as a ‘but’ into your earlier statement as regarding whether you can deliver the service, though still stressing they should also get a backup plan. If the person is okay and willing to go out on a limb for you, you then learn it and make sure you are ready. This will involve getting materials about the job and also speaking to and learning from people who already know about it. And stressing honesty again, if you are unable to make headway with the learning, you involve the person as soon as possible, not on the day of the job, not any time that wouldn’t give the person time to make other arrangements.

There was also another experience the article’s originator (Slingshot) had a contract to provide year books for a client, it was his first time to offer this service yet it seems he had everything covered. He already had a knowledge of the tools to make it work, the editing and processing that it involved, the use of Photoshop for design and such, the final printing was covered. It worked out fine. Until he later realized he undercharged for the service he provided. He isn’t regretting the service done but sometimes this inexperience leads to the provider of a service having to dip into their own pockets just to satisfy the client.

So, at the end, if all goes well, you earned money and also gained experience. And if it didn’t, you also gained experience. You either proved to yourself that you are willing to take on a challenge and also the fortitude to bear it or that you wouldn’t be distracted easily, even when there is a chance of making easy money.

Or you can just pass it on! You might know someone who already knows it. So, you gain someone’s gratitude for offering them an opportunity.


  • You get to learn, before the job and whilst doing the job.
  • You get to earn extra money.
  • You just discovered an extra source of income.
  • You get to have more opportunities in the future


  • There is a high chance of failure.
  • You can end up disappointing the person who is offering you the job.
  • You could lose in terms of derived income.
  • You could face unseen challenges

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