Want to break into "pro" market - need advice on gear change from NEX-7 and marketing

Started Nov 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Want to break into "pro" market - need advice on gear change from NEX-7 and marketing
Nov 4, 2012

I've been urged by some of my friends to try going "pro" because I take great shots of friends and family. I know that with many things, just because you make a good pie doesn't mean you can open up a successful pie business. But I've been self-employed most of my life, so I could probably manage the technical business stuff.

I've been a fan of Sony cameras since the F717 and aside from an old Konica SLR my dad gave me 25 years ago, I've only owned Sony. I have a NEX-7 at the moment and have a few good lenses for it. I've had pretty good luck with AF on the NEX-7, but IMO it's only marginally acceptable for photo shoots. Even thought I love some of the features of the NEX-7 (compact size and 2 dials on the top), I'm strongly considering selling it for a SLT-A65 or 77 to take advantage of the phase detection AF, IS, A-mount and the bigger "pro" body (for looks if nothing else).

I'd like to get some advice on a few things (sorry, there's a lot here):

1) Aside from the 19 point AF system and faster memory card pipe, I think I could get by fine with the A65 and save about $500. Should I go with the 65 or 77, or maybe abandon my love of Sony for something like Nikon at the same price point of 800-1200?

2) I'm sure there are plenty of advice posts on how to break into the "pro" market. Do you have any advice or sites to point me in the right direction? My goal is to do on-site and location shots of individuals and couples, and don't plan on having a studio.

3) Getting the word out about services takes word of mouth, running web and/or print ads to target local customers. Are there any non-traditional/guerrilla marketing tricks to get the word out about photography services without spending a lot?

4) I've heard that most photographers keep the rights to photos they take and then charge for prints. Is this still the way most people do it and why? I'm a web developer and want to offer a purchase system online that will enable them to pick and download the shots they want for a fee. Still not sure how/what I should charge for photo shoots and prints.

Thanks!

Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A65
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