Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions
PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to Michael Fryd, Jan 27, 2014

Well said and all true.

All this value, depreciation, IRS talk is no fun and too much like work. All 'they' want to do is make money to buy a new lens. ;P

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tcg550
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

financial gain - the root of that is finance -aka, MONEY.

Perhaps you should say 'economic advantage' or 'assett gain' or experience or education or some such.

And yes, value varies, on most everything. What is a house worth? Depends where it is - Beverly Hills CA or South Central LA,next to a farm in iowa or beach front property in florida.

That's why 'what to charge' isn't a flat dollar figure. What is the 'going price' in your area for what you want to sell?

Wedding photography here can be from $600 to $5k and probably higher. What should I charge? Depends...have I got work/reputation/product/gear to compete with other $5k photographers? Can I make a living at $600? What kind of customers do I want to serve?

If I book a wedding for $2900 is that good? You don't know, even using the figures above. If I shoot, burn and do no editing and work 6 hours, yes, it's fantastic. If I need to work 12 hours, spend 20 editing, pay a second photog and 2 assistants, deliver 3 albums and 3 wall portraits, printed proofs, slideshow and video of the day perhaps it's not so great.

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But if the traded service would cost me money, the money I'm not spending is financial gain.

It's really not that difficult of a concept.

And you keep throwing out examples that imply I have no idea what my services are worth. It's getting old.

So profit is always cash then? Yes or no?

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tcg550
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Well said and all true.

All this value, depreciation, IRS talk is no fun and too much like work. All 'they' want to do is make money to buy a new lens. ;P

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
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And there is that attitude of yours. The original poster was asking business questions because he is aware that there are things a business needs to do.

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Michael Fryd
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Well said and all true.

All this value, depreciation, IRS talk is no fun and too much like work. All 'they' want to do is make money to buy a new lens. ;P

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

Nothing wrong with trying to make some money to buy a new lens. I have no problem with someone charging $100 for a shoot, and then using those funds to help afford a $900 lens.

The typical term for such an activity would be "Hobby".

In the US, the IRS would allow you to offset your hobby income with your hobby expenses. Unlike a business, losses cannot be used to offset unrelated gains.

Even as a hobby, one needs to be careful about insurance, etc. If someone gets hurt, your personal insurance company may decide that the $100 you charged made it a "business" activity, and refuse to cover your loss.

If you want to make money, and you don't like the business aspects, then you shouldn't run your own business. Get a job as a photographer working for someone else's business. That way you can concentrate on the photography and they can worry about the business.

Another option is to marry a business person. Let them run the business, and you take the photos. Be prepared for disappointment when you find out that spending money to improve the quality of your work, is rarely a good investment.

The guy running a local restaurant is usually not the cook. Bill Gates was never a software developer, he is a businessman. Steve Jobs did not invent the iPhone or iPad, but he negotiated the business deals that made them profitable, and he knew how to market them.

If you want a business, learn how to be a businessman.

If you want to be an artist, don't plan on it supporting you (unless you have a business person to market your work).

If you want a hobby, be careful before you charge someone as you might end up with more liability than you imagined.

If you want to be a photographer, get a job as one.

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to tcg550, Jan 27, 2014

tcg550 wrote:

Can you answer one question without some poor analogy?

Does profit always mean cash? Yes or no?

And for bonus points can a part time photographer turn a profit? Yes or no?

Perhaps you mean GAIN, as opposed to PROFIT.

If you have a camera and $12 today, work 100 hours shooting models and at the end of the month you have $35 you have GAINED $23. Most would strongly argue you have not made a profit though, as your time has value.

Can a part timer make a profit? Maybe.

A lot depends on your you account for everything. I can have sales of $80,000 and the IRS paperwork says the business lost money - yet I paid bills, went on vacation, bought a car, etc.

The best way IMO is to look at cashflow - not depreciation and home office expenses, etc. Because bottom line, if you have negative cashflow the business won't be around for long.

So what are you CASH expenses? Mine (per year) - Insurance $850, biz license $25, CC machine/account $240 check scanner $600, godaddy $80 I think, phone $250, satelite radio for the studio $200 (ballpark). If I shoot nothing, advertise nothing, I have to pay those bills.

I have no debt and own my camera and computer. I work from home so have internet anyway. So $2250.

If I just wait for the phone to ring and email them the files there would be no other costs.

Lets assume my marketing is FB and it spend an hour a week. I spend an hour a month, on average, on my website. So ~60 hours a year labor.

I shoot 4 seniors at what, $250 each? Each takes 4 hours with editing - 16 hours.

I shoot 2 weddings, 20 hours w/ meetings, prep, travel, shoot, editing at $1200 each.

So SALES for the year are $3400. My expenses $2250. PROFIT! Nope, not profit. Not yet.

I've not accounted for all the costs yet - I worked 116 hours to earn that $3400. But I didn't EARN 3400 did I? I earned $1150.

Now what is my time worth? $10/hour? Then the business LOST $10. 116 hours at $10 is $1160...

Now if I"m paying myself $9/ hour then yes, the business made a profit.

But the IRS accounts all this a bit differently. They let you deduct a portion of your house' costs (utilities, taxes, repairs) since you used a portion of your house for the biz.  You get to right off the miles you drove for the business too. So these may well add to $4,000 in additional deductions.

Now your business lost money - $3400 sales, -2250 expenses, -4000 expenses you have a loss of $2850.

IMO you made money, albeit not much, but yes, you can say you made a profit.

Your investment (money spent on gear, education, computers, etc) returned nothing. These days with interest rates at tenths of a percent that may be OK. But if you spent $10,000 to get camera, lens, flash, computer, ignoring the depreciation and only looking at the CASH value you may have done worse than if you buried the money in a can in the yard.

I know the computer I'm tying this at cost $1000. I know I paid $3200 for my 5D3. I know I can't get that much for either one used. Their value lies is in being used as tools to deliver products and services.

But if you do the math - is all the work and aggravation and education worth $9/hour? If MONEY is what you want or need you can make more waiting tables in most any restaurant.

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to tcg550, Jan 27, 2014

And "they" refers to you and joepa more than the OP.

YOU guys are the ones arguing with me, saying I"m wrong or getting into areas that don't matter if all he wants to do is 'pay for his hobby' (which he never said BTW).

Read the posts - there are negative ones (as in saying 'don't do it' or 'your not ready' and such). I don't believe I said that anyplace, not toward the OP.

tcg550 wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Well said and all true.

All this value, depreciation, IRS talk is no fun and too much like work. All 'they' want to do is make money to buy a new lens. ;P

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

And there is that attitude of yours. The original poster was asking business questions because he is aware that there are things a business needs to do.

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tcg550
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

Can you answer one question without some poor analogy?

Does profit always mean cash? Yes or no?

And for bonus points can a part time photographer turn a profit? Yes or no?

Perhaps you mean GAIN, as opposed to PROFIT.

If you have a camera and $12 today, work 100 hours shooting models and at the end of the month you have $35 you have GAINED $23. Most would strongly argue you have not made a profit though, as your time has value.

Can a part timer make a profit? Maybe.

A lot depends on your you account for everything. I can have sales of $80,000 and the IRS paperwork says the business lost money - yet I paid bills, went on vacation, bought a car, etc.

The best way IMO is to look at cashflow - not depreciation and home office expenses, etc. Because bottom line, if you have negative cashflow the business won't be around for long.

So what are you CASH expenses? Mine (per year) - Insurance $850, biz license $25, CC machine/account $240 check scanner $600, godaddy $80 I think, phone $250, satelite radio for the studio $200 (ballpark). If I shoot nothing, advertise nothing, I have to pay those bills.

I have no debt and own my camera and computer. I work from home so have internet anyway. So $2250.

If I just wait for the phone to ring and email them the files there would be no other costs.

Lets assume my marketing is FB and it spend an hour a week. I spend an hour a month, on average, on my website. So ~60 hours a year labor.

I shoot 4 seniors at what, $250 each? Each takes 4 hours with editing - 16 hours.

I shoot 2 weddings, 20 hours w/ meetings, prep, travel, shoot, editing at $1200 each.

So SALES for the year are $3400. My expenses $2250. PROFIT! Nope, not profit. Not yet.

I've not accounted for all the costs yet - I worked 116 hours to earn that $3400. But I didn't EARN 3400 did I? I earned $1150.

Now what is my time worth? $10/hour? Then the business LOST $10. 116 hours at $10 is $1160...

Now if I"m paying myself $9/ hour then yes, the business made a profit.

But the IRS accounts all this a bit differently. They let you deduct a portion of your house' costs (utilities, taxes, repairs) since you used a portion of your house for the biz. You get to right off the miles you drove for the business too. So these may well add to $4,000 in additional deductions.

Now your business lost money - $3400 sales, -2250 expenses, -4000 expenses you have a loss of $2850.

IMO you made money, albeit not much, but yes, you can say you made a profit.

Your investment (money spent on gear, education, computers, etc) returned nothing. These days with interest rates at tenths of a percent that may be OK. But if you spent $10,000 to get camera, lens, flash, computer, ignoring the depreciation and only looking at the CASH value you may have done worse than if you buried the money in a can in the yard.

I know the computer I'm tying this at cost $1000. I know I paid $3200 for my 5D3. I know I can't get that much for either one used. Their value lies is in being used as tools to deliver products and services.

But if you do the math - is all the work and aggravation and education worth $9/hour? If MONEY is what you want or need you can make more waiting tables in most any restaurant.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

I'm sorry was there a yes or a no in there somewhere?

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: The Math Matters!
In reply to tcg550, Jan 27, 2014

tcg550 wrote:


So profit is always cash then? Yes or no?

Profit is what is left after ALL expenses. Need it be in cash? I guess not, but you, as a business, need a set of books, right? How do you record the bartering?

And if you trade a session for a bushel of pepper how do you measure the profit? In calories?

I traded senior pictures for a side of beef. How does either of us (customer or me) what a fair trade is?
They sell beef at $2.60 a pound and gave me an invoice for 312 lbs of meat. I took that amount off my bill, they paid the balance in cash.

If you trade housecleaning then what is that worth? If you have them $300 in services,it must be worth $300 (to them, to you).

If you were paid $300 cash what would your profit be? It's the same in barter isn't it?

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to tcg550, Jan 27, 2014

Does the story have a happy ending? Depends where the story ends,huh?

See, the answer isn't a simple YES or NO.

The term profit is very very very broadly defined here - so to illustrate the differences in what one might consider profit I did some SIMPLE MATH.

You seem to want a simple second grade answer to things. And it's not that simple, not by a long shot.

Let me BOLD it for you.

tcg550 wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

Can you answer one question without some poor analogy?

Does profit always mean cash? Yes or no?

And for bonus points can a part time photographer turn a profit? Yes or no?

Perhaps you mean GAIN, as opposed to PROFIT.

If you have a camera and $12 today, work 100 hours shooting models and at the end of the month you have $35 you have GAINED $23. Most would strongly argue you have not made a profit though, as your time has value.

Can a part timer make a profit? Maybe.

A lot depends on your you account for everything. I can have sales of $80,000 and the IRS paperwork says the business lost money - yet I paid bills, went on vacation, bought a car, etc.

The best way IMO is to look at cashflow - not depreciation and home office expenses, etc. Because bottom line, if you have negative cashflow the business won't be around for long.

So what are you CASH expenses? Mine (per year) - Insurance $850, biz license $25, CC machine/account $240 check scanner $600, godaddy $80 I think, phone $250, satelite radio for the studio $200 (ballpark). If I shoot nothing, advertise nothing, I have to pay those bills.

I have no debt and own my camera and computer. I work from home so have internet anyway. So $2250.

If I just wait for the phone to ring and email them the files there would be no other costs.

Lets assume my marketing is FB and it spend an hour a week. I spend an hour a month, on average, on my website. So ~60 hours a year labor.

I shoot 4 seniors at what, $250 each? Each takes 4 hours with editing - 16 hours.

I shoot 2 weddings, 20 hours w/ meetings, prep, travel, shoot, editing at $1200 each.

So SALES for the year are $3400. My expenses $2250. PROFIT! Nope, not profit. Not yet.

I've not accounted for all the costs yet - I worked 116 hours to earn that $3400. But I didn't EARN 3400 did I? I earned $1150.

Now what is my time worth? $10/hour? Then the business LOST $10. 116 hours at $10 is $1160...

Now if I"m paying myself $9/ hour then yes, the business made a profit.

But the IRS accounts all this a bit differently. They let you deduct a portion of your house' costs (utilities, taxes, repairs) since you used a portion of your house for the biz. You get to right off the miles you drove for the business too. So these may well add to $4,000 in additional deductions.

Now your business lost money - $3400 sales, -2250 expenses, -4000 expenses you have a loss of $2850. So no, you did NOT make a profit.

IMO you made money, albeit not much, but yes, you can say you made a profit.

Your investment (money spent on gear, education, computers, etc) returned nothing. These days with interest rates at tenths of a percent that may be OK. But if you spent $10,000 to get camera, lens, flash, computer, ignoring the depreciation and only looking at the CASH value you may have done worse than if you buried the money in a can in the yard.

I know the computer I'm tying this at cost $1000. I know I paid $3200 for my 5D3. I know I can't get that much for either one used. Their value lies is in being used as tools to deliver products and services.

But if you do the math - is all the work and aggravation and education worth $9/hour? If MONEY is what you want or need you can make more waiting tables in most any restaurant.

-- hide signature --

Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

I'm sorry was there a yes or a no in there somewhere?

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum
In reply to Joe Pa, Jan 27, 2014

Joe Pa wrote:


I've never been sued, no one I know has ever been sued, but many on here will still make it seem like this is a major threat, reality is it's not likely to happen but you should be prepared in case it does.

Great for you.

I've been sued by a contractor that did the drywall on my studio - he screwed things up, I fired him, and he sued me because he wanted paid for completing the job..that wasn't even 1/2 done.

I sued a former employer for back wages when he quit paying me (and everyone else too)

I'm being sued now because a car stopped in front of my house and got rear ended - she says my dog was GOING to run into the road so it's my fault. (homeowners is covering this)

Had my car hit a few years go. Totaled the car, ambulance ride for me and my passenger, he spent a night in the hospital. Car insurance paid it all less $500 deductible.

I know 4 photographers that have been sued by clients (probably avoidable, but it happens)

I know 3 people whose houses have burned in the past 5 years.

My wife's secretary's car went up in flames 2 weeks ago on the side of the hiway (electrical fire - she had just had the alternator replaced by a local garage...think he needs insurance??????)

My assistant went through a car wash and it damaged her rim and tire - $1250 in damages. The car wash insurance company paid.

Call up ANY homeowners agent in the NE US and ask about burst pipes and coverage. Report back here what they tell you.

Now if your camera gear is damaged by the frozen pipe and ensuing water damage is it covered????

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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tcg550
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Does the story have a happy ending? Depends where the story ends,huh?

See, the answer isn't a simple YES or NO.

The term profit is very very very broadly defined here - so to illustrate the differences in what one might consider profit I did some SIMPLE MATH.

You seem to want a simple second grade answer to things. And it's not that simple, not by a long shot.

Let me BOLD it for you.

tcg550 wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

Can you answer one question without some poor analogy?

Does profit always mean cash? Yes or no?

And for bonus points can a part time photographer turn a profit? Yes or no?

Perhaps you mean GAIN, as opposed to PROFIT.

If you have a camera and $12 today, work 100 hours shooting models and at the end of the month you have $35 you have GAINED $23. Most would strongly argue you have not made a profit though, as your time has value.

Can a part timer make a profit? Maybe.

A lot depends on your you account for everything. I can have sales of $80,000 and the IRS paperwork says the business lost money - yet I paid bills, went on vacation, bought a car, etc.

The best way IMO is to look at cashflow - not depreciation and home office expenses, etc. Because bottom line, if you have negative cashflow the business won't be around for long.

So what are you CASH expenses? Mine (per year) - Insurance $850, biz license $25, CC machine/account $240 check scanner $600, godaddy $80 I think, phone $250, satelite radio for the studio $200 (ballpark). If I shoot nothing, advertise nothing, I have to pay those bills.

I have no debt and own my camera and computer. I work from home so have internet anyway. So $2250.

If I just wait for the phone to ring and email them the files there would be no other costs.

Lets assume my marketing is FB and it spend an hour a week. I spend an hour a month, on average, on my website. So ~60 hours a year labor.

I shoot 4 seniors at what, $250 each? Each takes 4 hours with editing - 16 hours.

I shoot 2 weddings, 20 hours w/ meetings, prep, travel, shoot, editing at $1200 each.

So SALES for the year are $3400. My expenses $2250. PROFIT! Nope, not profit. Not yet.

I've not accounted for all the costs yet - I worked 116 hours to earn that $3400. But I didn't EARN 3400 did I? I earned $1150.

Now what is my time worth? $10/hour? Then the business LOST $10. 116 hours at $10 is $1160...

Now if I"m paying myself $9/ hour then yes, the business made a profit.

But the IRS accounts all this a bit differently. They let you deduct a portion of your house' costs (utilities, taxes, repairs) since you used a portion of your house for the biz. You get to right off the miles you drove for the business too. So these may well add to $4,000 in additional deductions.

Now your business lost money - $3400 sales, -2250 expenses, -4000 expenses you have a loss of $2850. So no, you did NOT make a profit.

IMO you made money, albeit not much, but yes, you can say you made a profit.

Your investment (money spent on gear, education, computers, etc) returned nothing. These days with interest rates at tenths of a percent that may be OK. But if you spent $10,000 to get camera, lens, flash, computer, ignoring the depreciation and only looking at the CASH value you may have done worse than if you buried the money in a can in the yard.

I know the computer I'm tying this at cost $1000. I know I paid $3200 for my 5D3. I know I can't get that much for either one used. Their value lies is in being used as tools to deliver products and services.

But if you do the math - is all the work and aggravation and education worth $9/hour? If MONEY is what you want or need you can make more waiting tables in most any restaurant.

-- hide signature --

Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

I'm sorry was there a yes or a no in there somewhere?

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

I didn't read your reply because it was too complicated for a second grader.

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to tcg550, Jan 27, 2014

I didn't read your reply because it was too complicated for a second grader.

Business isn't rocket science but does require more aptitude than just reading the funny papers.

If you find it boring and can't read it then you are likely not gonna be able to learn what it takes to succeed in business.

Accounting IS boring (IMO). Sweeping up the studio, cleaning lenses, doing backup - also BORING.

And yes, reading how to run a business is probably boring to most folks too.

But if you can't figure out how to account for your money, what your costs are, what to charge, profits, losses, etc then you are severely handicapped when it comes to managing a business.

It's YOUR money, YOUR business, YOUR investment, YOUR future. If you find that too difficult or too  boring...well, keep your day job then.

You can of course hire a manager of some sort - but can you pay them? Not in the early stages for sure. And if you don't know a debit from a credit a manager may take you to the cleaners. How many artists, musicians, actors have had managers and ended up broke?

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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tcg550
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Re: Definitions please
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 27, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

I didn't read your reply because it was too complicated for a second grader.

Business isn't rocket science but does require more aptitude than just reading the funny papers.

If you find it boring and can't read it then you are likely not gonna be able to learn what it takes to succeed in business.

Accounting IS boring (IMO). Sweeping up the studio, cleaning lenses, doing backup - also BORING.

And yes, reading how to run a business is probably boring to most folks too.

But if you can't figure out how to account for your money, what your costs are, what to charge, profits, losses, etc then you are severely handicapped when it comes to managing a business.

It's YOUR money, YOUR business, YOUR investment, YOUR future. If you find that too difficult or too boring...well, keep your day job then.

You can of course hire a manager of some sort - but can you pay them? Not in the early stages for sure. And if you don't know a debit from a credit a manager may take you to the cleaners. How many artists, musicians, actors have had managers and ended up broke?

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

I know how to run a business. I wasn't asking for advice.

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johnbandry
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Re: Correct definitions please
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 28, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

The term profit is thrown around here like crazy, and usually inaccurately.

Very true

Profit is money left over after all expenses are paid.

No it isn't.

What you're describing is cash flow. There are many views of profit, some purely for tax purposes, but they include things like depreciation/amortisation, accruals, provisions. Revenue can be deferred. Assets can be revalued or written down. Profit has very little to do with "money" (i.e. cash) other than that it is measured in units of currency.

But, and this is important its SPLIT AMONG THE OWNERS.

Again, no it isn't. Those are dividends you're thinking of.

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tcg550
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Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 28, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Joe Pa wrote:

I've never been sued, no one I know has ever been sued, but many on here will still make it seem like this is a major threat, reality is it's not likely to happen but you should be prepared in case it does.

Great for you.

I've been sued by a contractor that did the drywall on my studio - he screwed things up, I fired him, and he sued me because he wanted paid for completing the job..that wasn't even 1/2 done.

I sued a former employer for back wages when he quit paying me (and everyone else too)

I'm being sued now because a car stopped in front of my house and got rear ended - she says my dog was GOING to run into the road so it's my fault. (homeowners is covering this)

Had my car hit a few years go. Totaled the car, ambulance ride for me and my passenger, he spent a night in the hospital. Car insurance paid it all less $500 deductible.

I know 4 photographers that have been sued by clients (probably avoidable, but it happens)

I know 3 people whose houses have burned in the past 5 years.

My wife's secretary's car went up in flames 2 weeks ago on the side of the hiway (electrical fire - she had just had the alternator replaced by a local garage...think he needs insurance??????)

My assistant went through a car wash and it damaged her rim and tire - $1250 in damages. The car wash insurance company paid.

Call up ANY homeowners agent in the NE US and ask about burst pipes and coverage. Report back here what they tell you.

Now if your camera gear is damaged by the frozen pipe and ensuing water damage is it covered????

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Except for the 4 photographers that were sued (I would love to hear why) all the other stuff has nothing to do with business insurance for a photographer.

Please note, I am not saying you don't need business insurance but none or those issues would be resolved by having business insurance. They are all personal insurance issues. Except the 4 photographer law suits.

And remind me not to get too close to you. You really seem to attract doom and gloom.

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FriscoRon
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Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 28, 2014

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

Since my wife is doing this as i type, she has had a part time psychotherapy biz for the past 15 months. And a full time management job. She wanted to 'test the waters' and she likes it and is gaining the self-confidence needed to give up the 'security' of a 'real' job. (quotes because many of us know that security isn't real and working for yourself full time is a 'real' job in every way).

I've been staying away from you for the same reasons these others should, but you're harping on being legal as a professional photographer.  I hope your wife has a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology as per the APA it's illegal to call yourself a psychotherapist without the required credentials.

Each state defines what it takes to be a "counselor".

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joeybob
Contributing MemberPosts: 559Gear list
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Re: Starting a business specializing in portraiture
In reply to spytrek007, Jan 29, 2014

spytrek007 wrote:

I need some advice here. I am starting a new business and will be specializing in outdoor or on location portraits. My target market is models/actors, couples, families and children.

Sounds easy enough...

For models, I understand that one has to have a model release form to be able to use their images on ones portfolio.

Models - what kind of models? What kind of photos?

If you intend to use photographs of a person that you take in your portfolio yes a release is a good idea.

Do i need model release forms when photographing couples, children, families or any similar form?

Couples, families and children can all be models as well. If you want to use them in your portfolio then yes it would be wise to have them sign a release indicating that they agree to that.

Also, what kind of use do the models / families, couples children get from the images? Do they get print rights? Will you grant them reproduction rights? Transfer of copyright? Can they publish the images on social media sites? Can they alter/edit the images you give them?

If your intent is to use images of them for your portfolio then yes a release signed by them allowing you to do so would be at least prudent. If you are charging for your images you may need to draw up a contract so that as clients, they know what to expect from you. Likewise, what use do they get in regard to the images?

Do i need insurance as i would be shooting outdoors or on location?

Technically yes if you do not want to assume the risk / liability that your business/activities may incur. You may also require a property release depending on where you are shooting as well as a permit to shoot there.

And finally for casual shoots, is it safe to photograph models below the age of 18?

Again, what kind of model and what kind of images? "Casual" can mean a variety of things...to a variety of people. A photo of a 17 year old girl in her pajamas could be viewed by some people as "casual" and "Risque' or provocative" to others.

The business will be under UK law.

I'm sure there is either someone here from the UK that has a photo business that can provide more specific detail as to laws and regulations in your location. Alternatively, you could reach out to professional portrait photographers in your area and ask to assist them in exchange for or pay them for their advice.

Here are a couple of stories as to why being insured as a photographer is a good idea:

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/08/25/fashion-photog-sued-by-models-parents/

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/26/drowned-bride-couldnt-hang-on-any-longer

http://www.digitalweddingforum.com/blog/vampire-weekend-sued-over-model-release

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/13/wedding-photographer-sued-for-missing-the-kiss/

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum
In reply to tcg550, Jan 29, 2014

Why have insurance at all? That was my point.

Because you never know when you'll need it. Could be your fault - or not (as in the case of my dog).

The one photog was sued by the parent of a bar mitzvah child. Not sure the issues but as PPA members they used the PPA legal services to deal with it.

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Jeff Seltzer
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Good grief.
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jan 29, 2014

Business isn't rocket science but does require more aptitude than just reading the funny papers.

Can you please throw in some more mixed metaphors? I still don't get it.

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PenguinPhotoCo
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Re: Good grief.
In reply to Jeff Seltzer, Jan 29, 2014

people here can't read. they infer a WHOLE lot to what is written.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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