Qualification in Photography?

Started Oct 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Sounds like...

You want to start a photography business.

Photography is 20% of a photography business. The other 80% is the same as in any other business - marketing, selling, developing products, pricing, bookkeeping, banking, cleaning, etc. These are necessary tasks for any and every business and if you have a job with a business you do your job - but as a one man business you do every job. If you can't do every job needed then you have to hire someone to do it, or learn to do it yourself.

So you can take pictures. Great. A billion other people can do that too - and 1/3 of them are likely better than you (sorry...a lot are better than me too - but the best pictures do not guarantee you'll make a dime.)

Nothing happens, in any business, until a sale is made. You need to sell yourself to prospective clients. Consider it a job interview...do you like going on job interviews? Most people don't, but until a bride hires you you don't have a job, do you?

So what makes you better than every other photog she's gonna see or hear about? Your pictures, your personality, your editing, your turnaround time...what? Why should she hire you over me or or any other photographer? And no, lowest price isn't a viable answer - someone will always be cheaper and many today are free.

So you book them - now you need to do the accounting, scheduling, planning for that wedidng, shoot it, then edit it afterwards and do followup (sell an album or remind them you exist so they refer friends to you, etc).

You need to do advertising/marketing (facebook, website, biz cards and what else?).

Planning - for now it's a part time job, but you want it to be your full time occupation - great. How much money will you need to have to make that happen? $50,000 a year? What will you charge for a wedding? So how many do you need to make $50k? How many hours do you spend on a wedding? (I spend 25 total, some spend twice that). $1000/ wedding and you need 50 of them and each takes 30 hours...plus all the marketing/cleaning/education/meetings with brides that don't book, etc - you have not time for that other work...

And self employment means you get paid last - if at all. I've had months this year with sales of $1200 (for the entire month) and others at $22,000. On the $1200 month the bills are still due, I still want to eat, etc. Can you live like that? Many people can't - it can be very stressful.

Good luck - you can succeed if you want to bad enough. So do you?
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Learn the science. Practice the art.

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