A conversation

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Teila Day Veteran Member • Posts: 4,776
Re: A conversation

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

Exactly. A photography business is worth only the resale value of the equipment.

I think you have a better understanding of where the market is and where it's going than many professional photographers that have had their heads in the sand for the last decade.  The writing has been on the wall for well over 10 years.

The truth is that the traditional model of running a photography business is sorely outdated and generally speaking, ridiculous if your aim is to make a good amount of money quickly, repetitively.

Traditional wedding photography (excluding the Tier I market) is one of the largest money pits in photography, and it's getting worse, but it is a great deal for young (pretty competent) newbie photographer who wants to make a quick $1,500 via turn-n-burn business model shooting clients who couldn't care less about a $400-600 photo album.  18k per annum is decent money for a kid living at home saving for college. It sure beats slinging burgers or waitressing.  Universities routinely hire amateur photographers as well- $150 here, $300 there... basically 2 hours of easy work for students living off loans and student aid = a good gig.  That's a common reality today in photography- the little guy being hired instead of the seasoned professional for such work because the results are commonly too close to quibble over or care about.

There is money to be made though.  You have to think of photography as a business and not some fluffy rainbows and unicorn exercise of "art".   People paying good money for photography often don't want art, they want a great price + utility and results.   Let the MFA (master of fine art) grads worry about "art".  The good money is mostly simply about business.  Period.

You find a business model that works, change it, adapt it, and wring it for all it's worth while everyone else is still marching to a drum beat (business model) from the 1980's.

Buy only what you need to photograph your niche and make money while investing in something else.  There are not rules.  The only rules you have to abide by are whatever rules you can live with.

Separate business from your private life (socially and legally) and unless you're dealing with a corporate entity, always get your money up front!

Take a photograph and be able to use that shot over and over again.  If your business model doesn't at least include that element, then (as far as I'm concerned) it's a dying or dead end business model. Example: "Photography Instruction" via books, audio and or video is ok.  Photography instruction in person (unless you're famous, etc.) isn't ideal because you spend too much time and work for a small return.   Again, that's just how I see it through my eyes.

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Teila K. Day

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