Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Not working for 'profit' means you are a charity. If you feel charitable then by all means donate your services to other charitable organizations that need and want and appreciate what you can offer them.
If you are going to have a business then HAVE A BUSINESS. As soon as you charge money and put yourself out there as a 'professional' you are legally, ethically and morally a business. And a representative of professional photographers everywhere.  Don't give the industry a bad name, bad reputation and convince customers that hiring a pro is no better than letting their mom push the shutter button.

Yes, you want to have fun, build a portfolio. You can do this without starting a business. Since profit isn't your motive you can work for free for many photogs, charities, etc.- your compensation is the experience, the portfolios you can build, etc.

You have to do a LOT of things to run a business. Shooting/editing pictures takes about 20% of the time. Marketing, selling, planning, learning, gear shopping/acquisition/maintenance, computer software learning/updating/backup and many other tasks take up the rest of the time.

As for shooting 'on location' - whose location? Anyplace you rent will likely want to see proof of insurance. Public spaces may be free or may require permits.

Models generally don't pay you, not these days.

Do some market research before you spend a dime - who is offereing what you plan to offer in your area? (ask around, google, etc). What are they selling (style, products) and at what price. Can you do better images? Being cheaper is pointless, being better is what counts. "Hire me- I"m cheaper!" won't work - someone will be free. 'Hire me because...i light, post, compose better than ANYONE!' is a better pitch.

You need to bring something to the market that sets you apart from others.

Next try and determine if there are customers out there and how many. Two families a year isn't enough business to justify the hours you spent reading the book on how to be a photographer.

If your goal isn't money then it is what? Just to shoot pictures? you can do that now without any insurance, pricing, research, etc.

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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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