Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum

spytrek007 wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

He said he didn't want to 'make a profit'. He wants to TFP - NOT bringing a DIME in money. So no, he's never gonna pay for gear that way.

Lets clarify a few things.

I am reading a few business books. I have a business plan and I am doing research as I am going along.

Regarding not making a profit, that is not my intention. My intention is to build up my portfolio as well as form a network with relevant people in the industry. This can be with stylists, make up artists and those that provide photo printing service. Take any industry for example, to get known you have to work for nothing and still deliver outstanding work. Take web design for example. This web design market is very saturated and competitive. Now i hear new graduates doing volunteer work or projects for 6 months to a year. So how do you expect a new photographer with no portfolio to start charging from day 1?

I don't see lines outside most stores yet I see new ones opening all the time. Where do they think they'll get the customers?

Marketing! And that is EXACTLY what you're talking about above. Network marketing specifically.

What is the reason for building your portfolio? To learn how to shoot or to have images to SHOW people - aka, advertising!

So what images should you show? Depends on what YOUR IDEAL MARKET wants to buy, doesn't it? Shoot 100 flowers and you'll not book a bride from that portfolio. Shoot all BW and you won't get many customers that want color images.

So this is where I say go look at the market and see what is being offered for sale, what is being bought.

You can shoot flowers or dogs or shoes - but can you SELL those images? Not because of quality but because you need buyers of such images. Again, market 'research'.

Anyway back to photography, this thread has gone off topic. This thread was mainly concerned with insurance and other legal issues not on how business planning or marketing via flyers, leaflets etc. However some posts were quite useful and I have a better understanding of what needs to be done. I am researching by reading various books, one is by some author Lara White. I found her book quite useful but still have specific questions. It is by an American author so will apply to USA law. The book states that you only need insurance if your equipment is more than what you could afford to replace. So this means I would be risking myself in case i damage my camera due to own negligence.

Yes, not having insurance is called 'self insured'. You can certainly do that. Odds are small something will happen.
My camera bag often has $20k worth of equipment in it. I keep an eye on it, but someone could steal my car, take it from the back of the church, a tree could fall on my house and let in the rain and ruin my gear.

Could I go out tomorrow and buy $20k more gear? Sure, I think I could by maxing out a few credit cards. I could go out of business, cancel weddings and return their money. It may not be any cheaper.
Or I can spend $400 a year on insurance (for gear coverage).

Only you can decide whether the costs of insurance vs the risk of loss is best for you.

As i have been told on this thread that I need business insurance aka professional indemnity or public indemnity to cover my camera equipment and camera bags which are all worth around £1100. I have invested in a few camera bags, flash guns, filters, memory cards and so on all totalling £1100. This is around £600 on top of the price of the camera and what it came bundled with.

Depends on your insurance options. You MUST ask what is, or is not, covered. Here in the US one can join the PPA and get business liability and $15k in gear coverage included with membership. Works for many business types.
I can add business coverage to my homeowners - but upon asking questions it doesn't cover what I'd like covered.

So I got small business insurance. It covers liability and gear,but also computer failures and lost data. Cash on hand, backdrops, samples (at bridal shows, at art exhibits, etc).

Then i need public liability to protect my business against claims from clients just in case someone decides to play nasty for no reason or the other. With no win no fee lawyers, this is bound to happen. Other professionals too suffer such as teachers, doctors etc.

Some places want proof of insurance. I see it at county fairs here but have heard of some places asking for it.

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
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