How To Start A Photography Business – Knowing When You’re Really Ready And Knowing Other Differences

Here’s a question: How do you know when you’re ready to start a photography business? Answer: When you ‘know’ that you ‘know’ (the doublespeak is for emphasis) the difference between your artistic photography skills and your understanding of business. Knowing the difference makes the difference between success and failure when you start any type of business, for that matter.

Tip #1

Think about it, the art of taking pictures is getting easier and easier – especially with the advancement of technology. Digital technology has made photography so easy that it appears that everybody and their brothers and their sisters are photographers! Such ease makes photography a very popular attraction and very compelling to start a photo biz.

But, what many budding photographers fail to realize and take seriously is that: Business is Business. Whether selling teddy bears, cell phones or photography, the business principles are the same. And they are basic and simple (not easy – simple). Successful photographers aren’t necessarily the most skilled. They understand and practice the basic and simple principles of running a photography business. They also don’t confuse the quality of their photography with the need to plan, market and operate their photography business.

Don’t be confused! You must consistently produce top-notch quality products and photographic services. Constantly improving your skills is critical. So is the learning and consistent practice of business principles. If you don’t consistently practice the necessary business principles, budding photographers that do know the difference and practice the principles will get the customers and the business that should be yours. If you fail to practice the principles you will fail at your photography business attempts. Period. You will be another charter member of the ‘starving artist’ club! There’s a reason why they’re ‘starving!’

Once you do start a picture-taking business, every day that you’re in business there’s opportunity to grow and prosper, and the chance to stagnate and fail. Your being clear on the difference between photography practices and business practices determine the success of your photography business more than your photographic skills and talents. Be sure to spend as much time developing your photography skills as you do your business (marketing, self-promotion activities, for example) skills and you will find success.

Compliment vs Reality – Tip #2

Most budding photographers have this experience: a good friend, family member or neighbor sees a photograph and ‘raves’ how good it looks and how ‘valuable’ it ‘should’ be! Somewhere in their raving they proclaim, “you should sell that, you’ll probably make a lot of money!” Red flag warning! What is given as a compliment of your photograph is instantly translated to your having a “diamond” that you can sell and that will change your ‘status’ in life. Here’s a test: the next time you receive such a ‘compliment,’ do this: thank them and then ask them how much are they willing to pay you for the photo? I promise you that the same ‘expert’ that just raved about your valuable artwork will pass on the ‘opportunity’ to grab up your ‘valuable’ artistic photo. In the photography business value is determined by other criteria than a compliment or two. Knowing the difference contributes to your success in business.

Develop your knowledge and skill and your confidence as a photographer will dramatically increase. Likewise with business: develop and practice basic business principles and your confidence as a successful professional photographer will dramatically increase. I promise.

Research Builds Confidence – Tip #3

Do your research. Go online and read the available research on the business of photography. Read before you buy. Online research is just a click away. Take your time. Take advantage of free and easily available information online. If you choose to buy something offered, determine what goals you want to accomplish and ask yourself will what you’re buying help you to really meet your goals. Avoid the resources that promise and guarantee you that you can make $200 – $300 a day overnight – for obvious reasons. Also, there are no “secrets that the pros don’t want you to know!” There is information that you do not know now. But, isn’t information that is unknowable or impossible to find out – they’re just unknown to you at this time. Do your research. Besides, if they’re for sale, how “secret” can they be? Do your research

In the business of photography, it is more profitable to specialize. Specialization (also referred to as your “photography niche”) is how your customers will find you. Another development of technology is how customers – those who can afford and are willing to spend money for photography – find the photography that they buy. They look for something specific (in photographer speak that means “photography niche”). Go online and do a search on “photography niche” and take advantage of the information available. Remember, read before you buy; there are no “secrets that the pros don’t want you to know;” and great photography does not sell itself. In the world of business, nothing does.

For business purposes, go online and do a search on different business topics that you want more information about. For example, do a search for “photography marketing” or “marketing for photographers” or “amateur photography tips” or “how to sell photos online” or “how to start a photography business” etc. etc. Read before you buy.

Know And Start Where You Are And Be ‘Sincere’ – Tip #4

Start where you are with the equipment that you have. If you don’t have a photography studio don’t take on photography jobs that require a studio. Don’t be all things to all people – remember, specialize (research “photography niche” – you’ll be head and shoulders above the majority of your competition). If you feel that you have to purchase equipment to take on a job – that’s a red flag that you’re not ready, yet. In successful photography, the profit is in the “photography niche” and your understanding of that simple difference.

Doing your research will prepare you for one of the biggest challenges most photographers have – pricing. The challenge of knowing exactly what to charge stops most of us in our tracks. It shouldn’t! Do your research. Search “photography pricing,” for example. The information is available and most of it is free. Remember, read before you buy.

In my opinion, there really is no one criteria needed to start a profitable photo business. However, my experience has convinced me that self-confidence is the most significant asset a photographer in business can possess. You develop that self-confidence by knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know – and being crystal clear on the difference. Confidence is gained by knowing the necessary criteria needed and knowing that you possess the knowledge and skills to consistently accomplish tasks in a satisfactory manner.

Research, develop and practice both your photography knowledge and skills as well as your photography business knowledge and skills.

Finally, when vaudevillian, George Burns, was asked what was the secret to his successful career, he responded – “sincerity, be sincere – even if you have to fake it!”

Photography – A Memory Preserver

Photography is used by amateurs to preserve memories of favorite times, to capture special moments, to tell stories, to send messages, and as a source of entertainment. Many mobile phones now contain cameras to facilitate such use. Photography is all about light, and as photographers, we’re constantly thinking about the light as we photograph a scene. Light dominates our thoughts during the photographic process, and light continues to be a defining element when converting your RAW captures to “real” digitalimages. Photography is an art and those of us who choose to practice the great art of street photographyought not be targeted by bullies like Blint. Many of the great artists, artists being shown in the SF MOMA itself were practitioners of street photography.

Photography is a language; it has syntax and structure like English. As with a language, there are many ways to understand how to use the language. Photography is also increasingly asserting itself on the auctionblock as an important investment. And its prices in the galleries and at the major fairs reflect its serious status.Photography is one of the most basic, quintessential prototypes for how a “small business” works. It’s the single-celled creature of the business world, making it the easiest to analyze, experimentwith, test, and retest.

Photography is a type of art. With the skillful use of the artist’s hands, photography can bring out the subject’s “personality” and create almost magical moments which might not ordinarily be achieved through other means of self-expression. Photography is a creative endeavor, if you removethe pressure to capture every angle and view of a location, you free yourself up to be more creative and your results will be much better. Photography is not art any more than oil paint is art. Some photographers used it to create art.

Photography is the confluence of chance, observation and memory. Photography and Art tap into the very life force that drives us. Photography is an emotional and intuitive process for me. Scenes, objects, and the subtleties of light and colour are like emotional bookmarks. Photography is an art that is capable of ?

Photography is so much a part of our culture now that we hardly even notice all the places that it exists. When you watch television, look at a magazine or even view a billboard on the highway, this is all because of photography. Photography is no different than cave painting, we all want to tell our story, some want to record that story for others who missed out. Did you see the anguish in her face, did you notice the mother’s reaction?”. Photography is the dream, the interval, which we take to be the real. And yet secret tears flow behind these portraits.

Photography is an entire hobby in itself, and a thorough exploration of it is beyond the scope of this article. If you are interested in Professional RC aerial photography, or just want to know more, get a book from the library on photography and read it. Photography is a life-long hobby for many people. But for many thousands more it is a vocation. People who gain ability in photography can put their knowledge to work by making their living in it. Photography is also just plain fun, and it’s a wonderful foundation for community-based projects. If you introduce photography properly, it helps you look much more carefully at the world around you.

Photography is finally escaping any dependence on what is in front of a lens, but it comes at the price of its special claim on a viewer’s attention as “evidence” rooted in reality. As gallery material, photographs are now essentially no different from paintings concocted entirely from an artist’s imagination, except that they lack painting’s manual touch and surface variation. Photography is HOT in the international art market. People in the know buy photos by hot artists from hot dealers, the way some savvy businessmen buy blue-chip stocks. Photography is probably the most accessible form of art in the world. Granted, a box of crayons is cheaper than a disposable camera, but in theory you do not need any technical skills to use the camera.

Photography is an art form that should not be squelched. Transportation is a huge part of our lives, and documenting this whether it be subway photos, or pictures of trains and airplanes, has a long history and tradition in this country Photography is also a large part of our modern news media and journalism. Photography is an expansive art form that includes more than just portraiture, landscape or glamor photography. Both professional and amateur photographers may favor specific types of photography over others.

Cameras also provide histograms to help you determine if a photo has been properly exposed. Histograms will be a subject for a future article. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken by a photographer, triggered remotely or triggered automatically. Platforms for aerial photography include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, poles and parachutes. Cameras are changing and improving. Methods of developing are changing and improving as well.

Cameras in the nineteenth century were large, took photographic plates and required a long time for exposure. Subjects in portraits would have to sit for minutes, and some photographers would use restraints or posture holding devices to reduce movement. Cameras do not focus infrared light the same way they do visible light, which is one reason infrared photographs tend to be a little blurry. Cameras with a pentaprism (as opposed to pentamirror) ensure that little light is lost before it hits your eye, however these often increase the cost of the camera significantly. Larger format sensors also produce a brighter viewfinder image (such as full frame 35 mm, compared to 1.5-1.6X or smaller crop factors).

Stock photos are professional photographs of all different subjects that are sold individually or as a set, usually on a CD or on the Internet. Clip art is line art such as drawings and illustrations rather than photographs. Stock photography websites contain thousands of existing photographs that can be licensed for specific uses. Legally, you cannot use a photo you find on the web without the photographer’s permission.

Practice your photography skills and improve your class projects. Practice this at home in a dimly lit room and without a flash change the shutter speed settings on your camera. The manual you got with the camera should explain this more in detail.

Subject movement is also an important factor to consider. Macro photography magnifies the subject, leaving more room for blur. Subjects in all lower case tend to escape notice in a busy group like RPD, and those in ALL CAPS tend to get actively ignored?probably because many experienced Internet users take all caps as SHOUTING.

Don’t Allow Film Photography to Fade Away

Photography is embedded in our lives, from birth to death, and at every stage in between. Even those of us with little interest in photography have most probably carried photographs in our wallets, and hung them on our walls or placed them on a work desk, and personally snapped a few shots. Since the advent of digital photography, we have been taking more photos, and using them for an increased range of activities, especially the wider sharing of images with others. Today, photographs are so common that they can almost escape our notice.

Photography first entered the lives of the general public in 1888, when George Eastman invented and marketed his original Kodak camera. It was a very simple box that came pre-loaded with a 100-exposure roll of film. Once used, the whole camera was sent back to Kodak, where it was reloaded and returned to the customer, while the first roll of film underwent processing.

The simplicity of the camera and film processing made photography accessible to millions of casual amateurs who had no professional training, technical expertise, or aesthetic ability. Eastman’s marketing campaign deliberately featured women and children operating his camera, along with the slogan, “you press the button; we do the rest.”

Snapshot photography became a national craze within a few years, and by 1898, it is estimated that more than 1.5 million roll-film cameras had passed through the hands of amateur users.

Early snapshots were made for purely personal reasons. Typical subjects included important events such as weddings and other less formal family gatherings, holidays and leisure activities, and to capture the transitory appearance of children, pets, and prized possessions such as cars and houses. Images were reproduced as small prints, and a member of the family often arranged the photographs as narrative sequences in albums.

In the early part of the twentieth century, serious amateur photographers started to promote photography as a fine art where – unlike snapshot photography – the photographer demonstrated aesthetic sensibility and technical expertise. This goal was successfully attained, and photography became elevated to an art form.

It didn’t take long for the tide to turn (as it always does), and certainly by the 1950s, the qualities of the snapshot started to become adopted by professional photographers for their honesty, energy, and spontaneity. Grainy, blurred, tilted horizons, erratic framing, and black and white all became an acceptable route to capturing the moment. By the late 1990s, the snapshot finally achieved the status of modern folk art.

These two broad schools of photography produce a dichotomy in camera design and development. For the snap-shooters, cameras remained little changed (technically) from the original, while serious photographers opted for more complex tools that offered far greater precision.

From the mid 1970s, electronics started to take a grip on camera design, and this made improved photographic performance available to the casual photographer, without the need for technical knowledge. However, the biggest step-change emerged and began to dominate around the millennium: the digital camera.

Digital photography was revolutionary because it eliminated the costs and delays inherent with film cameras. It also expanded the options for viewing, editing and sharing pictures, and accordingly the range of uses to which they could be put. Other developments such as the increased ownership of personal computers, and growth of the Internet both supported the benefits and expansion of digital photography.

Today, camera phones are the major photographic device, and social media the foremost manner in which our snap-shots are put to use. While most photography, as in its early days, is largely a point-and-shoot capture of our daily lives, the underlying social behaviours have altered significantly.

For at least the first hundred years of photography, the family was at the heart of our activities. Cameras were usually owned by families, and used to the benefit of that family. While all members may have been participants in the capture of a photograph, one particular person was usually the custodian of the family album. The cost of photography made every shot valuable, and the duds that never made the pages of the family album were still retained.

By contrast, today individuals own cameras, and almost everyone under a certain age has one. Our social circles have changed: we tend to have a far larger pool of more casual acquaintances, and fragmented families. The zero cost of photography means high numbers of shot are taken, but the ease of deletion makes the permanence of images more ethereal.

It is these changes that bring me to the point of this article; to voice the concern that we are creating a historical void where information and details about an era risk being lost. I personally have gaps in the pictorial record of my life that start from the time I too turned to digital photography. Of course I could print my photos, to make them more tangible, and put them in an album, but I don’t: it’s not part of the digital ethos to recreate the limitations that contributed to the demise of film.

Equally, the increased automation of camera technology and accessibility of image manipulation conspire to erode the need for technical expertise, and aesthetic sensibility (at the moment of exposure) that underpinned photography as an art form. Indeed, the only significant recent resurgence in aesthetic film photography – Lomography – champions the abandonment of forethought, rules and knowledge.

I am not advocating that film photography should be fine art: the snap shot is as worthy an approach as it ever was. Neither am I trying to assert that digital photography does not demand skill, nor its images qualify as an art form. My concerned is that yet another skill – photography using unforgiving film – will become lost in a world where we increasingly rely on technology to do our thinking for us. The situation is little different to saying that just because we have calculators, we should forget how to do mental arithmetic. Equally, the craft of compiling a narrative photo album is at risk of loss, in favour of viewing a jumble of images on the tiny screen of a mobile phone, which travels with us in a world where it is continually exposed to the hazards of damage and theft.

In summary, the key difference between digital and film photography is that the former often ends with a click, while the latter merely begins with the clunk of a shutter. If you are on the cusp of a decision to explore or return to film photography, my advice is take the plunge and give it a go. Film photography is an engaging hobby, even if it’s only snapshot style. Its images are more enduring, and have an increased likelihood of surviving the passage of years. When all said and done, photography is merely a process for freezing time, and capturing memories so they can be recalled and enjoyed over and over again, throughout our whole lives.