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 #1Think 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 #2Most 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 #3Do 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 researchIn 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 #4Start 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 is painting with light! It’s been said that photography is the one art where you don’t need to go to school, nothing separates the pro from the amateur other skill a keen eye or the right moment. Give a camera to a child and they’ve cracked it, give the same child a keyboard and they’ll get back to you in due time.Most photographs are created using a camera , which uses a lens to focus the scene’s visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process of creating photographs is called photography .The great thing about photography is its outward focus (puns and semi-puns are so hard to avoid) on the world around us, not the art itself. Moving from hobby photography to professional photography is a big jump. It’s a jump not just because your ability to pay your mortgage and feed your family will now depend entirely on your talent with a camera and your skills at marketing those talents.For me photography is about “collecting” experiences and allowing myself to be more than a fly on the wall in my subjects’ lives. I don’t think photography is dead, I think photography is an extremely young art form. I also look at the history of photography and see that many of its milestones have been based on the technology of the time.Photography is going through an exciting transition period as many film photographers are beginning to explore the new capabilities made possible with digital cameras. Traditional aspects such as the fundamental techniques and lens equipment have remained the same, however others are markedly different. Photography is acquired when weather conditions, sun angle, and, when applicable, water levels are optimal to ensure that photographs will be suitable for a variety of purposes using standard photogrammetric techniques.Natural light in photography is crucial if you want to take great portraits. Many assume this means the time of day in which she can shoot her portraits is limited. Photography is used to preserve memories of favorite times, to capture special moments, to tell stories, to send messages, and as a source of entertainment. Photography is an art of particularity, but this doesn’t mean that photography must be from “outside in. If photography has too much natural accident, it will hardly carry visual dynamic. But if it has too much photographer intervention and manipulation of the subject, it will paralyze the expression of the subject’s essence.Once you’ve gotten your head around this and started shooting a few pictures, you might find that photography is quite fun and interesting. At first glance it would seem that unless you are a full-time adventure athlete, adventure photography is something that you will have little opportunity to apply yourself to? However, nothing could be further from the truth. When learning how to shoot action photos, there are many ways you can begin practicing and honing your skills when you are far from the mountains or wild rivers.Some are able to select a wonderful location to shoot along with having the “artistic eye” to use the natural backdrop to obtain the best photographs possible. Pinhole photography is great fun and it can be the most serious kind of photography. There is the freedom from vying for the latest and the greatest the industry has to offer, and the freedom from the delusion that technically ever more perfect equipment is required for great photography.Remote photography is used to learn more about things like bears’ use of naturally-occurring bear rubs and how they respond to baited hair traps. Information from this work will be used to improve sampling methods and understand bear behavior. Photography is all about selection, first through the viewfinder and second when you look at the results. As long as there’s selection involved, there’s room for art – if the artist can pull it off. Good photography is all about seeing.Input relating ‘classical’ portraiture to photography is not so easy to find. Though we may not want to take this kind of photograph, it still seems that we could learn a lot from the kind of discussion given here. Photography is also increasingly asserting itself on the auction block as an important investment. And its prices in the galleries and at the major fairs reflect its serious status. 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.Underwater photography is becoming an exciting field of unexplored areas. Other photographers specialize in areas such as portrait, commercial and industrial, scientific, news, or fine arts photography. Photography is a customer service business. Whether you need family portraits, pet portraits, events coverage or complete wedding packages.The most compelling part of digital photography is the idea of showing pictures to people wherever they are, as long as they are in front of a computer connected to the Web.The overwhelming majority of older photographs are catalogued under the term “albumen prints” – the most common type of 19 th-century photographic print. Additional headings are assigned describing the typical cardboard mounts to which these images are attached – stereographs, cabinet card photographs, and cartes-de-viste.Finally, If you plan on working with older photos, establish handling procedures and adhere to them whenever photographs are being used. View photographs in a clean, uncluttered area, and handle them with clean hands. Most 1860s-90s paper photographs are albumen. Even non-collectors associate horse-and-buggy and Old West images with the soft, sentimental tones that were produced by the albumen process. If only photographs are stored in a given area, 30-40% RH is best. If photographs are stored with paper, parchment, or leather materials, it may be necessary to maintain 40-50% RH to avoid placing unwanted stress on non-photographic materials.