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Thread: Photo business: what it takes

  1. #1

    Default Photo business: what it takes

    Hi all beloved CSers,

    I wana hear your thoughts:

    Business owners- What were your first equipment purchases as an owner of ur new business when you started?

    For freelancers- What were your first few photog purchases?

    Also, would you consider monitor calibration and studio strobes(over off-cam flash) and gorillapod as your first few purchases,why?
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  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    if you are doing it as business, the first thing you should get is a business plan, it could be as simple as just a few lines, like what is your goal? why you want to do it? where is your target market? what you intent to achieve? how are you going to do it? etc.
    business plan is just like a map, doing business without a map, is like exploring an adventure without a map.


    do you go for a tour/trip/adventure without setting your destination first, but start shopping for cloths, undies, shoes etc??
    Last edited by catchlights; 16th July 2013 at 08:06 AM.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all beloved CSers,

    I wana hear your thoughts:

    Business owners- What were your first equipment purchases as an owner of ur new business when you started?

    For freelancers- What were your first few photog purchases?

    Also, would you consider monitor calibration and studio strobes(over off-cam flash) and gorillapod as your first few purchases,why?
    Depends on the type of work you do.

    Equipment purchases: as little as possible. Back then I purchased a fax machine and gotten myself a fax line, printed professional looking name cards, an heavy and expensive portfolio book, a listing on yellow pages. Translate it to current day equivalent.

    If it's different from what you expect, then you are heading in a wrong direction.

    If gorillapod existed back then, I would look at it and laugh hard.

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Purchases are not important.

    Acquiring the proper knowledge and skills in photography is essential. That is the bare minimum a person who wants to become a professional photographer needs to have before even thinking of shooting for money.

    TS I think you need to think less about equipment and think more on how to become proficient in photography itself.

  5. #5

    Default

    I think it is odd that your questions are focused on equipment, but if so, here's my answer.

    1. Get the minimum needed to do the job. For my first paid shoot, which was an event coverage, I used my Nikon D70 and borrowed a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 and a Nikon SB-800 flash. The equipment used was hardly inspiring, given that I borrowed practically everything and used a D70 in the D200 era. The client was an MNC and they were very pleased with the results.

    2. The monitor calibration equipment and Gorillapod is not required immediately.
    KF Photography
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  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all beloved CSers,

    I wana hear your thoughts:

    Business owners- What were your first equipment purchases as an owner of ur new business when you started?

    For freelancers- What were your first few photog purchases?

    Also, would you consider monitor calibration and studio strobes(over off-cam flash) and gorillapod as your first few purchases,why?

    There are many photographers could not last for a year or two,

    the main reasons they believe in they can produce nice photos, or they have awesome gears is good enough, but these are only good for hobbyist, not the key elements to make photographers stay in business.


    talk to the people who are in the industry, join the trade associations, you will find guidance and suitable trainings from there.
    Last edited by catchlights; 16th July 2013 at 09:42 AM.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  7. #7

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all beloved CSers,

    I wana hear your thoughts:

    Business owners- What were your first equipment purchases as an owner of ur new business when you started?

    For freelancers- What were your first few photog purchases?

    Also, would you consider monitor calibration and studio strobes(over off-cam flash) and gorillapod as your first few purchases,why?
    Bought a second hand camera with 50mm lens and a second hand macbook pro and a few CF cards. Back then, I shoot 100% natural light and that is for the large part of my last 4+ years seems to work well.

    That was what I had when I first started as a full time photographer running a business from home.


    Today, I just add a few lights and still working from home... the different is, when I start, my "space" is about 10sqft and today, my space is 1700sqft.

    Start small, grow and re-invest. That is my advise.

    Buy what you need, rent something that you use occasionally and budget from it.

    regards,

    Hart

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    btw, I made many mistakes by purchase lot of white elephants in my earlier years, could have put the money in better use.
    nevertheless, consider a lesson learnt.

    nowadays, I only buy whatever I can justify it can make money for me, else, it will only keep it as dream list.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Hi all, I think your answers have totally de-railed me. haha. Not saying it's a bad thing though. Perhaps I have been asking about the wrong questions; instead of equipment, I should be talking about the tricks of the trade,yes? Well, whaddya guys reckon are good skills/habits going into your first photo business years ago?

    As for equipment, studio strobes,monitor calibration not necessary? Thanks for the constructive replies guys.
    fadlywychowvski.blogspot.com; where filmmakers and media creators grow and learn together

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all, I think your answers have totally de-railed me. haha. Not saying it's a bad thing though. Perhaps I have been asking about the wrong questions; instead of equipment, I should be talking about the tricks of the trade,yes? Well, whaddya guys reckon are good skills/habits going into your first photo business years ago?

    As for equipment, studio strobes,monitor calibration not necessary? Thanks for the constructive replies guys.
    FYI, many serious hobbyist already done better than these nowadays, not saying this is not important, but what is your priority of getting into business??
    Last edited by catchlights; 16th July 2013 at 01:18 PM.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    To do something I love for a living
    fadlywychowvski.blogspot.com; where filmmakers and media creators grow and learn together

  12. #12

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all beloved CSers,

    I wana hear your thoughts:

    Business owners- What were your first equipment purchases as an owner of ur new business when you started?

    For freelancers- What were your first few photog purchases?

    Also, would you consider monitor calibration and studio strobes(over off-cam flash) and gorillapod as your first few purchases,why?
    You seem to think success is purchased. I'm sure the local shops love you.
    Alpha

  13. #13

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    To do something I love for a living
    Then read the many similar threads about what it takes. There's even stickies about it.
    Alpha

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    To do something I love for a living
    say say is easy,

    doing it is totally a different story,

    I have seen too many people come and go, in my coming to 30 years of experience.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    say say is easy,

    doing it is totally a different story,

    I have seen too many people come and go, in my coming to 30 years of experience.

    Hahaha...

    Not too difficult lar... at least I am still enjoying what I love doing... Money is not everything... Happy can already lar...

    but seriously...
    Last edited by Agetan; 16th July 2013 at 10:16 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all, I think your answers have totally de-railed me. haha. Not saying it's a bad thing though. Perhaps I have been asking about the wrong questions; instead of equipment, I should be talking about the tricks of the trade,yes? Well, whaddya guys reckon are good skills/habits going into your first photo business years ago?

    As for equipment, studio strobes,monitor calibration not necessary? Thanks for the constructive replies guys.
    Here is the reality of being in a business in photography...

    Remember, it isn't sexy, and yes, it is a dream, but until you are successful, there is no such thing as "Living" your dream.

    "LIVING YOUR DREAM" is over rated.

    Here is a good habit to have if you are into business of photography:
    1. Understand your numbers
    2. Learn how to find clients who will pay the rates that you charge
    3. Deliver your promise
    4. Get paid for every single job

    If you put in a good 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, you should be doing OK if you do the above in about 2-3 years, if you are above average photographer. Maybe less if you are extremely talented and able to come out with industry leading images every single time.

    To have a stable business, you will need to work it for at least 4-5 years continuously...


    Equipment is only important to create your work... how much equipment depend on your budget that you have.

    The more you put in, the longer you have to break even to start making money to live your dream. Simple equation.

    The thing is, in the beginning, things like equipment, buy second hand, borrow, rent, anything to save the money and spend it on ways to get more clients.
    I am sorry to paint bleak future for you... but this is the reality...

    I don't believe in "living a dream" while having "empty tummy"... and I hate the line "Hungry Artist"...


    Regards,

    Hart

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Hahaha...

    Not too difficult lar... at least I am still enjoying what I love doing...

    Hart
    first thing first,

    need make a living first before photographers can enjoy what they are doing,

    I see most of the people don't understand the first part,
    that is why they failed.
    Last edited by catchlights; 16th July 2013 at 10:32 PM.
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  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Confaderal View Post
    Hi all, I think your answers have totally de-railed me. haha. Not saying it's a bad thing though. Perhaps I have been asking about the wrong questions; instead of equipment, I should be talking about the tricks of the trade,yes? Well, whaddya guys reckon are good skills/habits going into your first photo business years ago?

    As for equipment, studio strobes,monitor calibration not necessary? Thanks for the constructive replies guys.
    FYI, if you think we are de-railed you, you could be posted your thread in the wrong section.

    Here is Photo Biz, not Equipment Discussion.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  19. #19
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Here is the reality of being in a business in photography...

    Remember, it isn't sexy, and yes, it is a dream, but until you are successful, there is no such thing as "Living" your dream.

    "LIVING YOUR DREAM" is over rated.
    ...........
    in short, very simple lar,

    After you survive for first 3 very tough years, tahan for another 3 tough years, than after that, you will get used to it liao.


    nothing so hard actually...... hahahahahha
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Photo business: what it takes

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    in short, very simple lar,

    After you survive for first 3 very tough years, tahan for another 3 tough years, than after that, you will get used to it liao.


    nothing so hard actually...... hahahahahha
    Ya lar... after 9 years... I think I should last for another 9 years...

    hahaha..

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