Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 41 to 51 of 51

Thread: How would you run a photography business?

  1. #41
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    lil red dot
    Posts
    21,627
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbySHE View Post
    Back seat driver with a wider view ( perspective ).

    About two years ago, met a guy in a bank, name card indicate as financial planner.

    A totally new approach to run a business.

    Below, some quote I'd recall during that short 5 ~10 min. of conversation.

    Oh, your way of running a biz by adopting MIMO is obsolete and not in ! ( oh, interesting !? )

    You must never attempt to balance your account ! ( something new ! )

    Must always set your target high. ( This I know )

    Aim to tip the scale to your favour. ( How ? )

    If you always balance, that is non productive ! ( sounds logic. )

    Let $$$ works for you, and not otherway round. ( doesn't quite seems to apply to photography, more like investment. )

    So, I interrupted and ask..tell me how ?

    Get your job at all cost ! ( at all cost ? remind me of...an interesting thing
    happen during a photo shoot )

    Finally.. thank you very much....however, I beg to be different.
    Conclusion...he sounds more from the multi level marketing than finacial planning.

    Any better view are welcome.
    That is how the founder of sunshine empire get so rich so quickly. By doing financial planning. Somehow the money kept being planned into his pocket.

  2. #42

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltztitus View Post
    "How would you run a photography business? As a non professional photographer."

    Hi guys, I just wanted to share a bit of my thoughts and opinions after reading through some of the articles and to provide another perspective on running a photography business.

    From a non professional point of view, reading through this forums on how to start a business does get a bit gloomy and depressing over time, especially when money and cost gets involved. I wouldn't put the blame on anyone but it maybe because of the elitist mindset or the survival of the fittest (meritocratic) society we are living in.

    I am currently a student studying in the states, and am currently holding a position as a creative director in the photography club in the school with a student population of 50,000 students, as well as a photo journalist for the independent news press. I may not have felt the pressure of making the bucks as a professional photographer in Singapore but I definitely know the notion and idea of a pro photographers is relatively different in Singapore and the states. I have interviewed many photographers and have invited some to hold workshops on campus so let me just share my humble thoughts on "running a photog business"

    Running a business is definitely not an easy task. But I feel that it is being overstressed and overstated over and over again in Singapore and especially on the forum. From a non pro point of view, this is an advice that is almost known to anyone that without a sense of business acumen, you cant really run any business, let alone photography. I just feel that it really dampens that passion, or spirit or even interest of any photographers who are trying to make a living out of their passion. I believe the line between professionalism and "casual" photographers gets overemphasized and it feels as though that status of a pro is revered and should be held in awe.

    From my own personal experience, I believe I am really passionate about photography and I put in effort to keep myself motivated, educated and inspired all the time. Having spent almost a year in the states has opened up my philosophy and perspective on photography as a personl. I believe once you understand what you want out of your photography journey and spend a little more time thinking of that instead of thinking of cost, money and how to charge, you will find all of this coming into place and you yourself maturing as a person.

    If you spend some time listening to some of the successful photographers interview, http://thecandidframe.blogspot.com/ , you will understand why understanding the philosophy,interest,source of inspiration in photography is so much more important than knowing the difference that professional serious photography business vs casual photography. Chase Jarvis only mentions that commercial work pays the bills and did not say anything more about how you would run it successfully or not. You have Natalie Dybisz is a photographer whose young career began on Flickr and she got approached by Microsoft in no time. They are not a bunch of photographers who spend half their time worrying about making a living or how to jumpstart your career and make good money. Of course you must have some business sense but trust me, google has more articles on that and what we need on forums should be more sources of inspirations and the personal experience that motivates young artists instead of thrashing them down and telling them to brace themselves for a gruelling and tough profession. We all know that every industry is tough there are many starved profession out there and everywhere, regardless of profession. But what keeps us going should be guidance on finding your creative niche, your style, instead of more reality checks.

    With that being said, you will realize that running a photography business is no different to maintaining a friendship. Your sincerity, your creative output, your effort that you put into will be the noticed by people. With technology catching up and all the information online, you don't have to teach someone to take a picture with good bokeh or wedding style(its known as journalistic style in US) photography. However, your creative niche, and philosophy is something that can never be taken away from you and people will recognize that and remember it for a long time. You don't have to go down to nitty gritty details about what price to charge but you should know where you are heading towards with that camera in your hand. To me, this process of running business is not something to be overstressed about, I have a camera and the gear and people's feedback have been good. So by word of mouth, I get offered to cover events and I even volunteer to shoot free for non profit organization because that is part of my dream and philosophy. I like the challenge of shooting on the fly, so I tried photojournalism and I enjoy it very much and produced even better photos. Quite a number of Photographers in the states don't come from a photog degree and dont brag about their awards of whether they are part of the NPPA. You know that they love what they do and they share it with the world. They aim to write books to inspire others. But yup, I will try to strike a balance and come back to CS forums at times for the harsh elitist reality checks when needed but I will always to look at other works and life stories/biographies of successful photographers to be constantly inspired(and a more positive outlook on how they run their business and trust me they have advices that are not as grim as some mentioned here) and then go out explore what you like and find the source of inspiration, which is not money hopefully.

    Most importantly, know why you started photography. and running a business should be second in nature to you.

    My two cents.

    I think this is worth reposting several times over. Great read!

  3. #43

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by zakariazainal View Post
    I think this is worth reposting several times over. Great read!
    I'm sorry but it's worth a read only if you want to pull the wool over your eyes.
    Even great fashion design houses like Yohji Yamamoto and Christian Lacroix went bankrupt, and they are not short of talent.

    running a business and shooting with passion are two different things.

  4. #44
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Punggol, Singapore
    Posts
    21,902

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    I'm sorry but it's worth a read only if you want to pull the wool over your eyes.
    Even great fashion design houses like Yohji Yamamoto and Christian Lacroix went bankrupt, and they are not short of talent.

    running a business and shooting with passion are two different things.
    couldn't agree more.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  5. #45

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Agreed.

    How would I run a photography business? As with any other business - profitably.

    Perhaps throw in sustainably and ethically, though these are more arbitrary terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    I'm sorry but it's worth a read only if you want to pull the wool over your eyes.
    Even great fashion design houses like Yohji Yamamoto and Christian Lacroix went bankrupt, and they are not short of talent.

    running a business and shooting with passion are two different things.

  6. #46

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    I just recently had an enquiry for a weekday wedding shoot, she was referred by a client (a relative in fact). Originally everything was ok, PDF quotation read and gone through, obligatory discount given, she actually was sourcing for her daughter's wedding and she likes my work. The daughter seems pretty bo chup, just decided on a package and that's it. Mum and I agreed on the price and I was supposed to call the daughter to meetup / confirm with deposit.
    The photography business is 90% business... firstly

    secondly, to 2100 .. an unfortunate incident indeed but i don't believe it's wise to simply write off a bad experience as just blaming the "customer".. You may know the stats that when customers have a bad experience they on average tell about 8 people and only about 1 or 2 if they have a good experience.. Like it or not she had a bad experience (even if not your fault)..you can't ignore that.. think about how you can avoid that next time.. we all have troublesome customers but thats part and parcel of the business... you can definitely learn from negative feedback..

    Cheers
    Mark
    Mark Stennett

  7. #47
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    East
    Posts
    793

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    I

    running a business and shooting with passion are two different things.
    Totally agree. To pursue a passion is a luxury. You need to be able to survive first before you can pursue a passion. And that's why many fashion designers fail. Not enough people want to buy their designs created through passion. The oohs and aahs of the media are great for the ego but usually not enough to live the lifestyle you want.

    Like in any business and if I had to depend on photography as a profession, I would first take on as many jobs as possible. Like any business, I would probably lose money during this period. With the many jobs, I hope to establish a reputation for a specialty, or great service, or reliability but ideally a combination of these.

    Once I have more jobs than I can handle, I will start charging higher rates, but low enough not to frighten away the clients I want while turning away the jobs I am not to keen on. This is the beginning of enjoying the luxury of choice.

    Establishing a reputation takes years, while it takes only a screw-up to destroy it.

    Of course being able to take generally better photos than all the weekend shooters will give you an edge.

    At the end of the day, give the customer what they want. When you have enough money to live and afford to turn down jobs, that is the time when you can pursue your passion, the type of photographs that you really want to take, and as a hobby. And if enough people want to buy such photographs, you are now successful, able to make a good living pursuing your passion.

  8. #48

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    No offence, but would u seriously listen to an armchair traveller who have never been to a particular country but suggests that u do this and that when u r in there?


    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Have you heard about the term "backseat driver"?

    anyway, running a photography business has so many things to take care of, sometime perspective from the "other side" will give the pros something to ponder or inspiration.

    this is my objective of this thread. and I read the replies with a open mind.

  9. #49
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    6,485

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltztitus View Post
    "How would you run a photography business? As a non professional photographer."

    Hi guys, I just wanted to share a bit of my thoughts and opinions after reading through some of the articles and to provide another perspective on running a photography business.
    .
    .
    .
    My two cents.
    some points i'd like to raise:

    for every name that you have mentioned (and probably many more not mentioned) that succeeded can u imagine how many more names have failed? probably none, because failures names' aren't highly publicised. i would bet my last dollar that those "failed" names exceed the successful ones.

    a professional photographer, or one who earns money from photography has two main things to do. shoot well and run a business. we assume such a person has passion for photography, so improving their skill/art/creativity is a given. no normal photographer is going to say "i'm the best, no need to learn or practice anymore".

    however, most passionate photographers who want to make money from their photos aren't always as passionate about running a business. so why are people "harping" on business/profits/markets? because it is not something that is easily understood or grasped!

    basically the path to great photos is imo, much easier than the path to a great business. what you have mentioned i totally agree. quality photos, look within yourself, be constantly motivated/inspired etc etc. however, these alone will not let microsoft knock on everyone's door. i'd like to repeat, for one that got microsoft to call because of her flickr account, how many more did NOT get that call?

    i'm all for great photos and great passion. if u do it as a hobby or craft or self/personal satisfaction, then u rule the world, your own world. if you want someone else's money for it, then, i'm sorry, it really IS that difficult.

    and ur last statement: Most importantly, know why you started photography. and running a business should be second in nature to you. is wholeheartedly disagreed by me, sorry. i have seen too many people fail even though they are full of passion and do great work. i have also seen pple who suck, but are totally successful.

    shooting well, and being successful selling what you shoot, are POLES apart.

  10. #50
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    I know of people who are passionate in photography but don't have much clue in business management. Most of them know they are not passionate about the highs and lows of business, so wisely take on a day job. Those few I know that run a successful photography business typically have both passion and business acumen. In fact, you don't need to have a whole dose of passion, just enough to ensure you produce good quality work, but you need a large dose of business acumen. Without business sense, the chances are likely to be bleak.

  11. #51

    Default Re: How would you run a photography business?

    Here is my opinion about business...

    It is always a myth about "photography business"

    Every photographer need to understand one thing... Your photography is the "PRODUCT". Something like Omega Watch, Bottega Bag, etc... it is nothing more than "PRODUCT".

    Creating great product is important, but more important, how do you "communicate" your product to your prospective client.

    If you have a great product, but don't know how to market it, find a company who is good in marketing your product and let them do the "communicating" for you. It can be an agent, it could be another photography company and so on and so forth...

    Make sure you see all your hardwork in photography just a tiny little bit of the whole equation which is PRODUCT and nothing more... it will then help you to see the bigger pictures on how to "sell" your product.

    Of course, if your product do not easily understand by the viewer, it is barely a good product in your client's eye.

    Learn how to see it from your client's perspective. If you are a client who wanted a family portrait taken... what do you look for? the deliverable, the service and most importantly... where can you find the service that you are after? once you start looking at this from your clients perspective, it is then easier to formulate your strategies for your business.

    Certainly, take the ego out (but not completely) will help the process.

    For me, I go out as a consumer and when I want to buy something, I will take note on the steps and from those steps, I retrace and re-formulate whether the steps are logical... and I do that very very often (not just photography) so I can learn more from everywhere and apply it to my own situation with some changes to it.

    Constant evaluation to your situation is very important... how good you are in creating your product is less of important then because, while doing it, you are constantly "working" to learn and upgrade yourself.

    Try to simplify your view towards business then you can understand it easier...

    Paperwork and book-keeping can be left to accountant like many other "chores".

    When selling your product, it is very simple, tell people why you love that and if they look at it from your perspective, then, that is the client for you. If not, well, tell someone else.... it is no magic... it is the same story over and over and over again....

    Anyway, all my clients are intrique with my company name... "Tomato Photo" and they always ask why? and it is easier to let them know your view if you know your product...

    In business, I follow KISS principle... Keep It Simple, Stupid!!. try to break it down to smaller chewable....

    Last but not least, if you believe you have a great product that many would love... PAY someone to get you started in how to sell it...

    All the best...

    Regards,

    Hart

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •