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Thread: Starting a photography business?

  1. #1

    Default Starting a photography business?

    How do I start a photography business?
    Do I have the skill to run a photography business?
    These are the many questions we often see in these forum.

    So you think you have the the photography skill to run a photography business?
    Is that enough? Is it that simple? Is photography skill alone, sufficient to run a business?

    Ask yourself, these questions?
    Who make the best hamburger? Mcdonald?
    So, what make Mcdonald the biggest and most successful burger chain store in the world?
    You definitely love photography, how about the sales and marketing? What about the delivery jobs? What about the bill collecting?

    When you start your own business. You become the photographer, salesman, marketing man, delivery man, tea lady, bill collector ..............

    I know because I've been there.............

  2. #2
    Member Sispecho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    and suddenly what compelled you to make this thread?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Starting a biz is easy. It's running the biz to be successful that is not.
    McDonald's may not make the best burgurs in the world; but IMO their $2 cheeseburger rocks!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    ...; but IMO their $2 cheeseburger rocks!
    That would be their double cheeseburger. It's the best!
    Nikonian since 2003
    F55 | D700

  5. #5

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    I wouldn't say mcdonald's double cheese burger is the best. But I can say that it's definitely the best double cheeseburger that $2 can buy

  6. #6

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sispecho;
    and suddenly what compelled you to make this thread?
    Just want to give some advise to those who wanted to go into photography or any other business.

    Don't be mislead into believing that starting a photography business is easy and fun like someone put it. The skill of photography is only part of the equation but more skills and planning are needed to run a profitable business.

    Like many business, a good product doesn't guarantee success. Even if you to not have a "not so good product", a good business plan, sales and marketing skill can bring your business further. My point is, if you ready want to start a business. Start with a team of people with different skill set. Starting a business alone and hoping to success? 9 out of 10 will fail.

    I've made those mistake and hope this tread can wakeup some minds and don't make the same mistake.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Entity View Post
    That would be their double cheeseburger. It's the best!
    Having it without the sauce and pickles. Change it to GARLIC chill!!

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    7D | 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro | 580EX II

  8. #8

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    Just want to give some advise to those who wanted to go into photography or any other business.

    Don't be mislead into believing that starting a photography business is easy and fun like someone put it. The skill of photography is only part of the equation but more skills and planning are needed to run a profitable business.

    Like many business, a good product doesn't guarantee success. Even if you to not have a "not so good product", a good business plan, sales and marketing skill can bring your business further. My point is, if you ready want to start a business. Start with a team of people with different skill set. Starting a business alone and hoping to success? 9 out of 10 will fail.

    I've made those mistake and hope this tread can wakeup some minds and don't make the same mistake.
    However at the same time, we shouldn't scare people on running a business.

    Many start too early before they are ready and don't know what to do to make it happen.

    You are right about business plan and so on which is a different set of equation.

    I don't think one should start a business with a team of people with different skill set.... Too many people too many opinions and nothing gets done.

    Doing a lot of research and reading before starting a business is essential... Perhaps go and attend a business course.

    Running a business in photography require hardwork and sound business plan and with right product and a small dose of luck, one could make it happen.

    Regards,

    Hart

  9. #9
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    if have anymore discussions on cheese burger instead of photography business, this thread will go to Kopitiam.




    .
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    Just want to give some advise to those who wanted to go into photography or any other business.

    Don't be mislead into believing that starting a photography business is easy and fun like someone put it. The skill of photography is only part of the equation but more skills and planning are needed to run a profitable business.

    Like many business, a good product doesn't guarantee success. Even if you to not have a "not so good product", a good business plan, sales and marketing skill can bring your business further. My point is, if you ready want to start a business. Start with a team of people with different skill set. Starting a business alone and hoping to success? 9 out of 10 will fail.

    I've made those mistake and hope this tread can wakeup some minds and don't make the same mistake.

    Are you trying to say....

    To start a business today it is easy, just register and go, but to get the business to a "place" on track with the rest of the industry, it takes a solid plan.

    Obviously there are also people who feel it is easy to overcome the business barrier of entry that was set by our pioneers in their respective genre. And the mean to overcome this barrier is probably pricing strategy which is wrong as finally after a few years, you do your business review, you realise not only did you not do enough, but you did not get sufficient quality work to move to the next stage of business.

    But your customer did say "Hey you did a splendid job!" so next we ask have we set a wrong gantry point to benefit others more than staying align with the industry standards although there isn't one to benchmark yet.

    I am coming from my experience having started solid startups experience in the shortest timeframe.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    However at the same time, we shouldn't scare people on running a business.

    Many start too early before they are ready and don't know what to do to make it happen.

    You are right about business plan and so on which is a different set of equation.

    I don't think one should start a business with a team of people with different skill set.... Too many people too many opinions and nothing gets done.

    Doing a lot of research and reading before starting a business is essential... Perhaps go and attend a business course.

    Running a business in photography require hardwork and sound business plan and with right product and a small dose of luck, one could make it happen.

    Regards,

    Hart
    I'm not trying to scare people on running a business. I'm just cautioning pro photographer wanabe, what should they look up for if they want to start up a business.

    In fact, I'm never been an employee since I'm in the early twenty.

    Do you see many or any successful business run by a single person?
    Starting with a team is strongly recommended, partner or employee.
    I would say, go attend a marketing course if you do not want to partner with others or couldn't afford to employ.

    Read this

    I'm not here to prove anything, just sharing my 2 cent.
    Last edited by expro; 17th September 2010 at 06:42 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    I'm not trying to scare people on running a business. I'm just cautioning pro photographer wanabe, what should they look up for if they want to start up a business.

    In fact, I'm never been an employee since I'm in the early twenty.

    Do you see many or any successful business run by a single person?
    Starting with a team is strongly recommended, partner or employee.
    I would say, go attend a marketing course if you do not want to partner with others or couldn't afford to employ.

    Read this

    I'm not here to prove anything, just sharing my 2 cent.
    Uhm... Interesting point but in the beginning, I don't think it is wise to work in a team.

    Only when business gets bigger, one will have to change their role.

    Many fail to see that their job is to do what one to do and that is the sole purpose they exist. If it wise to be all 3, technician, entreupreneur and manager at the same time without working as a team. Let's face it, if you want to assemble a team, all people in the team must work together on common goal, I would challenge the theory as no one start with a team.

    You will need to change your role so often to work out a solution that harmonize the situation.

    Many don't run a business as they themselves is the business. It is not the right way. Sure, in the beginning, it is not a bad idea, but as business expands, one would need to start create business outside them. Meaning separating the business to the operator.

    What makes people successful after 10 years is they are able to separate themselves from their work by working out a system that run itself. It is then time to work as a team. A team where you assemble yourself towards your goal.

    To summarise, first you create the Job, at the same time, managing your work by having wild thinking that separate you with others and as the business grow, build a team to manage various stages of your business. Accept change and change often is the key.

    Regards,

    Hart

  13. #13

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Unfortunately the hard truth is no MNC today started themselves as an MNC. Most started from scratch and with constant reviews, plans and activities, they grew to their objective.

    Having a team to work with in the beginning can be seen as an advantage if everyone share a common vision. It is not as easy as one may think. In the event of a dispute with the leader, who's advantage would it be but who's effort was on the ground? If I were to use the technician and the manager as an example.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeonSG;
    Unfortunately the hard truth is no MNC today started themselves as an MNC. Most started from scratch and with constant reviews, plans and activities, they grew to their objective.

    Having a team to work with in the beginning can be seen as an advantage if everyone share a common vision. It is not as easy as one may think. In the event of a dispute with the leader, who's advantage would it be but who's effort was on the ground? If I were to use the technician and the manager as an example.
    If one can't work as a team, he should not start a biz. There may be some dispute but the chances of success is much higher. It just too much for a single person to wear to many different hats at the same time.

    If the technician and the manager have a dispute? Hold a team meeting or If it is a tech issue or problem, the technician will have more say. If it is a management decision, the manager will have more say and so on........

    In fact all these must be discuss and agree before starting up the biz. Things like: if some one want to pull out, if 2 partner couldn't agree with each other or closing down of biz, how it should be done and handle. Don't be suprise if some team member may even leave just within a few week.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    If one can't work as a team, he should not start a biz. There may be some dispute but the chances of success is much higher. It just too much for a single person to wear to many different hats at the same time.

    If the technician and the manager have a dispute? Hold a team meeting or If it is a tech issue or problem, the technician will have more say. If it is a management decision, the manager will have more say and so on........

    In fact all these must be discuss and agree before starting up the biz. Things like: if some one want to pull out, if 2 partner couldn't agree with each other or closing down of biz, how it should be done and handle. Don't be suprise if some team member may even leave just within a few week.
    I find it hardly viable to gather a few people right in the beginning to work together. I have seen those work together fail a lot quicker than those who started by themselves. It is too time consuming to manage expectation of each "partner" and as you said, some may leave even only after a few weeks? you are then spending more time finding another person in the team and nothing else is done.

    Here is an example;
    Say one is very into building a portrait photography and you will have another team member who gives idea, and he or she thought wedding and event will make more money. The third member will say so what about something else? You will spend days if not weeks to "discuss" possibility and whatever the outcome, the rest will still reckon that their idea is better.

    Or maybe, if you work with an accountant, a manager and a thinker from the beginning. A manager will try to manage the thinker and the accountant sit there doing nothing while the manager discuss with the thinker why such and such ideas can't be done.... Waste of time.

    Every business that i see growing into multinational company starts as one man show.

    Only because they are happy to grow and accept change and change often make them successful.

    Regards,

    Hart

  16. #16

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Many very reputable photographers in the world started in a team. Also founders of MNCs. Jobs and Gates starting in a team. Larry and Sergey started in a team. But I'm not advocating starting 'as' a team though. And I'm not sure I mean the same thing as expro.

    I mean I would advise against starting off as a one-man-show and look for solutions and ideas from the internet and forums... join seminars for quick fixes and buy books for every other business decision. Unless of course, you have a sound decision plan and have experience experts in related fields (business advice, marketing specialists, working photographers...) as your friends or your family.

    It is very natural for someone with limited experience of a working photographer to start a business and be very reactionary. Dropping prices when things don't pan out, dumping all the advertising budget at one place only to realize it's the wrong place, pricing decisions, product decisions... Many would react only when the situations come and then look for quick answers. Some others, because of their relevant past experience and perhaps even instincts, would react 'correctly' and thus have things pan out well for them.

    I often regretted not having gone down that path of starting with a team. The most valuable advice and guidance I get are from working in teams on projects. I always wondered what could have been if I decided to join a team instead of starting one of my own before I even know how large the world is.

    Starting with a team allows the growth to be more nurtured. With direction and purpose. With expanding possibilities. With heightended expectations. It also trains humility and broadens perspective. Aids in networking. Allows digestion for multiple perspectives. All these are very critical elements of both photography and business.

    My humble 2 cents. Strictly an opinion and not meant to be taken as a fact.
    Last edited by shinken; 18th September 2010 at 10:22 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Many very reputable photographers in the world started in a team. Also founders of MNCs. Jobs and Gates starting in a team. Larry and Sergey started in a team. But I'm not advocating starting 'as' a team though. And I'm not sure I mean the same thing as expro.

    I mean I would advise against starting off as a one-man-show and look for solutions and ideas from the internet and forums... join seminars for quick fixes and buy books for every other business decision. Unless of course, you have a sound decision plan and have experience experts in related fields (business advice, marketing specialists, working photographers...) as your friends or your family.

    It is very natural for someone with limited experience of a working photographer to start a business and be very reactionary. Dropping prices when things don't pan out, dumping all the advertising budget at one place only to realize it's the wrong place, pricing decisions, product decisions... Many would react only when the situations come and then look for quick answers. Some others, because of their relevant past experience and perhaps even instincts, would react 'correctly' and thus have things pan out well for them.

    I often regretted not having gone down that path of starting with a team. The most valuable advice and guidance I get are from working in teams on projects. I always wondered what could have been if I decided to join a team instead of starting one of my own before I even know how large the world is.

    Starting with a team allows the growth to be more nurtured. With direction and purpose. With expanding possibilities. With heightended expectations. It also trains humility and broadens perspective. Aids in networking. Allows digestion for multiple perspectives. All these are very critical elements of both photography and business.

    My humble 2 cents. Strictly an opinion and not meant to be taken as a fact.
    This is what I meant!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Starting a business as one man show or in a team is a matter of choice I suppose.

    There isn't a good one solution for everyone.

    My experiences tells me that unless the team has one goal that they are going for and readily work together, it may work. However, might take a long time to find those people.

    Starting one man show and small gives you the flexibilty and let understand you will need to work so hard to be different.

    One man show or team is one of the business decision that you have to make for yourself. I just see so many people waited for too long to find the team and also seen so many assemble team which don't share common goal.

    Regards,

    Hart

  19. #19

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan;
    Starting a business as one man show or in a team is a matter of choice I suppose.

    There isn't a good one solution for everyone.

    My experiences tells me that unless the team has one goal that they are going for and readily work together, it may work. However, might take a long time to find those people.

    Starting one man show and small gives you the flexibilty and let understand you will need to work so hard to be different.

    One man show or team is one of the business decision that you have to make for yourself. I just see so many people waited for too long to find the team and also seen so many assemble team which don't share common goal.

    Regards,

    Hart
    You are right! Everyone have the right to think and do what they think is right for them.
    I,m just raising my own opinion and share my experience to who ever want to start their own biz. No plan to hurt anyone or condemn anyone! No hard feeling! Cheer!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Starting a photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    Starting a biz is easy. It's running the biz to be successful that is not.
    McDonald's may not make the best burgurs in the world; but IMO their $2 cheeseburger rocks!
    Their $1.5 pork burger is even better (not available in S'pore)

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