Last edited by sjackal; 27th January 2011 at 12:06 PM.
WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket
Without a solid business plan, there is no focus and no direction.
You may continue to have more jobs to shoot but it is aimless which may result to what a lot of photographer experience later on, that is struggling to find more jobs or even to raise their price even though cost of running the business increases.
It is easier start the business without any planning, but in long run, you are better off with thorough planning in the beginning to start everything right.
I find it absurb not to have a business plan.
I find it even absurb if one continue to chase their own tail after knowing it.
Embrace change and one shall be rewarded.
To TS, the first hurdle is to step out. When photography the ONLY thing you want to make a living out of, If 110% YES! Prepare to starve and GO FOR IT!
There are people people that will teach (paid or not) but the thing is, how much is one willing to learn? even if one has learn something, will one willing to embrace the change and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
If one get it right from start, there is no need to starve...
Additional point here.
Anybody noticed Ya Kun's teh-si already raised 20 cents, 1.50 -> 1.70? (for me its Orchard Central branch) Quite a number of other stuff already went up.... A good economy is like that.
Before I get blasted for OT (I usually do, but quite often I look at things wide-angle one ), you have to realised that today's society is very "dynamic", very fast. IT, phones, etc.... Economic cycles....
The thing about this genre of photography, is this. Every year like Agetan said, you can only either take that number of weddings as limited by your physical stamina (pt 1), and also limited by the number of popular/hot dates, ie weekends, certain special dates. (pt 2)
You can get 12 enquiries for a certain date within 3 months and yet reject all of them as you are already booked. If you ask me, approx 80-100 days in a year is suitable for you to mark down as wedding booking dates. That's prob the max if you are running the biz yourself, and not accepting jobs from bridal studios/wedding planners. How well can you market yourself, and how much can you improve in your photography. Say 5 years down the road, you do improve fast and can jump from $400 a job initially to 1.6k a job (talking about pure profit here), that's 96k. Looks good. Thing is, you gotta "run faster" than the economy. The most important point here, do you imagine yourself limited by your photography skills? Do you see the pay-per-assignment figure hitting a ceiling due to your skills or by external compeition? If you are, then there is a high risk that you will take home an income that is somewhat always hitting a certain ceiling, while inflation continues to spiral upwards, FAST.
Not sure if foreigners will start doing this thing as well. Imagine Pinoys and our China comrades joining the fun. Interesting huh? Never say Never....
Nowadays greenhorns are still paid a super low 1.6-2k/mth starting pay for the usual jobs in the usual sectors, in this crazy expensive society! I started off with my first job at $1550, with just my IT diploma, in year 2000. But things were much less expensive then. 200k for HDB was considered pretty expensive.
In 2004, I started my first wedding job for $500+ I still remember, that was with prints so it was like $400+. Things were much cheaper (Intercontinental 1 table starts from $688 and that is 9 dishes, but very normal stuff like sea bass, can upgrade of coz....now its $1288 and above and I think next year and year of dragon this is not so already). With the immense competition, I am not even sure if I can keep up with the standard of living here with multiple commitments (your wife gotta work, no tai-tai here hor), though as you are only 22 now you probably can.
If you have been doing photography for 8-10 years, what else can you work as later on in the future? Gotta figure out this part of the equation as well. Same for SAF sign-ons.
PS. MUAs are different. 2 assignments per day is very normal, some don't wanna do too much and only take 2 coz they already relaxed-mode. But 3 is pretty decent and not uncommon, 4 per day is rare but not impossible.
Wedding photography is constrained in a certain way. You definitely do not wanna stay at the below 1k range for too long.
Last edited by 2100; 27th January 2011 at 11:43 PM.
i understand what you mean and i know that interns will not spend time shooting but doing sai kang and learning 'secretly' what the main guy is doing and how to actually be like him.
i believe that i still got more to learn. but i believe my works in fb are much better than the ones ive posted in clubsnap.(i rarely post.) add me up. and let me know again.
to eric and hart
thanks for the many many advices.
both your sites are wonderful.
amazing shots, something that i would love to achieve soon enough.
hart, i love your kids and family shots.
yes eric, the first 6 mths is really good enough to kill, but i will tong and see what i get outta this..i hope to also own one 5d at the end of 6 mths.
and yes hart, desperate is really the key here.i think im desperate enough.
I dont have a very good portfolio, i dont think ive covered enough events or other genres.
I dont think i know where my target audience is, like eric has mentioned, its hard to know where is your target audience when u just started, so i guess im going with events for now.
and hart i understand that, from a biz point of view,
i need to have a goal, then do my marketing plan and also target grp audience then i will so called launch my product(in this case, my services),
but im curious how did you know your target audience at the start?
also, is the registering of company a neccessary step? how much would it cost?
I am willing and i think i NEED to learn, cos i believe im not the best, n even the best photographers in the world has something they dont know about.
I am going to take up any photo assignments at the moment, as it not only builds up my portfolio but helps me understand which genre i should head to. so i guess exposure is something that im lacking too.
I will sign up for courses in the future
I will save up and get more gears when i need to. (at the moment im working with 17-50 + 40d + 430ex2)
I will and have been trying to get a website to showcase my portfolio.(hopefully by the end of february) as I believe presentation is important, especially when dealing with clients.
is there anything else that im missing on this to-do/commit list? lol
pardon me if i repeat anything, mind not working well @ this hour lol
p.s. how can i forget that wisdom-vomitting link? its damn gd. very enlightening. thanks for sharing.
Last edited by chiatlard; 28th January 2011 at 05:56 AM.
If you are running an income producing activity (business) by law, you have to register it. Like it or not. Check ACRA for that.
Finding your audience...
First, find what you want to do.... What typeof service?
Second, look around the market as in who would buy your service, goggle, see where your competitor advertise and analyze whether that is the market that you want to service.
Third, choose a particular area that suits your level of competency
Fourth, create marketing plan... Marketing plan or strategies can only be created once you know the above.
Hope that help.
It's not easy give up current job to become a full time photographer.
What you miss is not only your salary(especially those high-paid), but also the CPF paid by the company, the 13th month(if there is any), the year-end bonus(this would be too much to be missed especially if it is 4-12 months) and also the employee benefits given by the company.
Why not start as part time first while polishing your photography skills, building network through your colleagues and counterparties and your job skills(in case you fail become a full time photographer, you still can go back to your full time job)?
Also another tip, when you really do make it past the 6-digits per annum (> 100k), do remember to spend humbly + wisely. I know 2 of the upper management, still take MRT and I bump into the regularly (coz I take MRT). One earns in the slightly over 200k range, the other just below 300k. One is Malaysian expat though.... So when the economy crashes, you got bullets to fire and get good buys.... This is the way to get rich real fast (with risks of course).
Doesn't mean that you get 200k per annum means its time to get a GT-R and mod the hell out of it. Remember, a E92 M3 costs only 56k in the US.
Why don't you look up some of the seniors or professionals to have coffee with them to ask questions or to get doubts answered?
Or if you like, i'll be happy to have you over at my studio for one of my weekly sharing sessions too.
chris lim, eric, hart and so many others: Thanks for the great great advices given. Very honest.
Chiatlard: Thanks for asking that qn. It has been on my mind for some time too. Just lack the guts to do it.
Eric: TF here, how are u man? Long time nvr see you liao...
Can I add on, when would you know you are ready to transit to doing photography full-time? Indiction - ppl asking you to shoot for their wedding etc? And how do move on to editorial/ shooting for magazines etc
Ready is a relative term.
One is ready when they are going to give their best to make it happen.
I didn't start out freelancing when I was "ready".
I quit my "comfort" in one day and start my planning the next and 6 months is how long before I made the same pay when I work for 3 years in my engineering. The rest is history.
So, I am a firm believer of starting it right with a sound business plan.
I did it while I was in Sydney and do it again in Singapore.
It would be nice to do it on the side and step out when you accumulate enuf jobs. But thing is, it will take a while if it happen at all for most.
If you are desperate enough to make it happen, you will find the way with the right business plan.
It's not that difficult if you enjoy the process.
I guess you can judge your suitability by your paying clients. Can you do the job at their budget and survive? I've seen photographers with little to no skill get paying jobs, so that's not really an issue (sad to say).