Must have or nice to have?

Must have or nice to have?


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#1
I have not created a poll for quite a while. Thought this poll would highlight some misconceptions about how easy it is to start a photography business with a DSLR or pure passion. To start a photography business is easy, to be successful is more than tough. Must have or nice to have?

To be successful, we would need most of the points. The top players have most or all the points, but a start-up has only a couple of strength to start evaluating the possibilities. It's an open poll with multiple options, but pick no more than 3 "must have".

1) Skills, Creative, Know-how, etc.
2) Equipments, Gears, etc.
3) A&P, Marketing, Branding, etc.
5) People Skill (EQ)
6) Business sense, Pricing, Positioning, etc.
7) Network, Contacts, Know-who, etc.
8) Luck
9) Others, pls elaborate
 

Agetan

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#2
Its a tough one.

I think you will need all to be sustainable and enjoyable....?

But if I have to choose 3, it will be all business related. Photography business is about 5-10% photography, 90-95% business skills. It is sad and shockingly true...

Hart
 

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#3
Its a tough one.

I think you will need all to be sustainable and enjoyable....?

But if I have to choose 3, it will be all business related. Photography business is about 5-10% photography, 90-95% business skills. It is sad and shockingly true...

Hart

:bsmilie::bsmilie::bsmilie:
Thought I'd be cheeky to see the various responds, from Pros to Wannabes. Well, it would be great if we have everything in life. But the reality is that we start with few to aspire for many. Capabilities, strength like muscles is built over time.
I'm surprised by your choices. So, skills and gears are "nice to have"?
 

Agetan

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#4
:bsmilie::bsmilie::bsmilie:
Thought I'd be cheeky to see the various responds, from Pros to Wannabes. Well, it would be great if we have everything in life. But the reality is that we start with few to aspire for many. Capabilities, strength like muscles is built over time.
I'm surprised by your choices. So, skills and gears are "nice to have"?
Well, I am limited to choose 3... but to survive the business world, I don't think you can do without the 3 that I have selected... although as I say, it is Must have for all for sustainable and enjoyable business venture.

With what I have selected, it won't be sustainable nor enjoyable... but it is obvious path to get started...

Hart
 

Jed

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#5
3) A&P, Marketing, Branding, etc.
5) People Skill (EQ)
6) Business sense, Pricing, Positioning, etc.
7) Network, Contacts, Know-who, etc.
8) Luck
Oh and none of those are actually photographic o.o
 

Ian

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Feb 20, 2002
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#6
The least essential is gear in the choices list. A good DSLR with 1-2 lenses and a suitable flash and light meter can get you started in wedding photography if you know what your doing.
The "other" requirement are;
"innovation" though not necessary if you just want to earn a good solid living
"Right place, right time" - different to luck, this is about generating the shots that strike a chord with a section of the market.

Not a complete list but just a taster...
 

#7
So how does "this thing" work?

You also mentioned being hardworking, sociable, nice... is no guarantee to be successful.

Then what else is needed? I think newbies and those who are interested will like to hear from the experienced ones so that they will learn and consider.

Rather than always having this useless bickering back and forth -- one group will seem to over-trivialize what it takes to be a pro, and another group will say you don't know anything about turning pro, without elaborating anything much.

I think we need to deal with specifics for such posts to be useful.

Your thoughts triggered me to want to start a poll. I had wanted this poll as a "tongue in cheek" to poke the 2 sides of differing views of Pros and Wannabes in the photography business. Even very different views amongst the Pros. :devil:

I’ve not included emotional attributes like passion, drive, etc. as it would more than double the list. More tangible attributes as in business management, as it’s no longer a hobby anymore.:think: I had wanted to include “Hope”. On second thought, it would be too cruel.

I’ve seen start-ups come, and gone. Survivors are not only the fittest they are also pragmatic.
I can understand the battle-harden Pros. Been there, done it, while many still struggling.:bigeyes:
 

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#8
Well, I am limited to choose 3... but to survive the business world, I don't think you can do without the 3 that I have selected... although as I say, it is Must have for all for sustainable and enjoyable business venture.

With what I have selected, it won't be sustainable nor enjoyable... but it is obvious path to get started...

Hart

Well, some did not stick to 3, practically ticked all. Seemed more like a wish list.:bsmilie:
Most wannabes do have a couple of capabilities to want to think of getting started and it’s usually passion, a point that I’ve not included.

Oh and none of those are actually photographic o.o

I’ve noticed that the Pros did not rate skills and gears as “must have” because you already have them. You are working for caviar and fine wine.:)

The least essential is gear in the choices list. A good DSLR with 1-2 lenses and a suitable flash and light meter can get you started in wedding photography if you know what your doing.
The "other" requirement are;
"innovation" though not necessary if you just want to earn a good solid living
"Right place, right time" - different to luck, this is about generating the shots that strike a chord with a section of the market.

Not a complete list but just a taster...
Good thinking on Innovation, the top of the top photographers has it as a competitive advantage. The followers would pray to the Masters and copy them.:devil:
 

Jed

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#9
I’ve noticed that the Pros did not rate skills and gears as “must have” because you already have them. You are working for caviar and fine wine.:)
I think it's a case of, I have the gear, but it's not helping me get any work. Gear doesn't help you get work.
 

Ian

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#10
I’ve noticed that the Pros did not rate skills and gears as “must have” because you already have them. You are working for caviar and fine wine.:)
:
I suspect it's because those in the industry know that without the perquisite skills and gear your lifespan is likely to be measured in months rather than years. Though with this said there are some top wedding photographers I know who use minimal gear, but do they ever know how to extract the most out of what they have. That's one of the great "tricks" of being a pro, to make the most of what you have.
Winsonapm said:
Good thinking on Innovation, the top of the top photographers has it as a competitive advantage. The followers would pray to the Masters and copy them.:devil:
Every photographer alive (or dead, except for the original half dozen photographers) have had Masters as it were and have copied them to some degree. Life's like that in the arts!

With that said it's very difficult to be really innovative these days in many areas of photography without technology based breakthroughs allowing new ways of capturing an image. When such technology is released or developed it's not usually long until the techniques percolate down the ladder to the lower rungs of the photographic community and thus any innovative advantage is rapidly lost.
 

Kit

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#11
I have not created a poll for quite a while. Thought this poll would highlight some misconceptions about how easy it is to start a photography business with a DSLR or pure passion. To start a photography business is easy, to be successful is more than tough. Must have or nice to have?

To be successful, we would need most of the points. The top players have most or all the points, but a start-up has only a couple of strength to start evaluating the possibilities. It's an open poll with multiple options, but pick no more than 3 "must have".

1) Skills, Creative, Know-how, etc.
2) Equipments, Gears, etc.
3) A&P, Marketing, Branding, etc.
5) People Skill (EQ)
6) Business sense, Pricing, Positioning, etc.
7) Network, Contacts, Know-who, etc.
8) Luck
9) Others, pls elaborate
9) Others, a good printer :bsmilie::bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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#13
Of course this one, lah. Without it, you are nothing. And please don't think your success is due to your hard work. Lots of people work hard and end up with nothing.

8) Luck
 

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snowspeeder

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#14
How about "Health" (physical & mental)? Like having the energy to sustain long working hours, both shooting and infront of the computer; having the mental strength to manage stress in good and bad times.
 

lancey

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#15
. Photography business is about 5-10% photography, 90-95% business skills. It is sad and shockingly true...

Hart
really? my daughter can shoot a bit, and her mum is a good talker. Maybe they should start a company.

she's 5 btw..daughter.
 

Agetan

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Dec 31, 2004
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#16
Sure why not? but a very tired wife...

Here is my analogy when I say so...

If you calculate, how much time do you spend on the "photography part"?

Lets say, you work 10 hours for yourself a day and it equates to 300 hours a month on average. 10 percent of that is 30 hours. That is 3 weddings a month on average that you actually photograph for example? the rest of the time, you spend on "servicing the client - business", doing paperwork - business, touched up photos so it is to what you want it and it represent commercial value - business, sending things to print, pick them up, pack them, chase people for payment, etc... all business part?

I hope it make sense.

Hart
 

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Sivakis

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#17
But if you have the best gear, best creativity, best business model... what happens if people simply just.... don't like you? Errrm... what happens then? Will people still do business with you simply because of the former? Or will they prefer to work with someone whom they enjoy working with, albeit not as "great" as you? :)

So I say People Skills (EQ) still plays a part.

Disclaimer: Of course, you can't shoot cr@p and expect to be successful simply because you're "Mr Wonderful" :D
 

cabbySHE

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#18
A lot of $$$. Better...$$$$$$$$$$$...with no ending.

As a fact of the matter...this is the number one requirement.
 

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#19
While I am not in the photo biz, I would say all that you have mentioned are essential. It may be surprising to some but people skill and a good business acumen are crucial to be successful in biz. Though someone has pointed out unlimited $$$, that on the contrary while essential, is not the key to building a successful biz. A sound financial management with good cash flow is more critical.
 

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cabbySHE

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#20
When one decided to choose / switch to / fullfilling ambition or dream whether fresh from school /eduction / apprenticeship, internship / mid career change or any other reason not listed, an immediate start would be to acquire some hardware in order to start the biz engine rolling.
Without a single dollar, whatever plans or proposal are just paperworks only.
Beside the cost of hardware....at least the mid-level range ( if can't afford the hi-end ), and it will be a long listing to follow, but get the most essential first.
Printing of portfolio need $$$.
Printing of name / call cards need $$$
Tak a bus, train or a cab also needs $$$
Rental of studio premise need $$$
plus all the other 1001 items which follows, all need $$$.

Any superb financial plans would not work with only $ 1,500 , but it will move freely when the amount is $ 150,000.

One good news is...if start off as single with no burdens attached, the route will be much smoother.
With housing loans, children, insurance, car loans, utilities bills,school fees, tuition fee, maid, levy, houshold expenses, parents, in-laws, all depending on you to feed, better don't elaborate further....

though it might sounds a bit ( or some may say very )..pessimistic.

Of course I'm referring to Singapore, perhaps some are born with silver spoon.

Do bear in mind that...now..HDB flat can cost $900,000 and a piece of COE $40,000.
 

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