Whether or not to turn your passion into a profession is a very tough decision in my book. I have my reasons why I haven’t done it, but there are still plenty of reasons to turn your photography hobby into your job. Have you decided to do it? Awesome! Now it’s time for another tough part: finding your clients and setting the prices. Sean Tucker has made an inspiring and informative video that will help you on this journey, and it’s a must-watch if you’re just starting out your career as a professional photographer.
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We often hear about mistakes in photography. Usually, they’re lists telling us to stop using selective colour or to stop shooting everything at f/1.4. But if photography is your business, there are potentially far greater mistakes that you might be making that while not necessarily detrimental to your photography can be very harmful to your business and your bottom line.
In this video, commercial photography Scott Choucino talks about the six biggest mistakes that he sees professional photographers making, why they’re such a big deal and how they can harm your business.
I get emails every week from people asking how I manage to bring in so many new clients all the time, as well as keeping the ones I have to build my business. Each year, I give a business masterclass in Zurich talking all day about this very subject.
However, one thing that I wanted to share very quickly here is the basics of how you might view winning a client and the actual reality of things from the clients perspective.
A few weeks ago, I was in town and I heard a lady say to her friend “That photo you posted of Sebastian was soooooo beautiful. While you’re on maternity leave, you should totally start doing photography as a business…”. Before I write anything else, I just want to say that this is exactly the kind of thing that my friends would tell me a few years back. And it’s lovely when your friends encourage you to pursue your passion and turn it into a business. But in my experience, starting any kind of business isn’t something that you should decide to do on a whim!
Why artists need to market themselves? So that, you the artist, wouldn’t starve to death.
No, but seriously. Otherwise, you risk ending up like Vincent Van Gogh who (in the words of Steven Pressfield) “produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
A lot of artists have this notion that they’re the creative person, and marketing belongs to the business world. Some even think it’s evil or dirty to promote themselves, and they don’t want to have anything to do with this” filthy” world.
The truth is, it’s your job to market yourself. You are the artist, and you know how to spread the word about your work. After all, you created it. You can’t rest after creating your art; you need to start marketing it.
I came across a screenshot of your “I have started a photography business” post in a “Classifieds” Facebook group:
If you’re good at photography, people have probably already started asking you “Why don’t you start a photography business?” You yourself may also be thinking the same. However, there’s more to business of photography than just taking good photos. In this video from SLR Lounge, photographer Pye Jirsa gives you five reasons to not start a photography business. Or in other words, five reasons why running a business simply may not be right for you, no matter how great photos you take.
The biggest and most common mistake I see in photographers in all genres is that they aren’t honest with themselves. They love the idea of being a photographer , the romantic side of it all, sounds cool, right? They hate the work part, the hustle, the grind, the guts of what it takes to run any successful small business.
They just want to do the fun part of taking pictures, spending their afternoons hanging out in coffee shops and shooting only things they are interested in and talking smack. You have the right to do this but you aren’t going to make a sustainable living doing things this way. There should be a name for those photographers, let me think, more on that later.
Being a full-time professional photographer requires plenty of different skills and a lot of your time and devotion. A fear of failure and “playing it safe” is what prevents many people from starting or developing a successful photography business. In this video, Roberto Blake discusses this fear and gives you some techniques that can help you not just overcome your fear, but make the best out of failure even when it happens.