Advice please!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sunbeam, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

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    Hey All,
    I have been really enjoying the last year or so with my camera. I have found how much I really love photography. I have alot to learn, yet, but truly enjoy it and would really like to (surprise) EVENTUALLY turn this into a business (I am interested in baby/children/family photography). I have enrolled in business classes, joined a local photography club and for the last several months have been working on my portfolio. I started with friends and family, and got some word of mouth 'models', as well. I have not been charging anything, as I feel that the experience has been invaluable. So I just do TFCD.

    HOWEVER, I would like to get my name out there and gain more exposure, so of course the first thing I think is a website. As well, I feel that I am at the point where I could charge SOMETHING for my time, and would like to use whatever $ I made to go towards my business, and more equipment etc (kind of a grow as you go thing ;) )

    I know there are alot of professionals on here, and alot of you have wonderful advice. So I'm turning to you. What do I do here? Just keep chugging along doing TFCD, hoping for word of mouth, going to classes etc? Or do I take the next step (or plunge)? And if so, what should those steps be? I'm really hoping for some guidance from some great people here. I really am serious about turning this into a business, and I DO NOT want to be a fly by night 'studio' started by a MOM WITH A CAMERA (even though 'technically' that's what I am ;)). I See the value in taking my time, putting in the work and learning and practicing and perfecting. I just feel I am past the 'beginners' stage of it all, and am not quite sure what the best next step is. Thanks everyone :D
     
  2. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Nealrm. I am definately working on the 'skill' part of things, and have actually received some very valuable information from this site. May I ask, what would be a good approach with a skilled photographer? I live in a pretty small city, so there is a limited 'pool' of skilled/professional photographers.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Marketing and advertising are some of the biggest parts. You could be the most talented photographer in the world, but if no one knows who you are, then you're not going to get very many jobs. The opposite goes as well. You could suck, but with the correct marketing technique, you could run a very successful business.

    Put an advertising strategy together and try and figure out what would work best. Cards every where, flyers, volunteer work to get your name out. There's limitless techniques you can take to let people know who you are, what you do, and why they should pay you to do it.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know if this applies to portrait photography as much as it does wedding photography...but one of the most common reasons why people fail at getting a photography business going, is that they don't charge enough.
    If you don't charge enough, you will eventually find that it's not worth your time and another downside is that you clients won't think that you services are valuable. Also, you don't want to build a reputation as 'the cheap photographer'. You want people to come to you because they like what you do, not how much you cost.

    A good lesson I learned from an old long-time-pro photographer, is that experience should not be something that affects your price.
    That being said, the quality of your work probably should affect your price...so in other words, you have to be good.
     
  5. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From a financial aspect, I'd start it as a second job you do in your spare time until a) your business takes off and you can go full-time or b) it's just not working out as planned and you need to pull the plug.

    And remember- most new businesses fail from being under-capitalized. Meaning not having enough reserve cash in the bank the first few years. There can and will be dry spells where cash is going out and not coming in. It's par for the course. You can be the best photographer in the world, but if you can't keep afloat in a bad economic turn (like right now), that won't matter.

    And never ever ever have a partner.

    EVER
     

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