Business advise needed

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by TrueColors, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. TrueColors

    TrueColors TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone-

    This is an exciting time for me. I was hired by a small school to be their prom and year book portrait photographer. In order to get these jobs I needed a tax ID number and a letterhead. Im glad to have this kick in the butt to get the ball rolling because I have been putting a lot of time getting ready to establish a photography business. I have shot many events including weddings, baptisms, birthdays, etc. I have been putting a lot of my thought into weddings, but lately ive been wanting more.

    As of now I have studio lighting, and backdrops. I do not have a studio however. I am kinda stuck doing any kind of photography on location. What are some good markets to go after that I could utilize my experience and equipment to maximize profits? Here is some of the stuff I was thinking:

    Charitable photography (setting up at churches and other non profits advertising that I would donate xx percent profits)

    Schools (proms, yearbooks, sports)

    Weddings

    Senior living (perhaps older couples wanting a good portrait for the newspaper announcing their 50th anniversary)

    Tourist attractions (Im not familiar with the legalities concerning setting up at a public place and collecting profits)

    Sports events (not to set up lighting, but to photograph and post images on a website to parents to buy)

    Does anyone have any other ideas?

    Also I would like to rent certain equipment - for high end events like an expensive wedding I would like to rent a nikon d3s and some very nice lenses... I would pass this cost off to the customer and then some. I just couldnt see charging even medium end prices shooting with prosumer level equipment. Does anyone have any experience starting off this way?

    Thank you very much!!!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Plenty of photographers work without a studio, no problem there. But you should consider whether or not a studio is in your long term plans. A typical wedding photographer probably doesn't need a studio, but a portrait photographer probably does.

    I know some wedding photographers that have an office/store front, but it's mostly as a place to meet clients and to have a presence in the community, and not a place to shoot photo.
     
  3. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I saw a company that takes newborn portraits in the hospital for the parents.
     
  4. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Truecolors

    Did your already get your tx ID #?

    If not, post here again, and I will explain some stuff you may not know and as a small business, you should know.
     
  5. TrueColors

    TrueColors TPF Noob!

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    nope not yet - actually i was going to do that tonight. Im hoping youll tell me i dont need to charge tax.:wink:
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should think about getting a dye sub printer if you are shooting events, and printing on site get the sale before they leave thats what we do (in the UK), it cost us about £0.90 to print an mount and 8X6 which sells for £10
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    As far as Connecticut sales taxes go, visit DRS: Sales Tax Information
     
  8. DanEitreim

    DanEitreim TPF Noob!

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    I've been a photographer almost 20 years and have never opened a studio. It's easier than you think to do location portraits - plus people are generally willing to pay more if you work in a location that has meaning for them.

    BTW - most dance schools are only occupied in the after school and evening hours - few if any are open on Sunday and a whole lot of them are closed on Saturday.

    If you run across a situation where you really NEED a studio location for a specific shoot...most dance schools would be thrilled to rent you usage of their space during their off hours.
     

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