Camera or Website?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Nanogeek815, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Nanogeek815

    Nanogeek815 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I'm trying to get a business kicked off but my main problem is what to buy next. I can either upgrade from my Nikon D70s to a D200 or should I set up a website and buy a 18-200mm lens + 70-300mm for the D70s?

    Deals I've found:
    Nikon D200 --- $500

    or

    Smugmug Website --- $150
    both lenses ---------- $250

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. squee

    squee TPF Noob!

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    IMO...

    The smugmug gallery is not worth it for the premium account. I pay $40 a year and I'm very happy. My clients still get password protected proofs and I don't have to deal with smugmug when it comes to pricing.

    Websites cost less than $10 per year and if you don't need password protected albums, you can make a gallery on it too.

    This is a no contest unless you have a REAL need for a premium account with smugmug.
     
  3. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    Zenfolio offers tons of xtras for $100 a year. Well worth it!
     
  4. newimage

    newimage TPF Noob!

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    Go for the camera .. and become super-social on facebook. You'd be amazed how many of our clients call and book a session without going any farther than FB interaction. We always have people make it all the way past booking the sessions .. waiting a month .. getting shot .. another week for a sales appointment and thats when they ask to see our packages because they've never looked at our website. LOL ... The website is important but in your case I would upgrade that camera first.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The website doesn't even enter in to the equation. My 'site, including domain registration, runs less than $60/year (and gives me more storage space than I will ever need). Find a domain provider, register a domain name, bust out Notepad and build a 'site.

    If you're currently trying to operate commerically with a D70, that should be your first upgrade. The D70 is a good camera, but at ~6Mp, you're really limited in the maximum print size you can produce.

    While both are good consumer-grade lenses, they're not up to professional standards. They're slow, and not weather-sealed.
     
  6. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I just looked up web hosts, and the cheapest ones I found were like $4 a month. Which ones offer them for $10 a year?

    I just signed up with dream host, used a coupon and got the entire year for $25 instead of $120. Then I realized next year Ill be paying the same to have a website and smugmug, as it would cost to have smugmug pro. Ill have to look into things before the 12 months are up to see how personalized I can make the smugmug site. I want to have more than picture galleries. :)

    And the option to have large gallery's of pictures that people can order from and you dont have to any work does sound good for the busy times. But then I like the idea of proofing the prints before the client sees them.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I think that no one makes an 18-200 mm super zoom that has sufficient image quality, or speed, for doing client work. To accomplish a 11+ zoom range, they all have to make way to many design compromises.

    Nikon only makes one version of their 70-300 that can deliver the image quality necessary for client work, the 70-300 VR and you won't find one of them for only $250. Here is one Nikon has refurbished that is $390: Used nikon 70-300 vr

    But, again the 70-300 VR lacks speed.

    Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture a lens can be opened to. The wider the aperture the higher the shutter speed you can use to minimize camera shake. Plus lenses that can open to wider apertures tend to be made with better glass and usually also deliver sharper focus.
     
  8. squee

    squee TPF Noob!

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    I paid for my domain through iPage and it cost about $35 for a year but that includes site protection and email hosting so I thought it might be cheaper if you don't need the two extras.

    Either way, I just took a more in-depth look to SmugMug Pro and kind of want it myself now. :lol: Keep in mind, if you just want to design your own website a Power account will let you do that as well.

    Did you take a look at this?
    Unlimited photo storage

    In light of this new evidence, if you absolutely cannot settle for building your own site and using SmugMug Standard, I would say invest in SmugMug Pro. Though we'd like to think that just taking amazing photographs will get us sales, marketing has a lot more to do with it. You can take really awful images but if you're a marketing god you will still get sales (even if it's not so ethical).

    BUT if you can stand to create your own website and use SmugMug Standard (if you still want to do online proofing at all) I agree with the comment about Facebook marketing. Most of my clients have come from FB and Craigslist.
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have to say the very next worry is not what you're gonna buy, but how to consistently produce a marketable, professional product so you can earn money.

    I suggest looking into your state or local chapter of the PPA. Find out when they meet. Try to attend a couple of events... seminars. This will help bring things into focus for you.

    -Pete
     
  10. Nanogeek815

    Nanogeek815 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I should get the camera, and if possible, a cheap website. Sounds good. What lenses do you guys suggest I look at?
     
  11. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    D200, really?

    If I was kicking off a business I would make sure I had the tools, the resources, and the experience to be able to perform.

    I saw some mention of SmugMug Pro accounts. I have one, it's awesome, and it was less then $80 (hook up coupon code).
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The ones that will do the job you need done. Until you know that, don't waste time looking at any.

    You haven't yet stated what kind of photography business you are 'trying to get kicked off'.
     

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