Early retirement option???

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Jedo_03, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    Part of my 'Life Plan' was possible retirement in Jun/July this year - but the global economic situation and the downturn in superannuation fund returns has definitely zero'd that...
    Latterly (last 8 years) , I've mostly been a leisure photographer, with the emphasis on family photo's of g'kids. I've occassionally done formal shoots, but only on a cost basis, for local community groups...
    But now I'm seriously considering opening up for business again...
    True - I don't have high-end digital bodies or lenses (and I'm not going back to film...) (and my treasurer tells me that our banked/invested budget-surplus is quarantined), but I've been sneaking around locally and (really) there is only one local photographer in business (out of three) who produces anywhere near quality images... (the other two self-print and, frankly, the product is poor...)
    Additionally, browsing around the WWW, there are a gazzillion business photographers who seem to be able to eke more than a living using equipment that is even substandard to mine... Photography is more about technical know-how and creativity than about expensive equipment...
    I love my full time work, but lately the corporate shadow has fallen on health and hospitals here in Australia... less emphasis on patient care and clinical judgement and more emphasis on corporate policies... I actually don't relish the thought of another three years of management-generated bullsh*t until I officially retire at 65 (and who says the economic situation will be any better then..??) - so that is why I am seriously considering this new plan...
    I figure: okay, bear with the corporate policy makers for another year while I generate a market base: start off small - but elite: offer a better product than the two lesser businesses at (more-or-less) the same pricing but with photographic-related bonuses (extra prints, extra enlargements, photo gifts, etc.) I already have a few good ideas for generating customer bases. I have already contacted photo-print shops in Aus who produce a very professional customer product. I already own studio strobe lights 4x600w and associated paraphanalia (except backdrops). There is plenty of all year sunshine where I live and tons of locations... Use any 'profit' to upgrade my equipment as necessary (though I'm not sure if that's necessary)...
    So there's the plan...
    (1) What do you think of the plan?
    (2) Where/what are the pitfalls/problems going to be?
    (3) Any advice..??
    Jedo
     
  2. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    One good way to test the market is to start doing sessions. If you can get business while you're still working at your current job, it seems like that would be the best option. Then you can make the switch over when it seems like the timing is right for you. Just a thought.
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    The obvious answer is to start slow and see where it takes you. In addition come up with a strong business plan. Figure out an advertising budget. Figure out your target audience. Figure out a pricing scheme that makes you money. Of course there is a lot more to it, but that is a start. Main thing is to take your time and figure out a solid plan.

    Then there is your photos. I do not have to say that this is what will get you the jobs. Get a portfolio together and hit the streets. The work will not come to you.

    Love & Bass
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well if you decide to do it and want to offer yourself up as "upscale" yuo may not have a choice on the decent gear. You don't have to spend a million dollars right off the bat but a couple 2.8 lenses are imperative especially if you want to do better than the local pros.
     
  5. federerphotography

    federerphotography TPF Noob!

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    Do it part time for a while, see if you can build a base... if the work becomes so much that you can't continue to do both jobs ... THEN you have to make a choice.
     

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