Getting started

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by amy, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. amy

    amy TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am new to this forum

    I am a professional photographer and have been shooting weddings for the last 5 years with my Boss who owns the business. His business is very profatable but he is not paying me as he should. With this said I want to branch out and start my own business doing weddings to start as I am very good and shoot most of his weddings anyways.

    Can someone give me advice on the basiscs of getting started. Such as advertising and marketing myself in general. I pretty much have the equipment side taken care of

    If this is not the proper forum for this I apologize. If it is not maybe someone can point me in the right direction

    Thanks in advance

    Amy
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The Portrait & Wedding Photography section is the best place. That's where your fellow pros hang out and they will be able to give you all the advice you need - I hope ;-)
     
  3. BLINN

    BLINN TPF Noob!

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    Hello Amy, I am not what most would call a professional photography. Only for the fact that I do not make the majorty or my income from photography rather this is more of a side job, which I think could not get any better. The work that I do is pro and the quallity of product and package is pro as well as the atmosphere which I shoot in is pro. If you have taken many wedding then you must start with a portfolio. The best of the best. I am not sure what most pros will help you with as they can become stuckup and greedy. However there are a few out there that will help. I will do what I can to get you on your feet. You are from NJ so you need to become a member of a professional photography organization like PPA or WPJA which will help you advertise. You should try to get a Web site up as your protfolio. Do you have a Studio? or Website? I have so much info for marketing that I am not going to write it all down here. If you are serious and a good Wedding photographer post some pics with specific question about marketing or Advertising and I am sure you will get lots of great ideas.

    MBCL Photography
    Michael Blinn
    Your Eye's the Limit:thumbup: :sexywink:
     
  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I would definitely get a website up first and foremost. I went through godaddy.com for hosting (very cheap and reliable). While a professionally designed site looks snazzy, it also costs big bucks, so use frontpage or something and just throw together a simple gallery page with some contact information.

    As far as marketing, I've developed all my business via word of mouth. It's slower, but I book about 95% of the couples I meet with.

    Also, a tiny thing that many might disagree with, but I would not name the company "Joe Smith Photography" or some such. T'is a little...drab. Many of the people I come in contact with remember me because of the name of my company.

    Will your boss let you keep copyright on the images you've photographed for him? That would be a great start, as you'll already have a good selection to build a portfolio to show clients. If he won't, you'll probably have to do at least a few weddings at a lower cost just to book some clientele.
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I agree with Shark, word of mouth is key for building clients. I started by putting together a website and making some brochures and business cards. I told everyone that I knew might be interesting that I was starting a business and that my first shoots would be done at a low cost since I didn't have a portfolio.

    I tacked up brochures at the library, school, grocery stores, pretty much where ever they would let me. I also donated my services to charity auctions to get my name out there. Once I had some steady income I invested in a yellow pages ad and also got an online ordering system so that clients can go to my website, order prints securely and pay by credit card. That definitely increased my sales quite a bit.

    If you're able to keep the rights to the images that you took with your current company that's an excellent start. If not, like Shark said, try booking a few weddings at a discount and I'm sure you'll have more business in no time.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  6. amy

    amy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the valuable input everyone
     

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