How low can you go to make money?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by tecboy, May 22, 2017.

  1. tecboy

    tecboy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I understand you charge more to the clients to help pay off the photography equipment and buy new equipment in case it will fail. In my area, there are few small photography businesses. Some post the advertisement on the internet, "A very professional service at affordable prices." Or, "All photographs are used in professional dslr at very low prices." I wish they stop using the word "professional." It is very misleading.


     
  2. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unfortunately with photography, 'Professional' is an adjective not a certification of achievement. Fortunately, a website is pretty easy to view in order to ascertain one's credibility.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    And, I would venture to guess, most, if not all of them are NOT actually making money.
     
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  4. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It is misleading in a way - it's so easy for anyone to claim on whatever social media site that they're a professional anything. There have already been stories of people experiencing things like paying a so called photographer who sends them a CD of awful photos then disappears. Eventually more people might realize what they'll get for cheap or free and budget for a decent photographer. But sometimes it seems things can get worse before they get better.

    I know PPA already has its own system and ASMP has talked about working with other pro organizations toward some type of credential or certificate for working pro photographers. With PPA their member photographers can display on their websites that they've achieved a certain status of demonstrating skills at a high level. I hope the photographer organizations will continue to work on developing something for pros to show that they are actually pros and clients can expect good quality products and services from them.
     
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  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're probably right John. I'm on another forum where people have been on there talking about going into business and most don't seem to know enough about what they're doing. Already (within a year or so) they're on now with one problem after another... I don't think they'll last too much longer before they're done with it. I think it'll take time for all the misguided people with cameras to realize it's necessary to have skills and get good at something and learn how to run a business to be successful at it. Or they'll find it's just more trouble than it's worth and move on to something else.
     
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  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No business 'makes money' until they have enough revenue coming in to cover their cost of doing business (CODB) and their cost of goods sold (COGS) - Business 101.

    A business owner able to keep their CODB & COGS low doesn't need as much revenue to 'make money'. Which is why having business skills is more important than having photography skills if you want to be in the business of doing photography.

    As John alludes to most retail photography businesses today don't make any money and only stay open because the business is supported financially with other income, most often the income a spouse makes or that the photographer makes from a full time job unrelated to doing photography.
    Those photography 'businesses' supported with other income are amateur hobby businesses, regardless what their advertising may say.
    Also most of those hobby businesses don't have any clue what their CODB or COGS actually are, so they don't understand why it is they don't make money.

    Definitions of professional:
    Definition of PROFESSIONAL
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  7. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Technically to be profitable your revenue has to be above all expenses. Whether this includes or excludes salary is another thing altogether as most small businesses within the first few years don't have enough revenue to cover actual salary costs when total time is taken into consideration.

    It can be argued you're a "professional" once you start taking money for what you do.

    I would love to see some statistic of "xx percentage of new photography companies only last 2 years" or whatever. So many bad stories out there I'm sure there's tons more that try it a few times then give up as "customers" don't have the same perception of "family" to the quality of the images.
     
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  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's an overly-simplistic way to look at it. The cost of doing business should include equipment replacement costs as well as everything else that the CODB includes.
     
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    CODB + $0.01 = making money.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't mean staying in business.
     
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  10. MSnowy

    MSnowy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would guess most of these are parts of family business. Most often in these type of business arrangements one spouses income in another profession helps to support and offset the CODB of the other spouses photography profession.
     
  11. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a slight rant.

    I don't know how many articles I have read that say "you can't be a photographer until your photography has made you money" - "if you don't, you're just another guy with a camera". I find that complete and utter BS.

    So basically, you can't be a photographer if you just love the art form? You're just another guy with a camera.

    I completely understand that people need to make money, especially to provide for their family. I have no problems with that, but why not put some heart and soul into it, you know? Instead of just pocketing the money. For example, the two photographers my cousin hired for their wedding were probably some of the worst wedding photos I have seen. They ended up using a lot of my photos haha because I wasn't trying to deceive them to just collect a paycheck.

    In my personal opinion, I believe your work should stand for it self. I don't market myself at all, I'm not that good at photography. Sure, I've sold some prints, had photos on TV and in magazines. I've won some photo contests but that by NO means makes me a professional. I'll NEVER market myself as a professional photographer even I was a famous wedding photographer which I'll never be, because weddings make me puke. Haha.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Some fantastic responses in this thread. KmH nailed it! 480sparky made me laugh.Designer had a good point. I liked Nerwin's slight rant.
     
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