Launching Business?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by linpelk, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    This year, my goal is to stop letting everyone take advantage of me and make it official that when I take pictures for you that means you are going to pay me (can I make that my business name? :lol:)
    So I have found someone who will design my logo and this morning I went onto Blu Domain and starting browsing through their links to people who have recently purchased one of their websites to get ideas for what I like and don't like for logos. This process has been humbling for me. It was an eye opener about how many "photographers" have no right owning businesses. I don't want to be one of those. My friends and family have been so encouraging, but honestly, they love me and what else are they going to say? That I really suck? So this is where you come in. I am going to post a few pictures from a recent photo shoot and I really want you to be honest and tell me that if you saw these on a website, would you think..."this person should not, ethically, be taking people's money". I would be horrified if someone found my website and then cringed at my pictures. I really want to make some money doing what I love, but not if I'm still unprepared. I don't need c&c on the individual pictures. I am showing several from one shoot so you can see not just my best 5 or 6 pictures of all time, but my 5 or 6 favorites from one shoot. Obviously, I could come up with my all time best, but that wouldn't show what I'm truly capable of doing for a client. If you simply want to add a thumb's up or thumb's down as your comment, I'll take it. Thanks for your help.

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  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My advise to you is to learn the business side and not treat your venture as "My photos and skill are good enough to charge admission". You'll find very successful professionals who are not necessarily the best photographers and very successful photographers that are not necessarily successful businesses. A significant amount of effort and focus should be placed on the business aspect.

    Good luck.. its always good to see small business getting started.
     
  3. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    Well on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being a full blown qualified does great work every time no matter what, Pro charging top dollar....1 being the kind of wannabe photographer that you talked about that thinks they are way better than they are and has no business charging money I would say...judging from this small sample that you are a 2.5 pushing a 3 if I give you the benefit of the doubt for such a small sample.

    Get your flash off camera and diffused, get your subjects out of the center of the frame, watch your unintentional tilts, watch your clutter in the frame.
    Looks like you are heading in the right direction.
     
  4. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I feel like I'm going to struggle being a business person...for sure. It is not within my personality. Fortunately, I'm not hell bent on having a big, hugely profitable business. I'm just tired of people asking me to take pictures and then not being appreciative of what I've done because they got it for free (or very little). I just want a business, really, to make it official. So that I can have a price list and refer people to it when they ask me for another "favor". I am just feeling reluctant because maybe I'm still not good enough to expect more than just taking pictures as a favor for people.

    Thanks again for your advice!
     
  5. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I am happy with a 2.5 or 3. I think that might be an appropriate place to be when sticking your toes in the water for the first time.

    And I also appreciate your advice on the pictures. I did have my speedlite in a softbox, but mostly directly to camera left so maybe it appears too much to be straight on lighting (needs more directionality). Thanks, I am ALWAYS interested in hearing how my pictures come across and if they feel cluttery or flat, then that is VERY important for me to know. Thanks again!
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Your feeling, is probably wrong because personality has little to do with it. All different personality types, can and do, successfully run businesses.

    How many different business owners do you know and associate with on a regular basis?

    This may sound harsh but it's also true that many people say things like that, to themselves and others, so they have a ready excuse for failure.

    To produce the images you have posted here requires a lot of the same skills it takes to run a business.

    You just don't know enough about business to know that.

    So just take the next step and include learning about how to run a business right up there with knowing how to drag a shutter.

    If I can do it, anybody can do it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  7. nsupanda

    nsupanda TPF Noob!

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    Have you done all of your Federal/State tax homework? I, like you, have just recently decided to start my business. When I did, I applied for my EIN so that I could get a sales tax permit. Then I went to irs.gov and looked a the checklist for small businesses. I guess I should have read taxes for dummies because I had no idea I was going to have to pay Self Employment Tax every 3 months. Oh well, it's what I owe the government so I don't have a problem paying it but there is so much to read upon just tax-wise... I have to pay federal SE taxes every 3 months and state sales tax every 1 month. That's a lot to keep up with, for just little ol' me. I have a full time job and a family outside of this, so I know this will be a challenge for me, but I'm up for it! Now it's time for me to investigate business insurance. Ahhh!!!! :(
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't forget both halves of Social Security and Disability...
     
  9. nsupanda

    nsupanda TPF Noob!

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    SE Tax covers your Social Security tax. I don't know about disability tax, please let me know! I havn't seen that mentioned on IRS's website anywhere (yet).
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Its dependent on the state.

    So I was working a 3 day job (12 hour shifts) and decided to take another 2 day job as an independent contractor to help with finances while the wife took off to be mommy. OMG, I was in the same boat you and got nailed during tax time... I had not realized all the additional taxes and complications from having both a W-2 and 1099 plus jumping a whole income bracket. It was so bad, I had to pull a short term loan to cover my tax obligations. All that hard work and the sense to stay out of debt only to go into debt to pay uncle Sam. I do understand the necessity of Tax buy man that sucked.
     

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