Question for those in business, esp those who do it as side work.

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by beansprouts3, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. beansprouts3

    beansprouts3 TPF Noob!

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    I've decided I love photography. LOVE it. But I have *a lot* to learn before I will be ready to take the plunge, so I'm looking down the road a bit. I have a good friend who is also right where I'm at and we're considering collecting equipment to share (lighting, backdrops, etc) and just doing odd jobs by word of mouth to start off. My question is, do those of you who take side jobs have a formal business plan, incorporation, etc., etc., etc.? Something else that complicates the issue is that we may be moving out of state in the next year or two so I am reluctant to start something formally and have to leave it/close it a few months later and start over. Right now I'm in practice/absorb mode. Thanks for any input you have.
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Read this book.. [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Best-Business-Practices-Photographers-Harrington/dp/1598633155]Amazon.com: Best Business Practices for Photographers: John Harrington: Books[/ame]

    :)
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would think that before making a big plunged into full business mode, you both should learn how to take proper pictures and more importantly, learn to see if you can work together.

    After doing a few jobs and seeing how things are going, then I would definatly look into being a full business, deciding what type of business, with a plan and so on. Just because you are small doesn't mean you should not have a plan.
     
  4. beansprouts3

    beansprouts3 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both. I feel like she's closer in the area of taking proper pictures dept. I'm a little more comfortable in the pp dept. I'm nowhere near ready until I get a better handle on my 50mm f/1.4. I LOVE that lens but I still need to get more used to it. Just looking down the road. Thanks!
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you are going to be taking money for your services...you probably need to be a registered business and PAY YOUR TAXES. Check your local city regulations to be sure though.

    If you can find a way to get experience, without the risks of being in business...that might be a good way to start. For example, do family & portrait shoots for friends & family. Family weddings might also be a good way to get some experience and portfolio material. Better yet, if you could find a working pro and assist them, you can get some great experience.
    What you don't want to do, is take a job that you aren't ready for...and mess it up. For example, covering an event without backup gear would be a dangerous position to be in.
     
  6. beansprouts3

    beansprouts3 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Big Mike. Those are my exact concerns. I might actually have a few leads on someone I can shadow for a while and gain some valuable knowledge. I took a class recently and I know the instructor shoots weddings and I'd love to offer that as our gift to our niece next summer. Great ideas!
     
  7. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    I have an LLC Photography and Design business, it is a side business to my main source of income (which has nothing to do with photography). I can only comment on a sole entity ownership. I obviously call all my own shots, I make all the decisions, etc, so I die by the sword. I am considered a "Professional Photographer", according to the IRS, because I am booked for events, sell images, design posters, collect and pay taxes, etc, etc. I have accumulated over $10,000 in equipment. I got to a point where I thought this hobby needs some payback, so away I went. I can control how much work I take on to fit my schedule. That's my luxury. I get hired to cover sporting events, I dont do what I know I can't handle. I am not at the point where photography can be a full time occupation. I dont know if I ever really want it to be. I have it way too good in my full time job, with benefits, to give that away and become a starving photographer. I also have to think of my wife and 2 kids, so to me, i have a healthy balance. This, is just some of MY benefits of being on my own.

    I cannot comment on a partner setup, I think that would be something to hear from existing partner set up successes and failures. That should have an impact on your thought process.

    As far as a business plan, I have one, but it is pretty pathetic. Im kind of a "wing it" type of guy. It is highly recommended though, buy business types that any new business have a plan, and if banks and lending institutions are required for set up, it better be iron clad.

    I'm not going to tell you what you should do. There are lots of people in this world who take phenominal photographs and their business sense is terrible. Having a successful business is only so much about taking a good picture, its about having good business sense as well. Very few people understand this!
     
  8. beansprouts3

    beansprouts3 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to know. I want to do some side jobs for friends and family to start off, and collect equipment as we get paid, so I'm not thinking a business plan is crucial to a loan at this point in time. I'm hoping not to need one. I'm fortunate in that once we pay off a few small loans, my family will do just fine on my husband's income, and anything I make will be "lens money". :lol: I also think that because we plan to move out of state, it probably makes the most sense to purchase our own equipment and share it rather than to split the cost of equipment. That way when we do move away, there is not a question about who owns what. Thank you all very much!
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good reasoning.

    In your case, I wouldn't worry much about official business practices. Go make some photographs. Have some fun. If you can make a bit of $, and you want to be perfectly honest about it all, report it as income when you file your taxes. Set aside 25% or so to cover this.

    A year goes by fast. It'll all be over before you know it.

    And stay away from the banks. Pay for whatever you need (equipment and such) as you go along.

    -Pete
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OH Yeah, Let the Church say Amen!!!
     
  11. Arcona

    Arcona TPF Noob!

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    Have a try at selling your images on microstock websites!

    That's the easiest, most effortless and less risky way of experiencing "the photo-business"

    The good thing is that you can sell your photos from all over the world, whenever you want.

    For me, microstock is a side job, a very pleasant one.

    I personally submit to several microstock websites, from which 123rf is my favourite one.

    Should you have a try at microstock, let me know about your experience!:)
     
  12. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    And you dug up all the old posts to spam this site, or am I just being suspicious and you have nothing to do with 123rf. H
     

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