So many questions

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by sunbeam, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Everyone,
    I've been working on my portfolio for about 6 months now, and have not been charging people for sessions etc. However, I am receiving alot of requests, and am considering starting to charge. My ultimate goal, is to open a studio. But until then, I would like to have any advice on how to take this from 'portfolio building' more of a business. I'm thinking of a website , but have absolutely no idea how to create my own . Also, where do I find contracts, or do I create my own? I am not certain what to price sessions/photos. Also, I am from Canada, so I am wondering if there are pro labs here to use for printing? If anyone can offer any help, it would be sooo much apreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this!
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,229
    Likes Received:
    5,005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Business and Legal Forms for Photographers by Tad Crawford.

    Tad explains why the contracts say what they say.

    Go to www.asmp.org click on 'Business Resources' > 'Tutorials and Forms'.
    Also check out their pricing guides. Get their book Professional Business Practices in Photography.

    And the book Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington. You can also visit John's web site www.johnharington.com and follow his blog.

    It's a good idea to understand copyright so visit and bookmark www.copyright.gov .

    Successful photography businesses are built on good paperwork.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  3. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Start by getting a business license, registering your business name and getting a web site domain name registered.

    Building a simple website can be pretty easy, just Google 'How to build a website'...there are plenty of user friendly resources. It might not be a bad idea to invest some money here though. You could pay someone to build you a site or you could buy a template and just fill in your own content. You could probably find free templates as well. You will need web hosting for your website, the hosting company you choose may have some ideas and/or deals on web site building tools and templates.
    I use Hostgator.com for my web hosting and I highly recommend them.

    Once you website is up (or even before), get yourself some nice business cards. They don't have to be overly fancy, but they should look and feel professional.

    Of course there are pro labs here...but it's a big country and you probably don't want to be ordering your prints from the West coast if you are on the East coast.
    I use Technicare, they have labs in the large cities throughout western Canada.

    As for what to charge...that is up to you. What works for someone may not work for you. I suggest writing up a business plan (maybe that should have been in the first paragraph of my post). In it, you should try to lay out how you will get your income. For example, you could charge a high sitting fee to make most of your money, then sell prints or files as an add-on. Or you could have a lower sitting fee and try to make most of your profit on selling prints and/or files etc.
    Look around at what other photographers in your area are charging. A word of warning, don't undersell yourself and charge too little because you are just starting out. If you are good enough, you should be charging for it. It can cause problems if you build up a client base of people who think you are cheap.
     
  4. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, those who responded! These are some great bits of advice! I have alot to do, and looks like some great reading to look forward to! Thank you so much! Oh, and Big Mike, I realized how lame that sounded, asking if big ol' Canada had photolabs... I just figured it'd be hard to process pictures in igloo's y'know.. ;) ;) j/k and btw LOVE the jersey! (hubby is from Etown)
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,229
    Likes Received:
    5,005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    As I understand it 90% of all Canadians live within 100 mile of the US/Canada border. Not really igloo country. ;)
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ah, but we Canadians love to see how many Americans we can confuse by pretending we live in igloos and keep polar bears as pets. :lol:

    Oh, and KmH, that's probably the single most helpful piece of text about where to go for photography business info I've seen as of yet. Thanks a ton.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Actually, it's probably closer to 25-50 miles of the border. (just a guess).

    Living up here in Edmonton, we really do feel like the 'Great White North' sometimes, when compared to places like Vancouver & Toronto. Although, the forecast for today & tomorrow is sunny with temps up to 32C (90F)...my igloo will melt for sure ;)
     

Share This Page