Start a Business

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by cooperative, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. cooperative

    cooperative TPF Noob!

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    Hi, Im new here..I just recently got married and had a son...I owned a small picture framing business for some time, but closed because I was to busy with my full time job. My wife loves taking photos and even though she is not a professional. I though maybe she could do some photography and I could have a Family Studio and Custom Frame shop. If anybody could help me and maybe give me some tips on who I could contact on what kind of camrea, printer, paper, and extra skills i could use to make this work for my wife I would appreciate it. I live in Lubbock, Tx. any help would be appreciated...thanks
     
  2. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    starting a business is risky - so don't quit your day job as yet! Being a photographer is hard work and often don't get paid much. Are you sure you wnat to do it? How about just do it on the weekends first and see how it goes?
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photo business today isn't what it was 10yrs ago and you, unfortunately, an example. Here's why: back in lovely film days, those who wanted to emerge in this skill first learned various aspects of photography (lighting, exposure, composition, postprocessing/darkroom, etc etc etc) and while learning, acquired a BOX that allowed film to be loaded, and expose it based on so called rules. Today, folks go out and buy a digital camera and call them selves "professional photographers" while knowing nothing about important aspects of photography and yet charging tremendous amount of $.
    Now, I AM NOT ATTACKING YOU PERSONALLY :) but I hope you understand that question you are asking has been asked by many many people on MOST forums, who want to do exactly the same thing. This is why CHIP above and my self do not recommend turning photography into main source of $.

    But here's my take
    Camera:
    Canon - (Used 20D, 30D, 40D), 50D (not sure if its still in production - great camera though), 7d. If got the budget for full frame 5d, 5dm2. Good lens that number of my colleagues use is Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review. Results are amazing and it isn't very expensive.
    Nikon - d70 & d80 used, d90, d200 used, d300, d300s. If got the budget for full frame d700
    Lens: famous 24-70 2.8 is nice, 70-200 is another choice. Personally, I love my old-school 28-105.
    Printer and Paper: It might be cheaper to send the job to the lab and print there - I'm from NY and recently began working with a different lab APS 718-360-2779. Prices are amongst top competitors, they'll do color correction (headache of my shoulder) and turn around time is really good. In my case I live 2-3miles from them so I'm not worried about them sending me the job, but in yours, delivery is an option you can discuss. You can use cheaper places, winkflash, shutterfly, snapfish, but no1 there will look over your images unless its porn :) and UNLESS you'll sit and color correct your images on calibrated monitor, your clients won't appreciate jaundice magenda color effect :)
    Extra Skills - well you know business (75%) you know BS (25%) now its time to learn photography (15%) - lighting lighting lighting, exposure, composition, basic post processing, etc etc.

    Good luck
     
  4. J.Kendall

    J.Kendall TPF Noob!

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    Do it on the weekends, and if you end up printing yourself, don't use a high gloss paper, find something with a low gloss. And make sure that whatever printer you use can handle putting out clean, high-res images.
     
  5. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Starting a photo business is more than just putting up a website.

    You must first file for a DBA

    You must file to pay State Sales Taxes (individual states have "rewards" for turning in photogs who don't pay. I have seen many photogs go down this way. It's a bit of the Nazi mindset, but when photogs turn in people who aren't paying state taxes, they are rewarded with a deduction on thier own tax. This is rampant.

    In most states you must by law carry a 1,000,000 liability policy (this is true in my state although many break this law). They are fined heavily when found out. The bond is only about $500 a year.

    So basically, before you hang that shingle, be a pro. Do the right thing. Because if you don't, there will be a ton of people in your area who will take you out for not doing the basics. They won't notice you at first, but once you make a mark, they will be on you like sharks.

    BTW, I do all of the above and beyond.
    Best wishes to your new business. You can do it!
     
  6. Nikkor

    Nikkor TPF Noob!

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    Definetely don't quit your other jobs while trying to get this off the ground. And its stressful enough on its own, not to mention with a baby. But I always encourage people to go after what they want. Start off small, just a little advertising, etc. This is an expensive hobby, be sure to do your research, on here and outside of the forums for your camera/supply needs. And good luck!
     
  7. cooperative

    cooperative TPF Noob!

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    I appreciate the help and comments. I actually work for a Electric Cooperative and before that I worked for a Printer for ten years. At that position I worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Quark Ex. I did alot of their photo adjustments, lighting, color, and would also rescan their photos that were not digital and adjusted them. I have a little experience with color, lighting, saturation, hues and so on. I will stay with the Coop, but let my wife run the shop while I help with the other time I have. I know Im no professional by far, so any help will be appreciated. My wife plans to take photography classes. and I have done framing for ten years also. Ive done the frame shop so am aware of the DBA, Taxes, Insurance and Marketing and so on, but not much on the camera, what printer if i print myself, and tips on photography.
     
  8. fdisale

    fdisale TPF Noob!

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    First and foremost build a portfolio. Go through the photos you already have and analyze if any are portfolio worthy. You have to showcase your best skills. Provide your services free of cost to friends, family, businesses and companies to create a portfolio in the area you have selected as your specialty. Contact other photographers and ask to accompany or help on a shoot. You will be surprised to see how many are willing to offer you a chance.
     

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