Income From Photography

By Ray Baker

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Making Business Choices in the Photography Arena

Regardless of whether you are a photographer who is just getting your business started, or are a professional photographers looking to diversify your work, this article is for you. I'd like to talk here about central gambits in the photography business, and the pros and cons of taking them. Just so you know, I too was once a new photographer starting a freelance business, so you should find this advice an eye-opener.

Wedding Photography?

Wedding PhotographThere's a huge market out there for wedding photography, and it should come as no surprise. It's big money, but very demanding; people don't expect to have more than one or two weddings in a life time.

Unless they are American, in which case, they sell marriage licenses and divorce papers out of vending machines. Oh, I'm kidding!

Anyway, your work in capturing a wedding will be potentially viewed by hundreds of people over the years. They might stay in photo albums and be passed down to children and grandchildren. These aren't just photographs, but family heirlooms! So obviously, the pressure is on to do them perfectly.

You will want to have contracts for wedding photography, expressing where and how your liabilities lie and for what money. For instance, you will want a disclaimer in the contract that will clear you of responsibility for unforeseen mishaps with film and equipment, so you don't get sued. Outside of that, it is big money, but involving and not very exciting work. You see one wedding photo, you've seen them all.

 

How Do I Show Off My Work?

That's the trouble in the digital photography age, as well as all this other cheap technology we're practically swimming in. How to market your business? You can get lost in the noise very easily in marketing any visual media.

A fast way to both get some exposure and make some side cash is to break into stock photography. Crank out some standard, generic shots of mundane subjects with your highest quality standard and distribute them through a stock house library. The great part of this is that it takes the work out of finding customers; instead the customers find you. Websites online can host your work in a gallery and sell it for you.

Are there downsides? Of course. They don't pay very much; you only get a commission off of each sale. They have rigorous requirements to qualify, and they often want you to sign a contract for an extended length of time. You'll also be selling your work side by side with your competitor's work, but let's be realistic: it's the 21st century, you're doing that anyway with the whole world.

What Level of Service are You Offering?

Let's be perfectly blunt for a moment: The next generation of photographers are going to have it tough. Technology has moved forward, and it isn't going to do any good to keep selling buggy whips for horse-drawn carriages while everybody is buying cars. What am I talking about? I'm talking about how advancements in technology have made some of the "old-school" business ways obsolete.

With digital cameras becoming a household commodity, everybody can get into photography with almost no experience. With the Internet, anybody can buy a picture from anybody else anywhere in the world - including from some third-world-country guy who will do for pennies what you can only afford to do for dollars. And computer software to manipulate images is becoming so sophisticated, you almost don't need photographs in some cases!

What can you do to stay competitive? You can offer more services. You can learn digital graphics techniques to edit your photos into graphics artwork. You can learn 3D graphics and incorporate your photography into your digital images. You can set up a studio and offer printing and framing for portraits. You can offer to print up invitations and business cards, combining your photography with other services.

Don't be a buggy-whip shop. Find the emerging trend in your industry and jump into it as soon as possible, because everybody else willand if you don't, you'll be left behind.

About That Software

Yes, Photoshop is the current industry standard, but for how long? Have you heard of free and open source software? Well, it's the new car, Photoshop is becoming the buggy whip, and it's time to adapt. Photoshop costs hundreds of dollars and maintaining a full digital graphics software suite can run you thousands of dollars, or you can get the free software for free.

Now, I hear you saying, "But you get what you pay for!" You're welcome to go on believing that, but there's your third-world-country competition who is doing work in an open source program that will make your head spin. Adobe is a dinosaur sinking into the tar pit. Go online and search for graphics made with Gimp, Cinepaint, Xara Xtreme, Inkscape, Blender, and POVRay. Were you amazed at some of what you found? Does it look as good as some movies you've seen? Well, if people can do that with free and open source software, then they can afford to sit at home and produce this amazing stuff and sell it for pennies and still make money.

All I hear lately is imaging artists complaining because they have to learn something new. I'm sorry, but that's tough! If you don't want the job, there's other people who do. This is just a tip for the wise. Photoshop isn't dead yet, but things are moving so fast it's days could be numbered.

You have some Googling to do :-) When you've done that, you would be smart to check the link below if you have yet to download my eBook. That way you'll have covered more ground more quickly. You know what I mean....

Anyway, the free stuff is what some people are most interested in much to my surprise.....

The free bonuses that come with my 'income from photography' eBook are described here

...all the best,

Ray Baker
PS. Understand that if the page the link above takes you to is not there then the offer is closed.