I remember when I first picked up my dad’s old film camera. I was just a kid, barely tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. The camera? It was a behemoth, a heft of metal and glass that was nearly impossible for my small hands to hold. But I remember how it felt when that shutter clicked, a feeling that I was capturing a tiny slice of the world and making it my own. It was magical. Can you relate?
Fast forward to today, photography isn’t just a hobby anymore, it’s my livelihood. And I bet it’s the same for many of you. But what about the business side of photography? Did you know that some experts estimate around 60% of photographers go out of business within the first three years? This is because being great behind the camera doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be great at running a photography business.
Pricing Your Art
“So, how much do you charge for a photoshoot?”. It’s a question every photographer dreads. After all, how do you put a price tag on creativity? But remember, as a volunteering photographer, I learned the hard way that our art has value and we should price it accordingly.
When setting your prices, consider the cost of your time, equipment, travel, and overhead expenses. Do some market research. What are other photographers in your area charging? It’s a delicate balance between charging what you’re worth and staying competitive.
Copyrights can be a tricky business. But here’s the deal: the moment you press that shutter button, you own the copyright to that photograph. No registration needed. But what about when clients ask for copyright transfer? It’s a common request, but tread carefully. Giving up your copyright means giving up control over how your image is used in the future.
Instead, consider offering your clients a license to use your images for specific purposes. This allows them to use your photos in the ways they need while you maintain control.
Building Your Portfolio
A solid portfolio is the cornerstone of any successful photography business. It’s the proof in the pudding, the tangible evidence of your skills and style. “But where do I start?” you might ask. Start with what you love. Your passion for your subject will shine through in your images.
And remember, quality over quantity. It’s better to have a handful of stunning images than a truckload of mediocre ones. Be ruthless in your selection. Only showcase your very best work.
Networking: Your Secret Weapon
You might have heard the saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know.’ In photography business, this rings absolutely true. Networking is the secret sauce that can supercharge your career. Attend events, join online communities, offer to collaborate with other creatives. You never know where your next opportunity may come from.
And don’t forget about social media. It’s a powerful tool to showcase your work and engage with potential clients. But remember, be genuine. Authenticity shines brighter than any carefully curated feed.
Photography is an art, but running a photography business is a skill. It requires balance, like a well-composed photograph. It takes an understanding of pricing, copyright issues, a strong portfolio, and a solid network. But above all, it takes resilience and passion.
Are you ready to take on the challenge? Remember, every successful photographer started somewhere. They took that leap into the unknown, just like you are considering doing now. What’s your next move?