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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 14 Oct 2010 (Thursday) 22:05
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I Am A Craigslist Photographer

 
turbo212003
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Oct 14, 2010 23:48 |  #46

MOkoFOko wrote in post #11099905 (external link)
Kinda harsh, no? I had less business acumen when I was his age. Everyone starts somewhere.

Well let's see.....


He is OK with his parents getting sued.
He doesn't have the correct equipment to photograph weddings.
He doesn't have any insurance.
He isn't going to pay any taxes on the money he makes.
He isn't going to register his business(see not paying taxes above)
He doesn't think he is going to get sued.
He is charging 149 for an 10 hour wedding + 200 4x6 prints , 16x20 print.


kinda harsh? I think not.


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SunnyOctopus
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Oct 14, 2010 23:49 |  #47

Tawcan wrote in post #11099919 (external link)
How are you making a profit at $149 per wedding?

Assuming
-1 hour of travelling time
-10 hours of shooting

That puts you at $13.55/hour.

What about time you spent on editing the pics? Oh wait I guess you shoot RAW and don't edit pictures?

I'm sorry but this is not a liable business.

I edit them. I'm pretty fast about choosing a set of 200 and editing them. The time I spend doing it would otherwise be spent making nothing, so it's something...

Also, if it wasn't implied, I very much so have a desire to make this a viable business and have no illusion about it currently being a means to support myself.


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ImCBParker
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Oct 14, 2010 23:51 |  #48

Chris many start off with low rates, but to do so with reckless disregard for the magnitude of the event is irresponsible. If they do the basics, insurance, have contingencies, and a contract, (none of which are expensive), then shoot for free for all I care.


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mikekelley
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Oct 14, 2010 23:53 |  #49

This is the best thread I've seen in some time. Very informative, one way or the other.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Oct 15, 2010 00:00 |  #50

ImCBParker wrote in post #11099958 (external link)
Chris many start off with low rates, but to do so with reckless disregard for the magnitude of the event is irresponsible. If they do the basics, insurance, have contingencies, and a contract, (none of which are expensive), then shoot for free for all I care.

I think it is about expectations: those paying $150 for a wedding surely cannot (and by my experience do not) expect for the photographer to have all of those things that we all agree it would be ideal to have (what if your 70-200 2.8 ($1500) fails mid wedding--do you all have a backup ?). I'm sympathetic with the 'magnitude of the event' argument, though and agree that it's risky to not at least have a backup body.



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zelseman
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Oct 15, 2010 00:03 |  #51

This thread is epic. After reading the title I thought "maybe it is a legitimate photographer simply advertising on craigslist."

I love threads like this.


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ImCBParker
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Oct 15, 2010 00:03 |  #52

Agreed, but one never knows what could trigger a suit.

If my 70-200 failed, I would hope I could get by with the rest! Then I would later cry hoping CPS would fix it!


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MOkoFOko
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Oct 15, 2010 00:04 |  #53

turbo212003 wrote in post #11099943 (external link)
Well let's see.....


He is OK with his parents getting sued.
He doesn't have the correct equipment to photograph weddings.
He doesn't have any insurance.
He isn't going to pay any taxes on the money he makes.
He isn't going to register his business(see not paying taxes above)
He doesn't think he is going to get sued.
He is charging 149 for an 10 hour wedding + 200 4x6 prints , 16x20 print.


kinda harsh? I think not.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with doling out some worthwhile advice, but talking down to him at every opportunity will only push him away from the POTN community. Sometimes we need to be blunt, but a lot of what I'm reading within this thread is excessive, and only enhances the perception that us camera-nuts are an uppity bunch.

I certainly don't like being spoken down to, even if I am wrong. I'd have taken less criticism than this guy has and split ;) He's slightly misinformed, but that's not necessarily his fault considering his age. Gumption makes up for a lack of knowledge/experience in a lot of cases.


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ImCBParker
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Oct 15, 2010 00:07 |  #54

MOkoFOko wrote in post #11100030 (external link)
There's absolutely nothing wrong with doling out some worthwhile advice, but talking down to him at every opportunity will only push him away from the POTN community. Sometimes we need to be blunt, but a lot of what I'm reading here is excessive.

I certainly don't like being spoken down to, even if I am wrong. I'd have taken less criticism than this guy has and split ;) He's slightly misinformed, but that's not necessarily his fault considering his age. Gumption makes up for a lack of knowledge/experience in a lot of cases.

Agreed. At least he made some effort to reach out to a photog community.


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Tigerkn
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Oct 15, 2010 00:07 |  #55

mikekelley wrote in post #11099968 (external link)
This is the best thread I've seen in some time. Very informative, one way or the other.

^^^^ +1


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turbo212003
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Oct 15, 2010 00:15 |  #56

MOkoFOko wrote in post #11100030 (external link)
There's absolutely nothing wrong with doling out some worthwhile advice, but talking down to him at every opportunity will only push him away from the POTN community. Sometimes we need to be blunt, but a lot of what I'm reading within this thread is excessive, and only enhances the perception that us camera-nuts are an uppity bunch.

I certainly don't like being spoken down to, even if I am wrong. I'd have taken less criticism than this guy has and split ;) He's slightly misinformed, but that's not necessarily his fault considering his age. Gumption makes up for a lack of knowledge/experience in a lot of cases.

He doesn't need advice, he is going to need the number of a good lawyer soon.


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MP4/8
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Oct 15, 2010 00:17 |  #57
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SunnyOctopus wrote in post #11099689 (external link)
There are no contracts involved. I'd offer a full refund and my sincerest apologies, though that is a concern still...

My camera has a built in flash. 8 D

What is the minimum gear you would suggest I have?

You're sort of raining my parade, but I appreciate the input, and I will look look into threads here.

Sunny, no one is raining on your parade. No need to play the victim.

I can say this with confidence.....come back in one year, after doing 'business', and you'll have a different perspective on what your attitude was in this thread, so far...

Having said that.....Here's some sage advice.....An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.

I grew up in a family business, but went a few different directions on my own, till I started in my own business 16 yrs ago. I'm 43 now.
The best advice I was ever given, was to get two things:

1- A good accountant.
2- An even better lawyer.

Here's a little harsh reality:

"Ignorance of the law, is not a 'defense', in court."

You are not a lawyer, but the people who will be suing you, will more than likely have consulted one.

Don't think you might get sued?
Think again.

And the ones who are the most likely to sue you, are the 'bargain' shoppers.
Better to err on the side of caution, than become a statistic.

There are plenty of places you can get 'templates' for starting a small business. From your local book store, to the internet.

Do yourself a favor, and be disciplined and organized from day one.
Learn how to use a spreadsheet and track your hours/miles/costs etc...

Here's a real important one..... Draw up a business plan, and stick it on your fridge.
Trust me, it's a big deal. It keeps you focused, and on track.

If you are serious about getting into business....act like it, and people will take you more seriously.
Draw up a contract ageement, so that there are no ambiguities as to what you will be providing to the customer for the agreed upon fees, and clearly state that the customer agrees not to hold you personally responsible for any unforseen problems.
It may not completely save your bacon, but it can minimize your risk, should they try and sue you in the event of a problem.

People invest a lot in weddings, and take them very seriously. Don't find out the hard way, just how serious they are.

Don't advertise 'cheap'. Advertise 'attractive rates and packages'.

Selling a 'cheap' rate is easy. Anyone can do that. It doesn't make you special, or a more appealing photographer.
It objectifies you as 'cheap'.
Not as 'skilled', or as 'professional'.
Just as 'cheap'.
And there will always be someone 'cheaper'.

That's not a good foundation to build a reputation on, IMO.

.


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alt4852
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Oct 15, 2010 00:18 |  #58

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #11099942 (external link)
The idea that one just suddenly charges rates that constitute a profitable business is absurd. It's a process.

yes, it's almost as absurd as implying that a minor who isn't aware of the financial and legal liability they are subjecting themselves and their parents to should start their own business and disregard advice to take it slower.

you're right, getting paid decent amounts of money is a process.. but so is assuming the responsibility that comes with signing into legal contracts.


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Livinthalife
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Oct 15, 2010 00:32 |  #59

Alright, Seems like this thread has went to be overly negative.

But here is my input. hopefully useful.

you offers do seem ridiculous. I think offering 10 hours for 150 is a waste. Since offering unusual amounts of time for almost free (after prints), why not offer to shoot for free, free shadowing of wedding photographers in your local area. Shoot friends and family to build a portfolio or website. Do all this till you are 100% comfortable with charging reasonable fees. Doing these things will avoid lawsuits, or pissed off customers. If you are just having fun with the camera and friends, no lawsuit, no taxes. All safe. I guess you could have them sign a model permission of consent form to be safe. But over all this would be ideal till then.

You have to establish yourself personally, then move to bigger and better things.


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SunnyOctopus
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Oct 15, 2010 00:38 |  #60

PM I Received:

I am not a pro photographer, and never intend to be one, so take this advice with a big grain of salt. I'd stay away from this place. Too many of these guys are photographic technicians grinding out a living shooting weddings every weekend. If they ever had a passion for photography they lost it amidst all the concerns about being sued and paying taxes.

You are very young. You can fail at what you are doing and simply try again, or do something else if you choose. Use that freedom to your advantage. You may not ever have it again (most of us don't). Take risks. Have an attitude - you can market that.

Have fun.

Thanks for all the replies, again, friends. I am reading and thinking about them all.


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