Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Forums  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear
Forums  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 19 Dec 2010 (Sunday) 18:24
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links (only for non-logged)

Things you wish you knew before you started your photography business...

40 posts
Joined Mar 2010
Dec 28, 2010 10:28 |  #121

What is this 2D and 3D y'all speak of? Is it cheaper than my 5D MkII? Feature list?

I kid.

On topic...Although I am only getting started with my photo business, I wish I knew about sites such as strobist blog, photo attorney, etc. before 2009. I'd be a much more enlightened photographer and I would have already made the mistakes I'm making now and I would be already further along than I am toward my destination of being a more technically sound photographer as far as using multiple flash/light sources and business savy. (external link)

3,350 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Dec 28, 2010 17:52 |  #122

I wish i'd had realized just how much more important the aspect of business is compared to photography.

And that i'd have moved to a better venue for this kind of work.

Feel free to call me Case. (external link) - FanPage (external link)
-Montreal based Photography.

148 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Location: St. Louis
Dec 28, 2010 18:41 |  #123

MP4/8 wrote in post #11494076 (external link)
It certainly was, back in the 80's, and early 90's, because 'processes' were different, and things were based more on knowledge and skill of individuals.

There was a technological boom associated with the PC, and software and algorithms were born, that could compete with humans.

I don't believe that to be true, at all.
Because of the technological boom, and the advent of high quality affordable DSLR's, I think there's a higher ratio of people who own very capable equipment, per capita.
Which means, given the small startup costs of a photography business capable of producing high quality images, more people competing for the same slice of pie.

It's an example of an over saturated supply of people vying for the same business.
That=Bad for Business

I think this is completely misleading.

Cost/Benefit is a major factor in the decision making process.

The 2 for 1 concept.

The first method that most new businesses try and get a foothold in the marketplace is by leveraging price against the competition.

If they can offer a higher ratio of quality/price, it will easily lure people in their direction, and out of yours.

It's irresistible when they become convinced they're getting almost the same thing (A), yet spending xx% less, that can afford them to then go out an get 'B'.

There's a tipping point in many peoples' minds, that no amount of 'salesmanship' will overcome.

Money's that simple

You couldn't pay me (no pun intended..) to even consider getting into the photography business, no matter if my photos were as good, or even much better than what I see produced locally.


I work a third as hard as all the soccer moms who sell a $50 doller CD. Better photos bring out the customers who don't mind to pay. Kinda like the Mercedes Benz vs Dodge or whatever. Better Product better PAY less work to make same money as the cheap CD photographer. For every 10 people she does I might do one are two. It only takes one are two trendy young brides or seniors to turn there friends. Think thats how the clothing company works. Think Exclusive and name goes a long way. Yes you will always have the cheap skates but they aren't your target market until they want what the prom queens passing out to all her friends. I always shoot one are two seniors every year for free and they just pay for prints just to create a trend for friends to follow. Call me shallow but usually two really attractive young girls who are popular and early summer of the transition from Junior to Senior so I can advertise in the school paper with there best senior pic printed as a business card and added to the school paper or ad made and posted on a lunch room wall.

Just my $.02

Always be open to opinion especially if it's mine!

5 posts
Joined Dec 2010
Dec 28, 2010 19:10 |  #124

This thread is great! I am hoping to become a pro one day, so it is awesome to read all of your experiences - thanks for sharing!

An amateur photographer with a dream of actaully selling a photo.
Follow how I achieve this dream!
http://canibecomeaprof​​ (external link)

3,050 posts
Gallery: 23 photos
Likes: 136
Joined Aug 2005
Location: Indianapolis
Dec 28, 2010 23:14 |  #125

Things I wish I knew...wish I had known I could skip to page 9 of this thread and avoid all the grasshopper talk...I've lost track now and I can't remember if grasshoppers are 1 dimensional or business is doomed!!!!

SO....back on topic...I, like others, wish I had kept gear longer and learned how to use, instead of buying new cameras as they came out...and buying lenses that I thought were just a little bit better than the ones I had...

Buy the best gear you can afford and stick with it! I am convinced that the high end lenses are better and produce better images, both 3D and 2D images! BUT...a Sigma 30mm lens will produce outstanding images for a fraction of the cost of a 35 L...and a Sigma 70-200 lens will produce outstanding images, just like the Canon or Nikon equivalent.

As for all of this talk about businesses failing and the photography industry being doomed...very few businesses in ANY industry actually make it. Look how many photographers, on this forum alone, make any amount of money at photography, a very small percentage of them actually support a family at this job, just like ANY other business.. restaurants...IT​ift/hobby shops...photographers.​...MOST will fail....and it's not because of Craigslist or Walmart...well, mostly because of Walmart....but I digress...

Quality makes the world go round....well, that and money!

Website (external link)

103 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Likes: 37
Joined Sep 2007
Jan 04, 2011 19:04 as a reply to  @ ShotByTom's post |  #126

Some really great insight on POTN.

Just wondering why most of these threads turn into a heated debate? Is it because people are passionate about the art of photography?

Great advice otherwise! Makes me realize that I have a long way to go before I can compare myself to others on here. One advantage of a forum like this is that I can learn thru the mistakes of others and possibly save some of the heart ache.

I wish I knew about this forum years ago!

1DX MK ii, 5D3's, 5D2, 7D, Some L's, Some Sigma Art Lenses plus a bunch of Elinchrom strobes. (external link)​hoto (external link)

4,523 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Likes: 151
Joined Oct 2006
Location: Louisville, KY
Jan 05, 2011 09:28 |  #127

bride's book their weddings much further out than what i realized. I probably could have been doing double what i was when i started out, but i thought they only booked 6 months in advance.

Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photographer (external link)
Travel the World and Photograph (external link)
Find me on Facebook (external link)

Senior Member
953 posts
Likes: 31
Joined Mar 2008
Location: Leesburg, VA USA
Jan 05, 2011 10:13 |  #128

appl2noe wrote in post #11574375 (external link)
Just wondering why most of these threads turn into a heated debate? Is it because people are passionate about the art of photography?

Great... here you go starting up a heated debate about when photography is art or not. ;)

One thing you can rest assured of on POTN (and just about any other forum), anything can diverge into a heated debate. Of course, that's debatable...

Leesburg, Virginia
http://photos.kusterer​ (external link)

227 posts
Joined Jul 2006
Location: Tennessee
Jan 11, 2011 13:45 |  #129

cdifoto wrote in post #11495987 (external link)
Oh and to get back on topic, there's another thing I wish I had known early on. I heard it from a client. She said "Free makes you look unprofessional, and cheap makes you look desperate. Neither are appealing."

So true!!!! (external link)

Linda ­ Browne
65 posts
Joined Jun 2008
Location: Montana
Jan 11, 2011 19:06 |  #130

Equipment may just be tools, but better tools can make life easier and more fun. Make an investment into the tools you'll be using; rent if need be.

4 posts
Joined Jul 2010
Jan 11, 2011 19:27 |  #131

I wish I knew how much money was put INTO it. I have sold and bought so many things trying to find what worked for me.

182 posts
Joined Jun 2009
Jan 12, 2011 09:19 |  #132

cdifoto wrote in post #11496005 (external link)
Because they go about it all wrong, truly suck at it, or don't offer anything different...not because it's impossible.

I'm going to go with this. The world is full of incompetent boobs,why should the world of professional photography be any different?

Powershot A530, 2 AA Batteries, Wrist Strap

231 posts
Joined Aug 2010
Jan 12, 2011 09:49 |  #133

I might go against the flow. I am a teacher, and am near the next tax bracket. By starting up a business and buying lots of stuff, I had lots of expenses. Because I live in a town of 800 people, I have the whole market to myself. Well, by having lost more money than I made, this allows me to have a smaller income this year, saving me literally 2 times as much money in TAXES than I made taking pictures for people... I will be able to depreciate and keep saving a lot of money so long as I can keep expenses more than profits for the next couple years. After that, it's going to be tougher for me, but at least I will then be able to use my home/office and home/studio for tax purposes...

Basically, your accountant can make or break for a lot of people... better investment for me than anything so far!

Canon 7d - 550ex - 430exII - 70-200mm 2.8 - 50mm 1.4 - 24-70 2.8 tammy - yn 560's-- 3 er 4 of em

Cream of the Crop
14,060 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Jan 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Jan 12, 2011 10:16 |  #134

That logic makes no sense. If you spend $1000 to save $300 on taxes, for example, you are still out $700. If you are using this to try and get equipment cheaper, then fine, but you don't make money on a loss and you can only apply losses against income. You can't lose more than you make, for tax purposes.

And taxes are progressive. It's not like if you make $1 more all of a sudden all your income is taxed at the higher rate. At least not in Canada and I doubt it's that way in the USA.

I'm also not sure what type of filing you need to do if you are a "business". Are you now having to pay an accountant, CPA, to do your taxes ?

I was self employed for a long time and my accounting costs (filing taxes only) would have paid for a new high end camera, every year.

Bohdan - I may be, and probably am, completely wrong.
Gear List

Montreal Concert, Event and Portrait Photographer (external link)
Flickr (external link)

231 posts
Joined Aug 2010
Jan 12, 2011 10:30 |  #135

right, i guess what i'm saying is that it has helped save money on taxes and other areas as well. I figure that the cost of equiptment gets me X% back on taxes. it's equiptment that is cheaper, you are correct. well it does jump for me from like 10% to like $4000 plus 15% for every dollar taxed more than $34,000. (don't quote me on numbers, just fireing from brain). So actually above that $34,000 some odd number, the dollars get an extra 5%.

You are correct, it will keep my equiptment cheaper, which means I get to play more fore less. It's important to have a good cpa. Maybe not so much for seasoned people, but this is a thread for people JUST starting out... my advice is that the CPA can not only save you money, but also TEACH you how to use your buisiness to promote financial growth!

Canon 7d - 550ex - 430exII - 70-200mm 2.8 - 50mm 1.4 - 24-70 2.8 tammy - yn 560's-- 3 er 4 of em

sponsored links (only for non-logged)

25,416 views & 0 likes for this thread, 54 members have posted to it.
Things you wish you knew before you started your photography business...
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Forums   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset   •  Home

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.58forum software
version 2.58 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member was a spammer, and banned as such!
1811 guests, 169 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15,144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.