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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 13 Jun 2012 (Wednesday) 13:46
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My business name is my name, can this be a problem?

 
MichaelAnthonyPhotography
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Jun 13, 2012 13:46 |  #1

So I effectively named my business Michael Anthony Photography when I was starting about a year ago. Since then we have gotten busier, and it has led to the point where I am considering hiring help to help with the workload.

In the instance of a wedding. If I double book a day for weddings, and I wanted to send associate photographers, could I do that? I obviously have vetted them to make sure they are up to our standards.

It is in my contract that we may send associates to shoot a wedding, but I just think that people may have a problem with that. What is your take on it?


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JasonMK
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Jun 13, 2012 14:20 |  #2

I'm not in the business, so take this from a consumer's point of view. I never expect to see Wendy, JC Penny, any of the PEP Boys, or Baskin or Robbin when I go into their stores. Heck, McDonald didn't even run McDonald's after Ray Krok bought it. I don't know how many of you have ever met Blimie and Herman Schreiber (B&H Photo)?

Now, should you decide to sell your company down the road that is another issue (for good or bad). Just my 2 cents.


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Sam6644
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Jun 13, 2012 14:22 |  #3

Plenty of people do that. As long as you aren't putting in writing that you are the only one who shoots your photos, you're fine.


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butterfly2937
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Jun 13, 2012 16:39 as a reply to  @ Sam6644's post |  #4

Just remember that who ever you send is a direct reflection on you. Make sure these people are up to the task and also have good skills dealing directly with clients. One bad experience will do allot of damage to your business in a local community that could quickly put you out of business! A wedding is not something that you can just offer to shoot again.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jun 13, 2012 17:35 |  #5

Having it in your contract isn't enough, I don't think. It's a fairly significant change to a client's expectations (that the guy who shot the photos they saw on the site is the guy shooting the wedding), one that really should be expressed up front.

Is your intent to tell clients--look, I'm booked, but I've got a talented photographer working with me who will do the shoot; or are you also intending to, after the booking, say: by the way, I won't be shooting your wedding after all ?



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bigkeith
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Jun 13, 2012 22:05 |  #6

Why not have a meet and greet with the clients and your associates? I'm not a pro but if I approached you to do my wedding and you were going to send an associate to do it, meeting the photographer and chatting with him/her would ease my mind.


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RDKirk
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Jun 15, 2012 10:36 |  #7

MichaelAnthonyPhotogra​phy wrote in post #14574130 (external link)
So I effectively named my business Michael Anthony Photography when I was starting about a year ago. Since then we have gotten busier, and it has led to the point where I am considering hiring help to help with the workload.

In the instance of a wedding. If I double book a day for weddings, and I wanted to send associate photographers, could I do that? I obviously have vetted them to make sure they are up to our standards.

It is in my contract that we may send associates to shoot a wedding, but I just think that people may have a problem with that. What is your take on it?

Don't double-book, raise your prices.


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kimbac
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Jun 16, 2012 00:17 |  #8

My wedding photographer was pregnant (due 2 weeks before our wedding) and trades under her own name - the same as you. We were told of this up front and she had another shooter that she uses do all the meetings with us - we saw sample weddings/albums, etc all shot by the person who would shoot for us on the day. All post processing and product handling was handled by the "main" photographer, not our shooter. We were happy with what we saw and happy with the results - the main things was being open and up front from day one as to how things would be handled and who would be doing what parts of the process. It worked just fine and she does it quite a bit.




  
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iamchanel
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Jun 16, 2012 07:15 |  #9

some companies do that. check out http://www.milliehollo​man.com/ (external link)

She has several associates. They don't all shoot together. Just find an attractive way to present it. More like a team or a company rather than just YOUR business.


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photoguy6405
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Jun 16, 2012 19:05 |  #10

I don't think it's necessarily an issue, but there will be times when people will expect you... reasonably or unreasonably. You need to make sure you have an answer for that.

Just curious, but have you had any issues regarding sharing a name for your business with Michael Anthony of Van Halen & Chickenfoot fame?


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aliengin
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Jun 18, 2012 13:33 |  #11

I've seen that a lot. Specially when i saw a name on a photograph. It was the name of a very famous photographer, I was shooting at the same location (have the same shots) but never saw the photographer there. Later I learned it was a common business paractice to hire freelancers and shoot 3-4 people for the same event in different locations.
Personally if you ask me, its misleading but it completely legal and normal.


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Luckless
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Jun 18, 2012 23:24 |  #12

The biggest thing to do would be to ensure all photos produced by your company are clearly labeled as to who the actual photographer was. (And possibly who did your post work)

From the business standpoint you really should make a choice as to what you want in an associate photographer. Do you want them to fully emulate your style? Have you founded your business on consistent, reliable content that locals can recognise and so come to you for that? Or have you founded your business on a flexible style, drastically shifting (And proving you are able to cope well with it) your style to fit the client's desires?

If you are already shifting to the client's wishes, then bringing in an associate means you're further expanding your client's options. If you are focusing on a narrow style then you are going to have to either work hard with someone else to keep that style the same across both of you, or decide to split the style.

As long as you are clear and upfront with the clients about who the photographers are, then there should be no issues.

One good option would likely be to space yourself slightly as a photographer from the business itself. If you are taking on associates then the business becomes a service portal, and you get to wear two hats. You become a manager, and a photographer. When you wear your manager's hat, you are greeting potential customers and walking them through what your business can do for them, which is to provide the service of access to a skilled photographer. You match the client up with the service they need. Keep your ego out of it, as a manager you aren't a photographer, and which photographer the clients pick doesn't matter, as long as that photographer works for you.

It also means you are going to have a little extra accounting to consider, especially if you end up with several associate photographers working with you. You are going to have to partition the business expenses, and keep in mind what income and expenses should belong to your upper level "Management" section of drawing in customers, studio/office space, etc, and what income and expenses relate to the photographers themselves. Be very careful with this issue, because failure to consider things like this can easily result in robbing yourself if you fail to take a suitable cut from the other photographers, or pissing off your hired help if they perceive your take as unfair.

For small firms where everyone involved is exceptionally high skilled, keep finances clear and in the open, and basically make sure everyone is a partner with a voice. I have seen it happen many times in Software startups go to pieces because 'junior' team members get annoyed, run off, and setup a new shop which soundly beats the old.

Good luck.


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My business name is my name, can this be a problem?
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