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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 19 Jun 2014 (Thursday) 13:00
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How did you start selling yourself?

 
Davevw3
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Jun 19, 2014 13:00 |  #1

I would like to hear from everyone how you started selling yourself. I am self taught amateur, I have only had one paid job. I am wondering how you started selling your photos and/or services.

1.Did you go to school for photography?
2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?
3. Where did you acquire your business skills?
4. Where did you get yourself noticed?
5. What were your first sales?

Mine:

1. No
2. My best friend
3. I have none
4. Kijiji.ca
5. Taking a portrait, nothing else yet.


"Smile, nod, and back away."

  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jun 19, 2014 13:10 |  #2

1. No
2. Canon EOS 300D manual
3. Degree in accounting and financial management. Did a masters in software systems technology. Dreamweaver MX certified developer. 1 year working as a graphic layout artist for a newspaper. 3 years working in direct sales. 2 years working in a multimedia marketing company. 8 years working in IT (MCSE etc).
4. WOM, facebook, Google organic SEO
5. Landscape photographs on canvas


Peter

  
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jwhite65
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Jun 19, 2014 13:34 |  #3

1. No, but I have taken classes at the local community college.
2. Self-taught, mostly. Reading owner's manuals, countless hours searching the internet, speaking to established photographers who are willing to help, etc.
3. Guessing these just came naturally. I try to keep it simple - more money coming in than going out. I have a full-time job - photography is a side job - so this concept works well for me.
4. The local little league field.
5. Youth sports team & individual photos.


Jeff
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gonzogolf
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Jun 19, 2014 14:03 |  #4

1) My high school had an excellent photography program and I followed that with a photo heavy media major in college and paid for grad school teaching the darkroom portion of photo classes.

2) See above, supplemented with experimentation and then self taught as part of the transition from digital to film

3) trail and error, mostly error.

4) I had a full time position as a photographer for a state agency that morphed into side jobs.

5) I shot a (shotgun) wedding in high school, it was hastily planned (she was starting to show) and the parents needed a competent photographer on a budget in a hurry.




  
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waylandcool
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Jun 19, 2014 18:44 |  #5

1. 2 photography classes in High School
2. Lots of rolls of film through my AE-1/AE-1 Program
3. Still building mine, haven't started doing paid work yet.
4. Volunteering as a photographer for a husky rescue and shooting their events.
5. None yet, hopefully soon.




  
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eddie_h
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Jun 19, 2014 19:33 |  #6

1. No formal photography training
2. Self-taught through books, video tutorials, reading photography forums, articles, trial and error
3.Business degree at university, major in marketing
4. Online, focus on a strong online presence because that's where people go to shop for services/products
5. First actual customer (not a friend/relative) was for a senor picture


Eddie
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banquetbear
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Jun 19, 2014 19:56 |  #7

Davevw3 wrote in post #16981707 (external link)
1.Did you go to school for photography?

...yes. I made the decision first that I wanted to make photography my career quite late in life and I didn't want to spend 10 years learning stuff and starting slowly. I did a SWOT analysis: and determined firstly that my photography knowledge wasn't up to par, and secondly that the majority of competition were at about the same skill level as what I was at that time. I wanted to really understand my camera, so I took time out and went back to Photoschool (external link). The investment of six months of my time was the best thing I did for my business.

2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?

A mix of prior knowledge (used to own a film camera back in the 90's), youtube videos, and photoschool.

3. Where did you acquire your business skills?

15 years of experience in the hospitality and event industry. (Hence the name Banquet Bear). I was a Duty Manager at Sky City, Functions Manager at Bellamys (New Zealand Parliament), and Conference Co-ordinator at Te Papa. Worked for a recruitment agency for a year. I also ran my own catering business for a couple of years.

4. Where did you get yourself noticed?

My business plan initially focused on the conference/events industry: as I had networks and contacts here and the local photographers tended to ignore this market segment. I soon touched base with some old friends, and the convention bureau, and I ran an advert in a nationwide trade paperback, and things got busier from there. (I now no longer need to advertise.)

5. What were your first sales?

This wasn't my first sale, but I'll never forget my very first enquiry. Going into business was a relatively long process for me. From the first decision that I was going to do this, to preparing the business plan, to going to photoschool, raising enough capital to get a base level of gear, the whole process took about a couple of years.

I had a particular launch date in mind: so I scrambled to get everything ready: website online, running a few adverts in industry trade magazines etc, and on the launch date I was finally ready. I remember sitting down behind my desk in my home office and thinking "The imaginary doors to my business are now open for business!" I then stared at my telephone and thought: "Now just have to wait for the phone to ring!"

And it rung.

I literally jumped out of my seat. It was an enquiry to cover a government event sometime in 2015: this was two years ago and I really hadn't put any thought into pricing things long term, but I managed to put through a fairly solid quote. (And this thread is a reminder that now is a good time to follow up on that quote!) My first actual sale was the next day: another enquiry from an advert I placed in a trade magazine. (These were sales outside of my close family and friends).


www.bigmark.co.nzexternal link

  
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cire001
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Jun 20, 2014 14:25 as a reply to  @ banquetbear's post |  #8

1.Did you go to school for photography?
Home darkroom as a kid, Jr college , some classes at San Jose State University

2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?
those places
3. Where did you acquire your business skills?
trial and error ... not working out that great .. lol

4. Where did you get yourself noticed?
Not sure Ive been noticed yet.. but Im working on it

5. What were your first sales?
Google Business View Tours


Austin Commercial and Portrait Google Business view Brand Photographer

  
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PhotosGuy
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Jun 21, 2014 09:17 |  #9

"Your pathway to today"


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jun 21, 2014 10:23 |  #10

1.Did you go to school for photography?
No

2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?
Self-taught, via trail and error. I shot everything - like crazy - hundreds of images every week. Then I would download and scrutinize the images. Then I'd go out and shoot again, with some changes/adjustments. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat, ad nauseam.

3. Where did you acquire your business skills?
I didn't. I mean, I have poor business skills, and really do not like or enjoy the business aspect of photography. Come to think of it, I don't like the business aspect of anything. So I sell primarily thru stock agencies, which cuts the business end of things down tremendously. I would really not enjoy having work for paying customers on a daily basis. I let the agencies deal with the customers and the selling, so that I can focus more entirely on shooting.

4. Where did you get yourself noticed?
5. What were your first sales?

I'm answering these two questions together, because in my case the are one in the same.

I asked a magazine to put me on their list of contributing photographers. Then, once on the list, I received the "photo call" that would go out a few months before each issue. The first call they sent, I had some images that fit what they were looking for, so I burnt 'em to a CD and mailed them in. The magazine used two of the images, one for full page inside use, and the other for the back cover. They were my first published/paid images - my first sale.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Tony_Stark
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Jun 21, 2014 10:55 |  #11

1.Did you go to school for photography?

No formal photography training.

2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?

Always liked taking photos as a kid, pretty much decided one year I wanted to buy a camera, no real reason other than summer job and disposable income, went for the 50D + 50 1.8 and that was my first camera, used that combo for a full year, no other kit and learned a lot through that.

3. Where did you acquire your business skills?

Hands on experience. Didn't go to school for this, and every client is a new experience. Its been mostly good with some bad here and there. Its important to learn and grow everyday. I would consider formal schooling for business if I feel I am limiting myself and my potential.

4. Where did you get yourself noticed?

My very first shoot, my client had his car wrapped in a very unique color, this was 2 years ago before vinyl wrapped cars took off, and it garnered a lot of attention on social media, and my posts spread everywhere on the internet. From there did work with a local shop and expanded network and business.

5. What were your first sales?

I was very active on car forums, I remember when I decided I want to shoot cars, and I started with the BMW community. I literally messaged around 90 people to shoot their cars, as well as put out threads offering shoots for $100, and no body but 1 person got back to me, and just so happened the only guy that got back to me was my biggest starting point. We became good friends and always helped me get in touch with new clients.


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JacobPhoto
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Jun 21, 2014 13:58 |  #12

1. Nope. Business degree
2. Self-taught. Learned a lot from posting photos on internet forums, also got a few tips from some photographer friends.
3. School mostly, but also some feedback from online forums
4. I was a marketing intern at a magazine company and the editors noticed I was shooting photos at events and asked to see them. They ran a few images (unpaid), and that led to paying work shortly after I left the internship.
5. Editorial work for the magazines I used to intern at.


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~ Some L glass, some flashes, the usual

  
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b0barikin
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Jun 21, 2014 18:46 |  #13

I started doing a lot of free work for practice. Then discounted work. When my portfolio got bigger and better, I started charging a flat fee. Start small, you will do great. :)


---W. Bobarikin
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www.photographytulsaok​.com (external link)

  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jun 21, 2014 22:16 |  #14

I got drunk one night down near the docks and, well this sailor seemed like a really nice chap.... wait, that's not what you meant is it!?


Dan Marchant
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Gear Canon 5DIII + Fuji X-T2 + lenses + a plastic widget I found in the camera box.

  
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dkizzle
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Jun 22, 2014 11:27 |  #15

Dan Marchant wrote in post #16986372 (external link)
I got drunk one night down near the docks and, well this sailor seemed like a really nice chap.... wait, that's not what you meant is it!?

too much information ;)


I want to guest blog on your Landscape / Travel photography blog, PM for details

  
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