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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 04 Jan 2015 (Sunday) 19:46
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Advice for starting. Am I good enough?

 
OhLook
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Jan 05, 2015 20:10 |  #31

linnjo wrote in post #17366375 (external link)
I've recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and photography is the only thing I am comfortable with even when I meet people.. Since I will not be able to get a "normal" job until I get healthy again . . .

Please be sure you're not limiting your options unnecessarily. The workforce is full of people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It really is possible to work while having those conditions. The worst thing for depression is to do nothing: having too much spare time allows one to sit around and brood, as does being alone too much. Could you perhaps divide your time between part-time work and photography? A job can be demanding, but starting a business is even more demanding.

At your latitude at this time of year, as you probably know, depression comes easily. There's a reason that the major religions in the Northern Hemisphere do something in winter involving lights.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Jan 05, 2015 20:20 |  #32

banquetbear wrote in post #17367924 (external link)
...what the other photographer is doing is called "doing business". They have weaknesses so they are marketing to their strengths. Nothing dishonest about that.

And I'm not sure what that anecdote had to do with what I said. Or how it would be helpful to the op. They have already said they will be learning flash.

It had to do with people failing at the business. Attitude is a big part. I wasn't directing it at the OP just in general.

And flat out telling a customer what they want is wrong is not a good way to do business. If the lady had said sorry "thats not my style, lets find something else that works", then she would have had a happy client. Instead she lost a client who has bad mouthed her to others.




  
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banquetbear
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Jan 05, 2015 20:38 |  #33

the flying moose wrote in post #17368110 (external link)
It had to do with people failing at the business. Attitude is a big part. I wasn't directing it at the OP just in general.

And flat out telling a customer what they want is wrong is not a good way to do business. If the lady had said sorry "thats not my style, lets find something else that works", then she would have had a happy client. Instead she lost a client who has bad mouthed her to others.

...unless you were actually there to witness the conversation you can't be entirely sure what it was this other photographer actually said. But you apparently know this other photographer well enough to know that they are literally scared of flash: so perhaps there are other things you are choosing not to share. Regardless: you can have an "attitude" and still make money. I mean: look at me and Peter .


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banquetbear
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Jan 05, 2015 20:41 |  #34

OhLook wrote in post #17368089 (external link)
Please be sure you're not limiting your options unnecessarily. The workforce is full of people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It really is possible to work while having those conditions. The worst thing for depression is to do nothing: having too much spare time allows one to sit around and brood, as does being alone too much. Could you perhaps divide your time between part-time work and photography? A job can be demanding, but starting a business is even more demanding.

At your latitude at this time of year, as you probably know, depression comes easily. There's a reason that the major religions in the Northern Hemisphere do something in winter involving lights.

...you make some good points. This is a very important topic to me: I'm on my phone and typing is a bugger but when I get back to my computer I hope to be able to share some stuff about me and how I deal with this day to day.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Jan 05, 2015 20:43 |  #35

banquetbear wrote in post #17368136 (external link)
...unless you were actually there to witness the conversation you can't be entirely sure what it was this other photographer actually said. But you apparently know this other photographer well enough to know that they are literally scared of flash: so perhaps there are other things you are choosing not to share. Regardless: you can have an "attitude" and still make money. I mean: look at me and Peter .

You're right. I am going by what the client told me. This photographer is fairly well known in town for having attitude and I have had my work insulted in person by her. You two might have an attitude but not once have I ever been insulted or offended by either one of your posts or responses.




  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 05, 2015 21:00 |  #36

the flying moose wrote in post #17368110 (external link)
And flat out telling a customer what they want is wrong is not a good way to do business.

I'd only make that assessment after having viewed their financials and knowing how healthy their P&L was.


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1000WordsPhotography
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Jan 09, 2015 10:00 |  #37

seres wrote in post #17366568 (external link)
Lots of good suggestions here.

First, you have to master the craft, and that means mastering flash in all forms.

Then you have to master the skills to successfully run a business. So many start-up businesses fail in the first few years simply because the owners didn’t understand the mechanics of running a business. On the job training just won’t work for a business owner.

Someone suggested finding an established photographer who needs a second shooter. Excellent idea! Try that for a year or so, and then decide if you want to start your own business.

There are photographers making a living who pretty much only shoot natural light. Its to a stand I agree with but it can be done.

You can be the worlds greatest photographer and it won't make a difference if you are the worlds worst business person.


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Jan 09, 2015 10:15 |  #38

Nogo wrote in post #17366433 (external link)
Making a living at photography requires you to be a business owner. Success at business can be stressful. If you feel you can't handle a "regular" job right now, you are probably not ready to take on the stress of running a business. There are customers to deal with, paperwork to handle, taxes, forms and a host of other things you will only know you need to deal with when the time comes. Being a professional photographer is not just about shooting photographs, no matter how good you are.

If you can find an established photographer who needs a second shooter, this would probably be a lot less stressful. Other than that, I would forget about becoming a business owner of any type if your motivation of doing so is to have a job that is easier to "deal with."

This is exactly what I was thinking. Just running/operating the business (clients, scheduling, paperwork, estimates, etc.) can be a full time job.


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Chris
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Jan 14, 2015 16:01 |  #39

Lisa Holloway doesn't use flash: http://www.ljhollowayp​hotography.com/ (external link)
She is a master at photoshop, however.


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Jan 14, 2015 21:48 |  #40

Alveric wrote in post #17366414 (external link)
Have to master flash before you can call yourself a pro. Think of it this way: a bloke who drives a car to work at an office can have his choice of auto or manual tranny: he doesn't have to know how to drive manual if he doesn't want to; a guy working as a mechanic at a garage has to know how to drive both, even if he prefers auto himself: he has no choice.

You're that second guy.

I completely disagree.


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Jan 15, 2015 09:14 |  #41

No, you dont' have to master flash. (but it sure will help)

Yes you have to master exposure/light.


Business skills - Sales Skills - Photography skills.


You have to have them all - which one you want to work on first is up to you.


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linnjo
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Jan 23, 2015 13:07 |  #42

I would like to thank every single one of you for taking the time to answer this!

For the person who assumed I wanted a job that was easier to "deal with", that's not it at all; photography is my goal, it is what I want to do.
And since social anxiety makes me anxious in stores, schools and places with lots of people at once, I don't see why I would try to get a "regular job" in a store (or mcdonalds) just to save up some money and eventually in years from now start my own photography business. It doesn't seem logical when photography makes me less anxious and less stressed than an environment like say a grocery store. I feel safe behind my camera, I feel like photography is something I know - unlike a lot of other things.
I hope you understand what I mean. I know this is right for me, I was just wondering if I should start now, or postpone it for years until I get better.

Different country, different everything (?)
I also think the style of photography varies a bit, the photography I saw when I lived in the U.S is very different from what the people I usually see in Norway do. Both editing and posing (mostly referring to senior photography). So I have to look at what my clients want.

OhLook: A few months ago I was barely able to get out of bed, much less leaving the apartment. I am better now, and going to therapy, so don't worry. I'm pushing myself as much as I can without exhausting myself completely. ;-)a It helps seeing that other people deal with depression and anxiety and still manage to work as a photographer.

I don't know if everyone got the impression that I'm going into a full-time photography job. I'm not. I have enough money to pay rent, food and those things, I want to start slow. I was thinking about doing maybe 1-4 shoots a month to start with. Better than not doing anything at all, right? And then as my depression and anxiety gets better, I'll probably be able to do more.
Also, I don't have to start a business to be able to earn money from photography if I don't plan on earning a whole lot the first years. I just want to dip my toe into the business part of it and get some real clients I can work with. I think these things might be different depending on what country you live in too.

Flash:
I'm sure I'll figure this one out as I go. I appreciate your input and opinions, but don't tell me what I can and cannot do ;-)a

I will work on every aspect of it, and I'm pretty sure I already have some of the skills down.

Thanks again for all your answers! I've decided to just do it my own way, because listening to everyone and their grandma won't get me where I want to be :lol:




  
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Jan 23, 2015 15:47 |  #43
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You WILL learn how to use flash or I'll come all the way down to blast your eyes with a 3000J Tria at full power!!

:D J/K (It'd be the perfect excuse to enjoy 22 hours of night, though :p)

Good thing you've realised that getting a ratty job that pays minimum wage in the hopes of saving enough to one day have thousands of Euros to spend on quality equipment is a pipe dream. I received the same 'advice' and told whoever gave it to get real: no way you can save ANYTHING when your minimum-wage job barely pays only the rent. Taking two minimum-wage jobs, as said person counter-suggested is idiotic: I deal with depression too, and no way I'm gonna last longer than a month being overworkedand underfed, just to make enough money to pay bills and save $25 per month. No way I'd last longer than a few weeks doing a job I totally hate: been there twice, and twice I tendered my notice and quit.

Regarding style, yes, there's a big difference. I'm partial to Europe myself, even though I'm Canadian, and I don't care for the American looks and styles, heh, maybe that's why I don't have tons of work. Whatever, I do it my way too.

Take it easy and develop your vision, but don't do what the Americans do and just try to stand out and be different for the sake of being unique: you'll end up like anybody else.

Godspeed.


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Jan 23, 2015 16:05 |  #44

I'd say that you've got good skills. However, as others have noted, business and people skills are just as important for a successful photography business. You might find that photography for yourself is a peaceful, uplifting, and low anxiety activity. When dealing with clients, however, you're dealing with other people's expectations. There can be conflict. That's not going to be therapeutic for your anxiety or depression.


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Alveric
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Jan 23, 2015 16:14 |  #45
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joedlh wrote in post #17396717 (external link)
I'd say that you've got good skills. However, as others have noted, business and people skills are just as important for a successful photography business. You might find that photography for yourself is a peaceful, uplifting, and low anxiety activity. When dealing with clients, however, you're dealing with other people's expectations. There can be conflict. That's not going to be therapeutic for your anxiety or depression.

True, but it's easier dealing politely and effectively with displeased customers when you love what you do than when you hate it.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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