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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 May 2015 (Tuesday) 17:35
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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 27, 2015 23:01 |  #16

Flugelbinder wrote in post #17572305 (external link)
do I have what it takes?

The main body of your post was completely irrelevant to this question.

SALES determine whether you have what it takes. Without sales no business has what it takes. Quality of work has little bearing on whether or not you'll make it. There are some god awful photographers who are highly successful and some amazing photographers who can't sell to save their lives. SALES.

As Banquetbear has already pointed out you are asking entirely the wrong questions. Can you make a living charging xyz? You should know the answer to that, if you don't them you haven't done the ground work you should have done.

Seeking affirmation about your images and your quality as such won't help you with regards to business. In business there are two metrics that matter.

1) Does it sell at the price point you need it to sell to be sustainable/profitable​?
2) Are the clients happy?

The main concern when "making the jump" is not quality... it is SALES. If no one will buy what you sell it is worthless. Businesses exist to make money. Sure a business can produce great quality work (also they can produce crud work) but in either case they have to SELL the work.

My honest opinion is that you need to start approaching starting a business like a business person. Banquetbear always gives solid honest advice, you should listen to it. There is absolutely nothing elitist about his advice... in fact getting the reply you did will hopefully give you the head space check you need.

Want to run a business? Start thinking like a business owner. At the end of the day the photography itself is just the product, and there is a whole lot more to running a business than just the product.


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quickben
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May 27, 2015 23:10 |  #17

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17574096 (external link)
The main body of your post was completely irrelevant to this question.

SALES determine whether you have what it takes. Without sales no business has what it takes. Quality of work has little bearing on whether or not you'll make it. There are some god awful photographers who are highly successful and some amazing photographers who can't sell to save their lives. SALES.

As Banquetbear has already pointed out you are asking entirely the wrong questions. Can you make a living charging xyz? You should know the answer to that, if you don't them you haven't done the ground work you should have done.

Seeking affirmation about your images and your quality as such won't help you with regards to business. In business there are two metrics that matter.

1) Does it sell at the price point you need it to sell to be sustainable/profitable​?
2) Are the clients happy?

The main concern when "making the jump" is not quality... it is SALES. If no one will buy what you sell it is worthless. Businesses exist to make money. Sure a business can produce great quality work (also they can produce crud work) but in either case they have to SELL the work.


My honest opinion is that you need to start approaching starting a business like a business person. Banquetbear always gives solid honest advice, you should listen to it. There is absolutely nothing elitist about his advice... in fact getting the reply you did will hopefully give you the head space check you need.

Want to run a business? Start thinking like a business owner. At the end of the day the photography itself is just the product, and there is a whole lot more to running a business than just the product.


This is the answer he should've got in the first place. Not a crypticism about "asking the right question" that could easily be construed as arrogance, regardless of intent. It's off putting.


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May 27, 2015 23:22 |  #18

Thank you, Gary.
I didn't even know what to think anymore...
In the meantime, I was inquired to shoot a baptism on the 13th; I must be doing something right... :)


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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 27, 2015 23:23 as a reply to  @ quickben's post |  #19

I see nothing wrong with the replies Banquetbear gave. I see my post just as an addition to those comments... and to be honest had the points he made not have already been there I would have said something very similar.

Many of those who fail in business do so because they continually ask the wrong questions and the answers they get to those questions as a result are completely useless.


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May 27, 2015 23:26 |  #20

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17574116 (external link)
I see nothing wrong with the replies Banquetbear gave. I see my post just as an addition to those comments... and to be honest had the points he made not have already been there I would have said something very similar.

...hence the elitism reference. I might as well throw nepotism into the mix as well.


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May 27, 2015 23:26 |  #21

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17574096 (external link)
...Quality of work has little bearing on whether or not you'll make it. There are some god awful photographers who are highly successful and some amazing photographers who can't sell to save their lives...

I just can't get my mind around this...
I understand one needs to sell, but the quality doesn't matter?!?... So you agree with the saying "anyone is a photographer"?


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May 27, 2015 23:30 |  #22

Flugelbinder wrote in post #17574113 (external link)
Thank you, Gary.
I didn't even know what to think anymore...
In the meantime, I was inquired to shoot a baptism on the 13th; I must be doing something right... :)

You're welcome, mate.

Don't take my comments as a criticism of the advice given, just of the manner in which it's often delivered. They clearly know their business.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 27, 2015 23:34 as a reply to  @ quickben's post |  #23

I just recognise quality, no bull, solid business advice when I see it. Banquetbear gives some of the best and most comprehensive business advice on this forum... for free I might add.


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May 27, 2015 23:37 |  #24

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17574129 (external link)
I just recognise quality, no bull, solid business advice when I see it. Banquetbear gives some of the best and most comprehensive business advice on this forum... for free I might add.

Absolutely, and I've already mentioned that I took his advices and already made some changes to the website.
I'm just confused when you mention that the quality of the photography isn't relevant, which goes against everything I have read and heard, so far...


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May 27, 2015 23:39 |  #25

quickben wrote in post #17574078 (external link)
Paul. I think your only mistake was to ask a question like that in this bear pit. I've never come across a bunch of people as elitist as some of the pros on this forum. I generally steer clear of this part of POTN.

Your work is very good indeed and it's very clear what your style is. It's very close to my own and there is definitely a market for it (atleast as far as I know from knowledge of my locality)

Don't look for validation here, since it means absolutely nothing in reality. Go and do more of what you're already doing very well, and hopefully you can make the step to full-time.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

Gary.

I am far from a pro but some of the advice I've received from some of the so called "elitist pros" has helped me immensely and saved me some headaches in doing the little bit of business I have done with photography so far.




  
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May 27, 2015 23:46 |  #26

Flugelbinder wrote in post #17574134 (external link)
Absolutely, and I've already mentioned that I took his advices and already made some changes to the website.
I'm just confused when you mention that the quality of the photography isn't relevant, which goes against everything I have read and heard, so far...

Quality is part of it for SOME people. Price is another reason people will choose a photographer. Some people just don't care what it looks like. Locally there are some horrible photographers that are always busy and always booked. Their photos often have missed focus, poor composition and bad exposure and little to no editing. I wouldn't do a shoot with these people if they paid me. Yet, they are always out there busy and doing photos. Marketing yourself correctly separates you from the "these aren't great but they are good enough for me" cheap photographers and turns you into the "damn, I really want/need to book with him/her" photographer.




  
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May 27, 2015 23:48 |  #27

the flying moose wrote in post #17574136 (external link)
I am far from a pro but some of the advice I've received from some of the so called "elitist pros" has helped me immensely and saved me some headaches in doing the little bit of business I have done with photography so far.

My statement wasn't all-encompassing if you read it carefully. And I don't doubt that the vast majority of the advice given here is cogent and relevant, Banquetbear's included. I just wince when I see an "am I good enough" thread title pop up because I know the OP will be in for an earful of the crypticism I mentioned and I honestly think it's unnecessarily intimidating.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 27, 2015 23:51 |  #28

Flugelbinder wrote in post #17574134 (external link)
I'm just confused when you mention that the quality of the photography isn't relevant, which goes against everything I have read and heard, so far...

Forget quality and concentrate on "perceived value". You can have the highest quality images in the world but if they have no perceived value to the market you are selling to it means absolutely nothing. In the general domestic market there is little discernible difference between the majority of photographers out there. Very few (and I mean hardly any) have any sort of unique style. To the general public one is just as good as another. But how does someone with bland vanilla photography make it? They have a perceived value to their work which is greater than their peers.

Perceived value can come from customer service, the client experience as well as from the photography. Likewise the biggest selling point can often be the photographer (the person) above their work. Certainly this is the case for many in the wedding industry. People buy from people they like.

The quality of the work is just a part of the equation, and for some it isn't even a factor at all.

One thing you learn when venturing into business there is often a big difference between when people say they "like" your work and people "buying" your work. One of those two things pays the bills.


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May 27, 2015 23:57 |  #29

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17574147 (external link)
Forget quality and concentrate on "perceived value". You can have the highest quality images in the world but if they have no perceived value to the market you are selling to it means absolutely nothing.

In the general domestic market there is little discernible difference between the majority of photographers out there. Very few (and I mean hardly any) have any sort of unique style. To the general public one is just as good as another. But how does someone with bland vanilla photography make it? They have a perceived value to their work which is greater than their peers.

Perceived value can come from customer service, the client experience as well as from the photography. Likewise the biggest selling point can often be the photographer (the person) above their work. Certainly this is the case for many in the wedding industry. People buy from people they like.

Got it.


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May 28, 2015 00:00 |  #30

the flying moose wrote in post #17574141 (external link)
...Marketing yourself correctly separates you from the "these aren't great but they are good enough for me" cheap photographers and turns you into the "damn, I really want/need to book with him/her" photographer.

Understood, but one need images to backup the price range, right?


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