Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Votes Have Been Counted

The Votes Are In, and here's what you'd like to read about:

  • Step-by-step basics of getting a photography business off the ground - 52%
  • Marketing ideas and techniques - 50%
  • Business entities: LLC/Inc/Sole Proprietor - 40%
  • Finding your niche - 38%
  • The High Price of Creating Free Ads - 12%
  • Portfolios - 37%
  • Approaching established pro's for assistantships, mentoring and advice - 34%
  • Policing your copyright - 28%
  • Charging for rush jobs - 25%
  • Financial Planning - 23%
  • Printing Companies: Online Vs. Local - 23%
  • Retainers - 16%
  • Mom's (and dad's) with a camera - 13%
  • The legalities of RF selling - 9%
  • Scoopt - What's the deal? - 7%
  • iStockphoto listed in the credits in a major motion picture? - 6%
I'm going to just drop Scoopt and another iStockphoto posting off the topics list. I know I was in a target rich environment last week, and that may have caused a bit of reader fatigue in hearing about the GYI family of companies and seeing so many chalk outlines, so, rather than a general posting about those two issues above, I'll save it until their next blunder. One reader was kind enough to point out that I had only written "Mom's with a camera", when there's a large collection of dad's (and uncles for that matter) with too much time on their hands and a camera, so it'll be about all three.
(Continued after the Jump)

Here's how I think it will work best to fulfill the readership's interest in the above subjects. Take #1 - "Step-by-step basics of getting a photography business off the ground". I could talk about pet photography just as easy as a stock studio, and then again just as easy as an on location editorial business. So, I'll first start with a inquiry post, asking about the specifics of what you'd like to see, and to get the direction you'd like me to take by your comments to the post. No comments? No problem, I'll pick a field, and that just may make me pick pet photography. As someone who's sat in the ring at a dog show with a purebred and had my photo taken, it'll be dog show pet photography, or maybe how to get fido to sit as one part of your training for family pet photography. There are big bucks in that, you know?

A day (or three) later, you'll get your post on the subject, and then I'll move on within the next week.

If you would like to see it done differently, speak now.


Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think "what field of photography" is a perfect place to start. Most of us will be adept in taking pictures of all sorts of things.

People? Sure!
Objects? Sure!
Landscapes? Sure!

But what would be our best choice given certain circumstances? Let's say I'm good with people, have good communication skills, do I do weddings? Do I try for catalog models? Family portraits? Editorial?

Most of us know the "Do what you know" and "Find the niche" sort of advice, but which niche do I start in? What's the best way to build up a client base for the niche? Can I easily change from niches that don't turn out well? Can I specialize in many things?

I guess you get the idea.

Thanks for all your informative posts John. Much appreciated.

Scott Dickerson said...

I guess I missed the chance to vote, but I do have some opinions to share:

My #1 interest is to feed my never ending thirst for more marketing ideas. I doubt I'm alone among my peers in my struggle to make time for marketing; so I greatly appreciate any and all ideas that can give me a little more inspiration to work on that aspect of my business.

Interest #2 would be hearing your advice on business entities. I know there is endless info about this online, but it would be helpful to hear it translated into photographer specific advice.

#3 On the step-by-step basics of business I would ask that you make efforts to keep the concepts as general as possible, since we are all so different. So if you could focus on the underlying concepts and principles as much as possible I think that would be helpful.

Enough for now, thanks for your education efforts, they are being read and appreciated.
-Scott

Duane said...

Sweet! Back on track!

I would like to hear about how to get a portrait business off the ground. I guess the varied amount of client even looking at unique areas such as pet photography would be good to. I suppose the bottom line is going to be to have an open mind and to not close any doors on potential opportunities!

Duane...

Brian said...

How about how to get started as a side business without immediately quitting your day job?

I don't have a strong preference for a particular kind of subject yet -- what kinds of photography can profitably be fit into evenings and weekends?

Arch said...

I'm with Brian on the 'how to start on the side' kinda deal. I would also like to know some of the more technical side of launching a business. For that I mean regarding taxes, business registration - dry but important to know kinda stuff.

Anonymous said...

What if, like you, we photograph politicians? I have had several paying jobs doing that, and I really enjoy it. The difficulty is getting politicians (or their staffers) to figure out how badly they need professional photography. You would think politicians would be extremely image-conscious. This appears to be mostly not true, though, of politicians below the federal level. So, how do you market to politicians?

David said...

I agree with Arch. I'm looking for more general business advice. Having just started freelancing from a photojournalism background, finding clients is less of a problem than finding answers to my questions regarding the business of photography ... things like needing a vendor's license, paying taxes, what products do I need to charge sales tax, forming a business plan, accounting, sole proprietership vs. s-corp vs. llc, etc. Obviously, some topics are location and business specific, and need to ge discussed with lawyers and accountants, but some general advice on how to start the "business" would be good to read.

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