For decades, business cards have been the most popular way to share personal details for networking and self-promotion purposes. Whilst these clever introductory tools have traditionally taken the shape of a rectangular piece of paper, one young Singaporean wedding photographer, is changing the face of business cards with his innovative idea.
Well, technically it's economics but let’s be honest, proclaiming to the world “It’s Economics!” just doesn't pack quite as big of a punch. You probably haven’t heard that competition is good for business since (if I had to guess) your high school economics class, but most of us probably weren’t paying attention anyway. No offense Mr. Holt… The whole idea that competition increases your business is a super backward concept but when you break it down, it actually makes a lot of sense. As a photographer, I am going to explain this as it pertains to the photography, but the whole idea works for any industry out there.
It’s time to answer the often-asked question I hear from many wedding photographers. Is it worth the money to advertise with online marketplaces for professional wedding vendors? I track everything in my wedding business. If you can record it, track it, analyze it, and summarize it, I’m aware of it. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as opening up a spreadsheet of raw, unrefined data and pulling out the hidden truths that lie dormant in the numbers.
A few weeks ago I was introduced to Picspotr, which is a place for photographers to keep track of everything from their finances to contracts, clients, packages, and more via computer and mobile device. Once I hopped on and signed up, I began to really like the way everything worked. I think that this is a great business management program for a lot of photographers out there, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to check out if you don't already use another program.
A few months ago, I started a passion project of mine: FilmObjektiv.org. Film Objektiv was started with one goal in mind: to get more people shooting film. We do this by renting film cameras at low prices for longer periods of time, by providing prints at a low cost, and also by serving as an online and educational resource to help film shooters find everything they'd ever need. It's this last part that still needs some work, but it's well on its way with this new pricing guide for film labs across the country. Still, I could use your help.
I've been shooting corporate jobs since about 2010. At first, it was a little rocky. I didn't really know what I was doing, I hadn't shot enough with other photographers to learn the ropes, and I was just a self-taught photographer trying to make ends meet. Fast forward to 2017, and I'm shooting high-profile executives at Fortune 500 companies, and am expected to do it quickly. I'm shooting luncheons where half of the attendees flew in from another hemisphere on their private jets, and am expected to do it quietly. And well. So, here are a few quick tips for people who are just starting out in the freelance corporate photography world.
Is LinkedIn one of the most overlooked social media networks for photographers? With over 460 million users and growing, it’s not something you can just ignore. Yet, that's exactly what a lot of photographers do, myself included. We joined Facebook because everyone was already there, and Instagram just makes sense for visual professionals. LinkedIn started out as a tool for building a resume and finding a new job. As self-employed freelance individuals, do we really have a need for that?
It's always such a sensitive subject for the creative industry. Money is what the creative industry hates to ask for. but loves to have for their gear and career. So let's get it out there. Professional photography is a business, and in photography, you'll only flourish at it because you love what you do. You'll never become a photographer if you didn't love it. David Bergman gives some good tips when starting out because photographers don't usually know what their images are worth.
One of the most overlooked aspects during the jump from amateur to professional photographer is the business end of contracts. You may be excited for this new adventure of creating art, but if you are asking for payment for your services, your contract is the last place you want to skimp on the details.