Photography is an art and a wonderful hobby to get yourself involved in. There comes a point where many hobbyists decide to turn that passion into a full-time career, and when that happens, it is imperative to have a solid strategy in place to be financially stable. Photography can be a volatile career, more so than most businesses, so here are three strategies I use to make sure I stay profitable.
In my journey to separate my family life from my work life, as detailed in my last post, a change in my work environment has been key. Namely, my wife was tired of seeing my hard drive sitting on the kitchen island and I was handily kicked down to the basement. I took this opportunity to switch up my workflow from using a local external hard drive to a NAS (network-attached storage). Here are some interesting things I've discovered along the way.
You can have the tools, and you can have the know how, but what is one of the most powerful skills that most photographers, videographers, and just about anyone else will swear by in a creative industry? The power of forethought and pre-planning. Granted, for some this step isn’t as important as it is to others. However, whether you sit down and make a shot list, sketch out some rough ideas for shots, or just develop a really strong concept of what you want to accomplish on a project, most people do pre-plan in some way shape or form.
Most photographers have a difficult time turning their social following into income – Yes, even those with HUGE social followings. The great part is, it doesn’t take a genius to learn how to capitalize from your social following, whether it’s 100 people or 100,000. It just takes some research and small bit of effort.
Do you spend more time researching photography gear than shooting? Do you believe that you can’t achieve a particular look without buying the latest shiny product? Then you might be suffering from G.A.S., also known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Step into my office and let me share some prescriptions that can help you cure this debilitating disease!
Work hard. Create personal work. Blog. Be active on social media. Pick up the phone. These (any many others) are tried and true ways to promote yourself and your business while you're trying to get noticed in a sea of other artists. But what happens when life gets in the way of your success? How do you balance taking care of your family while giving photography an honest to goodness shot?
For a few years, the names in the game of digital video technologies have remained pretty constant, especially in the professional or prosumer category. It’s not often you have a company jump onto the scene swinging, promising to release what could be one of the most versatile systems to hit the market in a while; this is exactly what Craft Camera has done. Purchasing isn’t available yet but they are taking reservations now and shipping out the first units off the line as early as December.
I always had a strong love/hate relationship with the New York City subway, never picturing I would be driving again. But now that my work is having me travel more frequently, I find myself in the market, looking for that perfect vehicle. The first thing I did was a search for "Best Vehicles for Professional Photographers" on Google, with no luck. So, after further work, I wanted to share my findings and knowledge with you, so when you start looking for that perfect photo-mobile, you know just where to start!
Lots of skilled videos editors have started to see the value in being hired for contract work. It’s a great supplement to other income, you can be picky about projects, and most of us enjoy the work. But what about negotiating rates, estimating time, and dealing with files after the job? Here are some tips for the business-side of being a freelance video editor.
Shooting a wedding can certainly be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the genre. However, self-described "up and coming photographer" Chloe Johnston soon learned that they, just like every other business venture, have a serious job that should not be taken lightly. In this instance, I'm not sure if it was a lack of experience, or maturity, or both. Ultimately she did not deliver a desirable final product. After which, she publicly tried to defame the bride and groom once they attempted to voice their concerns to her about the low photo count and overall poor quality of the images delivered.
Artists struggle with many emotions throughout their day. One of the most typical emotions is a sense of inadequacy, both in business and creativity. How many times has budget, fear, and challenge stopped you from getting things done? Whatever your excuse is, it’s just that: an excuse. Here are three thoughts that are holding you back as a photographer and how to overcome them.
“Who am I to tell people what they ought to do?” I taunted myself as I wrote my first article for Fstoppers. I wanted to convey how much of an impact that asking for what I wanted had had on me. Nevertheless, I was acutely aware of being condescending as I don’t consider myself old enough, wise enough, or successful enough to warrant people’s ear. As the post went up, I read and reread my work, even though I had proofread it several times before it was published. I tried to assume different characters to gain new perspectives and understand ways in which people might react badly to my advice.
If you are active in a Facebook Group, you most likely have wished at some point in time that you could stream what you are doing live to them. The connection with a tight-knit community makes you want to share with them often. Until today, you would have to invite people to come view you somewhere else: Periscope, Facebook Live on your personal page, or any number of other options. It was unreliable, as people often don't want to have to access things through another app, especially if it involves a download for them of something they have never used before. Now, you can stream directly to a Facebook Group using the Facebook Live feature.