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Archive for November 2010

Patience, perseverance, persistence

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As I close this 10-week photography blogging special, I think it’s important to touch on the realities and challenges of becoming a photographer. While the process is long and exhausting, those who make it will also relish in the joys it brings to their lives: the new people and pets they get to meet and call friends, the fresh locations and places their camera takes them, and the ability to gain a new perspective on things we may not otherwise get to experience, and the opportunity to create special pieces of art or memorabilia for someone that will be forever cherished and valued.

It doesn’t matter if you photograph high school seniors, families, children, pets, weddings, or choose to be a photojournalist or commercial photographer, the road there will likely not be an easy one. There will be tall hills, deep valleys, and probably a few really unexpected turns that you’ll need to navigate cautiously. Most photographers have to juggle a full time day job while starting their business, but with persistence, patience, and perseverance, your dreams can turn into a reality, much like Philadelphia photographer April Zeigler’s has.

Take advantage of the many resources I have mentioned over the past few weeks, practice, educate yourself, practice some more, take the business aspect of photography seriously, practice even more, and over time, you will find success.

Check back next February for another 10-week blogging special!

Written by brittanibowling

November 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Posted in photography

Business sense continued: Organization

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While I’ve already lightly touched on the importance of business knowledge for a successful photography business, I think we should re-visit the topic and elaborate on the importance of organization for your business.

Not just organization as in “Is your office clean?” or “Are your papers filed correctly?” but more about, “Are you correctly keeping track of your expenses and income in one place?” or “Are your business bank accounts set up correctly and organized efficiently?”

While office organization is also key, having your ducks in a row in terms of financials and documentation are key. Moms with Cameras blogger Emily discusses here how she organizes her bank accounts for her business and why it works for her.

Also on her blog, she has a specific category just for business blog posts, all of which could be beneficial to you at the start of your business. This post is specifically about taxes and organizing your income to minimize your tax losses…very important for new photographers or any new business owner to understand.

There are also plenty of money tracking resources for photographers to purchase that are already developed and ready to use. Tennille King of TK Business & Design offers Biz Books that help photographers easily plug their numbers into spreadsheets that track profit and loss, mileage, sales tax, vendor and client information, among other things.

Written by brittanibowling

November 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

The importance of mastering your camera

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One of the most important things any new photographer could do to improve the success of their business is to master their camera. A photographer charging clients for their work should know exactly how to manipulate the controls on their camera to get the desired look to their photos.

What is the easiest way to do this? Read your camera’s manual…then practice, practice, practice. Orange County, Ca. wedding photographer Jasmine Star offers that same advice in one of her FAQ posts on her blog. She admits she started her business with pretty standard equipment, but she made it work for her because she actively practiced, and when she got lost or confused, she researched.

Mastering your camera is of utmost importance. After all, when out on a shoot, if you don’t feel confident with your camera, how are you going to feel confident trying to pose your clients most likely in an unfamiliar location, and under a totally different type of stress, all while fiddling in frustration with your camera. Your clients will be able to sense this frustration, and nobody will leave the session happy. And for certain,  you will not be getting any referrals from those equally frustrated clients.

Practice, perseverance, and patience are the true keys to being able to manipulate your equipment like a pro. Get this down pat, and your sessions will begin to flow oh so smoothly, and both you and your clients will walk away from the experience feeling positive. This article is a great summary of the importance of mastering your camera to master your craft, and what exactly you need to be an expert at.

Written by brittanibowling

November 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Giving back: volunteer work for photographers

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Just like in other industries, it’s important to consider in what ways your skill set could give back to the community. As a photographer, there are so many opportunities to broaden your horizons via charity or volunteer work. Armed with a camera, you have the ability to document things that most non-profit or volunteer run organizations do not have the funds to pay for.

Florida pet photographer Emilee Fuss volunteers her skills often for animal shelters and rescue organizations. Frequently, Emilee takes photos of the pets up for adoption, creating much more professional photos for the organizations website than they might have the funds to create themselves. Emilee also then advertises those pups on her own websites (blog and Facebook) in order to increase the frequency that the animals are seen and the likelihood that they will be adopted. Just last week, Emilee visited her local Guide Dog facility and snapped a few photos, then posted them on her blog. Just by doing so, she has instantly increased awareness of what this facility does and has exposed their name to many people who may have never heard of them.

Other volunteer opportunities for photographers can be found at events for any type of non-profit. When an organization puts on a planned event, they are always looking for someone to professionally document the event so that they have good photos for their website or even the local newspaper. Philadelphia pet photographer April Ziegler was on hand to capture all of the fun at this event, which was planned to raise money for a dog park and the PSPCA’s neglected and abused dogs. However, just because the photographers mentioned have a niche for photographing pets, these tips can be generalized for any kind of fundraiser or charity event…think hospital galas, shelters for orphaned children, or fundraisers for diseases or cancers, such as your local Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.

Volunteering in your community not only gives back to deserving organizations but helps build your skill set and network as well. Get out there and see where you can help!

Written by brittanibowling

November 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm