Definition of Photography Business - Page 3
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Old 04-09-2013   #21
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GP,

You're asking a very general question that has many different specific answers depending on the type of photography business you're interested in. I'm not sure that you've mentioned the type of photography business that you're asking about though I'd guess that since you have a day job you're interested in a part time wedding or portrait business.

I don't have any experience in running a part time wedding or portrait business but I do have experience owning and running a successful commercial photography business for over 30 years.

I'll get to what I think are the most important things for my business in a moment but first let me go back to your first post in this thread and answer your initial bunch of questions, as best I can.

Does it have to be a 40+ plus a week commitment?
Yes. I only photograph on average a few days a week though I'm present and working on business related things 5 days a week. It's a real job with a 40 hr plus a week commitment.

Do you have to have a Brick & Mortar Studio with a business address?
As a commercial photographer I do have to have a brick and mortar studio with a business address to be considered established as a professional commercial photography studio. I also have to have lots of lighting and camera equipment as well as a full service kitchen, client lounge area, meeting room, Wi-Fi, office space, and secure parking.

Do you need make a certain amount of revenue?
Yes, I have to have enough revenue to support the studio, bankroll future shoots and provide a lifestyle that I want.

Do you have to employ others?
No, I can freelance extra help when needed. I have had full-time assistants in the past but I've found that freelancing assistants gets assistants that are more eager to work. I've also had interns in the past.

Do you need 100's of clients a week?
No, I'm not in a retail business. Most of my customers are long standing repeat clients with real budgets and professional photographic needs.

Does it have to be full time employment or could it be a weekend warrior?
No it has to be full time employment. Advertising agencies, business owners and marketing departments don't want to work on the weekends. Who does? I have to be available during the week.

Do you have to be professional to be considered a business?
Yes I have to meet professional standards in appearance, facilities and quality of work to stay in business.

Do you have to be competent or skillful to be considered a business?
Yes I have to be competent and skilled to be a successful business.

For my business there are several things that have worked for me and to which I attribute my success.

In the commercial photography business the most important photographic skill is lighting. You have to know lighting. You have to be able to recognize good lighting and you have to be able to create good lighting. F/stops, shutter speeds, camera skills, lens choice, composition, graphic design, extreme attention to detail are all important and necessary skills but the grand daddy of them all is lighting.

I've also found that having a real place of business adds immeasurably to your credibility as a commercial photographer. When I first moved to Tampa in 1981 I did $60,000 out of a rental house the first year. The second year I more than doubled that by renting a studio/office space...instant credibility.

You also have to have talent for lighting, composition, and the creativity to make something out of nothing, good work habits to get the job done in time and on budget and the people skills to speak comfortably with the CEO of a large corporation on one day and a factory worker the next.

You do need some marketing skills as everyone says but you have to have the skills to market.
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Old 04-10-2013   #22
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Every photographer dreams of having a photography business. It provides not only a sense of freedom but in addition a sense of appearance in life. A business is no significantly less than haven for the photographer who possesses it. Many photographers quit this desire as a result of roadblocks, such as cash scarcity and insufficient support. If you, too, wish to start a business, do not allow your dreams fade. These days, there are several organizations that provide assist with photographers in opening their own studios.
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Old 04-10-2013   #23
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I just finished filing and paying my state sales taxes. I figure if the state entrusts me with the responsibility to collect their tax money and to send it in with a report of where all it came from, I'm pretty much a bona fide business. My business liability insurance company must think I'm legit too, they keep taking my premium payments.
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Old 04-11-2013   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Pixel View Post
You mentioned a job, I was not referring to a job, I was specifically asking about a photography business. What defines a photography business, are there prerequisites other then the legal requirements and tax codes.
From a practical standpoint no there are no requirements beyond the legal ones. However being able to start a business and running a successful business are two different things. Go into the business without the skill and knowledge or the man power of employees with the skill and knowledge to successfully run the business at both the technical and the administrative level is a sure fire plan for failure.

Also the legal requirements can vary greaTLY FROM ONE JURISDICTION TO THE NEXT.
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Old 04-11-2013   #25
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Bottom line is your question can not be answered definitively because the answers change based on the expectations of the business.

Brooks laid out what it takes to meet his expectations as a business in the Commercial Field but in truth his needs are more "commercially serious" then the needs you have expressed which are part time, no permanent address (which in many jurisdictions will prevent you from obtaining a proper business license) no need to have the job cover the overhead as you are more than willing to supplement it from your earnings in IT. In fact the expectations you describe as having to meet for 'your business" would to me define you as a "enthusiastic ameture" willing to take the occasional paid assignment but I would not consider you to be in business nor would I worry that you were taking food off my plate other than I believe the class size of enthusiastic amateurs in the marketplace today has grown to sufficient size as to have placed some downward pressure on pricing. More so in some markets than others.
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Old 04-11-2013   #26
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In these days photography business grow very fastly..if you are a good photographer then you can get much money by your photography...that called photography business
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Old 04-11-2013   #27
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Here's a good read:

#createsustainably | A New Paradigm is Developing in the Photography Industry | Fotoseeds Photography Business Education
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Old 04-11-2013   #28
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Default Re: Definition of Photography Business

Here's a good read:

#createsustainably | A New Paradigm is Developing in the Photography Industry | Fotoseeds Photography Business Education


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