April 20, 2017
Following on from last week, Lisa brings us another extract from her new book, ‘Running a Successful Photography Business’ which is receiving a lot of great feedback!
This week we are continuing with the subject of pricing, Chapter 5 in Lisa’s book, as we have had a number of responses from last weeks blog regarding how useful information on this subject is!
In this chapter Lisa goes into detail on the points to consider when quoting for a job, including usage licences, copyright, and production fees to name a few and how vitally important each aspect is.
As Kate Hopewell-Smith, renowned wedding, portrait and lifestyle photographer and one of the many amazing contributors to Lisa’s book, says;
‘Pricing is one of the hardest things to get right in any business that is both about time and products. Most photographers price themselves according to competitors, without any real understanding of how the price breaks down from the customer’s perspective. Transparency is good for both the photographer and the client – many photographers would probably discover that they are working for less than minimum wage if they really worked it all out properly. In the lifestyle sector, photographers don’t value their time enough and this should actually be at the heart of your structure…’
© Kate Hopewell-Smith
‘Running a Successful Photography business‘ is selling out fast, head to Amazon, Bloomsbury, WHSmith, or Waterstones.
April 5, 2017
We are very excited to announce that Lisa’s, long awaited, new book is finally available!
“Running A Successful Photography Business is the definitive business bible for every professional photographer. A one-stop resource covering everything you need to know to make your business a success” as the introduction succinctly states.
Following on from last weeks post on Ask an Agent we are going to bring you some weekly excerpts to whet your taste buds.
This week a little snippet from Chapter 1: How’s Business? – A Business Health Check.
As a photographer I bet you probably get asked this question a lot.
And I’m sure a lot of the time the answer is along the lines of …
“Not bad, ticking along’’
‘’All good, pretty busy’’
But how often do you ask yourself, really, honestly, how is your business doing? The yardstick of the success of a business isn’t necessarily just being busy, as we’ve touched on in the preface. You might feel busy, but in reality, you might not feel creatively fulfilled as you don’ t find your work stimulating anymore. You might love taking the pictures but feel you are running around like a headless chicken dealing with the peripheral red tape and administration that goes along with earning a living from your photography. Maybe you are even feeling stressed and that you aren’t managing things properly. So just because you feel ‘busy’, that doesn’t necessarily mean you feel, or even are, successful.
In this business it’s all too easy to become reactive rather than proactive. You often find yourself dealing with the day today without planning for the future. Maybe you have even lost sight of why you became a photographer in the first place. To the majority of photographers I’ve met, making money isn’t the number one priority, although it’s obviously a bonus. It could be worth having a look at how you might be able to improve things, give yourself a bit of a business health check.
As well as adding to your enjoyment and fulfillment, it might even lead to a more profitable business.
I’ve prepared 20 questions which hopefully will help you get you focused, spot any weak areas and enable you to capitalise on your strengths.
1) What is my business?
Seems like a fairly straightforward question but it’s amazing how many photographers aren’t quite sure. Be clear about what you are offering and who wants to buy it, as if you’re not, neither will your customers be. Family portrait photographer Helen Bartlett has certainly nailed this one.
‘’My style of photography has always been clearly defined – I only shoot on location in black and white; I’m not a studio photographer. This began with my father, who took a lot of black and white photographs of my brothers and I growing up: pictures with real memories attached, of the parks we played at, my home and garden, and all of us having fun. I really value the joy they give me as an adult, and I noticed that they didn’t seem to date. The fads and fashions which can be common in family photography didn’t show up in these images; they stood out as real moments in my childhood. In my own work, I try to give my clients the same thing – natural images that capture their families’ different personalities, as well as their homes and the places they enjoy visiting together. It’s all about recording children and families as they are’’
© Helen Bartlett
2) What are my strengths?
This could be related to the type of photography you do or some other skill. If you are good at public speaking maybe you are missing a trick and should do a bit more of this. Many photographers guest lecture at Universities for example as a sideline. Any public speaking at an events, paid or non paid, can be great publicity. Or it could be something as simple as recognising you are great with gathering the right crew of people and always create a great atmosphere on set, why not spread the word with some behind the scenes shots on social media… continued.
To read all 20 business health check questions and the rest of ’’Running a Successful Photography Business’’ order your copy here.
Another excerpt coming up next week!
March 30, 2017
Ask an Agent is a regular monthly feature answering your questions about the business of photography– the photography industry’s first Agony Aunt!
If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to email@example.com. Questions can be on anything to do with the photography business, such as photoshoots, marketing, professional practice, pricing, contracts, legal stuff – anything.
This month Lisa gives us some insight into her new book, coming out next week!
Dear Ask an Agent,
Someone mentioned that you have a new book coming out soon. I loved your first book ‘’Setting Up a Successful Photography Business’’, so the suspense is killing me, what’s this new book then and when’s it out!?
Yes I’ve dropped a couple of hints recently that I have a new book coming out but was holding back a bit until it’s available. However, I’m very excited to let you know that the new book ,which is called ‘’Running a Successful Photography Business’’ ,will be finally available next week, on April 6th !
I’ll be posting some excerpts over the next few weeks here on the blog, but in summary: ‘’Running a Successful Photography Business’’ (published by Bloomsbury) is a sequel to my first book. As the preface states:
‘Running A Successful Photography Business is the definitive business bible for every professional photographer. A one-stop resource covering everything you need to know to make your business a success.’
This handy book contains guidance on all the key areas including: fine-tuning your brand, attracting new clients and keeping existing ones, costing and producing shoots, professional ethics and codes of practice, preparing a business plan and operating your business effectively, legal obligations and contracts, agents and agencies, plus how to evolve and prosper in this ever changing industry. Everything a working photographer needs to know in order for their business to flourish.
The book also contains a goldmine of resources including several invaluable business templates and checklists, an address book and of course, superb photography.”
As with my first book, it’s not just based on my opinions and advice, although there is a fair bit of that. I’ve gathered together some fantastic contributing photographers from many different niches including Fine Art, Photojournalism and Documentary, Wedding, Animals, Family Portraits, Stock, Celebrity and Editorial, Equestrian and Adventure, PR and Events, and of course my specialist area – Advertising.
In fact, one of the things that I found most enjoyable about writing the book was collecting the sound bites and comments from these contributing photographers, there are some real gems! In answer to my question- ‘What does it mean to run a successful photography business?’’, for example, the wonderful Chris Floyd had this to say…
‘’Bob Dylan said it best: “A man can define himself as a success if he gets up in the morning, goes to bed at night and in between does as he pleases.”
Photographically, to be doing work that is inspiring, enjoyable and which also provides a living is enough for me. I’ve done extremely well paid work that was a tedious chore, I’ve done extremely well paid work that was incredibly inspiring and I’ve done badly paid work that was also inspiring. I just try to avoid tedious chores like work that is badly paid.’’
Chris Floyd, portrait photographer.
Sir David Attenborough © Chris Floyd
So watch this space and grab your copy whilst stocks last!!
Whether you’re a creative director or a student, a photographer or a designer, an art buyer or an assistant, if you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer as many as we can!
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