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- Defining your niche
- Understanding your target audience and specialty
- Getting practice
- Understanding the industry and building your network
- The elements of your brand
- Gear: lease vs. buy
- Tracking your costs
Skill Level Intermediate
- The challenge that so many photographers have today just starting out, is thinking that they just need great gear. The point is that to run a business, like any business, you got to pay attention to so many different aspects, besides just your immediate skillset as an artist. That's especially true for photography. I'm Skip Cohen and I've spent my entire adult life in the photographic industry, or at least I like to refer to it as that time when I was supposed to be acting like an adult. I love this industry.
I've had an incredible amount of fun in the industry, and I want to talk today about some ideas that will help you in terms of starting a photography business. We're going to start with topics like defining your niche, figuring out what are the specialties that are out there, and what is it that you like to do most, and how does it tie in with a particular specialty within the photographic industry. We're going to talk about each specialty, and their different degrees of difficulty, different specialties have a different target audience, and they also have a different skillset.
A different degree of difficulty, in terms of becoming an artist and building your brand. Which is another thing, we're going to talk about building your brand, building your portfolio, and the importance of practice. Photography is one of those industries where, just because you hung out your shingle and say, okay, I'm a photographer, you never stop learning. And great ways to continue to learn are to practice, experiment, or to push the edge of the envelope when it comes to your own creativity.
We're going to talk about the importance of understanding the industry. How can you research the industry? What things can you add to your own education? So as you're defining your niche, you also have a series of resources to go to, where you could learn more about that particular niche, where you can add to your skillset, where you can learn more about some of the iconic photographers that are already involved, that are helping to blaze that trail, in terms of creativity and new technologies. We're going to talk about your website.
We're going to talk about your blog, because both of them become important tools. And something as simple as a well-done blog, that can be something that you start right now. You don't have to wait until you're in business, to have a blog that's helpful to your readers, in terms of tips on photography, and things that you want to share about your passion for imaging. We're going to hit on the gear you need, ideas on gear as they relate to your cost. We're going to talk about ways you can get feedback, besides your immediate family.
And a very important part of this, is talking about people that need to be in your network. It's not just the people that you might collect a business card from, but how do ya build a network that becomes an incredible resource, so that when you have a challenge, you've got the ability to reach out to some people that can help you through whatever that challenge is, beyond your immediate family or your immediate friends. Most people don't think of their network as one big resource that's there to help you, and you have to feed your network, as well, to help them.
It's obvious I'm excited about our industry. I love the photographic industry and I'm really excited today to be able to share some ideas with you, so you can start your business on a really solid foundation, and be headed towards that journey of success in the future. So let's get started.