Join Skip Cohen for an in-depth discussion in this video The skills you need to get the most out of this course, part of Running a Photography Business: The Basics.
- So let's talk a little bit about what skills you need to get the most out of this course. Remember, we're talking about business today. I'm not going to be talking about your technique as a photographer. I'm not going to talk about how to use your camera although I am going to talk about the importance of understanding your camera. But I'm really talking about the things you need to do to start a business as a photographer. So, let's look at the skills. The skills, right off the bat, you need to have the skill of a sponge.
You need to soak up the things that I'm sharing with you even though they may seem incredibly simple. What happens when photographers get started in a business, they get so wrapped up in being an artist that they forget about the business side. And I want you to just be a sponge. I'm going to share a lot of different information with you. Pay attention to the photographers that I'm going to mention throughout my program. I'm going to share images from photographers, and I'll show you one in just a second, that tie back into the importance of you going to look at their website, checking them out on YouTube, use a Google search, and check their blogs out.
Almost every photographer who's considered iconic in today's industry has a blog. They've got great information that they're sharing. Here's a prime example. In an earlier slide, I showed you my headshot. Well, my headshot was done by Gregory Heisler who is one of the best-known portrait artists in the world. At the time he did my headshot, he had over 75 covers of Time magazine to his name. He's a remarkable educator, writer. He's got a great new book out called 50 Portraits.
The work is beautiful. But in each portrait, he talks a little about the process, about the client. But I'm using Gregory as a great example because right off the bat I want you to hit Google, do a search, find out things about Gregory Heisler. Everybody whose images I'm going to share today and talk about are all photographers who are doing things that are exciting. They are the movers and shakers in the industry that are creating this incredible path of creativity for you to follow in terms of your technique, your marketing.
And they're all people that should be on your radar. Let's talk about another skill that you need to get the most out of this class. You need to decide whether or not this is a hobby or a career. There is a huge difference between being passionate and having fun doing something and then turning it into a business where you're going to create revenue, where it's going to become part of your livelihood. Maybe your goal, which is another step in this, is to think about, alright, do I want to be a full-time photographer or is this going to be something that's always going to be part-time, that I'm going to do a few weekend events? Wedding photographers, for example, 50% of the photographic industry of wedding professionals are part-time photographers with full-time jobs the rest of the week.
So you need to think about what your goals are. What do you want to get out of this in terms of starting a business? Full-time or part-time? The other thing is the temperament. Different photographic specialties have a totally different requirement for your temperament. A wedding is a good example. A wedding day is a day where logic absolutely never reigns as king. It's chaos. It's confusion. There's an interaction. There's a stress level. That's very different from having the temperament of working in a studio and doing, for example, portrait photography or tabletop commercial work of products.
There's a very different interaction with people and your temperament becomes an important part of your success as a photographer. The last component here is your passion. You've got to be passionate about this. To take on any business, in fact anything that you do to do it well, you've got to be passionate about it. It's something that you really love doing. You love sharing. And in photography, you have an opportunity to share your experiences, your images, and it's especially important because you're going to be building relationships with clients, with other photographers, with vendors and manufacturers within the photographic industry, and especially with people in your community.
So you've got to be passionate about it. And without passion, you don't have a shot at building a truly great business.
- 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