Two hour video
Most of us want to make money with our photography but few know how to run a photography business. In this workshop professional photographer Loren Fisher shows you how making money with your camera is done.
With more than 40 years as a professional photographer, Loren has had several successful photography businesses including studio, commercial, corporate, real estate, photojournalism, video, architecture, fine art photography and gallery owner. He has had a couple of duds too. About the only thing he hasn’t done is newborns and fashion, but the business practices you’ll learn in this seminar translate to any form of photography business. Loren is a former president of ASMP’s New Jersey chapter and through the years has mentored photographers doing every type of photography imaginable.
This workshop isn’t about giving you a list of 15 ways to make money with your camera, there is plenty of that BS on the web. This is about running a photography business. And that is the mentality you must have whether you hope to make $100 a year or $100,000.
The most important thing you need to do to make money with your photography is to think of it as a business. It doesn’t need to be complicated but even if you only want to make $10 a month to pay for a Photoshop subscription, that part of your photography is a business. Why is that so important? There are many reasons and one is that most of us aren’t good at selling ourselves. But if we work for a business, no matter the size or who owns it, then we can promote the business without feeling like we are boasting or pushing ourselves onto others. Whether you are just starting to sell your work or you’ve been doing it for years but would like to increase sales, having the proper mindset makes a huge difference. If you aren’t currently thinking of your photography sales as a business, then this workshop is for you.
Being successful at any level requires proper business practices. That means you need to have the proper paperwork. One major mistake is to do any assignment work or sell a print without agreeing to terms in writing in advance. There can be many legal ramifications you haven’t considered. There are many variables you need to have locked down and Loren tell you what you need and how to set up a business, including paperwork. You’ll get handouts containing resources and tips.
There are really only two ways to sell your photography: assignment or speculation. Assignment someone pays you to make pictures, it could be a wedding, portrait, real estate, etc. When shooting on speculation (spec), then you make images and hope to sell them afterwards. Both are viable, Loren spent many years doing assignment work and now it is mainly spec, selling nature based fine art work at art shows up and down the East Coast and at his gallery. The type of sales you do is a preference thing and they can be combined. If someone hires you to do a portrait for her LinkedIn page, you’ll shoot the traditional head shot but may try some other poses and she may want one for her wall. You’ve combined assignment with spec, knowing the time you spend shooting the additional poses, processing them and displaying them for the client may be wasted if she doesn’t want any prints.
It all comes down to two things that must be accomplished for any photographer to make money – marketing and photographic proficiency. You need to deliver a consistent product and that is the easiest part of the business. The hard part is being able to let people know about your work and its value. The sad reality is that great marketing is more important than great photography. Loren is old enough to remember Pet Rocks from 1975. Some guy put a rock in a cardboard box, cut holes in the box so the rock could breathe, stamped Pet Rock on the box and sold them for $3.95. He made $15 million in six months! As long as your photography is decent you can make money if you can market it.
Some things we discuss:
- The difference between marketing and advertising
- How much marketing should I do?
- What kind of marketing?
- Does advertising pay?
- Is social media crucial?
- Where do I find potential clients?
- Should I do work for free?
- Do I need a website?
We talk about pricing, always the toughest subject. How to determine how much your work is worth is essential. We talk about what to give away and what to charge for. If you shoot an event do you give them digital files? If you do, you may lose print sales but you don’t have the hassle.
One key to any successful business is repeat customers and word of mouth marketing. Which is one of the reasons why Loren guarantees absolute satisfaction in everything he does. If you take this workshop and don’t feel like you got your money’s worth, Loren will give your money back.
Photography is a passion business, which is why Loren has done so many different types of photography, his interests change. In this workshop he won’t tell you what type or style of photography you should be shooting, that is up to you. There is a reason Loren doesn’t shoot newborns, that isn’t his passion and he wouldn’t do a good job photographing them. His marketing skills are strong enough that he could make plenty of money doing newborns, but he wouldn’t be having fun and he’d rather enjoy his work.
The bottom line is many people have loads of excuses to not sell as much of their work as they could. They think their images aren’t good enough, they think they don’t have enough experience to charge what their work is worth, they think they don’t have time to market or somebody might not like their work. There are lots more reasons not to make more money with your photography but it really comes down to getting out there and trying. If what you are doing now isn’t working well enough, then now is the best time to try something else.