Success Stories: How to Create Your Own Photography Niche

In a day and age where social media and other media consumption habits gear users toward a torrent of visual information, how does a commercial photographer go about creating a lucrative business? The answer, according to more than just one accomplished pro photog, lies in knowing how to create your own photography niche. This is, … Read more

Will Photography Make You Rich?

How do you define “rich”? That, of course, is a matter of opinion. According to the IRS, the top 10% of income earners in America today make 43% of all income and pay 70% of all taxes. The top 2% of income earners pay approximately 50% of all income taxes. According to the Tax Policy … Read more

Making Peace With The Enemy

Making Peace With The Enemy

“I think it’s terrible when a photographer holds a person’s images “hostage” for money. I shoot for a fee – $150 for a portrait sitting – and hand over the files. I could never gouge a person and charge high fees for their photos.”

I hear that statement (or something like it) a lot. How about you? Have you ever said it?

The truth is money is simply a tool. It’s a way of receiving value for something you do, and a method of being able to get the things you need. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Yet money has so many connotations to it, books are written and classes are held on it every day. Why is it so mysterious? Why does it have such a hold on us?

What if we flipped it around and talked about your current job in a similar manner. What if your boss came to you and said

“Instead of giving you your normal salary today, I’m going to give you $150 for the day. I feel like I’ve been held hostage for too long, and today I’m only going to give you what I think this job is truly worth.”

Yeah, right. You’d laugh (after you got over the shock).

So with your corporate job, you expect to make a decent living. You expect raises and possibly even bonuses.

Why is that different than photography?

Photography is a business. It is a career. And in some cases it is a job.

If something is a business, a career or a job, you have to be able to make a decent living at it.

Let’s say you make $60,000 at your corporate job. In order to turn a photography business into an equal opportunity, at $150 per person, you would have to photograph 400 people per year.

Yet in your corporate job, your $60,000 salary is an expense. They make millions ( or billions) and have an entire list of expenses they write off each year, including your salary, marketing, rent for their office location, equipment, etc.

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How The Recession Can Boost Your Business Savvy

The media is full of stories of economic downturns, bankruptcies, and businesses going out of business. While you can look just about anywhere and find the “bad” that is out there, the recession can actually do small businesses some good as well. Instead of bemoaning your situation, change it around and find some positive aspects to focus in on.

Its been said that some of the strongest, healthiest companies in the world were started during hard economic times. It may be because you have to watch how you spend your money and what you invest in. Here are a few things that can help you increase your business savviness over the coming months.

Make savings a priority

Because we’re in the middle of a recession with no clear end in sight, assume this is the new “norm”. What can you do today to make next year at this same time even better? Getting loans is more difficult than ever. Lines of credit are all but extinct. And the last thing you want is to bring on more credit card debt. Make a conscious effort to live within your means, and create a savings account now for life’s little emergencies. Even if you can only add $50 a month to it, consider it as an investment towards your future.

Pay debts on time or ahead of time

When you are living paycheck to paycheck, every dollar counts. And if you fall into the “fee” trap you’ll quickly find yourself in a difficult position. Banks don’t make money if you pay on time; they like the clients that don’t make payments, have their interest rates go up, and are assessed fee after fee for late payments. Make it a habit to pay ahead of time, or at the very least on time.

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7 Ways To Make Money For The Holidays

Only 52 more days until Christmas.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, chances are some of your clients do. And with the many other holidays that fall around the end of the year, there is always something to celebrate somewhere.

This year, times are tight. People are out looking for more meaningful gifts that cost less, yet still show how much they love them. What could be better than photography?

But with only 52 days left until the big day, what can you do now to bring in some business in the coming weeks? Give these ideas a try.

1. Give A Gift Certificate

For many people, the holidays is the only time of the year the entire family is together. People come from near and far to celebrate together, then head off to the far corners of the world for the New Year. A gift certificate could brighten a mother’s day when she knows she’ll have a current portrait hanging on her wall to enjoy all of next year. It’s the perfect gift to give on the big day, and use a few days after Christmas to capture the entire family together. And you can print a colorful certificate on your printer, and frame it in a keepsake frame perfect for the final image.

2. Special Events Over The Next Couple of Weeks

Set up a special event and shoot over the next couple of weekends. Depending on where your studio is at, it can be on the beach, in a park, or right in your studio. Here in Colorado, it’s a great time of year to take snow portraits. Or use something that says “holidays” and put together a unique background. Put together a package that gives them a framed image perfect for holiday giving. If you make it a limited edition, you’ll be able to build on this concept year after year.

3. Sell Seasonal Packages

Want to sell more to your best clients? Set up a 4 seasons package. Over the next year, they can come in for 4 special portrait sessions all based around the 4 seasons. Then you’ll frame it in a limited edition frame – perfect for giving next holiday season.

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1 Simple Rule To Making Money Over Night

It’s easy to make money.

It’s easy to start up a business from scratch and have it make a full time income your first month.

It’s easy to become a millionaire.

Yep, you can hear and read statements like that everywhere. And it always seems like when times are bad and things are at their worst, those “promises” turn up more regularly than ever.

But if they are true, why don’t we see more people jumping into their own businesses and becoming profitable “overnight”? Why don’t we read about the millionaires instead of the people hard on their luck?

The problem with most of these promises is they are simply not true.

Yes it may be easy to make money – if you have a great job, have a solid business in place, and have products and services people are willing to buy.

Yes it may be easy to start up a business and have it make money the first month – if you understand what it takes to make that happen.

And yes, it may be easy to make a million dollars – but only if you know what it takes to make a million dollars.

There may be the case studies and the examples of people that have “been there, done that”. But for most of us, that isn’t reality. And the only way it will truly happen is if we follow the one simple rule needed to make money …

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10 More Sites To Peruse For Freelance Photography Jobs

A while back I created a post 10 Sites To Find Freelance Photography Work. While all of these places are still available to help you find immediate work, I knew there had to be other places as well. Below is a list of more photography job sites for you to use and start finding the perfect job for you.

Simply Hired

A job posting board for a variety of occupations, including photography.

The CreativeLoft

A premium jobsite that posts only the best job offers within the photographic industry. Search by state, occupation or field.

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What Does Photography Income Mean To You?

A number of years ago, I was given a book that literally changed my life. It’s called Rich Dad Poor Dad. You’ve probably read that one, or one of the many Robert Kiyosaki has written in the decade since that one debuted. (If not, go and grab a copy today.)

At that point in time, we had an extremely successful business. We photographed around 30 weddings per year, averaging 4 to 5 figure sales per wedding. Yep, we were making a very healthy six figure income, and having the time of our lives flying all over the place to capture wedding memories.

Yet even though we had a blast doing our 30 weddings per year, this book made us look at things a bit differently.

Our entire livelihood relied on 25 to 30 clients per year. Not only did we have to work hard to find those 25 to 30 clients every year, we had to work hard to keep them happy.

Okay, that wasn’t difficult. We loved what we were doing.

We had to be very careful with the way we “played”. Skiing in the winter? Forget it. What if we broke a leg? Ever tried being a wedding photographer with a broken leg? So even though we loved what we were doing, we were still making conscious choices about how we lived.

Okay, that still isn’t too bad right?

But what about if the economy turned and it became harder to find those 25 to 30 people? Or what if one or two of them gave you all sorts of problems? The stress could literally eat you up for months at a time. Add in increasing competition, and you can quickly see that choosing one path like this for a lifetime of income isn’t the smartest thing to do.

Rich Dad Poor Dad opened up our eyes to that, and we quickly started to change.

Changing Your Goals

The goal is to develop several forms of income that allows you to make money in a variety of different ways. We decided to leverage all of our skills and knowledge, and use it to make income in a variety of ways.

The first part is understanding the different types of income.

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More Than 3 Packages Could Ruin Your Photography Business

The human brain is an amazing thing. We can learn everything from a foreign language, to complex scientific formulas. Every day can be filled with the excitement of learning something new. But if you think about how you learn things, chances are you learn a small part of something in one day, and quickly begin … Read more