For those of you who want to one day, or who already today, run photography as a business: today I have a few notes about running a photography business and about learning new tricks.
You always go on learning, of course. When you no longer learn, I advise you retire and watch geraniums grow, or something. So today I attended a very good workshop by Donna Papacosta, a communications expert, on Social Media. Such fun to be attending, not teaching, a seminar!
The photo: 24mm, 1/60th, f/4, 400 ISO). I focused one third of the way into the picture: I wanted Donna to be sharp – the foreground people server as a frame. I started at the famous “Willems 400-40-4″ position (400 ISO, 1/40th sec, f/4) for indoors mixed flash, but since the room was bright, I had to go to 1/60th. The flash was bounced up behind me, but of course much of the light was ambient. As those of you who have my books know, balancing ambient and flash is the key to good flash photography. (Note: Special offer of $59 for all four books, a $20 discount, is still open).
Anyway – the course was great and I have a much better understanding of the role of social media in general, and twitter etc in particular. As you should too: it’s very important that you use Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and more in a way that benefits your business. Photographers spend much time not shooting, but running their business. Social media are a great opportunity to get closer to your clients and to maximize the time you spend shooting.
Also on the business note, my “The Small Photography Business” course just started at Sheridan College. One of my slides from Monday’s session:
- Make sure you have the needed requirements, or are willing to work to that goal (e.g. you do not yet have to be a great shooter, but you must be willing to learn).
- Then look at the market and design an offering – one that actually makes you money.
- Then set up the business… and execute.
- And by having goals and regularly measuring performance against these, see how you do, and make changes when and where needed.
Of course this slide is a roadmap: the rest of the course is about making those squares and circles real; i.e. actually executing them. Slides are all very well, but as in all my courses, it’s about the detail rather then the abstractions, and above all, it is about actually doing it.
One “doing” is the web. I just did a web site review for a photographer friend. I looked in detail at her web site, and with my son the engineer also looked at the technical issues and possibilities for improvement, Result, a 25-page detailed document that she will use to materially improve her site. All done in just a few hours. Yes, that too is a service I offer. And whether you buy this service from me or from someone else: do it, and make sure your web presence actually helps your business, works well with all browsers, has no silly errors, is clear to your customers, and meets their needs.
Now off to do some tweeting.