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Photography and business

Articles about the business side of photography – how to be a pro photographer

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
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Keith often gets asked about becoming a professional photographer.

As he usually says, it’s more about business acumen than photographic skills… and has written a number of articles specifically covering different aspects of setting up and running a photography business.

This page indexes all our business related articles and links to a few external sites that Keith has found helpful in this area.

Keith is always happy to answer questions about anything on the site – it’s often where he gets inspiration for all our articles.

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Articles reflecting business aspects of photography

  • Industrial photography in a foundryIndustrial photography in a foundryPreparation and subsequent image processing required when taking photographs in a working foundry. Also looks at how final size affect image editing
  • Photo business working as a cruise photographerPhoto business working as a cruise photographerThe business side of photography, working as a photographer on a cruise ship. Why you might consider a photography job on a cruise ship. Ian Kee discusses what the job entails with advice for people considering it.
  • The photographer working for freeThe photographer working for freeOne of the traps that many new photographers fall into is the 'Pictures for credit' ruse. Is there ever a good reason to work for free? What are good ways of refusing that won't offend, and are there ways that benefit you.
  • Selling cameras in the UK and a changing market for photographySelling cameras in the UK and a changing market for photographyHow the changes and ongoing decline in the market for cameras affect my business as a working photographer
  • How much to charge for photographyHow much to charge for photographyHow to work out what you should be charging for your photography. The fundamental numbers behind running a photography business.
  • Are the camera companies looking backwards?Are the camera companies looking backwards?Photography shows are meant to give an idea where the industry is going - does anyone really have any idea though? Trade shows are not showing the direction
  • What paper should I use?What paper should I use?With a massive range of different papers available, how should you go about seeing which papers work best for your photos. Some of the choices you can consider when looking at paper types and brands for printing your photographs
  • Will they sell?Will they sell?So, you've sold a few photographic prints - do you have the makings of a print business, or is it just a hobby? Some thoughts on what you need to consider if you want to make print sales a significant part of your photo business.

There are around a thousand free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.
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Some of Keith’s personal views about photography

  • Film – the numbers say goodbyeFilm - the numbers say goodbyeA few years ago (2003) I wrote some guidelines for people looking for a camera. In it I confidently expected that whilst digital was the future, film would be round for 'quite some time' - how was I wrong?
  • Telling customers where to go…Telling customers where to go...What won't you do in your photography business. Sometimes you need to decide if a job is really worthwhile, and when to say no thanks to a potential client.
  • Artists’ statements – do you ever believe them?Artists' statements - do you ever believe them?Can an Artist's Statement be meaningful and relevant? Is it possible to write one that people believe? Can you do it with a straight face?
  • Regulation and control of Pro PhotographersRegulation and control of Pro PhotographersEvery so often there are calls to regulate professional photographers. Keith looks at some of the information from a recent survey of UK pro photographers, and why he is happy to teach people to do their own photography, and why calls for registration miss the point.
  • Business challenges for photographersBusiness challenges for photographersWhat are the real challenges facing working professional photographers. Keith Cooper looks at a survey from mid 2010 that purports to give some answers.
  • 5 big mistakes for a new photo business5 big mistakes for a new photo businessWith it being so easy to set up a professional photography business, there are some key business mistakes to avoid. Remember that it's a business, not a job. Keith discusses 5 big mistakes he makes an effort to avoid
  • Will your prints sellWill your prints sellWho will buy your photographic prints and does it matter if you like the prints yourself? Why would anyone buy your work.
  • Trade shows…Trade shows...Keith Cooper looks back on a quick visit to the 2010 Focus on Imaging photography trade show in Birmingham at the NEC (now The Photography Show)

Lighting, colour and web use of images

  • Room lighting for image editingRoom lighting for image editingPaying some attention to the lighting levels and decoration in the areas where you edit photographs has a beneficial influence on quality and consistency
  • Better pictures for your web siteBetter pictures for your web siteSimple steps for improving the quality of photos used on your web site. Things that can make a real difference.
  • Saving images for web useSaving images for web useSome of the things to consider when saving images for web use - how care with resizing and basic sharpening can give them a bit more punch

Books and reviews for photographers with a business

Training – for companies

Training other people to take better photos means I have to reflect on my own work and practices – never a bad thing to do every so often.

These are aspects of training that I provide (on location, not at our offices) as part of Northlight’s business.

We also have a training directory that is freely available for any professional photographer who offers training.

It’s arranged by location, so as long as you are a pro photographer, a free link is available

Useful external resources for photography businesses

 

 

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All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog 

We've a whole section of the site devoted to  Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews.
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Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1100 articles/reviews here...

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See all of Keith's 1000+ articles and reviews

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel