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Photography and business

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

Site update: Thanks for everyone's support - work is still very sparse, but at least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please just let me know - Keith & Karen
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not visit Keith's YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.

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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basic product photography
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Articles reflecting business aspects of photography

  • 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.
  • So, you’re thinking of becoming a photographer some time?So, you're thinking of becoming a photographer some time?So, you're sharing photos in Flickr / 500px / instagram and you're toying with the idea of taking up photography for a living some time. What sort of things should you start doing now, just in case.
  • Book Review Make money with your digital photography Erin ManningBook Review Make money with your digital photography Erin ManningKeith Cooper reviews Make money with your digital photography by Erin Manning, a comprehensive guide and introduction to the business of photography
  • X-rite updates i1Profiler LicenseX-rite updates i1Profiler LicensePerhaps not something I'd normally report, but given all the kerfuffle over the i1Profiler EULA (license) when it came out, it's worth noting that they have retrospectively altered the license.
  • Expanding your photo businessExpanding your photo businessThere are three basic ways of growing your photography business - lots of variations, but three fundamental approaches. Keith looks at examples of how these principles can apply to a pro photographer and why minor changes can multiply together to make a real difference to profitability.
  • 7 Grand ideas – key questions for a successful photo business7 Grand ideas - key questions for a successful photo businessSeven key questions you need to address about your professional photography business from the standpoint of your clients and potential clients. You may not like it but they are looking at your offerings and asking "What's in it for me?"
  • OK, what’s special about your photography businessOK, what's special about your photography businessTo get your photography business noticed you need to stand out from the crowd. Remember to market the benefits you offer as opposed to features. There are lots of similar businesses out there - you need to find the unique points that differentiate your business from the others.
  • 5 ‘M’s – Marketing for photographers5 'M's - Marketing for photographersWhy are professional photographers so bad at marketing? Some things they should consider to improve the performance of their business. Just make it easier, they all begin with the same letter.

There are over 1100 free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.
We appreciate any purchases you make through our partners such as B&H which help us sustain the site.

Some of Keith’s personal views about photography

  • On being an architectural photographer 2On being an architectural photographer 2Architectural photography as a professional business. Part 2 looks at how the equipment you choose matches the demands of architectural photography clients - What Keith Cooper uses for our architectural and construction photography business
  • On being an architectural photographer 1On being an architectural photographer 1Architectural photography as a professional business. Part 1 looks at how the business of photographing architecture works, from a business, skills and creative point of view - Why Keith Cooper took up architectural and construction photography
  • A video interview with Keith CooperA video interview with Keith CooperVideo: BenQ interviews Keith Cooper about his photography, printing and equipment choices. It includes looking why you might use different monitors sizes and types
  • What are you doing with your photosWhat are you doing with your photosHow do you decide what to do with all the photos you take, why did you take them and who gets to see them. A process any photographer should think about. Yes, this means you...
  • Is photography a business for youIs photography a business for youIs photography a business for you - an interview with Keith Cooper looks at some of the things you might want to think about if it's to be a real business. Includes link to audio podcast of the interview
  • Keith Cooper photography interviewKeith Cooper photography interviewVideo: Keith Cooper was recently interviewed by BenQ about his photography, equipment (including monitors) and approach to running a photography business (21 mins)
  • Moving back to film photographyMoving back to film photographyReturning to film? Rediscovering old film equipment offers a simpler more direct world of photography. Is it time for Keith to buy some camera batteries and rolls of film?
  • Where is your photography going next year?Where is your photography going next year?New equipment may be fun, but it's making less and less of a difference to the quality of many people's photography. Some thoughts on how to go about improving what you do and just as importantly why you do it. Photography resolutions for next year

Lighting, colour and web use of images

  • Looking for a bigger photo printerLooking for a bigger photo printerImportant questions to ask yourself when looking for a bigger photo printer wider than 13 inch width or A3+. Things that it's useful to know if you want a 17" (A2) or larger printer, it's about more than just bigger prints.
  • On site product product photography setupOn site product product photography setupBasic colour management and photography options for photographing large numbers of products out of the studio. Efficient setup reduces the processing needed
  • 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
  • X-rite updates i1Profiler LicenseX-rite updates i1Profiler LicensePerhaps not something I'd normally report, but given all the kerfuffle over the i1Profiler EULA (license) when it came out, it's worth noting that they have retrospectively altered the license.
  • CMYK – beyond the inkjet printCMYK - beyond the inkjet printAs a photographer with work in books and magazines, it helps to know the basics of large CMYK printing and how it affects the reproduction of your images. A guide for photographers
  • CMYK for photographersCMYK for photographersThere is usually no good reason for photographers to work with CMYK images. Article looks at some of the things you need to consider if you need to use CMYK.

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.
For All about using tilt and shift - articles/reviews about tilt/shift lenses

Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1100 articles/reviews here...

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Site update: Thanks for everyone's support - work is still very sparse, but at least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please just let me know - Keith & Karen
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not visit Keith's YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.