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.
Articles reflecting business aspects of photography
- Better 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 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
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There are around a thousand 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
- Making a living from professional photographyKeith Cooper has now run Northlight Images for over ten years as a professional photographer. What makes the business work? and how do you need to approach it in order for it to be far more than a paid hobby.
- Taxis and your photo businessHow business models change, and your need to adapt. Why a ride sharing taxi application could signify big changes in photography or maybe it won't. Think about it now, or risk an unwanted surprise later.
- Local prints sellIf you want to sell landscape photography, then local views will almost always sell better. Some observations about the business of selling prints. Why some things work better and why you as a photographer may not be the best person to ask.
- So, why are -you- taking photos these daysWhat challenges are there for photographers in the digital age. Some of the technical and inspirational difficulties for photographers at all levels, and what you might want to do about them.
- I am not a ‘Canon Man’Does your choice of camera say anything about you as a photographer? Does it reflect pragmatic needs or have you been labelled by the dead hand of marketing?
- Again, the death of film… pt.94Kodak needs money, so it's going to sell off more businesses, including its film business. What'll be left? - will most pro photographers be inconvenienced in any way?
- Saying no to the camera update cycle?New toys are nice, but ... it's about time I listened to some of my own advice I give to people who write in and ask 'should I upgrade my camera'...
- 50 Business tips for pro photographersTips and advice for becoming a successful professional photographer. 50 things to consider when setting up a photo business.
Lighting, colour and web use of images
- Looking 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 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?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 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 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 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
- Book Review: The photography exercise bookBook Review: The photography exercise book by Bert Krages. Training your eye to shoot like a pro. Subjects to study and photograph that will help train your photographic vision and produce the photos you want (and know why)
- Book Review: Starting Your Career as a Freelance PhotographerBook review: Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer (Tad Crawford, Chuck DeLaney) Just how do you run a photography business. What things do you need to address? How will you market and sell your services, and make your business last.
- Book review – Marketing and promotionBook Review: The Photographer's Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion (Maria Piscopo) Reviewed by Keith Cooper, professional commercial photographer and author of many of our business related articles
- Book Review On Being a PhotographerKeith Cooper reviews the book 'On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide' by Bill Jay and David Hurn ISBN-13: 978-1888803068
- Book 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
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
- Model releases and commercial use – Great article by Dan Heller about why most of what you hear on the internet about the need for releases is rubbish
Some very pertinent information that Keith regularly points out to the many people who ask him about becoming a professional photographer.
- Business Link UK government advice and support for setting up your own business
- Business in Canada – useful advice, not just for Canada
- US Small Business Administration
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