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Photography and business

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


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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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basic product photography
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Articles reflecting business aspects of photography

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Some of Keith’s personal views about photography

  • 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
  • Photos for architect’s web sitesPhotos for architect's web sitesAs an architectural photographer, Keith discusses what photos are for on architect's web sites. Based on a recent interview with a design agency, looking at why many small-medium practices fail to make the best impressions with their work.
  • Making a living from professional photographyMaking 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 businessTaxis 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.

Keith’s photo business videos

  • Video: Differentiating your photo businessVideo: Differentiating your photo businessStanding out from the crowd - why specialise & differentiate your photography business from the rest. What helps your business profitability and is it a big enough niche. Does Keith need a new hat? (9m 20s)
  • Video: What matters to print buyersVideo: What matters to print buyersKeith looks at why what personally matters to you about your photography is largely irrelevant for most people who might buy your prints. Why it helps to find someone whose opinions you can trust and why different print types might appeal to potential buyers. Sometimes your prints do just need to match the curtains. (9m)
  • Video: Why do your prints sell?Video: Why do your prints sell?Part three of Keith's look at print sales for photographers. In selling prints, do you know why you are doing it and do you know why people might want your prints? The emotions in print viewing and the need for a steady supply of customers (8m)
  • Video: Are your print sales a businessVideo: Are your print sales a businessKeith looks at how selling a few prints is only the start and very different from making a profitable business. Who buys prints and does your work match what they want. Where are your markets (pt.2 of a series of short videos - 11m 40s)
  • Video: So, you want to sell your prints?Video: So, you want to sell your prints?Keith is often asked where to sell photo prints. Is this really the key question you should be asking? Do you know will buy them and what they want? First of a series of videos looking at what to do with your prints (6m 30s)
  • Video: Keith’s kit – Peli 1535 Air CaseVideo: Keith's kit - Peli 1535 Air CaseVideo: Peli 1535 Air Case review and what it's used for. One of Keith's commercial photography equipment choice videos (3 mins)
  • 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

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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tilt-shift book

Keith explains tilt and shift lenses

Keith has written a book that looks at the many ways that tilt/shift lenses can benefit your photography from a technical and creative point of view.

ISBN 9781785007712

Book now available

There is also a specific index page on the site with links to all Keith's articles, reviews and videos about using tilt and shift.

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. Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1200 articles/reviews here...

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