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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 completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be 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.


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

  • Disk Drill recovery and photo backupsDisk Drill recovery and photo backupsDisk Drill file and photo recovery software and photo backups for Macintosh and Windows. Backup strategies for photographers, so you shouldn't be caught out
  • Stock photography is not the answerStock photography is not the answerWhy stock photography is not the answer - bespoke photography is almost always a better solution for representing your business on your website and your marketing materials
  • 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.
  • So, can you start a photography businessSo, can you start a photography businessSo, can you start a photography business? Will it last? Are you sure you know the difference between photography as a hobby and running a successful and profitable photography business. Some of the things you need to think about.
  • Book Review: The photography exercise bookBook 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 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 - 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
  • Photo business advice for your competitorsPhoto business advice for your competitorsPhoto business advice that is probably best for your competitors - Business advice you'll hear and read, and should know when to avoid. (pt.5)

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

  • 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)
  • Is your camera good enough?Is your camera good enough?Quality standards for stock images - Is your camera good enough? Alamy have a list of cameras that they deem 'not worthy'

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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Other areas of our site that may be of interest...

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 Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be 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.