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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

  • 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.
  • Photographers – are you of value to your clients?Photographers - are you of value to your clients?As a professional photographer, do you know the value of your photographic work to your clients? Do you make the mistake of trying to sell your business features rather than the benefits clients will get from using you?
  • 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.
  • Using a professional photographer – free guideUsing a professional photographer - free guideFree guide to choosing a professional commercial photographer. Questions that you should consider asking your commercial photographer

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

  • 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'
  • What am I happy ‘fixing’ in photos?What am I happy 'fixing' in photos?Image editing: What am I happy 'fixing' / manipulating / editing / removing in photos? Are there limits? Where does my own line go - does it matter? Is it even my job to bother about it?
  • People ‘borrowing’ stuff from your sitePeople 'borrowing' stuff from your siteWhat do you do about people using content from your web site - when is it theft? What can you do about it?
  • We have two pricesWe have two pricesWe have two prices: free and full price. Being asked to do work for free is a regular hassle for many photographers. Why I insist on being paid, until I find a shop exchanging photo credits for food.

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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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.