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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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Articles reflecting business aspects of photography

  • Photography business tips that are wrongPhotography business tips that are wrongSome common photography business tips are discussed, suggesting that many popular ideas are simply wrong for your photographic business (pt.1)
  • Photographic skill without marketing is just a hobbyPhotographic skill without marketing is just a hobbyWhy photographic skill without business marketing is just a hobby. How to be better than most pro photographers at running a photo business, by thinking about it seriously.
  • How much could using this image cost you?How much could using this image cost you?Finding out your images have been stolen and used on the web is never nice. Some of the techniques Keith uses to find our photos and how Pixsy just helped us get several hundred pounds for one image used without permission on one blog post.
  • An old friend returns?An old friend returns?After the Jessops photo business folded in 2013, Leicester was left with no specialist photography stores. Jessops, founded here in 1935, are opening a new store.
  • Photographs of Leicester – now in their own galleryPhotographs of Leicester - now in their own galleryAfter many requests for using Keith's photos of Leicester for stock photography and as large prints, we've created a new gallery site, just for photographs of Leicester. Hundreds of photos to browse
  • Brand new architectural photography siteBrand new architectural photography siteA whole new site for our architecture photos. After ten years of showcasing our architectural photography services on this site, we decided that it really was time for something newer and more visually appealing.
  • Becoming a freelance photographerBecoming a freelance photographer5 Things to know - It's just over 10 years ago that I decided to put away my business suit and become a full time professional photographer. I'm still regularly asked how to do it, and what is needed.
  • Where are you taking your photo business?Where are you taking your photo business?Things you need to do. Two important ideas about running your own photography business, if you want it to last and grow. To some extent based on actually running a photo business that has lasted over 10 years...

There are over 1100 free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.
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Some of Keith’s personal views about photography

  • When passion -does- make a differenceWhen passion -does- make a differenceWhy a passion for your photography will help your business if used the right way. It's never enough on its own, but used wisely it can work wonders.
  • The photographer in the orange hatThe photographer in the orange hatHow do you make your photography business stand out from the crowd. It's always best to consider what ways are actually of benefit to the business and making a profit
  • Is your photo business any good?Is your photo business any good?Are there too many professional photographers for the size of the market today? Why analysing at your own business directions and performance is vital if you are going to carry on working in photography. The tide is coming in and the beach is looking crowded...
  • Book Review On Being a PhotographerBook 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
  • Photography – I could do that…Photography - I could do that...So, you want to be a professional photographer? It takes rather more than a few ideas and people telling you that your photos are really good. There is lots of help and advice out there. Most people never act on their good ideas ...will you?
  • Film – the numbers say goodbyeFilm - the numbers say goodbyeA few years ago (2003) I wrote some guidelines for people looking for a camera. In it I confidently expected that whilst digital was the future, film would be round for 'quite some time' - how was I wrong?
  • 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?

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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