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Photography and business

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

Site Notice: Thanks to everyone who has offered support - we're starting to see some work again, but I'm still at home a lot. At least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith & Karen
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...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available for pre-order.

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

  • 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)
  • 10 more unwise photo business tips10 more unwise photo business tips10 more unwise photo business tips from our collection - Photography business ideas you may hear that are not as good as they seem (pt.4)
  • More popular myths of pro photographyMore popular myths of pro photographyMore common photography business myths, why many popular business tips for photographers are probably quite wrong for your photographic business (pt.3)
  • Photography business tips that miss the pointPhotography business tips that miss the pointMore common photography business tips are discussed, along with reasons that they may not be particularly good ones for a successful business (pt.2)
  • 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.

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

  • 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?
  • 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)

Lighting, colour and web use of images

  • Room lighting for image editingRoom lighting for image editingPaying some attention to the lighting levels and decoration in the areas where you edit photographs has a beneficial influence on quality and consistency
  • Better pictures for your web siteBetter 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 useSaving 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

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: Thanks to everyone who has offered support - we're starting to see some work again, but I'm still at home a lot. At least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith & Karen
...Sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to hear about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available for pre-order.