Photography and business
Articles about the business side of photography - how to be a pro photographer
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 external sites that Keith has found helpful. Keith is always happy to answer questions about anything on the site.
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The business side of photography
Running a photography business is about a lot more than just taking photos...
- How to be a professional photographer
An article based on some of Keith's replies to the many emails he receives asking for information about how to become a professional photographer.
** Probably the best article to start with here, if you are new to the business of photography [January 2009]
- How to make a living from Photography
Taking great photos - what more is there to making a living as a professional photographer? Plenty, if you want the business to last any time. Keith Cooper looks back on over ten years as a professional photographer, at all those things you probably didn't think about too much when you thought 'I could do that'. [December 2015]
- Why a taxi company matters to your photo business - How the business model of Uber might signify disruptive change in the world of photography. A new business want's anyone to be a 'working' photographer. Does this matter, and what can you do to keep your business growing. [July 2015]
- Selling prints - why local photos work best
During a recent visit to Wales, Keith spent some time with a local gallery owner, discussing what it takes to be successful in selling prints of your work.[September 2014]
- Becoming a freelance photographer
After being asked about becoming a pro photographer, Keith has written a short article covering 5 areas you really shouldn't avoid thinking about. Based on 10 years experience of running a business, taking photos is definitely not all it takes... [August 2014]
- Take responsibility for your photo business
It's too easy to blame others for problems in running and growing your business - no, accept that it's up to you to market what you do, and do it regularly. [May 2014]
- Turning down photography work – when the alarm bells ring - All too many pro photographers (new and established) make the mistake of saying "If it's paying work I must say yes". After hearing one photographer's troubles, Keith recounts an incident from several years ago, when things just didn't feel right. [March 2013]
- Your friends say your photos are great - so what? [November 2012]
- Industrial photos in a foundry - Some aspects of professional photography [July 2012]
- Work for free? Is it ever worth it? - Some thoughts on different aspects of doing photography work for 'free' [July 2012]
- UK camera sales plummet - Why things like this matter for our business. [June 2012]
- 50 Business tips for the aspiring professional photographer
- Do read through to the end though ;-) [June 2012]
- Pick your photography work with care
Why doing what you love isn't always the best route to running a profitable photography business. [June 2012]
- Pro photography - winning the lottery?
Having an idea what you are doing and why. [March 2012]
- Working as a photographer on a cruise ship
A guest article by photographer Ian Kee. [March 2012]
- 5 business mistakes for Photographers
Some of the problems of photography business startups. [October 2010]
- Will it sell? Selling prints - Something we get asked about quite a lot. Keith discusses different aspects of selling landscape/'art' prints of your work. [April 2010]
- Will they sell? - Things to consider once you want to start selling more of your prints [December 2011]
- The photographer in the orange hat - Differentiating your photography business from all the others out there is very important, but make sure you do it in a ways that help generate more profits [September 2011]
- What to charge - simple numbers for anyone wanting to become a professional photographer [January 2012]
- Business advantage - keeping the passion in your business - don't be too quick to lose the personal touch. [September 2011]
- Are there too many 'Pro' photographers?
What to do on a crowded beach, when the tide comes in [September 2011]
- Some things to do now for your future photography business - Even if it's a few years off, sorting out an effective web presence is one to consider right now [August 2011]
- Photography - I can do that
Most people who dream of becoming a pro photographer only ever dream of it - some basic steps for turning a good idea into action [July 2011]
- Tell your customers just where they can go... - Why what you won't do matters [May 2011]
- The three ways to make more money as a photographer [May 2011]
- 7 Questions - Is -your- photography business different from the rest? [April 2011]
- Photographers - Are you of value to your clients? - do you know what they want? [February 2011]
- 5 'M's - marketing for photographers
Why are so many photographers bad at marketing? [February 2011]
- What's special about -your- pro photography business?
Thinking about how your business is different from all the others [March 2011]
- Terms and Conditions
Our T's & C's. Make sure you think about things like this, BEFORE your first paying job.
- And our price is...
A useful video clip to send to the next person wanting you to work for free or very little.
- Should we regulate pro photographers?
Some of Keith's thoughts on the business after reading a photographers' survey [January 2011]
|Keith runs a LinkedIn group (~7900 members) for people interested in any aspects of modern Black and White photography: Digital Black and White
Photography - Personal views from Keith
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The articles and reviews are written in my spare time - I really appreciate all the people who have taken the time to write to me to say when they have been useful.
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Thanks again - Keith and Karen at Northlight Images
Sometimes it helps to reflect on what it is that makes your work special - don't just rely on clients being able to read your mind...
Some external links to info I've found of help
Whilst we have many technical articles and reviews on the site, some have more relevance if you are sending images to clients or producing prints for customers.
I'd always say that colour management is an important factor in producing consistently high quality work. When my files go off to clients, I like to know I've minimised the chances of things going wrong.
It also helps to know something of what may happen to my images between leaving our office on a DVD and appearing in a company's annual report or brochure.
Images on your web site
A few thoughts about some aspects of photography web sites - most are not optimised towards any real business objectives. They are almost like web based business cards.
Your business web site has a job(s) to do, like any other employees...
- Better pictures for your web site
Keith was recently asked for advice on getting better pictures on a web site. His top ten tips cover the process of taking the pictures in the first place, through to sharpening and saving for web use. There are links to further information, tutorials and articles on this site.
- Web colour management and Web photo galleries
A discussion of the various options for compression, sharpening and colour management when putting photographic images on the web.
- Making your website easier to use
Some sites are easy to find your way around, others positively fight your progress. Keith offers some advice on creating a better user experience (There is also a collection of top usability tips, gathered from surveying many of the key researchers in the field). The article links in to our Usability and Design section.
- Web browser colour management test page
Just how well does your web browser handle colour management (if at all). This page has a collection of test images to try it on.
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
If so, please consider sharing a link to the article or mentioning it on a forum or blog - Thanks to everyone who's helped the site become better known.