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Too many photographers? Why professional photography isn’t about good photos

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Why being able to take good photographs isn’t enough to run a business

[PRESS RELEASE] Too many photographers? Why professional photography isn’t about good photos.

Leicester, UK. 30th March, 2009. For Immediate release

Keith Cooper, a professional commercial photographer, gets many enquiries about how to set up business as a photographer. With a glut of photography students and newly redundant individuals looking at becoming professional photographers, it comes as a surprise to many that taking good photographs is a small part of running a photography business in the current economic climate.

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Keith Cooper*1 runs Leicester based Northlight Images where he is a professional photographer*2 specialising in commercial photography.

“People think of photography as an easy job” he said, noting that as Vice Chairman of the local Federation of Small Businesses, “I’m now getting enquiries every week from people wanting to know how to become a professional photographer”.

The rising numbers of photography students in the UK has led to concerns in the industry. A recent editorial*3 in the British Journal of Photography argued that “…most final year photography students I meet are hopelessly naive about their prospects.”

The economic downturn is also leading to more people deciding to try photography as a job, either after redundancy or for part-time income.

“Good quality camera equipment is cheaper than ever” Cooper comments, adding that “digital photography has removed many of the traditional barriers to entry into the business”.

“It’s not about taking photos though” Cooper observed. As a small business owner he says that “It’s the business side of things that people forget about” and “It’s really about running a business that just happens to involve photography – taking good photos helps, but that isn’t what pays the bills” adding that “far too many newcomers seem to concentrate on price, not realising that there will always be someone to undercut your rates”.

Whilst there are a lot of business resources available to help start-up businesses, he warns that “so called ‘professional photography qualifications’ that add letters to your name, cut very little ice with potential clients”.

In a recent article*4 aimed at providing help for those wanting to earn a living from photography, Cooper emphasises the need for business skills such as marketing and an understanding of the technology involved.

He also advises potential photographers to look beyond their normal interests and diversify their offerings, commenting “It’s the well run businesses in this area that will reap the rewards once the economy improves”.

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Words 321

Further details from Keith Cooper – Northlight Images Photography, Leicester, UK

Email bw @ northlight-images.co.uk

Tel. 0116 291 9092
Web site http://www.northlight-images.co.uk

Notes to editors

1- Keith Cooper is a commercial photographer who specialises in interiors, architecture and landscape photography.

2- He is a member of the International Association of Architectural Photographers and Vice Chairman of the Leicester City branch of the UK Federation of Small Businesses.
http://www.fsb.org.uk/default.aspx?id=0&loc=100

3- BJP editorial http://www.1854.eu/2009/03/are_photography_courses_useful.html

4- “How to be a Professional Photographer” article by Keith Cooper
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/photo-opinions/pro-photographer.html

Contact details :

Northlight Images, 86 Harrow Road
Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. LE3 0JW
Telephone (Mon-Fri. 9am-5pm) +44 (0)116 291 9092 

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