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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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basic product photography
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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

  • 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.
  • How to be a professional photographerHow to be a professional photographerSome of Keith Cooper's thoughts and observations for those wanting to become a professional photographer. Things it's worth knowing about. Yes, you can be a pro photographer, but it takes more than photography skills
  • Usability – Making your web site visitors’ lives easierUsability - Making your web site visitors' lives easierWhy considering usability can really help make your web site visitors' lives easier. Happier visitor make for a better and more successful site.
  • Pictures at an exhibition – preparationPictures at an exhibition - preparationProblems, considerations and issues encountered when showing and displaying an exhibition of large photographs by Keith Cooper. Making it work for your photographs

Keith’s photo business videos

  • Video: Skill without marketing isn’t a businessVideo: Skill without marketing isn't a businessProfessional photography as a profitable business - Why your photo skills, without proper marketing, count very little towards your business success (9m 50s)
  • Video: What sorts of photo work not to doVideo: What sorts of photo work not to doProfessional photography as a business - The importance of choosing what what sorts of work not to do and how it helps you plan your future business (12m 40s)
  • 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)

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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