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  #1  
December 12th, 2006, 11:10 AM
Kilikina's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Ok I am just wondering. I have "a few" questions that I was curious about. I have always thought about having my won blackroom and photo biz, but now with digital photography, just a photo biz. Sorry about all the q's but I am just really wondering about a photo biz. So for you that are all in a photo biz here you go:

Who of you all has your own photogrpahy biz?

How long have you been in biz for?

What sort of photos do you take? For instance portrait, wedding, nature ect....

Do you print the pics off yourself with a good photo printer, or do you take them in somewhere else?

Do you touch up pics in photoshop?

Where do you get all your props and such from? Like if you do portraits, then backgrounds (christmas for instance, where ppl want a tree back ground and such)

Is it run out of your home or elsewhere? (if else where, where?)

How do you come up with a fee schedule?

What sort of things did you need and require to start up the biz?

And what sort of things did you later get that aren't needed at first?

If you do print your own pics, what printer do you have? What paper do you use to print on?

Oh what camera do you use?

Is a photo biz a good idea? I understand no biz is easy, but is it worth all the effort?

What are the pluses and minus of a photo biz and do the pluses outweigh the minuses?

How did you get started?

Is it easy to get customers/clientle? What sort of advertising do you do for your biz?

Any websites I can take a look at?

Are certain times of the year more productive then others? When, if any, are your down times?

Oh and what is the start up costs one can expect when starting a biz?

Anything else you want to add would be totally helpful. Thanks so much.
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  #2  
December 12th, 2006, 12:27 PM
tabbymichelle's Avatar GO BUCKEYES!!! O-H-I-O!
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Who of you all has your own photogrpahy biz? I like to think of myself as a pro..

How long have you been in biz for? I have been taking photos for about 6 years but just recently started charging for my work, about 3 years.

What sort of photos do you take? everything

Do you print the pics off yourself with a good photo printer, or do you take them in somewhere else? I send them off to several different companies.

Do you touch up pics in photoshop? Not always, sometimes I luck out and don't have to do anything but cropping.

Where do you get all your props and such from? I keep my eye out. Everytime I go ANYWHERE, I always have in my mind "what would look good in photos" I also get a lot of my inspiration by looking at photographer sites to see what they use.

Is it run out of your home or elsewhere? Currently, we're building a home where I will run my studio but we're living with my parents so I do a lot of "on location" shoots.

How do you come up with a fee schedule? I check with local photography business websites to get an idea of what the "competition" is charging.

What sort of things did you need and require to start up the biz? Of course a camera, I also have a backup, lighting, lenses, photoshop and of course.. subjects =)

And what sort of things did you later get that aren't needed at first? backdrops, props, lighting(I am in the market for more,) lenses(in my opinion you can never have enough, those things are like an addiction to me!)

If you do print your own pics, what printer do you have? What paper do you use to print on? ---

What camera do you use? Canon Rebel XT, Canon Rebel T2 and I am getting ready to buy the new XTi soon.

Is a photo biz a good idea? I understand no biz is easy, but is it worth all the effort? It's hard to get started and takes a lot of dedication and cash but once you get faithful clients, it is rewarding.

What are the pluses and minus of a photo biz and do the pluses outweigh the minuses? My favorite plus is knowing that I am taking a photograph that tells a story and my client will be able to cherish that moment in time forever. A big minus in my opinion is if a client is dissatisfied with your work, or also if you get a "potential client" and they don't ever call back, that can be really frustrating.

How did you get started? by taking TONS of photos, you can't really charge unless you have a portfolio because no one will pay you if you don't have something they want to see first.

Is it easy to get customers/clientle? What sort of advertising do you do for your biz? This is a tough one. It really depends on how you put yourself out there. I post business cards all over the place. I carry handfuls with me in my purse and if there is a bulletin board somewhere, I will pin a few to it. Word of mouth is great too so if you take a great photo for a client, they are sure to tell everyone they know.

Any websites I can take a look at? I often use google to look up photos, forums, tips/techniques, etc. You can learn a lot by looking at others' work.

Are certain times of the year more productive then others? When, if any, are your down times? The Spring/Summer is great for me, during the winter it's a little slow because a lot of people who come to me want outdoor(on location) shoots.

Oh and what is the start up costs one can expect when starting a biz? It really depends on what you need. Photography is a very, very costly business, but my theory is, "You have to spend money to make money"

The best advice that I can give is don't get caught up in business, just have fun, because when you do, it really shows in your photos. Also, when you have clients, just act like you would with a friend because when they feel like you're a friend, they are more comfortable and that will bring out the "REAL" them and it will make for a great photograph.
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  #3  
December 12th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Hi Kilikina,
I'll try to answer some of your questions. I don't have my own business yet, right now I am a hired photographer but hoping to go solo a year from now.


How long have you been in biz for?
I've taken pictures for years but started getting serious about photography for about 6 months now

What sort of photos do you take? For instance portrait, wedding, nature ect....
Wedding, portraits

Do you print the pics off yourself with a good photo printer, or do you take them in somewhere else?
Mpix.com, I love it

Do you touch up pics in photoshop?
98% of the time I do, definately a must have

Where do you get all your props and such from? Like if you do portraits, then backgrounds (christmas for instance, where ppl want a tree back ground and such)
I try to use my surroundings and when I need a solid background I use muslin. I bought my muslin from ebay although, just a thick bed sheet would work just the same. I purchase props just about anywhere I see them and most of the time I use stuff I have here at home.

Is it run out of your home or elsewhere? (if else where, where?)
In my home and on location. I love using my parents ranch for outdoor sessions

How do you come up with a fee schedule?
I don't have set in stone rates yet, moreso doing sessions for at cost or doing them for free to build up a 'word of mouth' clientele. I am getting paid for my wedding photography but I'm the second shooter so its not much

What sort of things did you need and require to start up the biz?
a good camera, external flash, indoor studio equip if you want to do indoor shots, good lenses, and a post processing program like photoshop/PSP

And what sort of things did you later get that aren't needed at first?
types of lenses, extra lighting

If you do print your own pics, what printer do you have? What paper do you use to print on?

Oh what camera do you use?
Canon Rebel XTi, I'm wanting the 5D or Mark series--XTi is a great camera though

Is a photo biz a good idea? I understand no biz is easy, but is it worth all the effort?
If its something you really enjoy doing then I say go for it! Yes, it does take a Lot of work, time, and money to get started and then you have to build up clientele and keep it going. But all in all, it is very possible and I love my 'second' job.

What are the pluses and minus of a photo biz and do the pluses outweigh the minuses?
pluses....umm, I really do photography for the enjoyment and satisfaction it gives me to create a 'work of art' so to speak, I love it when my clients say, "Oh wow, I love it!", thats what keeps me going. Minuses...I would say the cost of equipment and insurance on everything-its expensive!

How did you get started?
I'm still in the 'getting started' phase. I would say work on building a portfolio to showcase your work. Start doing sessions with family members and friends, take pictures daily, get to know your camera and study techniques

Is it easy to get customers/clientle? What sort of advertising do you do for your biz?
For me, it hasn't been easy. Its been mentioned before that its hard to get clients when the walmart photo studio is up the road and charges a fraction of what a session would be when done by a professional. Sears, JCPenney's, Wal-Mart, Target and other stores offer great deals and the pictures are often decent enough to encourage repeat customers. Others may have better advice, I haven't really ventured into marketing myself yet.

Are certain times of the year more productive then others? When, if any, are your down times?
since I do wedding photography, the summer is definately our peak times, occasionally my boss gets booked every other weekend during the winter so it's still somewhat busy.

Oh and what is the start up costs one can expect when starting a biz?
I would expect around $2,000 for quality equipment to start up, I may be overpricing but from my experience it was around two grand

I hope I helped in some way! I'd love to hear about your plans and keep us updated on what you decide to do. Once you get a portfolio going, let me know, I'd love to check it out!
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