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02-07-2017, 03:03 PM   #16
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A very good resource I have found is the following web site. This might be of some help to you.

The Part Time Photographer

Disclaimer: I have been shooting chroma-key portraits on and off for around 5 years, some I have charged for, and some I have not. I am planning to ramp it up a bit to part time once I finish building out my from scratch custom web site (I am a professional developer).

02-07-2017, 03:19 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
A couple of thoughts to this, I was a mechanic that had no experience with working on cars, but managed to put my self through college doing so. How you may ask? Very similar model to what I am trying to do here. I bought a car, sought out the knowledge of those who were better than I was (my dad, the auto store guys, books etc...) and put it to good use on my own vehicle. First friends started to notice, and asked if I could help them, which I did for free. At some point, I felt confident enough to go on to work at an auto parts store, then I went on to being a mechanic for a national chain.... Point of the story, I started by not knowing anything working, on my own stuff, and then offering free or discounted services with the understanding I was learning and no where near perfect. After some time, I was able to command a fairly substantial income (for a part time mechanic in college on flat rate) as a professional.

Do I think my services as a beginner mechanic devalued those of the professionals? No, why, because it was understood I was a student and the folks understood there was a chance I would get it wrong.

People who need a professional who can provide consistent professional results or service will seek a professional always.

People who need a service but the results are not critical have the liberty to choose someone who may not have all the experience or knowledge needed yet, but is good enough to get the results needed.

I think the issue you bring up are those who think they are truly good photographers worthy of a high price, when the reality is they are just me, and what I am is just an amateur with a good camera and glass looking to gain the knowledge i need by offering a service for some one who is willing to take the chance.[COLOR="Silver"]
It sounds like I picked exactly the wrong analogy for my intended purpose, but if you feel strongly that this is how you'll get over the hump, as they say, then I commend you for sticking by your guns. Go get 'em.
02-07-2017, 04:09 PM   #18
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Just my personal experience as a highschooler, so I doubt it applies. I did a ton of free stuff, whatever I could, all around school, screening my short films at school, and getting my pictures in publications and on the school website.

Then I started to get paid, when someone in authority offered to pay me. Now, I know what I can charge for and what I still do as "extra-curricular", and I feel confident when asking someone else for a fee.

But again, that's just from my perspective as a student - starting free worked well, I could practice and learn and show my work and qualifications.
02-08-2017, 01:26 AM   #19
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Sorry Sir, to be plain honest I always consider that the word "professional" equals "being paid for" and " the guy who do the job - always". In my opinion starting a business (full time pro) without a solid base would be a problem for your money in the near future. Much much better would be experience, for some time, 1-2 years, like an assistant or by yourself, developing the skills you need as a pro (perhaps you already did this, and perhaps your skills are ready to start your business, I don't know). In this period of time you can experience with friends or people you know and the good job would be your advrtising for your future business. How bad would be starting a business and then , if you fail some times, having bad advertise in a starting business. This would impact your incomes. Every business starts form the point zero so I'm not saying you don't have to start your business. From my personal POW business means incomes for me and my family so I have to well plan my chioces to permit my incomes to be consistent during time assuring a clear future for my family and more resources for my business.

Best wishes for your starting business. Best regards.

Matteo

02-08-2017, 04:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by bm75 Quote
Sorry Sir, to be plain honest I always consider that the word "professional" equals "being paid for" and " the guy who do the job - always". In my opinion starting a business (full time pro) without a solid base would be a problem for your money in the near future. Much much better would be experience, for some time, 1-2 years, like an assistant or by yourself, developing the skills you need as a pro (perhaps you already did this, and perhaps your skills are ready to start your business, I don't know). In this period of time you can experience with friends or people you know and the good job would be your advrtising for your future business. How bad would be starting a business and then , if you fail some times, having bad advertise in a starting business. This would impact your incomes. Every business starts form the point zero so I'm not saying you don't have to start your business. From my personal POW business means incomes for me and my family so I have to well plan my chioces to permit my incomes to be consistent during time assuring a clear future for my family and more resources for my business.

Best wishes for your starting business. Best regards.

Matteo
This would be a second job to my current one as an engineer. I have to start somewhere, and to mitigate much of the financial risk, it would be a weekend only thing. If the business grew an took off then I could use it as a main source of income. If it doesn't and I only get occasional customers I may either have to rethink my business plan or just keep it as a side gig.

I know I wouldn't be the first to do such things...
02-08-2017, 08:25 AM   #21
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a young mother of four, up the street, started in a similar fashion
not sd cards but "exposure" work
though it sounded as though the transition from unpaid to paid was a little rocky

she does children, weddings and family work

she works when she wants to and according to her husband makes a fair bit of money at it

good luck
02-08-2017, 08:50 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHfwp Quote
It sounds like I picked exactly the wrong analogy for my intended purpose, but if you feel strongly that this is how you'll get over the hump, as they say, then I commend you for sticking by your guns. Go get 'em.
Sorry if i came off as snarky. My reply was not meant to be that way. I do appreciate the input and I understand the concern voiced. Thanks!
02-08-2017, 02:53 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
Sorry if i came off as snarky. My reply was not meant to be that way. I do appreciate the input and I understand the concern voiced. Thanks!
No problem. I never thought you were being snarky. Some other things maybe, lol, but not snarky. Whatever route you go I do hope it works out for you.

02-08-2017, 04:06 PM   #24
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Wow... to the OP... very bad idea of how to start out.

I highly suggest finding your local models and photographers facebook group, join it, and get in on the fun. You will do a lot of TFP work. This is free work where you shoot for the model and provide an image or three and in turn the model models for you for free. Sometimes you can even get hair and makeup artists involved to do work for free too!

You will build your skills and your negotiation abilities (because even though it's free trade work you will still need to negotiate some garbage here and there) and you will find it very rewarding. It also builds your connections in the community and can help you out later on down the line when you want to try out some new techniques for your business on someone that's not paying your bills.

When you actually go start your business you need to own it and make it yours. I had to restart my plan this year due to my 2016 being completely garbage... but here is how I'm going into it:

5 year plan with goals set out
first year plans set into 12 month, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month goals
hire a business consultant/manager/adviser
market to the clients YOU want
charge as if you have been in business for years

you will need:
-a business licence for the municipality your operating in. a business licence for any municipality you are providing services in. (ie: you live in Ardrie, AB and use it as your office, but you primarily serve clients in Calgary, AB. you will need a business licence in both municipalities). Nothing is more embarrassing than shooting a client and bylaw officers coming up and asking for your licence that you don't have!

-2 million dollar limited liability insurance. keep in mind they can still take your house if you get sued... but a lot of venues require this from the photographer to do business. YOU SHOULD HAVE THIS ANYWAYS if your shooting models, events, or anything where someone can trip over your tripod.... a friend of mine did't have insurance, was working a charity event, clocked a kid in the head with his camera and gave him a bruise. he got sued by the parents for negligence.


Just because you got a camera and people say you take pretty pictures does not mean your ready to charge and provide services. it's a different animal. I have failed twice. I'm doing this a third time and I'm going to make it work because I'm setting a proper foundation before I take my first client.
02-08-2017, 04:17 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Wow... to the OP... very bad idea of how to start out.

I highly suggest finding your local models and photographers facebook group, join it, and get in on the fun. You will do a lot of TFP work. This is free work where you shoot for the model and provide an image or three and in turn the model models for you for free. Sometimes you can even get hair and makeup artists involved to do work for free too!

You will build your skills and your negotiation abilities (because even though it's free trade work you will still need to negotiate some garbage here and there) and you will find it very rewarding. It also builds your connections in the community and can help you out later on down the line when you want to try out some new techniques for your business on someone that's not paying your bills.

When you actually go start your business you need to own it and make it yours. I had to restart my plan this year due to my 2016 being completely garbage... but here is how I'm going into it:

5 year plan with goals set out
first year plans set into 12 month, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month goals
hire a business consultant/manager/adviser
market to the clients YOU want
charge as if you have been in business for years

you will need:
-a business licence for the municipality your operating in. a business licence for any municipality you are providing services in. (ie: you live in Ardrie, AB and use it as your office, but you primarily serve clients in Calgary, AB. you will need a business licence in both municipalities). Nothing is more embarrassing than shooting a client and bylaw officers coming up and asking for your licence that you don't have!

-2 million dollar limited liability insurance. keep in mind they can still take your house if you get sued... but a lot of venues require this from the photographer to do business. YOU SHOULD HAVE THIS ANYWAYS if your shooting models, events, or anything where someone can trip over your tripod.... a friend of mine did't have insurance, was working a charity event, clocked a kid in the head with his camera and gave him a bruise. he got sued by the parents for negligence.


Just because you got a camera and people say you take pretty pictures does not mean your ready to charge and provide services. it's a different animal. I have failed twice. I'm doing this a third time and I'm going to make it work because I'm setting a proper foundation before I take my first client.
I won't take on the rest of your post, but I believe business licenses are less necessary in the U.S. than in Canada.
02-08-2017, 04:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
I won't take on the rest of your post, but I believe business licenses are less necessary in the U.S. than in Canada.
that would be a relief for those operating in the USA. So many stories are told in our facebook communities of photographers not realizing they need licencing to operate... those that shoot in the national parks and town sites like Jasper and Banff really get in trouble....One was banned for 12 months!
02-08-2017, 11:49 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
that would be a relief for those operating in the USA. So many stories are told in our facebook communities of photographers not realizing they need licencing to operate... those that shoot in the national parks and town sites like Jasper and Banff really get in trouble....One was banned for 12 months!
Business license requirements vary in the USA even from one city to another. Do national parks have a special requirement?

Answered my own question.

https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/commercial-film-and-photo-permits.htm

Last edited by UncleVanya; 02-08-2017 at 11:54 PM.
02-09-2017, 12:02 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Business license requirements vary in the USA even from one city to another. Do national parks have a special requirement?

Answered my own question.

Commercial Filming & Still Photography Permits (U.S. National Park Service)
For those who don't want to copy and paste the link, here's the relevant part:

QuoteQuote:
Still photographers require a permit only when

the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or

the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or

administrative facilities; or park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
So if you bring a model, technically you should be paying $50/day. If you're recording a video with the same model (2 people or fewer), the daily fee is $0/day.
02-09-2017, 12:45 AM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
I am thinking of trying to get a business going doing portraiture....
First, I would not give unprocessed images - ever. I want to make them look good - level the horizon, crop, eliminate duds and dupes, etc. No point in giving them 40 images of which 3 are "the shots". Although clients normally want lots of photos, as a photographer you need to only give out your best work, and deftly explain to the client before hand that the number is limited :-)

Eventually you will charge money, I would hope. I would suggest spending $60 a year on SmugMug or similar, where you can put images in a hidden album for clients to download with a password. That way a) you control the image, and b) clients avoid paying sales tax. (If they or you provide a DVD or storage device, they pay sales tax on the full amount. If they download, there is no tax. It is like taking out or heating up a hotdog at the corner store - one is taxable, one is not.)

You might make the website into a sales/presentation tool with effort, but mine is just for client* downloads - they never see the home page.

* I don't actually have a client yet, but I'm ready :-)

Oh, the state business permit was free, but the city of Santa Ana charges $206 per year, plus $260 something for a one-time home use certification because my home is the business address, though I will shoot anywhere but there. Other cities charge far less annually. So that, plus a couple flashes, SmugMug, and business cards and I'm in $800 without taking a shot :-(

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-09-2017 at 01:07 AM.
02-09-2017, 12:57 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
I think the issue you bring up are those who think they are truly good photographers worthy of a high price, when the reality is they are just me, and what I am is just an amateur with a good camera and glass looking to gain the knowledge i need by offering a service for some one who is willing to take the chance.
You should be careful not to ruin your reputation before you get the business started.

As someone mentioned, what about processing, retouching etc if you are just providing straight out of camera shots. People talk.

I do not see a link to your work so I can not judge.

I get paid for some work, but I will hardly call myself a professional.

I am more than happy to oblige if a friend or relative asks me to take a "professional" picture of them.

A family of 5 asked for passport photos. That would have costed them over 100. I said I will do it for free.

An excuse to get out my equipment and shoot. They gave me 20 as a gift. I call that win win on both sides.

I use that as an opportunity to increase my skill as I dont have models.



On the other hand I dont agree that everybody has to pay 1000 for their wedding photos.

A service is a service based on what you are providing. I dont even charge 500 for a wedding.

But I make sure the client see my work so they know what they are asking for.

Tomorrow I will shoot a court wedding for 200.

Keep in mind that with all the low price I am at the same time building a portfolio and experience.

The funny thing is that I dont think I want to be a professional photographer.

I just like taking pictures. The main idea is to use the money to support this hobby and buy my wife beautiful shoes.
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