Is this too unrealistic (about starting a business)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by GreyFox1221, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. GreyFox1221 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    #1
    Me (age 15) and my friend (age 18) want to start a photography company. I have the camera, a Kodak EasyShare Z740; 5mp; 10x; and lens adapter, and he has really good photoshop skills. We want to a fun way to make money over the summmer and since I'm too young to get a job easily, we were thinking of starting our own company. I figure it would be REALLY hard to do, but I just wanted some input. (Also if anyone knows how I can make some money using computers, cameras, or camcorders let me know.)
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Identify the demand first (Who are the customers, what products do they want, what are they willing to pay), then answer the questions: "how will you reach them?" and "Can you actually produce the right product and sell it at a profit?"

    Do that, and get it documented and on paper, before you take the first step to create a business.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    Do you think you can earn money from kids' birthday parties? I think that's one potential customer.

    You won't make much money from each event (because I doubt they'd pay a lot since photography is generally taken care of by the parents), but I guess that's ok. I doubt you'd be able to charge lots of money like other professional photographers get simply because you don't have the camera, experience, or knowledge that a pro would have. All you can give them is something out of a decent point and shoot. I'm not saying you can't be a photographer, but don't think that you're going to be the photographer of any weddings or sports events, etc, unless the person hiring you is a family friend or something.
     
  4. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    While you're considering the business, get started building a portfolio of your work. When I hear two kids are doing photography work, my initial thought is, they probably suck (no offense). But if they showed me a portfolio, I would judge them based on their work. And make a website displaying those samples. It should be pretty cheap if you make it yourself. Just the cost of the domain, right?
     
  5. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #5
    I agree, make a portfolio and build a web-site. Should be easy if you use iWeb, requires some skill with Dreamweaver/GoLive
     
  6. onemacmini macrumors 6502

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    Oct 19, 2005
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    Hertfordshire
    #6
    "Parties" instead of charging for the visit ( paying for the photographer ) make them pay for the photos which will be a bit more expensive so it can cover your costs
     
  7. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Little grey, chilly island.
    #7
    The main problem you're going to have is the age factor; and people will either ignore the fact, not be bothered by it, or think you are far too young and can't do a professional job.

    When I was fifteen, I was in the exact same position as you, and decided to set up a teaching studio for beginners to piano. I started with my first pupil when I was fifteen and built it up very gradually; now, seven years on I am absolutly fully booked, and have a waiting list for my pupils.

    The point here, is that it takes time, determination and effort to set up a business that is sucessful in relative terms to your goal. I can't count how many thousands of fliers I (personally) delivered, how many adverts, phone calls and networking I did over those years - but it pays off! It really does!

    So, I suggest this; start now, but don't expect to be making a lot of money this summer, it's doubtful it will happen. Having said that, next summer you could be earning a nice little wage, and the summer after this even more so. You should also consider how much you need your partner. Partnerships can be extremely irritiating in a business preliminary based on a solo venture, so make sure you're both hard workers and good friends so that you don't find that one of you is doing more than the other.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Yeah, your partner doesn't sound necessary. You're not going to have a lot of gigs. During your non-working times, learn Photoshop. I know you're friends, and I guess it's ok to work together this summer, but next summer, if you come back and you're still partners with your friend, something went wrong.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #9
    Not to put too fine a point on this, but IMHO your Kodak EasyShare isn't going to make the grade if you're trying to establish a photography business. In order to make images which are of high enough quality to sell you really need to have at least a DSLR and along with that, some pretty good-quality lenses. Aside from that, how experienced a photographer are you? Shooting high-quaity images for which people will be willing to pay money is very different than firing off a a bunch of snapshots. How much do you know about lighting? About composition? About portraiture? Environmental portraits vs studio portraits? Capturing action in a scene? The thing is, photography is really quite a competitive business and even those who have the best, most professional-level equipment and years of training don't always succeed at making a living from their work.

    What version of PS does your friend have? Is he REALLY all that experienced with it? PP (post-processing, editing) is very definitely a critical piece of working with digital photography.

    As was already mentioned in this thread, first thing you need to do is to determine your target audience and figure out what they need/want/will pay for. You need to be prepared to produce high-quaity work and, well, a P&S camera without adding an external flash just isn't going to cut the mustard. Sure, you might get some nice snapshots, but people aren't going to want to pay for those. You need to assess your skills and work on those skills.

    I'd look for an employer who will pay you something this summer rather than trying to break into a field for which you are woefully unprepared.
     
  10. GreyFox1221 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    #10
    Yeah. You guys helped me see that this is not something I can do right now. But I will think about teaching people Photoshop or iMovie or something and charging them a little for it.
     
  11. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #11
    iMovie? :p lol

    iMovie is sooo easy that even my mom could use it if I asked her.

    Maybe choose FCE instead? Photoshop is ok
     
  12. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #12
    Big Printer???

    Just a thought... see if you can find an inexpensive (new/used) wide-format inkjet printer. Nothing crazy -- even something that will print 17" wide roll paper would be great. First use it to print some awesome posters advertising your business, and then offer poster-sized blowups of your photography work. Anybody can print 4"x6" index cards -- but start doing 36"x17" posters and you'll get noticed very quickly.
     
  13. Mr. Jones macrumors member

    Mr. Jones

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    Apr 1, 2006
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #13
    I like the idea of posters, however, you're not going to get 17" wide print out of a 5MP camera, especially not an Easyshare.
     
  14. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #14
    You're right of course, but remember -- we're not producing fine art here. Most "commercial" advertising posters are screened at a far lower resolution that what this camera is capable of. These posters are designed to be read from six feet away, not six inches. I'm thinking posters for bands, bars, clubs, that sort of thing. His equipment (and a little Photoshop magic) would do an awesome job!
     

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