Starting my Business

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by b0tt094, May 6, 2007.

  1. b0tt094 macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #1
    Finally doing it, after 5 months of doing it for free im starting my photography buisness.

    Its small, Im a high school student and Im doing sports photography.
    Im handing this flyer out to the coachs tomorrow at school, they have all seen my pictures so they know Im legit.


    Adrenaline Rush Photography
    Excitement can be captured
    By Jake Botto


    so tell me what you think, any advice, critque on the name or motto would help... and if u want to see my pictures just go to the flickr, my adress is up there or click the link in my sig



    Im prayin I can take this somewhere, or else Im out some cash:p :cool:
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    1. Get business insurance as soon as you can.
    2. Your print prices seem low, especially for 8x10, make sure you're not underpricing yourself.
    3. See if you can do team calendars for various sports.
     
  3. b0tt094 thread starter macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #3
    thanks, but Im only in high school and this is second to homework and such

    and about the under pricing, I want to get my name out first and then start raising the prices (I got to make a customer base)
     
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #4
    True - make sure you're covering your costs, though - including the costs of your flyers!

    All the best with it - my best advice would be to keep working even when you're not. Build up a portfolio.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    Just because you're in high school doesn't mean you shouldn't run it like a business. If someone trips over you, you don't want to be personally liable, and if someone breaks your camera, you're out of a camera without insurance. I doubt it'd cost you more than $100/year. I pay $500/year for liability, rental equipment coverage and ~$20,000 of camera/computer gear as a sole proprietor- pretty much covers everything but earthquakes and floods. You get to write that off against what you make too, and 1-2 prints a month covers the cost.

    Secondly- if you're the cheap guy, you'll always be the cheap guy. Someone will say "Hey, I got mine for $cheap." in a word-of-mouth business that *kills* your ability to grow your pricing.

    If your work is good, it'll sell- sell it for as high as you can and still have a good market, and make sure you cover your costs. That way your headroom on pricing is higher too- a 15% increase on a $18 photo is better than on an $8 photo and it's less shocking to the consumer too. Be the mid-to-high end quality choice and you'll be much better off in the long run.
     
  6. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    Yes your pricing does seem low, I would raise it a little bit. Have you ever looked into getting business cards? That seems a little more practical and professional. You can get them pretty cheaply made. Oh, and I've heard a bunch of great things from this place. One final note, make sure your prints are top notch. Do you have a printer picked out? I recommend Mpix or White House Custom Color. (Do a google search)

    Good Luck!

    Edit: Btw, after looking at your Flickr I love shot: DSC_3357. :D
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    I do think that is great and yes, insurance is key. The statement you make of being in high school means nothing in business unless you let it. You need insurance. Keep your prices as you wish, they are low but building that customer base is more important than turning a huge profit. That said, how are you going to be paid? You should not commingle personal and business cash. You should know even as a sole proprietor or LLC with only one individual you really need to keep your funds separated. The second you said you are going to start a business if you put any cash down you need to be sure you can account for it. Better businesses have gone downhill due to mismanagement of funds.You said if this doesn't work you'd be out some cash. I can't see how much cash you've spent. Flicker is free or at least I thought it was, I don't see a website, and fliers are dirt cheap so the impression that you'd be out much--I don't see it. But since you did bring up the idea of cash you best be sure you don't commingle funds. I mean you can. but personally I take a photographer more seriously if he/she isn't asking me to make checks payable to them personally. I like to see a company behind all the hoopla.

    BTW good luck to you. I always say that photography is a way to earn cash but since I like to eat and shop I work a day job. :)
     
  8. JHacker macrumors 6502

    JHacker

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    I took a look at the soccer photos on your flickr, and a majority of them are severely underexposed. You should probably work on that before attempting to sell.
     
  9. photoGrant macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #9
    The first thing I noted with your pictures, is their lack of quality. Underexposed, lack of DOF, too wide, some not in focus.

    I'd recommend investing in a suitable SLR and telephoto lens, and practicing your ability as an amature before delving into setting up your own business, more-so at such a young age.

    Get your experience now, take a course in Business Studies after school, and then think about the possibilities of making a profitable business.

    I don't wish to dishearten you, but it would be best to concentrate on developing your skill now, as it is the major key to a successful photography business, and without that, you'll end up with no clients.
     
  10. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #10
    ..Actually, he has a pro acnt. but it is still pretty cheap.
     
  11. b0tt094 thread starter macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #11
    About the lense, I have already thought abotu buying one but I also need to buy a car

    and about the quality, I have already been paied for this many times, and I have been hired by my newspaper for entire seasons. What Im saying is that the people around here do not know what a High qualit breath taking photo is, They enjoy the glory shots. I have showed these to coachs that dont know me and players that dont know me and even professional photographers, They all have been pushing for me to open a buisness. Not every shot has to be perfect, and as for the soccer ones, I gto bored of editing and such and i just uploaded 90% of my memory card, the good and the bad, not only that but it was a very overcast day, and I did not belive i need to pump up the Iso ot 1600 so I left at 800... I guess I was wrong.
     
  12. photoGrant macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #12
    Overcast is good, clear skies can cause harsh light and over-exposure of your shots.

    What is your current kit at the moment?
     
  13. JHacker macrumors 6502

    JHacker

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    Your pictures are still severely underexposed. If you want to deliver a quality product, fix that.
     
  14. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #14
    Definitely right on the overcast. I'm gonna take a guess and say he has a D50, not sure on the lenses though.
     
  15. photoGrant macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #15
    On this photograph - please tell me you didn't use flash.

    I don't mean any disrespect to you, but in terms of your technical ability, it's either severely limited by your kit, or you just lack any real experience.
     
  16. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    The Library.
    #16
    First off, separate non-sports and sports photos on flickr or even get a dedicated website. It wouldn't be terribly expensive.

    From there, you might consider associating with the school and the teams so that people can order from them. Parents will be more inclined to order prints if they are giving a check to someone older than a high school student.

    As others have said, some of the photos are underexposed and the fact that people in your area can't tell a good photo from a bad one doesn't change that. It's good business to deliver a good product regardless of competition.

    Best of luck from a fellow student photographer,
    wmmk
     
  17. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #17
    Looking at the EXIF on one shot, seems to be using a D50 and the 18-55mm kit lens....
     
  18. photoGrant macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #18
    Good call, blame it being 4am for me not thinking of doing that ;)

    Invest in a quality lens. That's all I can say.

    If money were no object, I'd invest in a few bodies with different fixed focal, high aperture lenses.

    A D50 should be suitable with a 70-200mm f/2.8 of some sort. I'm no nikon man, so I'm sure someone else could point you in the right direction.

    But I think, if you're serious and stubborn about starting up this business - That you should save every penny you own, and buy a good lens.
     
  19. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #19
    Which pic did you pull the EXIF from? I tried with one and couldn't get anything. The only way I know it was a D50 is I found it somewhere on his Flickr page.

    Nicely stated. Ha, you always give good advice.:)
     
  20. Forced Perfect macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada.
    #20
    From the EXIF: Flash: Flash fired, auto mode

    EDIT: Oops. I didn't notice that was already mentioned. :p
     
  21. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    I totally agree with photoGrant.

    If you are setting yourself up as a pro, you need to be able to produce professional quality work.
    Keep at it, but you have some way to go before reaching the required standard.

    Get the quality then go pro.

    FJ
     
  22. JHacker macrumors 6502

    JHacker

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast
    #22
    And honestly - it's not your equipment. Check out one of my galleries here http://www.jordanhacker.com/artattack.php. All the shots that are not of the artists (as in the stadium and crowd shots) are all taken with the kit lens. It's really not too shabby. However, I shot in Manual mode, and I understand my camera. You need to learn to shoot in Manual and understand what every function does and means. Then your shots will improve and you can sell them. Those basketball shots are terrible - but in certain situations the kit lens just won't cut it because there's not enough light. Learn your camera. Then sell.
     
  23. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #23
    Pricing can be tricking (I deal with photo pricing a lot). You don't want to be the same or more expensive then someone else who has been doing it for years, but you don't want to run yourself into the ground. Think more of the whole thing. not just the price of the photo paper. Hopefully your business takes off and soon you will need to buy more equipment. Look at everything you use for the business not just the final product that you give to customers. Also if you start your pricing off really low and raise it you run the rise of losing customers. SO having a slightly higher price will make it easier to keep customers down the line when there is a smaller price increase.

    And most importantly when talking with a customer treat them like they are your only client, show them full involvement with them.

    I had a business with my roommate that I tool over 100%, because I lost customers when talking with him. He would always talk about how much work we had, would grab the files of a different customer and so on. People like the feeling that a person is dealing with their prints and no-one else's.


    Good luck to you, and after 5 months of photos you should have a pretty good portfolio going.
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #24
     
  25. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #25
    Practice

    After looking at your work its decent, but it lacks the pop you need in order to make great photos. As many of the other posters said, get your self some quality glass. Look for a used 80-200 f2.8 and a 28-70 f2.8 as well as for indoor the 50mm f1.8 or the 85mm. I know your budget is limited but you need the better glass to make better pictures therefore making more sales. Stick with the outdoor sports until you can pick up new glass.

    You do need to work on your exposures. I know its tough to work with a kit lens, and available light but you have to choose your shots. Pick brighter days so you can shoot with the equipment you have. Also make sure you look at your meter to see if your underexposing or overexposing.

    Now are these pictures on flicker your first sports photos or are these just the ones you have posted. you have probably about 250 shots on there and that is no way to think you can shoot and sell sports, even if it is for high school.

    As for getting into sales take your time, also get a better account than flicker, your own personal website or photo sales sites such as photoroom.com, photoshelter.com, photoreflect.com, etc. Therefore you are saving time by not taking orders and letting them take care of it for you. Set your prices and let them do their thing. They take a service fee but it saves you a lot of time.

    If you need more help I would recommend checking out dpreview.com forums and seeing some of the work on there. If you need or would like any help please pm me if anything. I'm just trying to help out as I was once in your shoes and I am still working on getting going for my self.
     

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