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Starting a Photography Holiday Business


scottishphototours 11 2.6k 2 Scotland
8 Jul 2012 10:39PM
I had your idea, tried your idea and failed. I too called it a mid-life crisis...

I had one of the countries TOP photographers tell me I was wonderful at what I did, magazine spreads extolling my business and a raft of returning customers. But that was just as it was all going downhill.

The truth is that the world has since hit the skids, that NOBODY is spending money like they used to and that you'd be MAD to try this in the current economic climate.

Andy

PS - if you don't have an internationally recognised list of photographic letters after your name, you're sunk before you even start....

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Photo4x4 11 470 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2012 7:52AM

Quote:I have been running my own business in the UK for over 25 years


Crikey if you'd said that in the first place I could have saved my time teaching granny to suck eggs.


Quote:The truth is that the world has since hit the skids, that NOBODY is spending money like they used to


How true Andy.

Keith Hart
rossd 11 1.1k England
9 Jul 2012 12:21PM

Quote:Crikey if you'd said that in the first place I could have saved my time teaching granny to suck eggs.
LOL!!

If you look in the back of virtually any photo mag you will find numerous adverts for photo holidays/courses/tuition. This area of photography seems to have taken off over the last few years. In fact I have the Aug copy of 'Outdoor Photography' here and at a rough count I would say there are at least 25 such ads (plus a full back cover ad for 'Light and Land' which i believe is Joe Cornish's outfit). Personally, assuming you have enough cash without needing to borrow and assuming, as JackallTog says, you have a good business plan then there's no reason why you should fail. Believe me, there's nothing worse than going through the rest of your life with regrets saying 'I wish I'd started that business in France in 2012'.


Quote:The truth is that the world has since hit the skids, that NOBODY is spending money like they used to


Very true but the fact remains that a lot of people still have money to spend (especially photographers it would seem judging by the numerous topics posted by those buying new equipment).


All that aside of course it's not my money and I'm not the one taking risks Smile
joolsb 10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
9 Jul 2012 12:40PM

Quote:plus a full back cover ad for 'Light and Land' which i believe is Joe Cornish's outfit


Just to set the record straight, although Joe Cornish leads tours for L&L, it's not 'his' outfit. Charlie Waite started the company with, I believe, Sue Bishop.

I think the reason why there are so many companies offering workshops, trips or tuition is that there are a lot of professional photographers out there who are finding it hard to make a buck simply from taking pictures. Add in a bunch of hobbyists who have picked up a bit of a rep on sharing sites and think they can rake in the money with tuition and you have a seriously overcrowded business sector.

I wonder how many of the companies advertising trips etc. in OP are actually making money?
keithh Plus
11 23.6k 33 Wallis And Futuna
9 Jul 2012 12:42PM
Is that a living or pin money?
Wink
mikehit Plus
5 7.4k 11 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2012 12:44PM

Quote:If you look in the back of virtually any photo mag you will find numerous adverts for photo holidays/courses/tuition.


What you don't know is whether these businesses are the owners' main source of income or a way of earning extra cash. Nor do you know how many are turning a profit that will support multiple people.

I totally agree with the 'regrets' thing.
rossd 11 1.1k England
9 Jul 2012 4:32PM

Quote:I think the reason why there are so many companies offering workshops, trips or tuition is that there are a lot of professional photographers out there who are finding it hard to make a buck simply from taking pictures


You're quite right of course but I've noticed that many who advertise (in OP anyway as I'm a subscriber) have been around for a while so I made the assumption that the market is there.


Quote:What you don't know is whether these businesses are the owners' main source of income or a way of earning extra cash. Nor do you know how many are turning a profit that will support multiple people.


Again I agree but the same comment applies namely that (IMO anyway) a market exists. Last year I was interested in a phototour to the US (covering Yellowstone, Tetons etc) but the ones that interested me were fully booked for the year and also into this year (couldn't have afforded it anyway so did it myself for about half the cost Smile.

As for making a living, it obviously depends on the financial circumstances of the individual. I know several people who have sold their homes and bought B&Bs and make a good living but only because they have no mortgage or loans.

I stand corrected about L&L ... obviously wasn't one of the phototour businesses I looked at last year Smile
ade_mcfade Plus
11 15.2k 216 England
9 Jul 2012 5:10PM
Try something new

If it fails, then try something else

if it succeeds, then do more of it Smile


I've got a small group who come on my workshops - it's not a living, but I enjoy doing it and make a few quid. Quite a few coming on the Strobist workshop on Sunday - so that'll probably pay this month's mortgage....
scottishphototours 11 2.6k 2 Scotland
9 Jul 2012 6:33PM
As much as I believe there are photographers who have money to spend on such holidays, there simply aren't enough. The work and expense involved in marketing yourself to the masses is not to be underestimated alone - and to get people to go to the Dordogne maybe even harder than getting people to come to Scotland!
rossd 11 1.1k England
9 Jul 2012 7:24PM
@scottishphototours

I ran my own (non-photographic) business in Cornwall in the early 90's and it was bl***y hard! In the end I gave up after 3 years (luckily still solvent!) and went back into full time employment (aircraft maintenance business) so I can appreciate your comments. However, if you've got an itch it's got to be scratched. I have no regrets and I'm glad I had the experience. Personally, I admire those who have the balls to go for it and chase their dream.
I hope it works out for you.
Lowestoftis 4 33 3
10 Jul 2012 11:52AM
Thanks again to everyone for their advice. I have been an entrepeneur all my life, so it's in my blood now, and the risk and hard work is what gets me out of bed in the morning. If it all goes belly up, I'll come back home and stack shelves in Tesco for a few years before trying something crazy all over again.

Gary
ade_mcfade Plus
11 15.2k 216 England
10 Jul 2012 1:14PM
If you can get people there, that's what counts Wink

Bit of a black art from what I can see lol
Lowestoftis 4 33 3
10 Jul 2012 1:58PM
Thanks Ade, I like your attitude.

Gary
scottishphototours 11 2.6k 2 Scotland
10 Jul 2012 11:09PM

Quote:@scottishphototours

I ran my own (non-photographic) business in Cornwall in the early 90's and it was bl***y hard! In the end I gave up after 3 years (luckily still solvent!) and went back into full time employment (aircraft maintenance business) so I can appreciate your comments. However, if you've got an itch it's got to be scratched. I have no regrets and I'm glad I had the experience. Personally, I admire those who have the balls to go for it and chase their dream.
I hope it works out for you.



Thanks, glad that I too had the experience to try something that I loved doing and had the support of my wife to allow me to do it. Never ever wanted to be on the death bed thinking that it was something I really should have tried!

We ended up diversifying back to the other thing I was good at - people photgraphy. The weddings side has exploded and we're very busy, so couldn't be happier.
croberts 10 2.2k 8 Ireland
11 Jul 2012 1:07AM
Theres a long history of photogs who cant make a living making pictures, trying to make a living teaching. Its the same in all sorts of other creative fields. The business is f**ked.. Keep struggling on, and hang on for your life, to your regular clients!

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