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Saving money the pro photographer way

Saving money the pro photographer way - Full time pro photography is a great business but a demanding, and at the moment, financially challenging one.

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Chris Hanley.
Chris Hanley is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer who just like you, is learning to cope with the current economic climate.

Do you have any good money saving tips for photographers?

"Rather than go to the expense of brochures, design eyecatching marketing material in photoshop and have it available as a downloadable PDF on your website."

Are you having to think more creatively now? If so how?
"There isn't a day goes by when I don't think creatively. Challenge yourself to take two completely different pictures of the same subject everytime."

Are there any ways to do your sort of work without so many costs?
"I'm afraid Photography is a very expensive business. Invest in the best lenses, computer hardware, digital software and essential photographic accessories like speedlights etc. Forget the gimmicks."

Customers are in the same situation too so are there any ways you can market yourself to persuade people it's still a good idea to spend money?
"We find ourselves in difficult times and for people who are losing their jobs it is a terrible situation. There are however people in secure jobs who are finding themselves with extra finances due to the low interest rate repayments on their loans and mortgages. These people are spending money with the higher end professional photographers. The most affected in this profession will always be the hobbyists and second income economy photographers, because that market is where people are cutting back."

People cut advertising to save money but by doing so they are not getting the exposure they once were and as such may end up with less customers. If you had to do this would you lose the advertising or make cuts somewhere else to keep your exposure?
"Advertising is such a gamble, especially in an overpopulated profession like photography. You are far better working with local businesses and building referrals. Getting yourself in front of clients and talking to them is a far better option than spending money on adverts in directories and magazines when your prescence is diluted by fellow competitors advertising too."

Managing your money correctly means you can carry on taking and making money from your photography.
Can you make any offers/ give discount without crippling yourself?
"Never discount! Provide quality professional photography experience with outstanding customer service. Look around at the moment, which businesses are surviving, which businesses are folding?"

Do you make any photographic items yourself? Or have you in the past?
"The difficulty here is being seen to be professional and taken seriously. I could easily cover some foam board in foil for a reflector...maybe not!"

Any final pieces of advice to keep photographers smiling?
"Get trained, keep creative, don't get sucked into buying every piece of kit on the market. Invest in your essential kit, invest in yourself and offer your clients exemplary customer service."

Visit Chris Hanley's website for more information.
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