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how do you turn pro/semi pro?

JanieB43 9 47 6 England
3 Oct 2011 8:44AM
thinking of going semi/pro how do i go about it selling/getting commissions for my landscape photos ?

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ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 9:00AM
Think business, simplesWink.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 9:05AM
Find an outlet for selling your photo's and declare your earnings to the taxman. So send to one of the many photo agencies, set up a stall in a fair, run your own exhibition, open a web site with images for sale. There are hundreds of web and magazine articles on it. Good luck. Doing it is easy, making enough money to make it worth the effort, a bit harder, hence all the threads about how hard it is to make a living from photography. It all depends on your approach, is it for enjoyment or for commercial return?Is your market for retailing images you have already taken or for shooting to briefs?
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 9:15AM
Take a look around your local town(s) for cafes, restaurants or other businesses with some wall space you might be able to persuade them to fill with your photos.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
3 Oct 2011 9:48AM
Find the market first and then make your product.

Make sure you register with HMRC (for the UK) within 90 days and get an accountant who can offset the losses from your photography against the salary from your day job.

Be aware that HMRC has a campaign to catch tax evaders at the moment. Several local members of the FSB are being investigated. Now they've done the plumbers, they're looking at photographers who haven't registered.

At a recent wedding fair, I met a customer who's an investigating inspector with HMRC. They were collecting business cards from the stall-holders and one of them was in a corner with his nose in a laptop, checking whether the business had registered. Once an unregistered trader had been identified, the inspector would fix up a "client meeting" and ask a few innocent questions such as "how much experience do you have?" Few would admit that they were newbies with less than 90 days experience so they'd be hit with a hefty fine and the threat of prosecution and possible imprisonment if they didn't pay up quietly.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 9:58AM
All the above is true, but I have always found that if you pick up the phone to your local tax office they are full of help and will try to keep it all as simple as possible. also find out about your local business link etc group as they will help guide you through the legalities in as simple a way as possible. In short approach them they are friendly and helpful.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 10:00AM
Don't be disheartened if you find it tough at the minute. It doesn't mean people don't like your stuff it's just they are short of money.

Artwork to hang on the wall is a complete luxury for most people and it's the last thing that many can afford in a recession. It's last in the queue behind all other luxuries like TVs and computers.
Chris_H 14 1.5k 1
3 Oct 2011 11:41AM

Quote:thinking of going semi/pro how do i go about it selling/getting commissions for my landscape photos ?

A website is a good place to start, if the images are good enough and you keywords get people to your site then that is sometimes all you need to get started. If the client isnt impressed enough then they simply wont contact you.

The landscape market is massively overcrowded so you really need to specialise if you want to make it. Magazines and companies do still commission landscape photographers and can pay some good rates still, however itís normally only as a last resort if they canít find what they are looking for through their files or through stock agencies.

Itís easier to make money by taking good pictures of counties or areas that are not so well shot. I have been commissioned a couple of times now to shoot images of the Fens that cover Lincolnshire, Norfolk & Cambridgeshire. Itís a hard place to shoot and there is not much good material out there of the area because landscape photographers will ignore in favour of more glamorous locations. Images I have shot of this area have also continued to sell well. My point here is that there is still material required for less glamorous locations and it can often be easier to make more money out of a popular location in a less well shot area when you are going up against the work of say ten photographers compared to travelling to all the popular locations you see in photography magazines and on epz when you are going up against the work of thousands and thousands of good images.

The approach to landscape photography as a business is very different to the approach to landscape photography as an amateur. As a business you are there to make money and shoot what sells, not necessarily images or locations that you or other photographers like. This is the mistake a lot of new photographers make.

From looking at your gallery you seem to be shooting a few different areas and neither has enough variety of images and locations in them. What I would do if I was you would be to heavily concentrate on one or two locations over the next few years as an amateur and at the same time your images would improve and you would have a larger library of images to eventually work with. Landscape photography today not only requires you to have good quality images you need lots of them.
I hope this helps.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
3 Oct 2011 11:58AM
There's something that I should have stressed in my earlier post. Most newbies can make a "tax loss" in their first few years so it's actually an advantage to register with HMRC sooner rather than later. A good accountant will find a way of offsetting pretty well all your photographic expenses against the tax you pay on your day job.
sam409 6 4 England
21 Oct 2011 11:34AM
I have just read a new ebook by Jeanne Griffiths called The Bigger Picture and got loads of ideas plus business advice from it. Tells you all the various markets for being a photographer too. Well worth the few quid it cost, for all the contacts and ideas. Mght be worth a read as I like you want to turn pro. Great advice from contributing picture editors as well. Her stuff on travel seems a bit basic but its only one chapter in a big book.
KenTaylor Plus
13 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2011 2:14PM
This is an excellent resource
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
21 Oct 2011 2:48PM
Networking - get out there and meet people... get known

I've had stuff in cafe's and offices all over the place and sold very little... if any actually.

Think of that as part of your PR/Marketing strategy - it's amazing how many people see the work that way, they may not buy it, but when you say "Have you ever been to xxxxxxx? Well all the artwork there is all mine" it gives you a bit of a head start over the competition - because they already know your work. It's really hard differentiating yourself with just words..... actually, I must get an I-Pad, they're becomming useful at network meetings for showing of yer photos Wink
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2011 3:02PM

Make sure you register with HMRC (for the UK) within 90 days and get an accountant who can offset the losses from your photography against the salary from your day job.

Be aware that HMRC has a campaign to catch tax evaders................

Awesome advice, if i'm half serious then i can reduce my income tax to pay for my hobby / 2nd job venture. This tax benefit will continue untill i start making money from the photo's.

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