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Wanting work as a photographer

rodney 16 114
19 Oct 2004 9:50AM
i am like so many on hear a amature photographer, but thier is a lot of pro,s out thier and advanced people, from all over the uk and afar, so knowbody is stepping on anybodys toes lets help each other to make a few bob even if its mony to get new equipment,now to make it all clear
1 how many will give people like us help
2 how do we improve to go forward
3 any cheap way of advertising our service
4 can we have a forum whear others can ask for amatures to do work for them at prices thay can afford
5 dose any pro give lessons without charging the earth and on what i call normal camaras not costing the earth, but the humble 35mm
6 thier must be many like me with disabalities/out of work/not a lot of mony/
watching thier budget, the list is endless but one thing in comman we all love photography,
i may have hit a nerve somwhear i am not ashamed to put my hand up to say i gota watch my budget, so dont be afraid be counted and lets all pull together, and realy get clicking for a bit of monys to help us on our way
andytvcams 18 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2004 11:29AM
I'm not sure on what your saying here?.
UserDeleted 17 3.6k
19 Oct 2004 11:51AM

I'll try to answer your questions and provide some advice. Hopefully you will take it in the spirit it is intended. I'd like to think that some advice is better than none....

1)How many will give people like us help ?
- Not sure what you mean by this - the site ranges from complete amateurs to full-time and successful professionals. If you mean "people like me"....
- You can use the forum - a great place to get advice on all sorts of issues
- Business Link for small business advice
- The Disabled Photographers Society
- The Bureau for Freelance Photographers

2)How do we improve to go forward ?
- Shoot lots of photographs - practice, learn, practice
- Work out what it is you are good at photographing, what you feel comfortable shooting
- Making money from photography is about 10% photographic ability and 90% business and marketing skills

3) Any cheap way of advertising our service ?
- Unless you know your audience, what you are offering, and how to satify their demand any advertising, no matter how cheap is a waste of money
- Talk to Pete and TJ about rates on this site - they may give you an indication of how much it costs to advertise
- You are a long way away from being ready to advertise - save you money on this until you know what you are trying to do

4) Can we have a forum where others can ask for amateurs to do work for them at prices they can afford ?
- A question for Pete, but this is not an aim of the site, and I suspect that if created it would be underused. Infrequently people do post (there is a sword swallower with an active post at the moment). But he wants free work !
- Most people will pay for a pro - more likely (notice I said more not guaranteed) to get the job done to specification. Those that don't usually ask family friends or office colleagues.

5) Do any pro's give lessons without charging the earth, and on what I would call normal camaras not those costing the earth, but the humble 35mm
- Yes Pro's do give out advice but charge for it. It depends on what you consider expensive.
- EOS Experience give seminars at 150 for a day - all 35mm based equipment - this is about the norm.

6) There must be many like me with disabilities/out of work/not a lot of money/watching their budget, the list is endless but one thing in common we all love photography ?
- Yes there are - photography is a very popular hobby
- Many people wish to make money from their hobbies and photography is no exception. The number that do is dramatically less than those who would like to.
- Loving photography and being good enough to freelance, and deliver against commissions are another thing.

Now for some general advice.

- A photographers cooperative is a lovely idea - all pulling together. But photography tends to be a solo activity - or is led by a photographer and assisted. Who decides how much is spent on what, who gets the first job etc....

- If it was as easy as your post then it would be being done already. If it is, and I doubt it, then you should look to that rather than recreating it.

- Whilst I'm not sure if your disability is physical or otherwise you should not let it affect how you are presented to clients. Your spelling and grammer in the post above is poor, and I have corrected some of it when reproducing the questions. I wouldn't normally pick up on it (there may be the odd mistake in what I write - including this post) but as a photographer you will need to advertise, quote, invoice - all of these will need perfect spelling, grammer and formatting - which is why I pick up on it here. Clients will not be impressed - it is not all about the photograph.

- Professional photography is an industry under pressure. There are hundreds of talented, qualified, experienced and successful photographers looking to make ends meet. Yes amateurs can out-perform pro's on some photographs, yes there is a niche for less expensive photography - but you are trying to enter a crowded market and you will need to be at the top of your game to make any impact, even to win one commission.

- As soon as you start marketing yourself for work you stop being an amatuer in many peoples eyes - Inland Revenue, Insurance companies and clients...you will have to consider the expense and effort associated with informing the Revenue and paying them, and upgrading any insurance you have for your kit to "semi-pro" or "pro" and indeed think about backup equipment should anything break while you are working on a commission.

Lastly I should probably point out that I am not trying to discourage you from investigating this. You are not treading on my toes, taking money away from me or hit a raw nerve. I'm trying to give you the benefit of my experience of setting up a photographic business, making money from photography and dealing with the other skills and activities required....

debbiehardy 16 363 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2004 12:22PM
Mike, that's some extremely useful and valuable advice, which no doubt took you more than a few minutes to compose! I'm sure there are a few people you will have helped here, including me! Thankyou, Debbie.
bpa 16 1.2k
19 Oct 2004 12:37PM
As ever, we have a great mix of amateurs and pro's on this site, with many pro's offering free and quality advice, I suggest we listen to what is being given freely, thanks Mike.

19 Oct 2004 12:40PM
Absolutely its people like Mike that offer valuable advice and this doesnt take 5 minutes to produce, I thank you too. K.
Pete Plus
19 18.8k 97 England
19 Oct 2004 12:45PM
Thanks Mike.. very helpful advice Smile
UserRemoved 16 4.2k
19 Oct 2004 12:53PM
I think Mike has mostly said it all but two extra points.

To compete in the photographic market you cant do it on the cheap. Ask anyone here who has seriously taken up the business and I mean seriously. You can earn a few quid here and there and it can be hit and miss but to regularly earn an income you have to invest thousands, in fact tens of thousands to become competitive or to earn any reasonable living from it.

Can I also pick up the disability point? What type of photography do you want to do?
I am currently disabled as well and am not able to do the press/sports/social work that I previously did at least not to the same extent. Not being able to do it to the same extent, means not being able to do it as well so therefore I dont do it at all.
The travelling studio work is out as well as I would have to lug massive amounts of kit around.
The only avenues left at the minute are my photographic training parts of the business and the shopping mall type photography. The training end requires a high level of professionalism as well as high levels of written and oral communication.
The shopping mall type photography is quite intensive and needs good marketing and people skills. It also requires a large amount of investment, not just in equipment but also in marketing and buying franchises in the first place as well as a large investment in stock.

At the minute I wont be able to work properly until at least Feb/Mar so you have to account for sick periods.
In the meantime every spare penny is being put into advertising and marketing for when I will be back to work.

Hope this helps,
rodney 16 114
19 Oct 2004 12:55PM
thanks frenchi and all others the advice is great and verry helpful on site the only thing missing is the dam spelling chqr but thanks to all your suport in helping me
loweskid 19 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2004 1:13PM
You can download a free spell checker HERE. Only works with Internet Explorer though. Includes a UK dictionary.

BTW Rodney - when I click on the link to your website I get taken to the site of an American comedian who's recently died!
rodney 16 114
19 Oct 2004 1:18PM
soz dont know why u get on that site
mshepherd 16 667 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2004 1:58PM

Thanks for spell checker link!

- I have just downloaded it an it works really well.

Now i just need a grammar checker!

pixor 16 181 Australia
19 Oct 2004 3:07PM
Last time I checked my grammer, she was fine... thankyou and goodnight Smile
seabloke 16 844
19 Oct 2004 6:19PM
How about trying to find a work experience placement for a week or two - shadow one of the photogs on your local paper or a freelancer, assist a local portrait/wedding photographer etc.

This way you'll get to learn a bit about what their day entails, the sort of gear they use, how they deal with picturedesks/couples/clients etc and get an idea of whether it's for you.

A lot of people in various jobs started out on work experience, especially in the media.
UserDeleted 17 3.6k
19 Oct 2004 9:19PM
To all those that posted in response...no problem. Just trying to help.


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