The long-term success of most businesses hinges on good planning, and a photography business is no exception.
Every emerging photographer should create a business plan that clearly outlines their goals and determines a course of action for achieving them. It doesn’t need to be long or even particularly detailed or complex—in the beginning, it will be largely for self reference than for securing a business loan, so a simple one- or two-page document is fine. But it should still have a clear mission statement, your revenue goals, and a business strategy. Remember, this isn’t a hobby—it’s your livelihood. You are in the business of taking pictures, and just ‘winging it’ will only set you up for failure.
It’s critically important that photographers learn how to write a business plan. The thing that holds back a lot of potential photographers is not having a plan, they go from gig to gig and can get stuck. They don’t have an understanding of the business side—the thing we all hate—and as a result, never have enough cash to do the shoots they want, or the portfolio and marketing that they need to establish themselves. It’s necessary to write a business plan that clearly states what your dream is, and how you see that happening over however many years. The idea is to build a stable foundation that will let you fly free as an artist.
– Doug Menuez, commercial & documentary photographer
What They Didn’t Teach You in Photo School won’t tell you how to take photographs. It will, though, teach you a much more difficult set of skills: how to be a photographer. Passing on hard-earned lessons from a successful career in commercial, editorial and lifestyle photography, Demetrius Fordham shows how to snag the best internships and assistant roles, impress at an interview, develop an amazing portfolio, forge strong relationships with clients, and lay the foundations of your own successful career.