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Old May 23, 2005, 1:33 PM   #1
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Okay I know this question has probably been asked several times, but I guess I will just have to ask it again. Now that I feel pretty confident about my ability to take good pictures, I would like to try to do this as a side job/hobby. The question I have is what does it take to try to get you name out there for business? I know there are a lot of professionals out there and I would just like to get some advice on what is the best way to get started as a professional photographer.

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dbnorton
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Old May 23, 2005, 2:11 PM   #2
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I would suggest getting the book:
"John Shaw's Business of Nature Photography: A Professional's Guide to Marketing and Managing a Successful Nature Photography Business"
by John Shaw

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

If nature photographer isn't your business, then read it only once. If it is, read it multiple times.

I've heard good things about this book:
2005 Photographers Market (Photographer's Market)
by Donna Poehner, Erika Kruse
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=UTF8&v=glance

Starting a photography business isn't easy... like starting any business isn't easy. You *HAVE* to have a plan. Map out where you want to be when, think about the financial costs and start saving to make that possible. Even if your plan is very short (you're not quitting your day job, just starting a small business) you should make one. It will help you succeed.

You need to think about a lot of things. What type of photography? Fine Art? Products (advertisment shots) (and to what industry? Houses for high end realestate? Food? Car Parts?) Weddings & special occasions? School sports? Portraits? (of what? Kids? Pets? Adults? Families?)

And you need to advertise yourself, which is not easy. You can be a great photographer and still go out of business because you didn't market yourself properly or run your business well.

If you really make it into a business (get a tax ID number and such) that gets into into a completely different world. Then you have to run it like a business, have to try to make a profit and lots more. If you do that, find a lawyer and do it right.

As to your direct question "how do I market myself?" it is all dependent on what type of photography you are trying to do.

Eric
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Old May 23, 2005, 2:32 PM   #3
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Thanks eric s for the feed back I will look at getting both those books.
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Old May 23, 2005, 8:23 PM   #4
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another thing to think about is that if you are going to claim expenses on your income taxes, you must make a profit in 1 of three years (or 1 of 5?). otherwise, the government considers it a hobby, not a business.

dennis
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Old May 23, 2005, 9:16 PM   #5
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Glad to help.

I believe (but this is from memory, so don't hold me to it) that the rule is:
A profit in 1 of the first 3 years and 2 of the first 5.

But there are other requirements as well.

Seriously, dbnorton, what type of photography will do you? With that info, we could help you more.

Eric
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Old May 26, 2005, 2:02 PM   #6
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Does Profit means I need to make more money than I claimedas expenses for tax purposes?

For example, let us say I buy 1dMK2 and 500F4 and claim these as business expenses. Do I then need to make more approx $10k?


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Old May 26, 2005, 2:22 PM   #7
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Equipment is depreciated over several years.
I probably just used the wrong word to describe that. :-)

You need to bill more than you put out in expenses.
Expenses are things like the office-studio lease/heating/lighting/water/transportation/lab services/postal services/salaries (you draw your pay from your company)/web hosting services/INSURANCE/legal servies/accountant services/ lot of other stuff. This is if you incorporated, a sole proprietorship works slightly differently I think.

You will need to keep good books and records, and for at least the first year you should have an accountant set them up. Just so you know it is done right and the government dosen't do bad things to you down the line.

Be prepared to work out a realistic business plan and marketing plan as well :!:

A good book on this stuff is Photographer's Market Guide to - Building your Photography Business (everything you need to know to run a successful photography business) by Vik Orenstien

Peter.

bobbyz wrote:
Quote:
Does Profit means I need to make more money than I claimed as expenses for tax purposes?

For example, let us say I buy 1dMK2 and 500F4 and claim these as business expenses. Do I then need to make more approx $10k?

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Old May 26, 2005, 4:35 PM   #8
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Bobbyz, you asked:

"Does Profit means I need to make more money than I claimedas expenses for tax purposes?

For example, let us say I buy 1dMK2 and 500F4 and claim these as business expenses. Do I then need to make more approx $10k?"

to sum up what PeterP said: yes!!!



dennis

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Old May 26, 2005, 5:34 PM   #9
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Or (I think) you could just not claim it. Then you don't have to make that much up in income.

Eric
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Old May 26, 2005, 6:10 PM   #10
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Eric has a point. you could do that. but, the bottom line is to make a profit your income must be greater than your expenses. remember, as we've said, you only have to make a profit for 1 of 3 yrs or 2 of 5 years or whatever the rules might be. you can show a loss in the other years.

dennis
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