How To Avoid The Top 6 Mistakes In The Professional Photography Business

As something of an interesting experiment, I asked my Twitter followers to answer the question: “What are the top business errors by ‘rookie’ photographers?” Within just a few minutes I had several great responses, and thought they would make a great article.

It’s one thing to be a great photographer, but very much another to be the owner of a successful photography business. In fact, I’ve seen far too many technically talented photographers suffer through difficult times, while observing others who seem less qualified sail right on by.

The main difference in these two outcomes lies in the photographer’s understanding of the importance of business knowledge.

You’re A Photography Business Owner – Not A Photographer

As I’ve said on plenty of previous occasions, it’s not the most talented photographer who wins, but the best marketer and business-minded photographer.

What, then, are the 6 most common mistakes, at least according to my Twitter followers?

Here they are, in no particular order:

#1: Undercharging For Their Time And Talent

This is a huge mistake that many newbies make, usually because they join the industry as a serious amateur who’s found the potential for earning money practicing what they already like to do. Not that there is anything wrong with amateurs turning professional – far from it.

The trouble is, most of them fail to realize that the moment they charge for their work, they’ve moved from amateur to professional. That shift also requires a change in thinking, especially when it comes to how they view the value of their photography.

If photographers would just stop at this point to examine the situation, and fully understand the implications of being a professional, I think the industry would have a lot less problems.

All it needs is a simple change in perspective – from amateur photographer to serious studio owner.

As a business owner, one of the 1st responsibilities is to fully realize the cost of keeping the business open, and what it costs just to pick up the camera for a job.

With these factors in mind, together with a realistic valuation of the photographer’s time, added to the actual cost of sales of products sold, the photographer can calculate healthy prices that correctly value their work and time.

#2: Mistakes With Paid Advertising

I made the very same mistake when I started in business, much to my disappointment (and an empty bank account)! The advertising in question was the “Yellow Pages”, and I believe I watched almost $3,600 disappear into thin air as a result. At the time, I didn’t know any better, and thought I needed to be in the Yellow Pages just because that’s what was expected. Besides, there were lots of other photographers in there, so it must be the proper thing to do, right?


Other mistakes I made with paid advertising included certain internet directories and paid listings, none of which provided any leads, let alone clients.

If you’re a recently new photographer, and you’re considering paid advertising, then it pays to really take into account the target market of the advertising, how effective the reach is, the experiences of other photographers who have taken part in it etc. If you’re in any doubt, don’t do it!

#3: Setting Prices Without Knowing Their COGS

This was alluded to in #1, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Knowing your COGS (cost of goods sold) is absolutely critical to producing a price list that will sustain a healthy business. COGS includes all the direct costs necessary for making a sale, but not fixed costs such as internet, telephone, rent etc.

The one thing a lot of photographers omit from their COGS is their time, which is a huge mistake. Your time is your second most valuable asset (your attitude being number one), and you need to charge for it, even if it’s only a small hourly rate.

Having determined the COGS for any given service, it’s good practice to mark that up at least 3 times to produce a final retail price.

This is the point at which so many photographers get scared, and descend into the vicious cycle of constantly tinkering with their price list – especially if they’re having a hard time with sales.

#4: Not Following A Business Plan

To begin with rookie photographers don’t often spend much time to create a business plan and then work the plan.

Do YOU have a business plan? An actual written plan providing a frame of reference for your studio, defines your goals, and acts as a roadmap for success?

I’m willing to wager that the vast majority of photographers don’t possess such a document. Often, this is because they don’t like the job, don’t know how to write one, are too busy, or lack clearly defined ideas about their goals.

Whatever the reason, if your business was an airplane, it would not have much chance of reaching its destination without a flight plan, would it?

A business plan need not be complicated! It’s only for you, to keep you on track, so it doesn’t have to be produced as though you’re a major corporation.

Simplicity means clarity – and the greater the chance you’ll adhere to it!

#5: Working For Free

This is an interesting one, and encompasses a subject I see quite often in the many online photography groups: The idea of photographing for free (or almost free) in the hopes of gaining exposure.

You can’t be in the photography business for very long without someone asking you to photograph something (often an event of some kind) for a very low rate on the promise it will give you great exposure or the prospect of more, higher-paid, work down the line.

This is an insult to the photographer, and does a lot of damage to the photography industry. The promised “exposure” more often than not turns out to be non-existent, and further work usually entails poor compensation at best.

Consider the concepts presented in items #1 and #3 when making your decision about these types of jobs, and you can’t go too far wrong.

My advice to new photographers is to not fall into the trap of imagining that just because you’re not experienced in the business that you can’t ask for what you and your photography are worth.

#6: Imagining That It’s Easy

I expect that most photographers working today will probably admit that they thought it would be easier than it turned out to be! Myself included!

The truth is, running a professional photography studio is not easy. Running any business is difficult, I don’t care what it is. There certainly are no “get rich fast” business plans for photographers!

Perhaps the “easy” idea comes more from the photography side of things. After all, that part is a lot of fun, and we can be technically very good at it – it’s what we are here to do, right?

Unfortunately, the clicking of the shutter only takes up 20% of our business efforts, and that’s being generous! The other 80% is taken up by marketing, selling, social media, accounting, planning, studying, marketing (so exciting it’s worth mentioning twice!)… etc.

Those business-related jobs are probably those we became photographers in order to avoid, but get out of them we can’t! They are all essential and vital to our success, so we may as well get used to them.

What Would Be Your #7 Top Mistake?

Thank you to the Twitter followers who contributed to this research, and I do plan to try this experiment again sometime.

This is only 6 of the errors that many of us fall into, and I’m quite sure there are many more!

What other blunders would you add to the list? What would be your #7 mistake to warn rookie professional photographers about?

5 Mistakes of New Photographers

With the new era of digital cameras, photography has become much more common. Almost anyone can afford a camera and most have one. Even many cell phones have a digital camera. While most new cameras are also quite easy to use, there are still many areas in photography where you need to have the knowledge to succeed.

These are some of the most common mistakes made by new digital photographers. If you are an unpracticed photographer, you should try to at least avoid these mistakes.

1. Poor Camera

This is by far the most common mistake these days. Many cheap digital models are only good for either landscape or closeup photographs due to their poor focus. Know your camera: what it can do and what are its limitations. A $200 model should never be used for professional photography.

2. Lighting

Another common mistake is to forget lighting or believe the camera takes care of it all. You will seldom get as good images in dark conditions with a cheap flash than you could in plentiful natural lighting.

3. Cropping

While it is much easier to see what gets in the photo with today’s LCD displays than with an old-fashioned seeker, there are still plenty of mistakes you can make. One thing to remember is that you can crop the image on your computer. That means you will most likely want to include too much space around than too little.

4. Zooming

There are so make things that can go wrong with zooming. The number one thing to keep in mind is to always avoid using the digital zoom. It is a feature found in many cheap digital cameras that basically has the same result as cropping the image on your computer. If you need zoom, only use the optical zoom.

5. Camera Settings

If you are not sure about the settings in your camera, it may be best to use the defaults. If there are several modes, the ‘auto’ mode is usually the easiest to use. You should take care that you use a good format to save the images. Often the high detail mode with the highest resolution should be used, if you are not short on memory.

The bottom line is: if you are serious about photography, you must practice it. Digital photography does not differ much it that sense.

If you do not learn the skills in advance, you are going to have to learn them the hard way, and that will probably mean making these mistakes and more. It can also mean tens or hundreds of lost photos – shots that could have been excellent had you not made a simple mistake.

Mistakes In Choosing Drone Photography Providers

Aerial photography has been quite popular since it can provide individuals with unique views of sceneries. However, shooting on air can be dangerous. That is why more and more individuals are opting for drone photography services. With this service, individuals can shoot safely. In addition, drones can also be used on difficult to reach areas. Sadly, when hiring service providers, some individuals make mistakes that can ruin their project. To know more, below are some of the mistakes individuals need to be aware of.

Opting for providers who use low-quality drones

One of the most common mistakes individuals make when hiring drone photography providers is they usually think that all companies make use of the same equipment. Just like any other items, there are numerous types and brands of drones. Therefore, there are some service providers who offer low rates since they make use of low-quality drones. Because of this, photos and videos captured on the sky is quite unsightly, making your project into a mess. Because of this, it is best for individuals to first check the drones of service providers before working with them.

Hiring providers who do not offer safety services

The next mistake that individuals make when hiring drone photography providers is they fail to ask about safety services. As mentioned above, making use of drones can make aerial shoots safer and better. However, there are still instances when individuals may experience issues that can affect their whole project and well-being. So, it is essential to ask about safety services drone photography providers can offer. In this way, you can be sure that aerial shoots can be accomplished safely.

Forgetting to check their ability in using drones

Some individuals think that using drones are like playing with R/C cars and planes. Of course, they make use of almost the same controllers. However, drone users must have the skills and knowledge to ensure that they can capture the right scenery. Thus, never forget to check the ability of drone users when hiring them to capture photographs or videos. Apart from this, you also need to make sure that drone users have the ability to adapt to the unexpected incidents that can ruin your shoots. With this in mind, you are rest assured that you can create amazing aerial photographs and videos.

Neglecting other aerial photography solutions

Finally, never neglect to ask about other aerial photography solutions providers can present. Surely, drones are the best options to safely capture photos and videos on air. However, there are still cases when doing the aerial shoot on your own can provide you with better effects. So, it is best to ask if they can also offer other aerial services that can accommodate your needs.

Knowing these mistakes will allow individuals to ensure that they can capture photos and videos on air that can match their needs.

Adobe Photoshop Photoshop Elements graphic editing tool painting photo photo editing program Corel PaintShop Complete graphics PaintShop Photo Photo Pro includes Editor Images online photo editor effective video editor Simple Editor Photo graphic design social media designs developing graphics infographics design program Photo Editor’s pictures appear surreal original image Aviary Photo Editor photo editing app Service Prewedding Service Foto Studio photograph headshot portrait memory photo studio stock photos photo printing wedding photography photo gallery nature photos flowers photos photography mistakes best wedding photography People Photography Beautiful Island Wedding wedding photography design Real Wedding Photos Country Wedding Photos Beach Wedding Photos Vintage Wedding Photos Rustic Wedding Photos Wedding Reception Ideas Play Boat Games Online Free Mobile Games Download Free Games ordelia shoes nashville car rental game resset now Biker Rider fashion world fashion bible fashion jobs fashion designer fashion art fashion apps fashion advice fashion brands fashion books fashion buyer riden shoot rp study fashion courses fashion capital fashion clothes fashion dresses Design Under Cover media sosial merketing Collections Jewelry SnapShot Mountain Bikes Ugly Motorcycle spanish flowers stained glass politis pediatrics now Stupid Photographer sweet treats Veterinary Products tanny tips business the blue boar the bulgaria property the hessian the last whale the ology dept the progun blog the righ toast the solitary bird the urban right Download App Games‎ Traffic Up Travelling Shoes Tutorial Ebook Dental Services Android Simulation games Top Flight Simulation Games Fun Games For Girls Funny Games Mobile Fun Games Simulation Games Dentist Clinic Information Dentist Doctors of Oral Health Business Planning first last always law Employer Services Online Business Consultants Small Business Trends advocate rates Heating Systems Home Automation Home Security Products Home Automation System Building Supplies Building Designer Building Consultants Bathroom Accessories Appliance Repairs trauma divates Personal Product Floor Coating Products Furniture Removal Garden Maintenance Garden Designer Interior Designer Interior Decorating Kitchen Design Landscape Construction Landscape Design Project Management Landscaping Patio Cover Installations photo diary inmates Home Access Control Home Alarm Systems Home Intercom Systems Home Security Card Access Plumbing Installation Home Entertainment System Home Improvement Mistakes Home Improvement Leads Home Improvement Tips Home Improvement Grants Home Improvement Stores Home Improvement Projects Green Home Improvements Law Firms Compare Lawyers The Lawyer Careers Commercial Lawyer Information About Lawyer Attorneys Personal Injury Lawyers Family Law business attorneys Woman Lawyer Black Lawyer Lawyer Definition Bankruptcy Lawyers employment law foreclosure law green law Business Law Attorneys Special Education Law Sex Crimes Law The Law of Theft Crime The Law of Drug Crime Embezzlement Law Law of Domestic Violence Law of Violent Crime Gun Crime Law The Law of Teen Crimes Murder Law The Lawyer The Business Law Legal Information Attorney Best Lawyers The Best Advice Lawyer Lawyer Requirements Lawyer Employment Law Reports Best Lawyers Justice Laws Website The Law Society Justice Law Limited Personal Injury Lawyer Justice and Law Studies The Justice Law Group Law and Justice Division Justice and legal Commercial lawyer Corporate Commercial Law Criminal Justice Degree Schools Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs School of Criminal Justice Legal Information General Medical Care Medical Physicals Immunizations Medical Checkups Specialist Referrals Family Nurse Practitioners Family Medicine Internal Medicine Pediatrics Behavioral Health General Family Dentistry Dental Services Cleaning Dental Services Extractions Dental Services Crowns and Caps Dental Services Root Canals Dentures and Partials Pediatric Dental Clinic Dental Health Services General Dentistry Journal of International Dental medical and dental Dental Managers Association Dental Plans Dental Practitioners Council Dental Clinic Dental Medicine Community Health Services New Patient Packet Medical Professionals Web Development Webshop Seo Web Marketing Web Tool Development Websites cheap price Free Web Design SEO Consulting Services Web Marketing Web Design Web Design projects Web Developers The Complete Web Developer Web Design Jobs Online Online Web Development Course web design agency Best Web Agencies Websites Best Website Designing Service Software Iphone Wedding Planning Wedding Planning Guide Wedding Websites wedding planning tips Small Wedding Planning Wedding Wedding Ideas Virgin on Wedding Night wedding definition quotes wedding definition of marriage find the meaning of wedding Wedding Planning Wedding Planning Guide Wedding Websites Technology Applications Phone System Software Information Technology Spy Phone Technology download Smartphone Spy Phone Technology Logistics Software Systems Software Developers Systems Software Developers Software Engineer Software Developer Education Car Insurance Compare Cheap Car Insurance Cheap Car Insurance Insurance Company International Life Insurance Insurance policy financial Commercial Insurance Principles of Insurance Food and Nutrition Success Business Marketing and Promotion Amelia Island Living Fashion Art Music Travel and Leisure Education Certified Business Travel Global Marketing Technologies Contractor Business Systems Guide to Health Care Quality Holiday Activity Guide Clean Water for Health Quotes About Education Online Fashion Shopping Guide Alternative Health Care Network Society Gambling Experts Medical Insurance Expert Financial Advice Sports Authority Business Systems Online Business and Government Music Downloads Digital Music download free music free music itunes music is playing music therapy music downloaders Dealer Portal Car Photo Butterfly Prestige cars Vans Bikes Book furniture Room Caravans Caravan Repairs International Trucks Commercial Truck Driving Specialty Cakes Healthy Recipes Vegetarian Recipes Food recipes Business Opportunity Entrepreneurs Information Law Student Business Ownership Ideas Business Business Trends Business Mistakes business meetings European Business Leaders Business Mastery Business World Business Development Best Lawyers The Best Advice Lawyer Lawyer Requirements Lawyer Employment Bedroom Designs Legacy Landscape Home Texas Design Book Designers Home Home Design Money Deposited Better Home Products home product business Home Remedies Kitchen Appliances Online Home Security Systems The Best Smart Home Security Systems Home Design Ideas Home Decorating Ideas interior design ideas bedroom Bedroom Designs Small Bedroom Designs The Best Carpet Cleaner Carpet Cleaning Machines Best Home Builders Home Building Online Courses Home Builder Marketing Glass Shower Screens House of Flooring Top Living Room Flooring Architecture and Interior Design Small Garden Ideas Small Garden Designs New Home Designs Affiliate Marketing Business Personal product Sell Products Online Marketing Product Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator The Food Products General Products Beauty Products Business beauty product skin care beauty salon product Marketing Concept Marketing Products to Advertise online shop originals Product General Products Logistics Software Systems Technology Applications Photo Couriers Pediatric Notes politistes Ride Your Bicycle Student Nurse Houston Texas Painters Ugly Bikes have opinion will travel Hollywood Movie Law Firms MidLaw Fashion Online For Women Women's Clothing Accessories Online Shopping Master of Business Ladies Apparels Online Fashion Shop Shoes free porn Online Clothing Shopping Opening Movie Scenes Shop Wedding Dresses Appalachian Food Bank unemployed in germany Office Products Alliance Improve Attic Ventilation bebe xxx sex workforce insurance Bereavement Ontario Network Bike Cycle Business Solutions LTI Bus Trusty Women Clothing Accessories Online Shopping chef mcdang recipes city of belvedere Affiliate Program Marketing click delivery Client Server Codeine Addiction Small Business Affiliate Program Affiliate Marketing Directions Credit Union Simply Business Affiliate Program Ditch The Diet develop company software download plugin downtown science center electricians in london job offer law on the post Auto Trading driving school center fairchild controls Best Binary Options Brokers female projects Party Boat Reviews Home Core Workout flight simulator games fluid bar and grill Free Sample Lingerie Freelancer Panel galaxy girls gay dating Internet Marketing Services Best Binary Options Brokers senate majority leader Higher Education global weirding Glow Bra Homeschool Curriculum green justice green design Tables Or Grids in HTML hair irons shop Drug Rehab Center Alcoholism Rehab Center Apartment Luxury Homes homes for sale aurora area homes for sale evergreen area hotel blue hotel in bali effect design ics communications Best Mortgage Rates identity broker iit global infrared heaters Marketing Concept Affiliate marketing Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies journal of pharmacy Best Affiliate Programs ust tax structures Interim Executive Jobs Internet and Businesses Online personal loan after bankruptcy credit analyst salary personal loan calculator personal brand statement The Lawyer The Business Law Bankruptcy Lawyer lawnside school Adobe Photoshop Photoshop Elements graphic editing tool painting photo photo editing program Corel PaintShop lyon lifestyle PaintShop Photo Photo Pro includes Editor Images online photo editor effective video editor Simple Editor Photo graphic design social media designs developing graphics infographics design program opportunity business business insider business ideas starting a business small business ideas business casual business cards business insider business plan business of fashion business analyst business brokers business books business cycle business dress business jokes business justification business plans income business profitability business Fun Games For Girls Funny Games real estate donationsi real estate with heart diversity recruiting strategy Mobile Apps and Mobile Games Games App‎ Android Apps and Games Top free simulation games Simulation Games Android Simulation games The Best IT Outsourcing Technology Consulting Firm Software Technology Technology Applications Software Developers Business Foundations school the world education forum high school senator Analyzing Social Media Networks Shopping and Product Reviews Free Sex Cams Chat Carpet Cleaning Equipment Discount Online Shopping shop your town digital marketing social media marketing starting a business business ideas small business ideas online business marketing strategies online marketing internet marketing marketing strategy business strategy marketing companies online business ideas business marketing seo marketing seo optimization search engine marketing small business marketing business website own business business investment marketing ideas website marketing online marketing company how to promote your business business advertising small business website how to market your business internet marketing company small business owner small investment business best online business business promotion online marketing agency small business seo local marketing small business advertising small business plan best small business invest in business marketing ideas for small business business to business marketing marketing strategies for small business internet marketing strategies marketing online seo marketing companies advertise my business best way to advertise social media for small business seo business online marketing services best way to advertise your business business and marketing online marketing strategies best business plan ways to advertise promote your business marketing your business best businesses to own advertise your business small business marketing consultant online marketing business small business advertising ideas best small business websites small business online marketing business plan starting a website business promote my business local business marketing small business marketing company digital marketing for small businesses ways to promote your business local internet marketing small business strategy best way to market your business marketing plan for small business online marketing for small business small business branding ways to advertise your business best seo companies for small business small business seo company ways to market your business best advertising for small business business promotion ideas make a business website small business marketing services best way to advertise small business internet marketing for small business start a small business online internet marketing business best way to promote your business business advertising ideas how to market my business small business promotion digital marketing businesses business marketing services marketing tools for small business marketing a new business business marketing ideas small business marketing agency online advertising business promote business online small business marketing firms marketing strategies for business business search engines market your business small business marketing help business i can start small business promotion ideas small business search digital marketing business Business Ownership Ideas Business Business Trends Business Mistakes business meetings Business Mastery Business World Bookkeeping Business Mobile Business Ideas Small Business Grant Business Brokers Small Business Brokers Business Development Global Businesses Best Business Business Magazines small business business plan Free Business Plan How to write a business plan Business Planning Business Brokers Small Business Services Online Business Services Online Services for Businesses Employer Services Online Business Consultants Business Online Payment Service Business services online affiliate Business service management Department of Small Business business services industry Small Business Trends Small Business News Small Business Advice Tips Small Business Small Business Banking Accounts digital marketing social media marketing starting a business business ideas small business ideas online business Commercial Property For Sale Apartments for rent Real Estate Developments Mortgage Rates Home Improvement Contractor Carpet Cleaning Equipment Bets Home Improvement Better Homes and Gardens Home Improvement Projects Bathroom Addition Home Improvement Ideas Home Remodeling Vehicle Electrical System Auto Parts and Service European Vehicle Market Auto Parts Web Marketing Marketing Concept Affiliate marketing Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies Best Affiliate Programs Digital marketing Internet Marketing Services Free Online Slots Games Download Free Games Shooting Simulator Game Online Educational Games Best games for Android Online Games For Kids Free Online Learning Games and Apps Free Online Games Women's Clothing Clothing Online Wholesale Handbags Online Dresses Shopping Shop Wedding Dresses Online Shopping Electronics The Lawyer Bankruptcy Lawyer Law Firms Insurance Coverage Compare Cheap Car Insurance Cheap Car Insurance Affiliate Widget Binary Digits Digital marketing Internet Marketing Services affiliate strategy download automated trading program Binary Options Trading Binary options robot software New Binary Options Software Auto Trading Auto trading software Marketing strategy Commercial Insurance Principles of Insurance Central Insurance Companies health insurance companies Life Insurance Plans Simulation Games Android Simulation games Top Flight Simulation Games Fun Games For Girls Funny Games Mobile Fun Games Download App Games‎ best free iPhone games Top Grossing iPhone Games Apps and Games Android Apps and Games Top free simulation games Simulation Games Android Simulation games General Products