The business side of photography...

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sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106
The business side of photography...

I don't want to take over the other thread for those who want to post their goals. I'd still like to hear from more people. Smile

But I am just totally confused on the business stuff. As I said on the other thread, someone once made a comment that stuck with me. That if I was given any sort of money for my time, then that would be considered "in business". But what if they are tips given by people who really want to give it to the photographer? Just being generous and thanking them even if its just a little bit to go buy a burger somewhere Blum 3 or a sandwich! Wink Anyway, when and how does someone start PBing without going into business (taking money from people?). I don't get it. Do I have to give away all my images, full size images, on a cd to those I take photos for? I could do that I guess as long as they give me credit and spread my name around. But then I worry about printing. I've printed pictures at the local photo stores and sometimes they turn out very warm! Last year's Christmas card was a bit too warm and I hated it and it looked just fine on my computer. :-? What would you do? I am just wanting to practice now and I still have yet to find other people to practice on but I want to be ready, ya know? The way I want to do it is put up flyers around my neighborhood, start out that way (since I lack in the friend dpt around here :rolleyes: ), but when it comes to the actual pictures, I don't know what to do about that. Give 10-20 images away or even 20-30, etc. on a cd. Ask for credit to be given to me and just spread my name around and maybe have some sort of card for them with my info on it so they can get in contact with me? Or set myself up with lets say WHCC (they do ship international Biggrin ) and get prints ordered for them but charge them what whcc charges me so that i don't make a profit from them? Someone help me clear my head here. Smile I don't know how to handle all this! lol

thanks for reading.

p.s. I've emailed the manager at DD's daycare. I sent her a few pictures. I am hoping she gets back with me soon with good news. Cross your fingers for me! It could open doors for me. I hope I hope I hope! And I could really really use the practice! If not then, life goes on and I'll look elsewhere. Smile

~L

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I am not in business. I take pictures for family and friends for practice. Here is what I do. I really think that you are over-thinking this. I have an account with WHCC. I take the pics, put them in a set on flickr with numbers, and send them to the friend I took them of. Then he or she tells which pics they want and what size and they pay me the cost that it costs me. Or I just upload them to Mpix and let them order. With both ways, I am not charging for my time, they are getting quality photos, and they don't have access to the files. I also make them sign a release form so that I can post their pics online and use them in the future.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Oh and as far as accepting tips. It really is whatever you feel comfortable with. I don't take tips. I think that the practice that I am getting is "payment" enough. I am also not comfortable with the idea because I know that technically that income should be reported to the IRS but I don't know how it works in Norway so there it might be okay. If it is just because you don't want to have to say to yourself or others that you are in business well, then, that is something you need to work out with yourself.

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

I don't want to say I am business until I technically am in business. Everything works different here. I can't just go to snapfish and upload. I have to go to http://www.japanphoto.no/ for example and figure out how to do it on there. Never actually thought about doing it that way Blum 3 I will have to look into it. I'll need DH to read me parts of the website that I don't understand though. Smile I just need to sort everything out in my head because it confuses me. And I know that what's wrong to one person might be the best thing for another person. :shrug:

eta: it's so hard being here because I want to do everything the way it is done in the USA but I can't because it's different here. it's very frustrating not understanding how things work here :-?

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

There is skill building and there is portfolio building. If you are skill building, you don't charge...anything. If you are portfolio building, you might charge a reduced rate.

BUT if you are charging anything, you need to have a business and be able to report on taxes and all that (well, in the US at least).

When I was skill building, everything was free to my clients. They recieved a disk of all the web ready watermarked images and I hosted the full size on MPIX for them to take care of purchasing themselves. That way I knew they were getting decent prints, and I didn't have to do anything at all.

As for your prints being off. If it's just for you, it doesn't matter what you decide. But if you go into buisiness you really need to be calibrated. Calibration hardware really isn't that terribly expensive and is totally essential if you are processing the images at home.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

Amber, thanks for that clarification, as it really helps me too. I've been struggling with where I am, and I think you put it well. I'm definitely still skill building! I'm not charging at all, but have several "gigs" lined up. So it's a major draw on my time. I'm thinking about some kind of bartering system - my friends get awesome pictures, and maybe I get some babysitting time out of the deal. Wink Even if they just watch my kids so I can edit their pictures. It's just something I've been mulling over.

I didn't realize I could upload to mpix and have them order that way. I will definitely do that with the next set!!!!!

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

thanks for your reply Amber Smile skill building. Didn't think of it that way actually. I'll be doing just that for a long time I think but I'd still love to be able to get people nice photos. I'll be looking into that website I posted. Smile I think I have that option! And I plan on getting calibrated later on or soon actually. I've been using my laptop for editing and I really need to set up the other monitor upstairs somewhere and calibrate it and use that one instead. We are figuring out where to put it since we have such a small house. Thanks again. Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I work exclusively on a calibrated laptop. You could just calibrate your laptop.

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

really? i thought laptops were no good to edit photos on Blum 3 i'll have to try calibrating it then. I thought they came calibrated? I bought it a year ago. Maybe not. Blum 3