Photography Business Secrets by Lara White is a new book that will show you how to take your photography from a hobby to a successful business endeavor.
Becoming a Working Photographer
It’s a dream for many. We spend time and money honing our craft and think it would be great to do this for a living. For some, it becomes a few side jobs here and there, and that’s enough. For others, it’s a passion that beats whatever they’re doing for a paycheck.
The trick is to know how to get from here to there. Lots of people on the Internet offer advice, but how successful are they and how valid is their advice? I had the good fortune to work as a technical editor on a book about the photography business by someone who’s been involved in the business and proven her business acumen.
Photography Business Secrets by Lara White offers a great and truthful account of the things you need to know in order to be successful. It’s not about photography. It’s about how to start and run your business.
The Real Secret of Running a Business
If you want to be a professional photographer, you’re expected to know photography. This book is about all the things you didn’t learn elsewhere about succeeding as a businessperson in the photography industry.
- How to identify your target client
- How to establish and build your brand
- How to ensure you make a profit
- Comparisons of different business models
- The traps that can undermine your business
- How to build relationships that will refer more business
- Understand the legal, financial and insurance implications of being a professional photographer
Photography Business Secrets by Lara White is full of gorgeous photography, but the business insight she brings is the real draw of this book. Lara and her husband Geoff run a high end wedding photography business. She’s also the founder of the web site Photomint, an educational and business development site for photographers. It sounds glamourous. Beautiful subjects, exotic travel, destinations and venues like you see in magazines. Doesn’t every wedding photographer dream about reaching that level?
Here’s the other side of that coin. It’s demanding work. You don’t make clients happy by meeting their expectations, you have to exceed their expectations. That means having a solid business plan, knowing the kinds of things that can (and will) go wrong and being prepared to recover from them. It means being careful to select your clients, too. Rather than taking just any job, you need to work with clients you understand and who can refer you to future clients in your niche.
The book isn’t just for wedding photographers, though many of the examples are from that field of experience. The truth of the information works whether you’re shooting weddings, commercial or other types of photographic assignments. You need to know your cost of doing business and how to calculate pricing so you can earn a profit. You need to know when to spend money on other professionals like accountants and attorneys so you can be fully prepared and educated to do business.
Running a successful photography business includes everything from creating your portfolio and web site to laying out designs that support your brand to knowing who can help you earn more business. A lot of great photographers are poor businesspeople because of what they don’t know. Photography Business Secrets by Lara White shows you what you need to know in order to run a successful business.
I’d like to thank my friend Alan Hess for connecting me with this project. Jen Bowles was a great editor and incredibly fun. Of course, Lara White did all the work and wrote a book that nails the subject perfectly with her experience and practical advice. I won’t promise you that running a photography business will be easy, but I can tell you that you can eliminate a lot of the stress when you know how it’s done. Lara definitely shows you what you need to know.