Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running the business

Most people would be surprised (I'd imagine) that most of the work in a photography business is not actually taking images. A lot of photographers would say their business is based on the Perato Principle (80/20 rule). 20% photography, 80% business and various parts of the business part within are based on the same 80/20 rule e.g. working on a wedding day you could say photographers time is 20% taking the pictures and 80% people skills.

So if the photographer is not photographing what are they doing with all that "free" time?

For all intents and purposes one thing, trying to make a profit or a living as most people would call it.
Very very few photographers make a huge amount of money, some of course do better in their market area than others and that can be down to their business acumen than photographic talent.

So generally speaking while not photographing we are:
  • Marketing - making customers aware of our existence and products.
  • Consulting - calling/emailing the people who have seen our marketing and may become a customer.
  • Image editing - working in Photoshop and wedding album design.
  • After care - meeting and calling customers to make sure they are happy with our services.
  • Accounting - paying our bills and making sure we are getting paid.
So while from the outside the job of a photographer looks glamourous (and it sometimes is) the real work is usually at our computers until some ungodly hour (I've emailed clients back at 3am).

The point of this post is to show clients what photographers have to do to be there to provide their services and to show other photographers they are not alone in doing these things. Talent alone does not help in this game. The starving artist saying springs to mind.


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