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  • Starting my Photography Business...HOW??

    When did you start your business?
    Last edited by jfeely; 11-04-2013, 04:25 PM.

  • #2
    A few tips

    Hi jfeely,

    How to start a small business generally varies from state to state. I would recommend you contact a local Small Business Development Center and speak with them (their services are all free).

    In IL, if you are a sole proprietor, the only thing you need to do to "register" your business is to file an assumed name notice at your county clerk's office. You will need to get a state tax ID number if you will sell products (i.e prints) for which you must collect sales tax, and/or if you have employees. If you hire employees, you'll also need a federal tax number (FEIN), which you can obtain online. Sitting/session fees are not taxable because they are a service.

    Your SBDC will be able to assist with these and any other questions relative to forms required in your area.

    Hope this helps and best of luck with you new endeavor.

    PS: I checked out your blog, and think your photos are very nice!
    Last edited by SandeeWig; 11-17-2008, 08:47 PM. Reason: PS added
    Aimee
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    • #3
      Originally posted by jfeely
      Hey thanks for the advice. I am in the State of Washington so I am sure things are different out here. I dont plan on hiring employees, but obviously selling digital negatives and prints are a must. Maybe someone who knows Washington's laws can offer some advice...glad you like the pictures
      No problem! The link I provided for the SBDC is a list of those in Washington state, so perhaps you can find one close to you.
      Aimee
      Canon XSi, 18-55mm IS, Tamron 70-300, and Canon 50mm 1.8 II; Canon PowerShot S3 IS
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      • #4
        Hey I live in the State of Washington and I would love to know the answer to that too. I have the State Business License. All it says is to report taxes annually in January.
        I have not started charging yet either but it is not far away.
        Please let me know what you find out!
        Canon Girl
        flickr

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        • #5
          Quote

          Sorry to pop your balloon, but your photography will need to improve if you are going to charge people money. You cannot cut tops of heads off,or amputate hands,or other body parts,and for portraits you must concentrate on the eyes. You are looking at $ 250 an image,whether passport size, or 6 feet by 4 feet (you are not selling square inches of paper,you are selling,experience,expertise,creativity etc., for instance, a 3-year tertiary course in photographic imaging will cost you around $20,000 ,and this has to be regained from your clients) Regards,Ken (Kenneth William Caleno (dip Phot)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kencaleno View Post
            Sorry to pop your balloon, but your photography will need to improve if you are going to charge people money. You cannot cut tops of heads off,or amputate hands,or other body parts,and for portraits you must concentrate on the eyes.
            Your not that far off. The photos have a very distinct and modern style and I'm sure people will pay for them. I like them.

            You do seem to have slight attraction to cutting the tops off peoples heads though. I don't think you necessarily need to do a 3 year couse in photography but a few day/week courses with experinced snappers would be money well spent if you are going to take this seriously. You would do the same in any other industry to keep honing your skills so why not photography.
            Fletch

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            • #7
              quote

              Originally posted by fletch View Post
              Your not that far off. The photos have a very distinct and modern style and I'm sure people will pay for them. I like them.

              You do seem to have slight attraction to cutting the tops off peoples heads though. I don't think you necessarily need to do a 3 year couse in photography but a few day/week courses with experinced snappers would be money well spent if you are going to take this seriously. You would do the same in any other industry to keep honing your skills so why not photography.

              By the way, Fletch, I wasn't advocating the original poster taking a 3-year course,but,pointing out to charge enough to cover any possible photo education(which is obviously needed in this case),and to be able to charge as such,you need to know basic portrait photography,for which I would point the original poster at http://www.msnusers.com/Asktheolepro...ezeltsman.msnw (which is a 16 chapter Free onlime course on Classical portraiture,posing and lighting )

              This is the trouble with Digital cameras-anybody believes that by purchasing a digital camera,they immediately become photographers,where, in reality, most just become "Camera owners". I find this so often in stock photography sites,where some people get extremely upset when their images are rejected-their usual outburst is something like-" My photos must be good,I'm using a XYZ camera and a ABC lens,and all my friends are telling me how good my images are." Photography has Two Phases "Making" and "Taking" - You "Make" a photographic image with your mind and eye, before you ever grab a camera and "Take" that image- You never ask a painter where he buys his brushes.
              Regards, Ken

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              • #8
                Tax laws in the states are much stricter than they are up here.

                In canada, as long as one is making less than 10k a year and is not living solely off the income of a small business, the owner does not need to have it registered nor does he/she need a tax number.

                Registering a business in Canada is quite expensive: getting a tax number is even worse.
                I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kencaleno View Post
                  This is the trouble with Digital cameras-anybody believes that by purchasing a digital camera,they immediately become photographers,where, in reality, most just become "Camera owners". I find this so often in stock photography sites,where some people get extremely upset when their images are rejected-their usual outburst is something like-" My photos must be good,I'm using a XYZ camera and a ABC lens,and all my friends are telling me how good my images are." Photography has Two Phases "Making" and "Taking" - You "Make" a photographic image with your mind and eye, before you ever grab a camera and "Take" that image- You never ask a painter where he buys his brushes.
                  Regards, Ken
                  While I don't necessarily subscribe to Kens delivery (ha! you're as subtle as a brick in the head, Ken) I do tend to agree that with the onslaught of digital cameras came a wave of new "photography businesses"

                  Not saying you're not right to start your own - just that it's worth taking on board the advice given.

                  I have come across some really horrific "photography businesses" in the last few months, websites that really don't sell the photographer... out of focus, bad composition, poor lighting...

                  I thought about starting to offer a portrait service to my local area, not sure i'm ready either... time will tell
                  www | twitter | facebook

                  If you're looking for customer service, please use this link, thank you!

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                  • #10
                    Moved to "Earning" forum.

                    Not being in the business side of photography I have little to add to the above posts.

                    However, I believe discussions of style and ability are not what the OP asked for. Sometimes those qualities can be more a matter of opinion and decisions are made by clients and what they prefer. But I agree all photographers need to be constantly honing their craft. We should never fall into the trap of doing the same thing the same way over and over.

                    Now back to the discussion of the business side of photography.
                    Linda
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kencaleno View Post
                      Sorry to pop your balloon, but your photography will need to improve if you are going to charge people money. You cannot cut tops of heads off,or amputate hands,or other body parts,and for portraits you must concentrate on the eyes...
                      I'm not sure if you were looking at the same pictures I was; most of the images I saw looked great to me. I've certainly seen examples from "professionals" that fall short of what I saw at http://feelyphotography.blogspot.com/.

                      I would also take issue with the idea that you can't cut the tops off heads, etc. Last year I remember visiting an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. One of the defining characteristics of the photos (various celebrities, taken by highly regarded photographers) was that most of the images were cropped close. For example, the crown of the head was rarely shown. The result was more intimate than older photos seen elsewhere in the gallery.

                      If you want to discuss further, perhaps you could start a new thread on the topic? Meanwhile, I imagine the acid test of a photography business is whether people are willing to pay enough for the products to cover the costs of running it.

                      Wulf
                      Wulf Forrester-Barker << Sites: blog / flickr >>
                      Gear: Nikon D40, Nikon AFS 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6G, Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8, Nikon AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G, Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 macro, Raynox DCR-250, Lensbaby 2.0k, SB600

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                      • #12
                        I didn't see anything wrong with his photos either. I really liked the processing on some of them.
                        Canon Girl
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                        • #13
                          I would have to agree with Wulf. Jfeely, your shots are quite good! I like your style of photography too! I've seen a lot of amazing shots with unique composition. Especially a lot of shots that don't follow your typical composition rules. Photography has so many creative styles to it and not everyone will be drawn to all styles.

                          And congrats on the starting of your new business!! Hopefully you will get more business-related answers that are specific to your state.


                          Blessings!
                          My Website: www.joscephotography.com
                          Nikon D200, 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 18-55mm, 55-200mm VR, SB-600 Speedlight

                          "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt 5:16)

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