BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Katrina Wampler
 

Being a Profressional


 
 
Many people see the photos I do of my family and ask me to do some for them. When can you be considered a professional and when do know when to begin charging for your photos???
Could you please look at these photos I took and offer some suggestions.


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11/12/2002 6:41:39 PM

 
Katrina Wampler  
 
 
sorry, here are the photos (I hope)


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11/12/2002 6:46:51 PM

 
Ruslan Safin   where are the photos, katrina?


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11/13/2002 9:12:26 AM

 
Katrina Wampler   I can't figure out how to get them on there. Each time I try to submit them, it says "page expired"...HELP


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11/13/2002 10:23:11 AM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Katrina,

Regarding your photos, try to upload just one. It may be that the connection from your computer to ours cannot support multiple images. Also make sure you are following the sizing instructions before uploading.

Regarding the idea of being a professional and charging money, you need not wait to consider yourself "professional". That is a very open-ended term - you do not need a degree or anything to start using it. As long as you are shooting often and making money as often as you can, you're a pro. So start charging now. There are a couple of good books on pricing photos and marketing yourself. If you feel really motivated and ready to go for it, you might consider taking Bryan Peterson's Advanced Photo Marketing course

Hope this helps!


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11/16/2002 6:52:03 PM

 
Katrina Wampler  
 
 
trying again...
thanks,
katrina


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11/17/2002 2:39:42 PM

 
Katrina Wampler  
 
 
trying again...
thanks,
katrina


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11/17/2002 2:45:49 PM

 
Katrina Wampler   as you can see...i keep trying and it still says "Page cannot be found". I am only sending one photo but it just won't go trough. Thanks for trying to help but I am just computer illiterate, I suppose.
katrina


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11/17/2002 2:48:19 PM

 
Terry Cockerham   I differ slightly when it comes to defining professional.

Most consider a professional as one who earns more than 50% of his or her total income from whatever endeavor in which they participate.

Does that mean that one cannot charge while earning less than the magic cutoff point of 50%, of course not.


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11/27/2002 9:52:12 AM

 
lou estes   Katrina, as Jim said it is an open ended subject. I believe that it is more of ones attitude. I consider myself a professional photographer and have not as yet crossed the 50% income line. I consider myself a professional because of the time, care and knowledge I use each time I capture an image. I have images on display in restruarants, auto repair facilities and a portfolio on the web. Each of them was done with the attitude I mentioned above. So if you consider yourself a professional then so be it. The thing I would stress is to use all of your knowledge and if people like your work then by all means charge for it. Considering yourself a professional also has other things to be consided though. Such as tax id number, that comes in handy when purchasing supplies, business license(s), accounting of ALL expenses and income. I hope that I have been of help and did not scare you off of the idea of becoming a professional photographer and I wish you all of the luck and prosperity that you can gain.
J Lucius Estes
Lou's Freelance Photography
http://ozimages.com.au/portfolio/jlestes.asp
POB 1878
Westport, WA 98595


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11/27/2002 12:09:26 PM

 
Terry Cockerham   I agree with J. Estes to a certain extent and disagree also. Being a "professional" necessitates having a professional attitude and approach to the craft but that by itself is not enough.

J. Estes alluded to the other factors involved in being a professional but didn't go far enough. In addition to a Tax ID number for tax purposes and business licenses (incorporation, limited liability partnership, etc. , one also needs, more often than not, a CPA (a must), a lawyer, good credit and a business bank account, liability and equipment insurance, marketing and sales ability, a basic understanding of business and accounting procedures, necessary equipment pertinent to the specialty chosen and equipment knowledge, technical photographic expertise, good vendor relationships, ability to communicate with customers both in terms of his/her needs and your capabilities (skill and equipment), infinite energy and patience and the willingness to work long and weird hours (sometimes more than you can imagine), and probably the most important issue, the ability to remain calm while everything falls apart around you while shooting. Being a professional at anything requires a commitment to that profession that most amateurs will be unable to provide. But as J Estes said "don't let this scare you off..." . It can be done.

As a sidebar - almost everytime I go on location for a client (not necessarily the one that hired me for the job - they would have called me at my office) the first question someone at that location will ask me upon my arrival is - do I do this for a living?


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11/27/2002 1:40:16 PM

 
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