Make Pictures And Profits
The biggest challenge to professional photographers today is the ability to create images they enjoy making while earning money. By this, I mean profits, not just sales. The need to get images of value to a client who will pay less money than ever before is contrary to all business and professional sense. I can understand that it may be possible to produce images for less money, but it is not possible to create them for less money. To be in business today, you must challenge the current ideas and assumptions that are taking your profits away from you. With the worth of professional photography services under siege, you must look to create valuable images for clients with appropriate compensation, not just the production of photos.
Business & Creativity
Glassett starts out with an important statement, "Business is not 'as usual' today, and there are many challenges for photography businesses to maintain position in the marketplace. It takes innovation to successfully run a business and continue to prosper today. Most photographers do not reach the level of financial success they can achieve. We have taken a unique attitude and business mentality. In order to be treated as professionals and paid as professionals, a major goal of ours is to manage our studio as professionals--not as a retail business. One way we do this is to be more pro-active than other studios to guide our clients to make the best purchasing decisions. Often, this has meant breaking the rules, taking risks and changing the way business has been done in the past. As photographers, we produce a wonderful, valuable service and deserve proper compensation for it."
A Marketing Plan
Here's how it works:
Glassett concludes, "Over the past 25 years we have gotten to know many professional photographers and there's always the same problem--our right artistic side of our brain seems to be fighting our left analytical business side. So a good portion of photographers never achieve their personal goals, a lifestyle that justifies their efforts. As professional photographers we create one of the most precious possessions available to man, 'our memories,' yet we do not make the changes in our own business to be rewarded for our efforts. Much of our business mentality comes from being artists, not business people. Let's look at the expression 'starving artist.' Need I say more?
"Our studio has taken a different direction by putting business before art, because the more profitable we are, the better we can serve our clients. I think the best way to approach this is to take a good look at your business and change the things that are not working: checking out previews, no-shows, lack of profitability, and change the things you simply do not like about your business.
"You are in control of your own destiny whether you know it or not, take charge; someone needs to be steering the ship! I'm one photographer who would prefer not to die in my camera room at the age of 75 shooting baby portraits. People will always pay for quality if you back it up with a great product, great service, and most of all a fantastic experience working with you."