By Allen McEachern
Photography is a tough business that seems to be almost continually evolving; like anything dynamic i guess. Last week I was contacted by an aspiring photographer, and asked for advice, and insights on how to start in this business. I was happy to meet up and have a chat about different resources, and tactics for getting noticed. Here are two of the tips I gave out:
1. The American Society of Media Photographers ( https://asmp.org ) I used this organization a lot when I was starting out. The two main resources for me were the on-line forums ( https://asmp.org/links/22#.VIB5776Qu9U ) and their book " Professional Business Practices in Photography."
Their on-line forums are a great place to pose questions regarding almost any aspect of commercial photography. The best part is accessing the collective experience of the members who frequent these forums. I learned so much just by reading past topics, and by posting my own questions.
" Professional Business Practices in Photography" is an excellent tool for advancing your business knowledge regarding commercial photography. A lot of what you need to know is in this book. I highly recommend it.
2. National Press Photographers Association ( https://nppa.org) Primarily aimed at press photographers in the USA, but very relevant to any editorial photographer in North America. The best tool on the NPPA website for me is the "Cost of Doing Business Calculator." https://nppa.org/calculator Great for figuring out exactly how much you need to be making to stay in business - very useful info when it comes to setting your prices / fees. It adds up all the exit points for money leaving your business and then asks you how many days you expect to shoot in the year. The resulting math is what you need to make just to cover your costs. Without knowing your cost of operating you are just guessing which is never good in any business.