Lines of Sight

The business side of photography

Toronto Photographer: 416-540-5494

UK Photographers survey

The British Photographic Council released their 56-page 2010 photographers’ survey based on information collected from 1,698 professional photographers. The 2010 survey uses data from the photographers’ 2009 business year.

The survey confirms that photographers who keep the copyright to their work earn more than those who don’t license their work. Enough said?

Some photographer comments are included in the survey:

Photography has become one of the largest, if not the largest, single want-to-have job in the UK. Anyone and everyone now feels they can be a photographer and do what they want in terms of price, copyright, deception, etc.

Colleges often produce students with no knowledge of business practice, least of all, how to cost out a job to make a profit to live and pay the rent!

The cost of entry is minimal these days, and yet some of the newcomers, especially in the social/event and wedding market, are not professionals, just keen amateurs who read one of the multitude of monthly magazines and think that because they have read the article they can go out and do the job!

The industry as a whole is over-subscribed, too many good photographers chasing too little quality work, and undermined by amateurs or semi-pro’s working cheap and producing little more than snaps.

What’s missing from this survey are questions such as:

• How do you  market your business? How do customers find your business?

• Have Facebook or Twitter been beneficial to your business?

• What percentage of customers are repeat clients?

• Do you try to upsell a client? If yes, what’s the most effective way?

• Do you offer a lower cost, lower production-valued version of your work? (Example: Instead of an $800, multi-lit, studio-quality business portrait, do you offer a $250 available-light portrait with minimal post production and e-mail delivery?)

• Have you lowered production values in general so as to meet customers’ expectation of lower prices? Or have you increased production values so as to set yourself apart from the others and to better justify your fees?

• What would you do differently if you were starting your photography business today?


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