As a small business owner and freelancer, you may likely feel that you need to spend as much time working on your photography and promoting your business as possible, and spend 90% of your waking time in the studio or at your desk. However, recent studies suggest that you are missing out on a great opportunity to both improve your work and enrich your life.
As we move forward with the changes going on behind the scenes at Eclipse, I thought it would be good to bring out some of the past articles written by our instructors that really resonated with our readers and students. Ralph Clevenger is an amazing photographer and instructor, who I’ve had both the privilege and pleasure of learning from, and shooting with. We had a great group come up with us on our annual photography adventure in Alaska, and as usual came back with great shots, and memories.
The following article received some of the most comments, and email from students and readers of any we’ve published to date here. I think it’s a great one to bring out again and share. Happy Friday, and I promise next week there will be a lot more coming from Eclipse.
When I was in photography school, one of my instructors advised that one of the best traits a professional photographer could posses, was a healthy dose of paranoia. Have spare batteries charged and ready to go, have grip and other materials that you might need on hand and ready to go. Have a spare camera, hard-drives, cables, and computers, have a list of back-up assistants, make-up artists, hair stylists, set stylists, wardrobe stylists…
Last night I was on-line live with two of the well known bloggers that had invites to the Canon Cinema announcement event yesterday in Hollywood. They both attended, both had live feeds set up to share the event with their readers, and both happily were reporting pictures, details of the new products, and detailed coverage of an event that the photography world has been discussing for months. Both bloggers experienced something they hadn’t quite prepared for. The press event Canon planned was quite long.
Today is the day of the big announcement from Canon. It’s a matter of hours now, and the Canon using community of photographers has been humming with anticipation and rumors for months. Should I buy a camera now, should I wait? Purchasing decisions have been based on guesses as to what this announcement will be. Life has been no different for Nikon users. The announcements, that there will be announcements, built up great amounts of angst amount both manufacturers’ followers.
Professional photography associations offer education and training in the business side of your profession, and help with skills and provide discounts on many photography resources and publications. Some memberships even include professional insurance. Be sure to check out their special groups as some have groups of members focused on a particular type of photography, such as the Architectural Photographers group at APA.
You should be a member of at least one of these organizations if you are serious about a career in photography. They will connect you to what’s going on in your industry.
Even the most seasoned and famous professional photographers will probably admit that they are not great at editing their work, and that they find this task difficult. The great majority will admit that one of the steps in their editing process will include showing their work to trusted photographer friends and associates to get fresh opinions on which of their images stand out above all others.
Here’s the truth: you are too close to your work. You’ve worked hard on all your images, and you are proud of your best shots. Like 8 out of 10 photographers, you probably aren’t that great at editing your work.
All of the instructors at the Eclipse Institute share two things in common. We love to teach, and we are passionate about photography. How more perfect can a career get? We get to share our passion for photography with others.
We all have trained for years, and are all active commercial photographers. We do NOT fit the saying “Those who can’t, teach.” While we all love the contact we’ve had with our students so far; through one on one sessions, lectures, and through on‐line classes; we’ve reached the consensus that we want to do more.
We haven’t posted to this blog often, or recently, but this is about to change. We are going to do our best to make this blog a valuable resource for photographers. We’re going to focus on the marketing and business of photography, as well as techniques, but we think the business side of things is most important. The most common questions we receive from past students who are about to go pro, are business related.
“How do I know how much to charge for my photography?”
“How do I find clients and market myself?”
“How do I stand out, and justify my rates when there are so many new photographers with HDSLRs that are charging almost nothing for their work?”
This is a tough time for photographers, with new technology and a recession economy; many photographers are throwing in the towel. The quantity of advanced amateurs who’ve entered the ring, enabled by HDSLRs and Photoshop have caused the usage rates of pros to plummet. Even still, we think that the dream of making a living doing what you love (photography!) is still valid and possible.
Skill and technique do still count for something, and talented photographers can still rise out of the mass of semi-pros, and make a living with their cameras. We think that focusing on the business and marketing side of being a photographer is the best way we can help talented photographers succeed. If we help even one photographer become successful, and lose the day job, then we’ve succeeded too. We really hope to help a lot more reach this goal.
We’re still going to be teaching technique, and helping photographers advance their skills in our courses and DVDs, but this blog is here to help complete the education that we offer.
We hope we can help. Welcome to the new Eclipse Institute.
Eclipse Institute Founder & CEO
If you are ready for intense exposure at shutter speed, visit us online at eclipseinstitute.com. All courses are streamed online in high-def video, taught by notable professionals, and include interactive instructor feedback.