How to Use the Cost of Doing Business to Price Your Work

In today’s photography market, too many new photographers charge based on what they think they are worth, combined with what they see other photographers charging in a rudimentary competitive analysis. This is no way to run a business. I didn’t realize what it cost to be in business until I got my hands on the PPA Benchmark Survey, and when I realized that professional photographers keep only a third of their revenue as profit, it forced me to look at what it was costing to be in business.

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Creating Great Light

What is great light and how do you create it? First, learn how to think about light and develop a lighting vocabulary. This will help you make informed decisions about tools and techniques. When you’re developing an understanding of lighting, the fundamental concept to embrace is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation or subject matter.

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Redefine Beauty with Sal Cincotta

I have worked on fine-art nudes for the past two years. Not because we have a huge demand for it from clients, but because Alissa and I find it challenging and rewarding. This year, we will be introducing this type of portrait to our wedding clients. How will it go over? That has yet to be seen. I am hopeful that instead of the boudoir lingerie shots that are typical, this niche will allow us to yet again stand out from our competitors. Here are some tips for finding your niche in the beauty market. 

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How Will You Be Better in 2019?

It’s the end of the year. There are plenty of New Year’s resolutions, tons of hopes and lots of forgiveness for last year’s failures. Will you really change this year? Will this be the year you see your business double? Or will you once again forgive yourself for not crushing it and promise to do it better next year? You’re a photographer and you do work that you love and blah blah blah. But here’s the truth: Work that leads to success is so often work that you do not want to do. So here is a list of things you need to do this year that suck.

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The Not-So-Glamorous Life of Photographer Parents

Have you ever felt you’re failing as both a parent and businessperson? As if the two are impossible to balance? My wife, Eileen, and I sure have. But there’s good news. While we’re still far from being perfect parents (like light years away), we’ve learned a number of habits over the years that make a world of difference for us and our three children. Actually, I think my own parents taught me most of these habits—it just took me half a lifetime to realize it.

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Digital Tools for Success with Sal Cincotta

There is no escaping it: We live in a digital world but we operate in some old-school ways. From photography to our tax returns, we must all learn to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world. Here are some of the tools I use to run my business smoothly and make maximum use of my time. This isn’t just about saving time. It’s about giving your customers a unique experience.

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Movie Magic: How First-Time Filmmakers Reached the Silver Screen

In 2011, my wife and I took a big risk. We emptied our savings to fund the film project. We’d just experienced a loss in our lives, and we needed to step back from taking pretty wedding pictures for a while. Instead, we turned our cameras toward kids fighting to survive in one of the world’s most violent slums. The result was our low-budget documentary Lost Boys of Paradise, which raised money for the nonprofit Engadi Ministries, with which we still work. So the risk paid off, right? But not how you might think. Things change. Today, after five years writing for Shutter (now a premier photo industry publication), our tiny 2011 video project has led to something bigger than I could have imagined. Our professional life has come full circle—almost miraculously so. Because now you are part of this story, too.

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