The importance of a team | photography tutorials

The importance of a team | photography tutorials


Every photographer has a team that surrounds them. Even if you do not realize it you have a team. This team could consist of actual employees and assistants that you direct on a daily basis. It could consist of your accountant, financial advisor or your photo lab. It could be as simple as your spouse or significant other–confidants who know how to push you to be better; always with the goal of moving you forward. The simple fact is you must have a team to function as a business and to help you proceed toward success.

I founded my first post-production business in the fall of 2007. With unbelievable growth and potential at our fingertips, it failed a short four years later. At the core of this failure was a dysfunctional team that did not have the right pieces in place for success. How did we get from having so much potential to failure in just four years? When I started the business, I did not know what having a solid team actually meant.

Our story was like many photographers–the jobs started coming in, growth was fast, and I thought, “My background is in photography; I should find someone with a business background to help me out.” I brought in a friend to be a partner and help with sales and marketing. We never truly had defined roles…red flag number one. As we grew, we added employees and layers of management within the organization–all without a set profile for the types of people we wanted as employees. What’s more, we never took the time to put together the true team of people behind the scenes–the bookkeeper, the accountant or real decision makers–people to tell us, “No, you shouldn’t do that.” What we ended up with was potential to reach for the sky, but a mismatched team with no real leadership, direction or defined goals. Everyone marched to a different beat, and the team mentality was, “Every man for himself.”

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the May 2013 magazine.

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