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02/10/2006 03:20:47 AM · #101
Originally posted by Nusbaum:

It's great to see the progress that everybody is making. I stalled on something as simple as business cards. Having one little piece of card stock represent so much seems to set my mental process out of whack! So let me ask which you think is most important.. 1) good business cards, 2) get web site off PBase and onto a hosting service, 3) hard copy portfolio(s) with top 12-15 images. It seems to me that the web site is the univeral business card/portfolio these days, but I thought I would ask opinions. I'll have to stop slipping out to the garage so I can try to find my light in the studio and focus on moving the business forward instead.


I had to laugh at this... because you got further than I did!

Because I'm not doing an actual studio, I've been kind of slow to get started. I need to though. Taking that first step though... is hard part.

Nusbaum: I would go with professional site as top priority. Get your stuff off of PBase. If you want business cards, then as already said, that should come after, corresponding to the website. You don't want to be changing the website address down the road. Because clients and perspective clients will already associate you with the URL they have.

I'll look at the different websites later today.. sounds like everyone is far ahead of me. :)

Livitup - I may not post in this thread often (yes, I know I should), but I do keep reading. Your forging ahead, is an inspiration. :)

Off to bed finally for me.... Christine

02/10/2006 09:35:38 AM · #102
Originally posted by Skyarcher:

You don't want to be changing the website address down the road. Because clients and perspective clients will already associate you with the URL they have.


I went ahead and purchased by domain name www.davidnusbaum.com through www.buydomains.com and now I just configure that to point to the appropriate destination. This way I don't have to change domains when I change the the actual implementation of the site. I work in corporate I/T and I decided in advance that my second career would be more personal, so I am simply using my name rather than a studio name.

Thanks again for all the great comments and advice. I'll get started on a custom site this weekend.

Message edited by author 2006-02-10 09:36:39.
02/10/2006 03:38:13 PM · #103
Well after having such a great first part of the week, I should have known something bad was going to happen...

Today I took a day off work with the intention of getting my town business licence. Yeah, that's not going to happen without a fight, it looks. That's the short verson, but I need to vent, so if you're into pain read on...

I live inside the corporate limits of a small town (about 10,000 people) so I have to deal with all the town politics and such. The town code requires me to apply for a 'Town Business Licence.' As part of the process for applying for this licence I needed to obtain approval for my business location from the town planning and zoning commission.

Dagger.

The town code permits 'home use' by businesses only if there are never any customers coming to the business. Since Lee's main intent (and probably the majority of our business income) is portraits, I said our business type was "Portrait Studio." Oops. She cheerfully asked me if I was going to have customers come to our house, and I cheerfully nodded back that they (hopefully) would be. Bzzt. Wrong answer. So the zoning clerk denied my approval right there and on the spot.

Of course being the average helpful nice municipal employee that she is, she offered exactly NO further assistance, short of advising me to have a nice day.

Not being an expert at zoning law, I don't know where to go from here... From what I can tell looking at the zoning information on-line our house is zoned R-1, which would prohibit any kind of business activity, but it is also in use category R-2, in which I could ask the town for special permission to operate a "Professional Office."

I am so disheartened at this point. Of course Lee is literally in tears, because her dream was to do child portraiture, which doesn't look that likely now. Besides which, it wouldn't look all that good to tell a wedding client that they can't come to us to look at our portfolio, but we'll gladly come to your house... Umm, no.

The only real chance we have left is to talk to the town zoning official, (this was a clerk that told us to pound sand) who was out of the office today. So we'll expect a call back on Monday and see how it goes.

I'm off to eat some cake batter or something. I wish I still smoked.

:(

---really dejected Andrew

Message edited by author 2006-02-10 15:40:54.
02/10/2006 04:14:46 PM · #104
I'm sorry to hear about the problems Andrew. I would think if you explained that there would never be more than once 'customer' at the house at any given time there should be some flexibility. This wouldn't be any different than a real estate agent or financial advisor having a customer come to their house.

If that fails, I you looked at office or warehouse space that may be usable for a studio. I did some search for studio or artist lofts in my town and was surprised to find a number of spaces available with prices between $150-$450 a month. The one for $450 was huge with 10-12 foot ceilings, but even the $150 space had plenty of room for portraits. I think the key thing is to stay away from retain space because that will command a premium price.

I'm sure you will find a way to overcome this challenge.
02/11/2006 03:30:44 PM · #105
Am so sorry to hear this Andrew.

But don't give up just yet, and tell Lee not to either!

You say there is an R-2 category, research all that you can about it. Try and find out if others in your area are using it. When you do with meet with town officials, make sure that you stay calm and level-headed.

Wish I knew more about zoning and such to be of real help. In the meantime, I can say an extra prayer or two.

02/11/2006 03:53:38 PM · #106
Originally posted by livitup:

Matt, this isn't a nudge at you or anything, but I was wondering if we should expect "assignments" and directed learning, or if we should just consider this a networking group and post questions and status/accomplishments as the urge grabs us. I've got some additional basic questions about running the shop, but I don't want to step on your toes and get ahead of ourselves.


Well, I had the idea that I would give assignments – my problem with doing things that way is that when I do, I don’t know when to move on and some people just never get around to doing them. Then others start talking about other things and we’re lost again. Lol For now I’m going to get caught up and I will give you all an assignment. I will move on after that and hopefully give you guys another…that’s the way I’d like to try it. If you have specific questions, PM me them and I will try and guide the entire group to cover those areas.

Originally posted by rjkstesch:

I...have the bones of my website up at //www.infinitybyrebecca , which makes me excited. Let me know what you think of it so far.


It’s not working for me. Sorry…

Originally posted by Nusbaum:

I stalled on something as simple as business cards. Having one little piece of card stock represent so much seems to set my mental process out of whack! So let me ask which you think is most important.. 1) good business cards, 2) get web site off PBase and onto a hosting service, 3) hard copy portfolio(s) with top 12-15 images


The order I would like to see you finish those is 1) Get your website top notch and ready to go. 2) Get the hard copy of a portfolio or sample album (Illuma?) 3) Get good business cards. The reasoning: If you have a website, it shows off some of your work (like the folio) and it gives your contact info (like the card). The site is soooooo important because a lot of people will choose to go with you or not based simply on what things look like when they open your page up the first time. Business cards – gotprint or vistaprints does a heck of a job… if you’re just having trouble getting started, give us some images to play with and some ideas for what you want on it and we can take a crack.

Originally posted by oOWonderBreadOo:

maybe I should get a few critiques on mine too... it's //www.laurasiivolaphotographer.com/
I think, like you- that I know what's wrong with it- I just lack the time!!!

oh yeah, I know what else- I wanted to say that you can get double sided cards there and you can just write your website down on the back. That way if you change your web address you don't have out of date cards...


Your contact button goes to a new row for me – under home. I think it would look MUCH better as one line as I think you intended. I’d turn the borders off the images – you already have the green border around them and the blue/purple line doesn’t look good. <img src=”a.jpg” border=0> is the code to do that if you are handwriting. The blue surrounding your email address doesn’t seem to fit either. I assume you know that your weddings page says “text text text”? Your page looks really great – but the content is a little light right now. Try adding some info and a way for people to really figure out if they like you on the site. Think about the process – they find you, they look for rates, they look at some pics and they contact you. Think about laying your site out to get people to go through the steps and at the end give them a call to action – “call us now” type thing. :)

Originally posted by livitup:

The town code permits 'home use' by businesses only if there are never any customers coming to the business. Since Lee's main intent (and probably the majority of our business income) is portraits, I said our business type was "Portrait Studio."

Not being an expert at zoning law, I don't know where to go from here... From what I can tell looking at the zoning information on-line our house is zoned R-1, which would prohibit any kind of business activity, but it is also in use category R-2, in which I could ask the town for special permission to operate a "Professional Office."

The only real chance we have left is to talk to the town zoning official, (this was a clerk that told us to pound sand) who was out of the office today. So we'll expect a call back on Monday and see how it goes.


First of all, gather yourself for Monday. You aren’t dead in the water until it’s over. The clerk couldn’t automatically give you a permit, but if it’s possible to get one, figure out WHY the town would give you one – then meet their needs as well. Figure out what the law requires and what the zoning official wants. Get an idea of why s/he may or may not approve you and try to meet his or her needs. Tell them the truth though – are you going to be a high volume studio or high end elegant attraction? If you’re going to be high volume, how will that affect things like traffic, parking, neighbors and noise? If you’re going to be an elegant studio, how can you show them that having you will be a boost to the local community and won’t interfere with your neighbors rights? Think about what you need to do from their perspective and then give them info that will help you. Push it, but push it positively.

Don’t give up – definitely not this easy and without a fight. You can do it if you figure out what is required.
---------

Ok, here’s the assignment I promised:

Project Up To Date
The goal of Project Up To Date is to get everyone to the same or similar spots.

What you need:
1) A website of some sort – list it.
2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.
3) Updated goals
a. We are 6 weeks into 2006 – copy your goals list and make a note about where you stand so far.
b. Add or change goals as necessary to reflect the changes your business is undergoing.
4) How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far. Not just advertising but “handing out cards” and “showing prints from other jobs to friends” How do you get yourself known?
5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post?

So that’s it for today – post those 5. I will move on when I think nobody else is going to reply so if you want to ensure you get in on my dialogue for the next part, add your section soon.

Sorry I took so long gang – weird times. I have the forums off and it’s just been .. I dunno. But I’m here! Let’s rock.

~M

02/12/2006 09:59:24 PM · #107
1) A website of some sort – list it.
www.davidnusbaum.com points to my PBase account now, but I started working on my own site this weekend. It will probably take me a week to get this the way I want it.

2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.
Here's one just to show I was thinking about it, but I think I'm going to finish the web site and then match my card to that.
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3) Updated goals
Small goals, but this is part time:
Get accepted in one of the better macro-stock agencies.
At least 5 senior portaits.
At least 3 high-end private portraits
At least 1 editorial portait published in a magazine.
1 photojournalistic wedding shoot by year end.

4) How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far. Not just advertising but “handing out cards” and “showing prints from other jobs to friends” How do you get yourself known?
Word of mouth through daughters and friends at the local high schools. This has already resulted in plans for 4 senior portraits and there could be more, but I don't want to get too focused on that market.

I'm going to shoot promotional work for a local theatre which will get my name in the programs and my images displayed. The patrons of this theatre are pretty well connected so I'm hoping this will get me exposure in the right market.

5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post?
Paper work is going slow because I already had one business in my name and need to incorporate that first.

Message edited by author 2006-02-13 12:54:13.
02/13/2006 12:43:53 PM · #108

1) A website of some sort – list it.
my website

2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.

I ordered my cards from overnight prints & I love their front & back format. I have heard oohs & aaahs everytime I give them out! Here is their pricing. I couldn't decide on just one!
Card 1 ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294549.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294549.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294548.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294548.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Card 2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294546.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294546.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294547.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294547.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Card 3 ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294550.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294550.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294551.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35786/thumb/294551.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

3) Updated goals
-I want a professional looking website. Update I think I'm half there, new goal: work out the kinks!
-Upload at least 100 quality images to a macro stock agency. Update Too bad- not even a step closer to this one. Stays on the list.
-I want more portrait shoots this year than last. (So I'd have to top 5) Update Already have three so I'm definetly on my way!
-I want to frame at least 5 prints to hang in my office as a sort of portfolio. Update Not done. Am I really gonna have people to my house? Not sure, but I'm still keeping this as a goal :0)

-New Goal Have paperwork and rates for clients before they call! I seem to be scrambling ech time I have a possible shoot & then I'm asking people later about using them on my website instead of having them sign a contract with all this included. Maybe we could brainstorm on this as a group (if you guys need to do this as well) I have such issues with wording and design!
-New Goal Get legal paperwork done. I talked to my accountant we decided on an LLC, but I can elect to file as an S-Corp (which basically means I get to file like a sole proprietorship) He also said that I can use my soc. sec # as the tax ID- he said it's absolutely legal and I should just put the dash after the first two numbers.

4) How are you selling yourself.
Well, I gave away a portrait session at a charity auction and I guess just word of mouth. I really have to go slow at this stuff- one job at a time and I am basically paying for my new equipment at this point.

5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post?
(see above!) I have a friend coming over on Thursday and we are filling out paperwork together.
I guess that's about it! :0)
02/14/2006 01:49:55 PM · #109
Update: I will be culling the group of non-participants at the end of the day tomorrow.
02/14/2006 02:46:10 PM · #110
I currently have a lame website and am looking for suggestions on where to host the new one. currently my site.

Business cards are most essential and I still can't believe I put them off yet again. I work for a newspaper and am constantly getting requests for them - parents want pics of their kids, etc...

My #1 priority is to get those cards!

I'm less interested in getting wedding gigs and posed portrait shoots. I have joined the local camera club and am finding some great connections and help there. I need to follow through on that.

I have joined the Maryland Federation of Art which has an artist index and provides all kinds of job/gallery/local info. Many states have them...

I have become a member of a few galleries. This allows me to enter member shows, attend workshops, etc.

All for now. Again, my priorities must be business cards and a new website.
02/14/2006 11:09:18 PM · #111
Yikes, I have to get to work.

1) A website of some sort – list it.
- //emilyminor.com There are a few things I need to fix, and more photos that I should upload. Any suggestions would be great!
2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.
- My graphic designer friend Crystal is helping me with this. She has improved my invoice a lot and is designing the card now. I plan on ordering from Overnight Prints – I have their sample pack and they seem good. Check out my website for my logo.
3) Updated goals
- Book another wedding – had a couple calls but no bookings yet. One bride wants to see more work on my website and one said she’d book me but hasn’t gotten back to me. I will call her tomorrow.
- Start shooting portraits - I have a new-baby shoot scheduled after the baby is born, any day now!
- Get my name out – My friend is an event planner and gives out my name and number. She REALLY needs my business cards.
- Acquire more gear – I need to seriously look at a flash because I am nervous about church lighting.
4) How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far.
- My mom has a few of my shots blown up in her new house and everyone loves them (or so she says, she is my mom). I need to also give her business cards, perhaps to stick up in the frames! I am also making sure all of my friends/family/co-workers have my website and blog.
5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post?
- I’ve created my expense/income spreadsheet and put everything into my PDA that I have so far, such as dates and tasks. I have a long ways to go in paying off the Rebel. :-)

02/15/2006 08:36:18 AM · #112
What you need:
1) A website of some sort – list it.

Unfortunetely, I have had extremely bad luck with getting a graphic designer to do my website, the ones ive delt with are very unreliable and do not email me back---hence I have no website STILL which is making me very angry.
2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.

At the moment im using standard business cards with all my info on them. I wanted to get my website going before I was to get out business cards to I can put the website on them, so therefore the main problem is the halted work on the site.

3) Updated goals
a. We are 6 weeks into 2006 – copy your goals list and make a note about where you stand so far.
b. Add or change goals as necessary to reflect the changes your business is undergoing.

My goals from 6 weeks ago:

1) Do ATLEAST 5 weddings this year - I have 3 booked for this year as well as 2 for next year. I still hope to get 5 for this year.
2) Do ATLEAST 5 portrait sessions this year- I havenet excercised this portion of the business and dont think I will until next year, Id rather focus on weddings right now
3) Get my name out there through advertising/website/business cards- I have been spreading the word and many people have been doing the same, just yesterday my ad went into the local edition of newspaper- bridal edition, hopefully something comes from it.
4) Save up enough money to buy the D200 as a primary camera- Well finding the damn camera is hard enough, but I have reserved one at Henrys in Canada. Hopefully have it in 1-2 months.

4) How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far. Not just advertising but “handing out cards” and “showing prints from other jobs to friends” How do you get yourself known? - Mostly word of mouth at the moment, I tell most people I know and that has been working so far. The ad is also another channel.
5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post? I have registered the business and it is in operation, so it is ahead of my projected june/july :)

1) Appointments, jobs and your calendar. VERY important. - I have a planner to get all my appts and jobs in there for specific times.

2) Money in, money out. Do it EVERY day. - I have folders for each month, One set of folders for money in, one set for money out, will this work?

3) Contact info. Not just clients, but pastors, churches, album vendors, stress relief friends, the massage place... - I think I need a rolex, Mav, do you have any suggestions for organizing business cards?

4) Status of jobs. What's left to send out? Who gets what when? - I bought a white board, which has proved to be helpful
5) To-do list. Easy to forget, so write it ALL down. - Need to Improve on this

Message edited by author 2006-02-15 08:42:24.
02/15/2006 09:18:37 AM · #113
What you need:
1) A website of some sort – list it.
I have started a website at //www.infinitybyrebecca.com and will be getting the majority of it up the next couple of weeks. I'm taking classes over the next 2 months and will continue to refine it as I learn more.

2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.
I've worked on 3 cards and have printed a few of each. The vineyard card doesn't work because of the orientation. The portrait card looks like it should be me, not an example, so, I'll only use it with people who know me. The wedding shot will work fine for wedding clients. After refining my website, I'll work on matching the card.
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3) Updated goals
a. We are 6 weeks into 2006 – copy your goals list and make a note about where you stand so far.
b. Add or change goals as necessary to reflect the changes your business is undergoing.

Goals:"I'd like to move to part-time photography slowly and full-time in 5 years or so." I am moving slowly, but have to slow down even further because of a major responsiblity thats come into my life. I'm okay with that as long as I can continue to make progress.

A) "Develop a professional looking web-site, with supporting business papers (business card, contract, etc.)" I've started the website, the business cards and I've gathered contract material together to use as a base.

B) "Place 100 photos on macro-stock sites and 300-500 on micro-stock sites." I haven't started this yet. It's been moved back to the 2nd half of the year. I will continue to shoot and cull photos to be included in my submissions.

C) "Have my name known for consistently quality work." I am working at controlling my work that is shown so that only my best work is out there. I have sold the digital untouched images in the past, now I'm monitoring that much more. I have had several comments about people wanting me to do their photography "because of the quality of my work."

D) New goals: Keep making progress, even with the slow down.
Improve my portrait work/quality.

4) "How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far. Not just advertising but “handing out cards” and “showing prints from other jobs to friends” How do you get yourself known?"
I've been talking to all I know, letting them know I'm a photographer. I have a display of my work in my office at my school and share that work with many who come into the office. I have done work for several teachers in my building who have shared the results with their colleagues and friends, as well as in my church group. Most has been through word of mouth. I've also checked into having a showing of my work at the School District gallery and have received an okay - just need to arrange the details.

5) "Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post? "
I've registered my business name with the state and have filled out the local papers for my business license. I've worked out much of the organizational stuff and still have a bit more to do - contracts, invoice, database tweeks for jobs.
02/15/2006 09:18:55 AM · #114
"Liability can take many forms. The most obvious is liability to lawsuits (Bridezilla, Nut Job who doesn’t like the fact his house is in your cityscape, etc.) In the case of sole proprietorships and partnerships, Bridezilla can sue you for a million dollars (or you and your partners, in the case of a partnership). If she somehow wins, then you will be forced to pay her. In the case of the LLC and the corporation, she sues the company itself. And when the company is found guilty, it has to pay her, not you. She can bankrupt the company, but there will never be financial harm to you as an individual."

If I may join in here. LLC is "supposed" to protect you. I had a very large multi-state business doing very well as two separate LLC's. My partner (no capital injection, just work equity) decided to not pay taxes, bills, and embezzled hundred of thousands for his own use. Most lenders, suppliers etc require personal guarantees. If you want to be protected never sign any personal guarantee. In my case my partner ran leaving me with the mess. The business collapsed and with various loans and supplier paperwork with my signitures on I'm being held fully responsible. An LLC only protects you if you only sign everything as a member or manager of an LLC. Never sign anything as an individual. Hard lesson learned. AND never trust a large franchise company to help, they will turn tale and lie to keep themself out of trouble.
02/15/2006 12:14:47 PM · #115
OK Gang, some decent progress for Frozen Moments Photography, LLC...

Originally posted by mavrik:

Project Up To Date
The goal of Project Up To Date is to get everyone to the same or similar spots.

What you need:
1) A website of some sort – list it.

There is no website. I have a domain registered, but NO content on it yet. We wanted to get legal first, and so this is the next step.
Originally posted by mavrik:



2) Business cards that you are or have ordered – show us.

None yet. We did, at least, create a logo, which, for us, will be the building block for website and cards. We wanted to define the colors and fonts that will make up our corporate image.

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Originally posted by mavrik:


3) Updated goals
a. We are 6 weeks into 2006 – copy your goals list and make a note about where you stand so far.

My original goals were, basically, to have clients. I think I realize now that those goals are still a way off. Those are good goals for the end of this year. However more short term goals are needed.

I did set three short term goals in another post: Get the company legal, get software set up, and get the basement studio construction rolling.

Those three goals are pretty well along. Here's the update on my struggles with the town government. They did, in the end, grant me my home occupancy permit, which was the only roadblock to my town business licence. I had a phone meeting with the head zoning administrator where I acted polite and contrite. She reiterated the item in the town code that prohibits customers from visiting the premisis. I told her that we were lawful people, and that we were dissapointed by, but understood the law. I told her that the law would effect the business model we had originally, but that we could still operate a photography business and that we would like to go along with the process. She agreed to grant us our permit, but she closed with this: "You have a very active home owner's association there. Where we will run into problems is if we get complaints from the home owner's association and then we'll have to revoke your permit."

So there. We're legal. We also have a corporate bank account, and our state tax ID information. That end is fully tied up.

My plan is to take it as it goes. If we get to a point in our business where we're cramped by the zoning laws then we will either investigate getting a "Conditional Use Permit" for a professional office, (I don't even know if this is a viable option) or just lease studio space in a strip mall or something.

I'm still struggling with software. I have almost picked out our financial management software, but I still have no clue what to do about scheduling/CRM. I want to work on that next week.

Basement/Studio/Office: We had a meeting with our contractor and got a bid. We are in the process of getting a Home Equity Line Of Credit to pay for it. Paperwork is going back and forth with the bank as we speak. Figure another month to start work and 2 or so to build it.

Originally posted by mavrik:


b. Add or change goals as necessary to reflect the changes your business is undergoing.

Marketing, marketing, marketing. Website. Cards. Fliers. One of our two bookings is sports portraits (at the ball field) in early March, and I really want to have collateral to hand out with the photos.

Originally posted by mavrik:


4) How are you selling yourself – tell me the ways people find you and how they are working so far. Not just advertising but “handing out cards” and “showing prints from other jobs to friends” How do you get yourself known?

We're really not, yet.

Originally posted by mavrik:


5) Register/get legal and get organized – how far along the way are you on my 1/5 organizational post?


Get legal - Done.
Get organized - Getting there. Like I said, I want to have all that up and running by the end of next week.

---A
02/15/2006 04:06:26 PM · #116
Originally posted by dahkota:

I currently have a lame website and am looking for suggestions on where to host the new one. currently my site.

If you like smugmug, smugmug pro might be a viable option for you. I'm curious what others think of the pre-packaged photo hosting sites for pros?

I decided to build my own, but I have some unusual idea about photo web site design and desided to see if they work.
-> I don't like thumbnails, although that is the standard for almost all web sites that host photos.
-> I like minimal web site around the image so the image is the focus, many sites just have too much going on.

I'm curious to hear where other are headed with their web sites.

Message edited by author 2006-02-15 16:31:00.
02/15/2006 08:26:07 PM · #117
.

Message edited by author 2006-02-15 20:27:01.
02/15/2006 08:27:31 PM · #118
I no longer care to participate on this site due to the SC.

My account has been recommended (by me) for deletion.

Ciao and good luck!
02/15/2006 09:46:35 PM · #119
Sorry to see Matt leaving, but some of us over at Group 2 are willing to try and help here if we can, and if our help is wanted and useful.
Off to read this thread to catch up
-chris
02/15/2006 09:46:54 PM · #120
edit -

Chris beat me to it.

Message edited by author 2006-02-15 21:47:19.
02/15/2006 09:54:18 PM · #121
Thank you Chris and Steve. I saw your post over on Group 2, and hoped.
02/15/2006 09:57:20 PM · #122
I hope I can help too. As I said in group one, I barely have wet toes, not quite waded in fully yet, but happy to help any way I can.
02/15/2006 10:58:17 PM · #123
That's very awesome you guys! We'll take all the help we can get!!! :0)

I think that having feedback has been so important and we have to keep setting our goals. (& also have someone to keep us in check of those goals!)

Thanks :0)
02/15/2006 11:17:58 PM · #124
Your help would be appreciated!

Becky
02/16/2006 12:57:01 AM · #125
OK, I spent the better part of the past 2 hours reading up on this thread. good info here!

I have an assignment for you at the end, if you want to skip to the end my feeling will not be hurt ;)

I am about a year ahead of you folks here, and a year or 2 behind mavrik, photography business wise. I did spend 5 years as a real estate agent, and there are many parallels (accounting/expenses/home office, marketing, etc).

A bit about my 'business' - Weddings and HS seniors mostly is my goal, with most anything as fill in. - I have a website - //www.christopherperryphotography.com - not fancy, but I like it I suppose. Compared to my local competetion I have a website. Most do not! And most of those that do, well, they suck. A lot. So i think i am doing well there - my portfolio is on pbase...not optimum, but I hemmed and hawed for 4 months and had to do something, anything, so there it is for better or worse.
Biz card - ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/208629.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/208629.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' - the email has changed, but that is it. All my marketing materil matches in style/font/etc. Undecided...so I went simple and plain.

My goals for this year are specific and general - general: become self employed as a photogrpher by August. Specific is how to do it...the hard part is that my capital comes mostly from my income, so until i have sufficient equipment I have no 'profit' that i can call a paycheck. I figure one or two more weddings and I can start and count the rest of hte income as profit, and get paid! My profile has my goals,both equipment and business wise. Cash income is averaging $200 a week so far this year!! 2/3 to my annual goal if i can maintain it.

marketing: gone thru 300 biz cards in 4 months. website and promotion of it ( //www.wedj.com is great, and free for wedding photogs) is always underway. I try any method to advance my cause - i did an ad in the local paper's bridal show issue and got 2 weddings booked from it, and 1 or 2 maybes yet. I have a portfolio wedding (aka freebie) next weekend, and that will spread my name. Did a free HS senior shot last fall, and will do a couple more this year, again, hoping to spread my name ( see //www.freecycle.org as a way to give stuff away LOL)
Most recently did a 2 evening Valentines Photo shoot at the restaruant I work at. I did table tents that were on the tables for a month, and did 2 nights of photography for basically free (they company bought the first 4x6 print, the rest was up to me). I brought in $264, less costs (some postage, envelopes, 5x7 and 8x10 prints), about 20-25% i estimate. I got to meet and photograph 250 or so folks, meet a wedding prospect and 3 HS seniors and parents. 3 or 4 folks are interested in portraits as well, so my basement studio work is notching up in priority (est of of late april 'opening')

Business type: sole proprietor, named for me. In PA that requires no paper work, no fees, nothing. I meet with my accountant next week and will do the necessary work for sales tax collection/payment. As for being 'legal'...my town has a $50 home business permit requirement and they limit the number of customers, and do not allow signage (bummer - i live on a main road!) I have no business insurance and this bothers me the most...I may have to deal with this sooner rather than later. All I really care about is liability. Equipment damage/theft is not a concern (unless my entire camera bag takes a walk). Any claim will jack up your rates or possibly cancel the policy, and if you have a $500 or $1000 deductible losing a $500 alien bee or $600 lens is not a claim anyway.

Organization, or as i call it, business workflow. That got a test over the past 2 days - 120 couples (and a few kids) in 4.5 hours last night - keeping them straight, selling them additional prints, etc, and then today processing 120 RAW files, sorting the pickups ffrom the maili out and enlargements - you figure out the best workflow fast or drown in the work LOL. I use a dry erase board, yellow legal pads, Excel (for accounting) and my memory. I have a file cabinet and several folders on the computer for Word files (contracts, cover letters, envelopes, etc). I tend to organize as i need to, as I go along. This has been my biggest challenge so far this year.

My question to you all is
What do you want from this group?
I have an idea for an assignment...are you game?
I feel marketing is one major key to success - no customers, no business. So how do your customers find you?
Assignment You know where you live and what you want to shoot - with that info, go and find photographers as if you were the customer.
-Report back on: What method did you use? Why?
What did you find?

Message edited by author 2006-02-16 00:57:36.
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