The Business of Outdoor Photography Part 1
I am going tio present this and where I'm coming from is you want to set myself up a little bit more it's pretty wild for me to see the business of outdoor photography with me because my business of outdoor photography really only began it's been it feels like twice a cz long just like my last workshop, but he was like twice as long, but my career only began about eight and a half years ago as a full time professional photographer, but it's been a lifetime of lessons through my father who's been a photographer his entire life, tio certainly to where my career is now, but it's my second career, and I think that for a lot of people who are thinking of photography, you're thinking of certainly the best parts of it. This is one of my favorite places, says anacapa island and channel islands national park and people when they think about how your how do a photographer your nature photographer you do landscape photography, they see these images and I'm pretty sure that's the only image the pi...
cture of me is, you know, standing on some cliff with the wind blowing through my hair and, you know, getting to travel the entire world and do all this great stuff, but but it's been so much more than that it's there's a huge business element to it, and I think it's important to understand what that looks like, because if you're thinking about taking your photography and to the next level and you're thinking of doing something with it, that starts to generate revenue, not just taking pictures, to take pictures, but to actually generate revenue from it. And the one thing I really want to mention about this is as we go through all of this, you have to figure out, what is it that you want out of photography? Why do you want to be a photographer and to be called a photographer? Do you have to make one hundred percent of your living from it? Do you have to make fifty percent of your living from it? In my opinion, the answer is simple. You can do whatever it is you want to do with that, and you're still a photographer, even if you make no money from it, because a photography should first and foremost be a passion, and it should be something that's important to you and that's. How work in images like this, you know, I'm anacapa really are the beginning for me. So with that said, you've got a day job, should you live the dream, quit your day job? Absolutely no, actually, not yet there is so much too d'oh and the one thing I've seen it's a shoot mistake and I have seen people do this I've seen a lot of colleagues do this they love photography they're doing really well and maybe they've made a few hundred bucks making some sales and they say you know what forget this I don't need this day job I'm going to quit and I'm going to go after photography full time because I've already got everything I need I have a camera right totally totally first you have to ask yourself these questions I'm going through a little sort of a little test here and see if you you know see what you see what you think after this am I ready to take something I personally enjoy and turn it into a career this was probably something that took me two years and I have this day job working at a you know behind a dash was an incredible job by the way paid well lots of fun awesome people you know but it wasn't it wasn't quite there it was like nine tenths of the way of happy but not ten tenths of the way the way photography makes me happy and certainly made a good choice in hindsight but this question is when you have to be honest with yourself do you want to take something that you enjoy you spend your weekends after working monday through friday you know if you're in school andi, you're not sure, is this something I want to d'oh it's still is if it's something you really enjoying your passionate about, which is always the best place for any career to begin. In my opinion, do you want to turn in your career? Because the second you do it's going to be the thing that you rely on for or your paycheck it's going to be the thing that will stress you out? It won't be always one hundred percent of the time that place you go to be happy, sort of speak it's going to be something that you now rely on for a way of life and that that reliability is going to be tenuous at best for years. So I think that that's a question that a lot of people overlook and under think I think it's very important to really digest that and figure out, am I ready to take this to the next level and turn it into a career? Not everybody can just go solo when you make this decision. Don't forget to think about all of the other aspects of your life that could be impacted. Do you have a family? You have a pet? Do you have a garden? Um, you know, I could tell you, I don't even have cactus. Uh, it's it's, you know, it's, when you get an outdoor for tired, I'm not talking about wedding or studio photography or something that you can do right in your own back there, I'm talking about everything else, and I'm gonna go through another list that shows you the reality of it all, but who else is going to be impacted this by by this decision? And of course, the number one thing you should think about is, how are you going to be impacted by this decision? Kind of going back to question number one? Am I ready to take something I personally enjoy and turn it into a career? Third, what impacts on the career I'm leaving behind? So if you're quitting the day job, so to speak, which, and I use that as a big analogy and this certainly in the set up because I hear it all the time, you have the best job in the world, you get to travel have been too, I don't even know forty plus countries. I've been in all fifty states, most of the fifty states, if not all of them have been two to three, four and dozens of times even her why I've got to go dozens of times, so you know, it's awesome, and I have a lot that comes with it you know, and people hear that and see if the best job in the world I want to do that I want to leave what I'm doing now, but they don't think of all of the other stuff that comes with it on day it's a business you know, it's just like show business everyone says it's not so fun, right? It's show business it's there's a business element to all of these things. So what will be the impact on the career I'm leaving behind? Can you go back to it once you quit when you walk in your boss's office and say, I'm going to do something completely different, you have a backup plan, those are the things that I think you have to again, these are questions for yourself you have to be honest with yourself, you can't ask those around you and say, what do you think? Do you think they'll take me back? You have to be on, you know, the answer and in any business honesty with yourself brutal honesty just like editing photos. If you saw the first course that we did here on the national parks, you know when you're you're brutally editing your work and you're saying, well, this one is not quite right you cut it out same thing in business and you're not one hundred percent sure of it remove it so what would be impacted the career and leaving behind for me when I made that leap I may I said to myself there will be no plan b there is no going back this is going to work no matter what and it's that kind of thinking and I think it's that that kind of self motivation that's very very important to becoming successful will I be able to return it depends depends what kind of career you're leaving behind of course for me it was polar opposite and there was no uh there was no second chance in that way reality check what does it really mean to be in nature adventure conservation anything outdoors photographer uh this is this is one of the fun one this is a short list this list could go we could probably do a whole course on just what does it really mean? You know, first off travel lots of it thankfully have incredible makeup department here creative live because you can't see the amount of travel that's on my face in the last seventy two hours but just in the last four days alone I have been in washington d c I've been in new york city I've been in los angeles and I'm standing here in seattle right now that is a normal week in my first year as a photographer I spent three hundred days a year on the road now I'm very thankful because I see the business of photography from two perspectives as a photographer with my own business and now is the founder and the chief in charge of tandem my stock agency where we have over a thousand photographers who we manage you know my life has spent more behind a desk and certainly in a lot of conference rooms but I've seen it from both sides and I tell you the travel doesn't necessarily get any less if you're not shooting you're out meeting with somebody and there's nothing like face time there's nothing like getting there and actually meeting your clients in person so travel is a major reality and you have to think what is the toll of travel on all aspects of your life your home, your garden you know whatever your social life it's not clean you have to be comfortable it's out gore photography it's not studio photography so again you see these gorgeous pictures what you can't see is what it smells like necessarily so it is a very dirty task. I have slept on islands filled with birds where you wake up in your tent is completely covered and you know what in the morning it's a different color because there's so many birds in particular that anacapa shot you know you will go you know if you're in the back hunching your doing national park photography the way I have and I'll spend days back there you're not necessarily shower and you've got a toothbrush that you if you're a weight junkie like me have drilled holes in it to cut weight so your backpack is lighter I mean it's you know you're you have to be comfortable with just being yourself I mean nature photography is so much like a an exercise in zen buddhism or something you have to just like be at peace be honest and be ok getting dirty so anyway it is a dirty job we'll have tio we'll have tio come back and talk a little bit more about those anecdotes because there was quite a few of the dirty ones it's expensive you can't get away with just one camera and this course is going to go into the mine osha of the costs of running your business what you can expect to make what you should be charging people I'm going to get into the dollars in the sense here you want to know how much money you should be making we're going to talk about it you want to know why you're not making maur what you should be spending to make it successful we're going to really talk about that I am going to take every secret every tip everything that I have used to build my company to build my photography agency and we're going to get through it bottom line it isn't cheap and we're going talk a lot about that at first, it will be lonely that's the other thing now, a lot of people think about it, you're traveling, you're out in the middle of nowhere, I like it, I'm an only child, so I'm pretty well adapted to that lifestyle that said, you know, eventually for me is my crews of all day and up in the field of scientists, biologists, writers, other photographers, so but initially that first year, a lot of solo time there's some stats, these have been provided by the u s department of labor the's available online and give you a little bit of a reality check of what this business looks like. The median annual wage of a salary photographers were not self employed that somebody working somewhere I'm two thousand twelve u n data was was all kind of collected, which is shy of thirty thousand dollars a year in the middle. Fifty percent earn between nineteen thousand nine hundred fifty and forty, three thousand nine hundred and thirty, the lowest ten percent earned less than seventeen thousand five hundred and twenty dollars, in the highest ten percent or a little bit more than sixty six thousand that's pretty fair range those air salaried positions, staff positions so there's a different and starting your own business, we'll talk about that in a little bit more in a bit mean annual wages in the photographic services industry, which is very, very broad, which employed the largest numbers of salaried photographers thirty six thousand three hundred thirty dollars a year. So that's that's sort of where things are at now again that's a national average so that takes the new count. Every aspect of everything we're going to go through today is to figure out how do you get even better? Is that because I was in los angeles so I know that chances are that's fine, I'm gonna work out too well so way we'll work on that and we're gonna go through all that salary photographers, most of whom worked full time tender earned more than those who are self employed. That is definitely the truth and it will certainly be the truth for a few years, so you have to be face the reality of probably make a lot of money for a long time. If you're only focusing on fine art for instance, a statistic that department of labor put together you can expect to not make enough to actually have a living wage so that's the reality of photography in general u s department of labor also says that despite all those wonderful salaries and all that great news, it's also going to be the most competitive job in the marketplace in the country it's really high up on that list so not only are the wages not the best that horrible, they're not the best, but they're also going to be one of the most competitive, which means that seven days a week, twenty hour days for the last eight and a half years, I have worked seven days a week. I haven't called in sick to my own office once in four and a half years, maybe tomorrow we'll see. But you have to have that level of commitment because it's, that competitive, if I don't someone else will you have to figure out again? What is it that you want? What is it that you want to take out of it? That all said, this is what you get to d'oh. You get to go to the most incredible places of the world. He had to meet incredible people. This was one of the best journeys I've ever taken. This is to pull out in micronesia. I was on an assignment there for almost three weeks and got to work with writer's scientists. Locals. I have gotten up in a helicopter, which is where this was taken. We took the door off the flu over the tops of the islands for forty five minutes. It's, one of the single greatest experiences of my life, so again, you look at it, and you think how does this fit into my world? And in my order of priorities that I think is what you have to think about to go and not only take a picture like this but go in your own backyard? This is in the channel islands again one of my favorite places and I was just recently there's a new new images you know that to me is what it's about that to me is why I choose to be a photographer now, of course everybody sees us and then they go back to this, which is how most people believe nature photographer spend their time. I think this is definitely what most people think eighty percent living glamorously while taking photos twenty percent spent in office. The reality is even when I was in the field at first, I I'll tell you my startup process was about saving money and just focusing on creating a lot of content, so I knew that my library of images would be what would give me a base in my business. So I got to travel lot initially, but the reality is for most photographers, for most of my colleagues, uh, you spend about ten percent of your time actually shooting being productive and you better be really productive we'll talk about that as well, but the rest of the time spent in office marketing and getting it out there I have a staff to begin with maybe depending on your situation but most likely most people are not going to have assistance and marketing and pr firms and all the other things that you need in the business you're going to play the role of everything you play the role of plumber when the bathroom breaks you're going to play the rule of chef what do you need lunch? They're going to play the role of marketing executive ceo and photographer and administrative assistant that's the reality of it and so all of that takes place and ninety percent of your time in the uh in the office so scary stuff wanted to get it out of the way but that said it doesn't mean it's impossible is a billion dollar industry many billions of dollars tens of billions of dollars in this industry you have to figure out how we're going to get my piece of that how do I take my passion and these incredible experiences and also make it so that I can have more off them so I could figure out what it is I want out of my life is a photographer so if all of this you've heard all of this then you still want to do this hopefully wouldn't just be a drop in viewers then you've taken the next you've taken the necessary next step forward which is commitment you have to be committed to it and you have to be really passionate about what it is that you're getting after what you guys think committed a little bit of a barometer reading but it is so far what did you expect what do you think? Random yes please. Thank you. It's when you say you know you're out there in the beauty of all this but I think you bring up some really good points about uh you know, things like smell a vision you know, when you're out there things that you really would not think of think of and so in the commitment it takes to do that and how much time you found the road is really impressive so it does make you stop and really think it's this direction I want to go but you must have a great frequent flyer program dio ke the mileage yeah, I recommend you save all your miles and keep that is part of the retirement program that's the thing you could just fly everywhere for free yeah it's good point I am actually and it's not part of my presentation. I'm a member of every loyalty reward program I spent like an afternoon one day actually just going through like every hotel, every airline and registering because eventually you end up flying on something somewhere and you just don't want to lose those on dh so I have I literally have a binder filled with membership numbers and cards and you know, they become a huge thing. I mean, that's actually something I did not quit this presentation we're talking about actually our loyalty and rewards programs, because now a lot of our expenses at a tandem as we've grown, we put a lot of our, like monthly server costs and things on credit cards with really great loyalty reward we pay them off every month, but then we have all those points. And now, whenever our company travels, we travel for free. We travel in points. So it's a great way to actually save money. So you kind of tipped me off on a good direction on that. So let me let me start at the beginning. How did I go from desk job two. Photographer I'm going to share my personal story. It's been kind of an interesting one because it happened relatively quickly. I think for me and a half, eight and a half almost nine years now seems to have gone in the blink of an eye and it's quite amazing, because it also started at, uh, my dining room table and basically, you know what I said there's a mean cloning myself, literally into the shot I literally had play every role this was exciting, you know, this was about, uh probably about six or seven years ago, my first book had come out and so I've had him stacked up on the table you could see all my hard drives everything like that the project I'm working on this is the view from my desk now a tandem and so in eight and a half years you know it built this entire entire world something I'm super super proud of you know our officers are incredible. The team I work with is incredible on gusto actually reiterate tandem is tandem stills in motion, which is my company it's a photo agency we now as I mentioned earlier even represent around a thousand photographers around the world and worked exclusively in the outdoor area so as it from I went from this journey of personal individual photographer focusing on mostly u s national parks to shooting endangered ecosystems around the world to now managing the careers of many other photographers who I absolutely adore working with I love the work that they do it's very inspiring I want to say this this is an important point I became a photographer a long time before I quit I quit the job that was paying my bills I started shooting first at a passion out of desire hobby really I got a free weekend it's ah holiday weekend which is always the worst time to go to a national park but whatever and I would get my car and I would drive up with friend or whoever and photographs and it started first as a hobby then it turned into something a little bit more run like maybe I could make a little money out of us but I also started professionally working towards my goal before pulling the plug I didn't just say as I mentioned earlier I'm going to be done done with this so the things I considered were what kind of nature photographer dude I want to be be specific and make your choice attainable I wasn't going to become an african wildlife photographer living in los angeles I was going to think what is in my neighborhood and I didn't really want to do the whole everything is in los angeles for photography I don't want to do celebrity or portrait or studio I mean I like going outdoors that was my thing so where could I do that from here while also maintaining my job and my performance there and for me it was great cause I had california has more national parks in any other state and so it's a great place for a national park photographer to begin their career. So for me I knew I wanted to be an outdoor photographer and and very specifically I really liked landscape photos that's how specific was I like landscape photography so I didn't wildlife and I certainly did not do people though they're now major part of the evolution of my career but I said landscape photography and national parks and for the most part I focused on one or two the channel islands which I started photographing on fifteen years ago and in yosemite national park which was around the same time both you know relatively close couple hours or four and a half hours pending on pignanelli traffic for days too dependent but I first decided that that's the question you have to decide what I want to do I have a lot of colleagues I have ah very counted colleague of mine does baby animals and specifically mostly in africa but in other places as well I know a guy does nothing but whooping cranes that mention this in the past I know people that only focus on pets you know and those are pretty broad but some of them could be really specific to like the whooping crane so if you're not what I want to do I have seen talented photographers photograph literally their backyard a place the size of this room and make it not only did they make it look like a great feature it actually became a feature in the most read magazine in the world and they photographed the bugs the insects, the house aerials great weather they showed how a backyard convene ecosystem they took something that was local something attainable and made that part of their photography the other side kind of a nature photographer. Do you want to be there's? Nothing wrong with big goals? If you think you can really achieve them, then that plays into creating your business plan to talk about shortly here's your first career delay the financial foundation for your second career. We're going talk more about this and how much to save and how much do you think you need to actually get your business off the ground? But I think that's pretty obvious if you're working a job now, don't quit for something that doesn't necessarily pay right away, so use that to buy the gear you need use that to invest in, you know, whatever it is you think you need physically toe have for your company to talk about, but, you know, again, savings things like that, so use your first clearly the financial foundation for second crew. One thing I should also point out is that my career I was in marketing and so I was in publicity specifically that was an incredible foundation, not only financially, but was an incredible foundation for me from understanding the business and sales and perception on dh, so I not only use that career. But a zoo financial goal but really I use it as an incredible educational tool on dh so think about that and every career I don't care what it is I don't care if you're a barista has something to gain out of it you know one of the stories photos stories that I saw somebody sell and they did pretty well on it they photographed all of the different kinds of foam designs in the tops of cappuccinos and then they got market and it was an airline magazines and everything else was a great it was a good little business good little niche and I mean again it's taking something you know and figuring out thinking about it as a photographer as you should be from every angle and so that's an important thing in general but use your first career to lay a foundation really but a financial one as well number three if you're really going to make this transition the reality is all of your free time and career number one should be spent preparing for career number two that means weekends nights vacation time every chance I get it's you're investing in your future you're investing in your business you have to make that level of commitment you can't say I worked so hard this week I don't want to do it you have to do it every little bit you put in it doesn't feel like it but eventually it adds up you know, you've put five bucks away every day doesn't feel like much five bucks every day. The next thing you know, you've got thirty five at the end of a week, and then it turns into thousands of the end of, you know, however, a year or whatever, but it adds up it's the same thing with your business on dh that's, something that will never change. You always want to invest into it because you will get out of it. Um, like anything. What you put in is what you get out. Um, for me personally, it took me three years of solid planning and preparation before I finally pulled the trigger, so I had an idea until I actually did it. I didn't really ever know. I mean, that was a big leap of faith I had invested nine and a half years into that career almost ten years into that career, so it was not a decision that comes lightly on it was one that came very, very difficult, even to the day I walked in and said, I'm moving on, but it took me three years prior to that day of solid planning and preparation saving, shooting, we'll talk about that, but everything that went into it took me about three years. What if I don't have a first career yet? We're just starting out or after college um either way you're going to need something and one of the things that t generate revenue so you need more than this to camera you can see I had a camera and I took a people ask is a photography I'm now a photographer you can try and you know, I'm sure there are cases and scenarios on as in with everything in life where there's an exception but for the majority this is a business if you were to buy a major franchise or a chain or a local retail shop in your neighborhood, any shop even a small one in a small town, how much money do you think it's going to cost to buy that business? Probably a chunk of change, right? Maybe a thousand bucks fifteen hundred bucks whatever camera costs thirty five hundred bucks five thousand dollars now it's going to cost a lot of money for that business? This is no different think of this like a business think of it like you're starting a franchise or a retail or a shop, you might not need a storefront but that investment in expenses is something that you have tio really get used to the idea of so as they say, started tyree business is a lot like buying or starting any other business unless you independently wealthy which would be nice you will need to make money right away to support yourself invest in your company so again we're reframing reshaping the way that we think of photography in the business of most likely you're going to have to be open to doing something other than photography that's a reality there's nothing wrong with that and pick something that maybe will complement your photography I know a lot of people who are scientists biologists they spent a lot of time in the field and they understand their subject matter like no other and they're fantastic photographers I know a lot of the world's best photographers started as scientists and biologists it not only gave a financial career it gave him a knowledge base there is nothing wrong with that remember what I said in the beginning too you don't have to do this full time to be a photographer a lot of them continue to still be part of scientists because it's still an extension of who they are an extension of what it is that they love and what they enjoy so be open to doing something other than photography now assuming you do have a career or business or whatever that you want to d'oh uh get it would do away with um when is the right time for me has already making money from career number two so I was already making money from photography requiring photography career number two ultimately his career number one but it's career number two for now so I confused on that so I was already making money from my photography business and I'll show you how but that's an important step you want to make sure that there's a little bit of money coming in you'd want to just quit one and then what the checks stop coming in I knew I at least had you know, a few bucks here and there at least it was something and if I could make this amount by when putting in twenty percent effort because I'm dedicating eighty percent of my life in jordan my life to this other job and I'm making this with twenty percent does that mean when I do this one hundred percent I'll make eighty percent more probably especially if you already making money and majority on the right path. S oh that's a good sign number two I had established contacts relationships that I felt would be helpful to career number two so I had built the foundation is a marketing publicist and that those relationships were important but not only from career number one but also I started going to conventions and using my vacation time not to go on vacation but to go to you know you know a wildlife festival or wildlife for nature convention and meet other people and start building the relationships because the network is more important than anything else on dh so I started doing that right from the beginning, so I knew when I left and gave that full time commitment, I could pick up the phone and call eight people and say, I'm now suddenly available for assignments because I never did assignments in the beginning, I wanted stock photography, it started so I had already established that. So making money building relationships and number three I did those first two things as much as I possibly could until I could no longer do both without one of them suffering that wass, I think the single most important part of my decision to become a full time photographer and the one that was probably the hardest one to make because I was working as a photographer and I was building my business, and I was doing it on the side of contributing images to a photo agency, and I saw my work running in the biggest magazines and national parks magazine and all these places I wanted to be in, I started running, and I start getting requests to do assignments. So your request to shoot this do you have more of this e mails? Then people started wanting to interview you do tips for a blogger and you tips for our magazine. Whatever meanwhile, had a full time job that required me to travel is, well, they required me to be active, engaged performing the duty is on paid for I was never going to sacrifice my role in that job for this new career I wanted to have that wasn't fair to my employer and it wouldn't be fair to how I wanted people to know may I wanted to do my job the best I could so I had to take both as far as I could until I got to a point where I knew one would suffer and when I felt like I had to make a decision and I don't want to do that assignment and by saying no to an assignment I was taking a step backward in my photo career that's the time to make a decision do you really want to keep going with this? Do you want a plateau right there and just leave it as a hobby maybe making an extra few bucks? What do you want to go the whole distance? That was one of the hardest decisions I think ever made in my life and ah, not one that was made in the night or a single glass of wine that was one that took a long time to really suss out and all these things up to this moment really were part of that so you could see that you know the nature of nature photography for me has been really ah trance formation and acceptance into a lot of new really qualities and I think that you know what those are and understanding those I wish I had had this guy line and somebody who's that honest to me when I was trying to do this because I didn't know any of this this is this sounds great and I'm sounding like I know exactly what I'm doing what's going on but my career continues to be filled with trial and error you're going to make mistakes you're going to miss step and you know that that's just the reality of anything that we dio no matter what endeavor we could take on her um undertake so that's been that's been ah it's been part of the journey jim yeah, just just curious was there a mistake that you made that you look back on? That was just amazing learning experience and you're like I know I made it and no, that was just a talking point I know I'm just getting absolutely there were lots I probably spent too much money at first I'm gonna really break that down I'd say spent just spent two months and I got to a point when I was like man, what are you going? What am I going to do? You know, I will say in the process of starting this up I probably got within one hundred dollars a zero I would say right on that line and you know, I've been one of those people that never really believed in, you know, loans and credit cards and all that because I knew once you started a head in that direction, yeah, you would be never be able to get out, but eventually I end up having to rely on a card a little bit to keep it going. At that point, though, when I've made that decision, I knew I had enough momentum and can see a little bit of a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel to say that this amount of risk was worth it on dove course that ended up paying off ultimately in the end, but I'd say money was definitely the biggest flaw, and I think it's, one of the biggest ones that most photographers make, whether it's a career or not, as they say, well, I need the best of everything all the time because you get very wrapped up, keeping up with gear, gadgets, whatever and it's fun. I'm a total gadget junkie myself, but if you're starting a business you want to stay lean on, do you want to stay? You know, very uh, responsible, and you're spending on dh that was, you know, something that took a little bit of a reality check on for sure. Yeah, I know with me I might credit card is charged to the moment I walk in the door of the photo store yeah oh, yeah how did that happen? I have already spent money. Yeah, yeah, I just handed to them behind the counter. You just hang onto this until I'm done here. Yeah, we're tio sure. So how did I actually go and make this a career? First, what I did was figure out step one, develop a life plan sounds a little cheesy, but the reality is I needed to actually figure out what is the cost to be me. S o I broke down what my monthly expenses are and this is what you need to be making every month, at least in your new career. Andi, I'm really going to give you the numbers on that in a second. But first sit down and figure out what's the car costs what's the apartment cost what's the food bill looking like, you know, where can I trim potentially? You know, I'm not a bad idea because again, you want to stay, you know, a nice lean machine is you go into this, you want to keep your costs as low as possible, you won't have a clear vision of what kind of a taco for you want to be creatively, ethically and long term so one of the things I talk about obviously what kind of photographer being specific national park landscape or whatever but also figured out creatively who do I want to do? I want to be a you know, a mobile app photographer do I want to work for a company that might have questionable ethics? Am I willing to say no if somebody offers me a lot of money to do something that maybe I'm not comfortable photographing or supporting or having my images support on dh long term where do I want to go? So I ultimately want tio lead my own workshop company do I want you to be a published author there one day all of those things you talk about that as well but you should have some sort of an idea of long term where do I want to end up? Do I want to be in it? Yosemite national park photographer but ultimately put it off the national parks of the world it could be a simple is that either way have an agenda and a timeline doesn't mean you have to be married to it but it will help you get from a to b to see so I think you have to answer those questions the ethics question I think is a really big one as well, it's one that the more I've grown and become more in demand of the photographer that has actually become a real big issue certainly wasn't an issue starting out lucky of any client and I never had anything that was ethically questionable even approach me but now managing that and knowing where that line is is has to be a personal decision I think more than anything and it's a very, very, very hard one to figure out these days because there are so many partnerships and so many things they're drawn from different places you just have to figure out what that means to you but it's good to know going in because when you get that call you want to know where you stand, you want to set goals for yourself but obviously not just financial this kind of plays into the ethics a little bit but also plays into what people see of you and what they do of you. I know what they do with you but what they what they see you do rather so you're building an image for yourself and you should not be forced to take any job just because it pays if you want to be an outdoor photographer adventure sports, travel, culture, geography, healthy living lifestyles, nature conservation, science, education whatever it may be you need to decide what image do I want people to have of that work if I suddenly have now added weddings to that side and we talked about this in the first course that I taught here on the national parks but not the knock on weddings they're great but make sure they're separate just don't combine them all because if somebody goes on there and sees you doing five different things who are you to a company that is on ly interested somebody's committed to outdoor photography and that kind it's ill you know and then there's a lot of ways to mix and match that you might be ah, the wedding might work because you do destination weddings there only on beaches and national parks in which case that might be a good natural extension so as anything is an exception every rule however you should understand what that is also what you release what you put on your social media like anything and this should be a no brainer but you'd be amazed how many mistakes there are you put out a really lousy photo and your whatever weather you know website social media outlet you know your client might see that a lot of my clients follow me I don't want him seeing a photo that is embarrassing, right? I mean it's out simple and of course you want to you know and I'm not just a personally embarrassing I'm talking about like it's just a bad photo you know and if they suddenly look at your feed and you are consistently bad I don't know what you're gonna get a lot of assignments out of that, so think about what you're putting out into the world, same with your assignments. If it's going into a magazine, it's going into an archive if it's going to your stock agency when they're reviewing that work there everyone is judging everyone all the time I'm daryn to you on that because everyone's trying to figure out competitiveness, whatever your outsell ability, they're trying to figure out reliability. So remember what you put out there is very, very important to manage. You should also have a business plan that includes enough startup money to avoid having to detract away from your core business. The one thing I said I got with one hundred bucks zero, and it probably was less than that, but I will say the one thing I never did once in my career that I'm proud of is that I set out to be a nature photographer, national park photographer and that's all I did, I never stepped away from that business and said, shoot, I'm out of money, I'm just going to go and pick up one of these jobs here for a weekend, not that there's anything wrong with it, but that time I spend away from my core business is time I'm not doing my core business. And it means you're going to get that much longer to get where you're going, so if possible now, granted, we all have to eat, so, you know, the reality is you have to balance those things, but if you start to do it, it starts to become a habit. One weekend turns into two turns into a seven day a week job turns into the business I started out is no longer on my radar so that's a deathly very dangerous rope tow walk and it's one I never had to do. I definitely came close to it, then road testing other businesses out and said, well, maybe I want to actually do this that's fine, if you want try different kind photography, but if you're doing something solely for the purpose of money, you will find that that can get addictive and you want to keep going back because I don't actually few bucks up to get the new camera so on and so forth will be really, really careful about that. So the life plan is first, um oh, and one other thing you have the feedback loop. This is something that we've mentioned a lot. I mentioned a lot in the last course as well is develop a feedback loop that you can trust. That's great to have it in both businesses. Well, as your creative world, you know, find other entrepreneurs that you admire and that you have access to people you can email the social media there's a lot of access to a lot of different people member of business owners are busy, but a lot will get back to you and, you know, entrepreneurship is really also about camaraderie, camaraderie and community as well, but create a feedback loop and say, hey, do you think this is a good idea? Should I invest in this? Do you like the way this looks or whatever, you know, find honest feedback, whether that's on our your photos any good? Or is this a good business plan or not? So that's, I think, very important, of course save money if you got a job, save money. How much I would say about twelve months is a safe number. It sounds nice it's probably not realistic again it you might be able to six, maybe only three if you go out of the gate with one month of expenses and unless you are your business is humming along already you're set for disaster and you're set for absolute disaster, so when I exited, I had twelve months when I exited career one twelve months saved up, and I burned through it all quickly, less than twelve months, about nine or ten months. But I thought I had twelve months that I had a year's worth of expenses saved up, and that gave me the freedom to make the images. I thought we lay a good foundation for my business and the reality it was it did. They worked. So you need twelve months. Plus whatever is going to cost, you know, we maintain your business in your lifestyle, but you obviously are going to need to grow it because your first year is not going to be your best year. First year is going to be your worst year. Probably. So you need not only twelve months, but you need a little extra. You want upgrade to cameras? You think you need more hard drives? Do you think your expenses? Do you want some of the cost of an assignment just to get it so you can start to build some tear sheets for your portfolio? You know, you want to figure that all out? Start making money from your photography in ways that won't bother your primary source of income. So if you've got career number one and you decide I am going to finally do this thing, the first thing I did, wass kind actually start generating revenue how much I'm going to make let's figure that out so so reading cards, maybe locally one thing I was going into somebody prior to this beginning or so about regional sales, you don't need to be a national international famous photographer right out the gate, find a couple shops and sell some greeting cards locally. Test the market, see if people even want if the local shop doesn't want to buy your cards and sell them, I could guarantee the national one one, so try and test it out and find out what kind of revenue or my making I'm going to give you a model on that as well. Financial model in a minute cell prince and galleries again, you know that's really doing it for the revenue, but you're doing it because you get to market test your work is the stuff selling but the revenues nice and the truth is it gives you away all of these things on dna stock photo agency being the third I'll talk about that a sect, but all of these things you can do maybe go out on the saturday, get a few things picked up and then they just sit there for sale while you go to work monday through friday that's the beauty of it and you get a reading on how marketable is my work really it's part of that feedback loop is the reality of sales as well. So for me a stock agency stock photo agency which is basically you know, very large like so I said we represent a thousand photographers essentially it's a very large version of your own private library so all these photographers contribute to it and there's salespeople and and buyers who come in and search and basically you just upload your images and when buyers come in looking and if they match the right ah need or whatever you make a sale, you get your royalty check and, uh my daddy's called mailbox lottery, right? So, you know, one day you gotta check in there but it's great, because you also get to see how marketable house elbows my work and you know, we're going to dig really even in the stock photo thing, but you know, you also really get to see how much how much imagery you need to create, you know? So by having these three things, you won't detract from your first career, you can continue to maintain that perform really well, but either way you start to get some sort of feedback, we're starting to begin that feedback the feedback loop step for on dna now we're really gonna get into the weeds here on dh that's to create a business plan, so we've gotten life plan we figured out who we are we got a little bit of the reality of what the business it looks like, but now it's time to start looking at the business plan let's look at the look at the money side right number one you're revenue goals how much do I realistically think I could be making by the end of month one by the end of month three six, twelve twenty four seven I would probably go a couple of years it's going to change projections are nearly impossible but it's good to get an idea of when you don't hit a projection by how much you missed so that you can revise it and say, well, I thought I could make this but I ended up not, um I mean half of that so therefore I'm going to change my projections next two years so you know where you're going? You don't have a boss anymore to give you a raise because you showed up every day to work your projections are your rays they are your four oh one k so you have to have something our projections, whether it was a tandem or whether it was a solo photographer trying to get myself going were almost always wrong in the beginning but by your three their spot on and beyond here four through your eight you really start to get idea okay, I could do ten percent more of this and make thirteen and a half percent more of that that being money so here's, what you're already making so green cards, galleries, stock, photo, use what you're already making and how long it took to get to that point as a benchmark for your projections. So obviously we're getting anything. If you're making zero to be hard to project, you gotta have a little bit of something on the board to figure out how much can you have in the future? Um, for instance, yeah, uh, there's not a true story. This is more of an analogy, but I spend three months trying to get my image is hung in a gallery and man should finally get a few hung up myself three in a month, and I got a profit of twelve hundred dollars might have taken two months to do that or what, but that all needs to be considered. But let's say I sold three in the first month. This is really good business model, by the way, if you're making this kind, you're on your way really well. But let's say you sell three in a month and you've got a profit of twelve hundred bucks, apparently you're selling very high and work. Based on this, I know in six more months that I could get into more galleries and be making thirty six hundred dollars a month that's sort of a basic outline of how you should be looking at projections. What am I already making? And if I do, x y end seymour and start to do multiples of those things, how much cannot be making in a month? All right, I'm going to take a question, any questions on this? Because this next one is gonna get really a deep dive into the financials of your business plan. So I'm gonna actually break down what my costs were for my business. Step by step camera equipment, marketing, advertising, you name it. So you tell me, is there anything anything you want? If you're curious about at this point, but a lot, yes. So when you start initially leaving career one, you don't have a predictable income source to project. Is it just a ballpark? You guys and what you need to survive and then basing it on that? Well, you should be able, tio add it all up. It shouldn't just be a ball park, but I mean, essentially what you're going to make it's probably a bit of a guess, and it will probably be wrong, and probably you'll project you high. But you know you should be able to figure out you know my rent is one thousand a month my food is four hundred a month my cars three hundred a month right? So you've got seventeen hundred a month and expenses and then figure no three hundred miscellaneous you need to ran a month you should be able to look at that and then take you know, whatever it is you're already getting so it's your photography is only making three hundred dollars a month you know you forgot word is that other seventeen hundred come from um and you should be able to look at ok, I have I've only shot one hundred images to make that three hundred dollars a month, so I need to shoot now maybe a thousand images to get up there and then not only do these three things but diversify even larger and I'm gonna give you all this examples on that so should be it's going to everything is always going to be a best guess because you know there's the x factor you know, tire blows out and he has been seven hundred bucks to replace and right or whatever all four tires happening me about two weeks ago on the golden gate bridge it was a real joy but you know yeah I think there's always the x factor you can try and plan for it's a great question you know, I think it's I think it's a difficult one but again that's why you have that back up and have that savings as well you gotta have some sort of safety night I think that that's super important get over there step for s o this is what my business plan kind of looked like a cost of doing business so this is a checklist of the cost you should probably be planning for and I remember I said this looks like a retail business right? You will go on the street you want open a shop photography is very similar to that you're investing in a business I think the barrier of entry for photography is still lower than most so I think the one thing that's really, really great about photography is you want to buy into a franchise that's not going to be this total annual cost of thirty thousand dollars. So the barrier of entries seems high but it's not that high and that is advertised over the course of an entire year. So for me office ng here you should be about your camera equipment. You are no longer shooting for yourself. You are shooting for clients so you don't want one camera body one lens you should start thinking about what do you need to do to make sure you deliver so you might start thinking about back up here your camera equipment on died put initial with another five thousand annually. I'd say it actually is probably pretty fair and that's pretty broad because there's going to be different things that you need to change, things potentially break. Maybe you don't have insurance yet, etcetera. You know, this is an initial startup. I think this number will drop by another fifteen, sixteen, seventeen thousand dollars. Buy you to andi again. This is assuming you don't already own all your own gear if you own all your own gear and you have the backups and that's what you've invested in prior to this, then you're you're barrier ventures a lot lower for me. Computer equipment, printer, paper and toner. Fine gets expensive. Don't not plan for it, especially the toner they get you on that be careful. General supplies, pens, paper clips, envelopes, stamps. Again, they add up quick. One thing I love is like my shipping company. I go in and run over poor annually of what I spent and it's disgusting, you know, I mean a tandem, and we don't ship anything. We're in that paper in our office were completely digital. Everything is digital kind of company, and we still spend between three and four thousand dollars a year on. Shipping that doesn't count all the postage and everything else so those kinds of things will sneak up you know what's so you publish a book and your second or third year and all the sudden you want to get new clients and you start sending them to the mo can you get this too even bob the blob because such and such is coming in for a meeting I'd love to show them your work next thing you know you just overnight at a cost of seventy five dollars you know my case twice the cost of my book so that's the reality of it but that's seventy five bucks just invested in potentially thousands of dollars of an assignment so these air the cost of doing business well yes quick question you might toner because I put my own photos sometimes on cards is that part of that number is a great question it is not okay yeah I don't know printing of images in this for me when I started I never printed my work yeah I never printed my work and in fact I give you guys the gallery tip is a great place to start to figure things out a gallery to them to be gallery it could be your local coffee shop it could be whatever it could be have been a friend's business that could be a doctor's office in the waiting area whatever it's a somewhere we work is seeing could be for sale. I didn't do that. I think it would have been helpful for me to do the only thing I did. And again, this is why wasn't a perf reprocess. It was only to the stock agency thing. I only just put some of it is in a photo agency. I didn't do greedy cars that into galleries. So you know, that's that's what I had wished that I had had done well, you need assistant a part time help everyone situations different, maybe the years too heavy to carry, you know, maybe you want to do a certain kind of wildlife photography, but you can't, you know, move that lands or all that gear tripod, maybe you don't know howto and whatever may be need help just coming in, and now the website started. Typically, there will be some sort of extraneous help that you may need on built in this number. It crops up and it crops up in it's expensive. You might need somebody for a couple weeks to come in and help you just get social media. What if you're in the field on the biggest project of your life? But you won't have a signal except at night at one in the morning when you're in the hotel, like I did most of the time. Then you have somebody that you can upload all of your work too and say, hey, can you spaces out over the course of the next day so that people are seeing my work, my assignment, my process you may need that you may not need that I think it's important to have at least a line item for it and expect it if you don't spend it great put it somewhere else storage you'll be producing a lot more imagery moving forward where will it all live? Um I guarantee you will hit that number twenty, five hundred bucks a year I have hard drives stacked up it looks like the table of a casino with chips they're just like everywhere they're absolutely everywhere and they're expensive and you want might want fast one so those are things to think about. All right? We already know know about dear I think probably most people have a pretty good idea of the gear the camera side this is the stuff most people don't think of which is actual startup costs register now elsie or a corporation why? Because you're protected you don't want to just have checks coming to you personally because you open yourself up to legal liabilities let's say you own your home right and you get sued that home now becomes part of what could be part of a settlement and if your client says you really messed up our brand somehow that could become part of it essentially you're sheltering your private life from those liabilities with an llc or corporation in addition, andi, you talked to a lawyer about a lot of this stuff, but in addition, um, you know, there are potential tax benefits in some could be quite substantial, so, you know, for tandem were a corporation um in show I've had, you know, I'll see when I started out, you know, for a few hundred bucks there's some great places to do it online, they're very easy to do, you know, I highly recommend that being one of the expenses you absolutely make because that will be your base, it will be how your company has managed to be your pastor checks will go to it, you can open a bank account in that name, you could build credit on that company eventually on dh so then you have buying power, you decide, expand, hire staff offices, you don't want it all under your own name. That's one thing I would really recommend so that to me is number one don't forget that your local municipality stay and uncle sam, if you're in the us and I know that's the same, no matter where you are in the world, you're going out to pay taxes and for businesses they can be quite substantial, and you are required to report your required to maybe have a a license. You know, I cannot I have seven kinds of different taxes and license and permits that I have to file every year for tandem, and that is because I live in a great state of california and the city of los angeles, specifically and specifically the borough of los angeles. I am and they each one of those has its own set of things I need to do and register for so and now, you know, I know a lot of people are international it's very similar most places, so be aware of those spend some time searching on the on the web, figuring out what those are, I can tell you now, if you have, ah, business llc or corporation, you could also do a d v a, but I don't recommend that which is doing business as you're going to need something like this, you have to have business tax license, not only federal I d number, but you're going to need the local state so on so forth also, and I've seen this spoofed on some tv shows recently, you're not going to be able to cash a check right into your business, and so you have these things because the bank is going to require them so I remember my first business is about a horrible experience I finally had a good check coming in I took it to the bank and I'm like at two inch I've photography elsie and and they said, well we can't we can't catch checked the ian shy photography or your accounts and ian chives and I'm like, well, that's a photography and I we have to open it in the business name okay, well it's a business you have a business card right now you have to go and provide all of the business tax forms everything else and now in a post nine eleven era, those have gotten even more robust and what's required a sparse having the state seal of the state sam's all of jazz. So I highly recommend that before your first paycheck comes in because you don't want to spend it get that stuff going right away insurance, general liability and business as well as coverage for your gear. This really does vary varies on how much here you have, how much coverage you're looking for whether you're going to put a vehicle or not under it but for most assignments in most contracts you will need some sort of general business liability if you have employees that will expand into workers compensation insurance as well so you know this stuff starts to get there now under the new health care laws I think I I think it's somewhere around five over five employees you also, I think are required offer some sort of a health care. So these are all considerations as your business grows, they needed keep in mind for all of these things will need maintenance every year, by the way. So you want an office manager or someone part time to help you? That might be something you need to do highly recommend at least insurance for your gear. I had things stolen that airports I've had things, you know, things have gone wrong for me. Friends, everybody it's worth its weight in gold to get insurance. Sure, associations like p p a. Yeah, you do. You ever do you belong to you? Do you talk about those? Do they grab insurance early on in your career through something like that? You can. Yes. So I was in a member of a lot of different associations. You know, people is a great one, is s and p american society media photographers is a great one, especially when starting out they were super helpful for me. A lot of good contract and legal type of things. They really do help support young businesses. There's ah, space nature photographer specific organization that I think is wonderful north american nature photographers association, nampa dot org's they're all great and I think they're all important you know and I think they also offer things and just beyond seminars and discounts and things like I'm sorry just beyond insurance that discounts with seminars where shops lectures things like that you know I learned a lot about the business of stock photography from one of those actually early on great only to return years later and actually give it for them it was quite it was quite cool thank you sure thing definitely an accountant is very helpful I highly recommend that and all this because I have ah wonderful count she keeps track of a lot of the business tax type stuff too for me because there's like filings and deadlines and all that other stuff candidates are more expensive but for an individual or new business it could be anywhere from probably the lower one hundred fifty up to about three hundred bucks penny on the city you're in pretty much work you want done in my case are counting doesn't handle any of our invoicing we're collecting it simply the reporting the recording of expenses how much money is coming in something called pml profit and loss statements which if you decided in office one day you'll need to show those types of things and also like oh don't forget to send l a it's eight hundred bucks because you'll get find that kind of thing so an accountant is very very helpful it's almost like a financial office manager in many ways, so I recommend finding a good one, interviewing a few and seeing if it's a good fit letting them know what you're doing again and expense well worth, uh, making and you know, doesn't seem terribly cheap by guarantee that is a lot more affordable than it's not doing something right for your taxes for three years. So again, something to really think about these air all super important on here, every single thing you could there's not one item on here you can skip not one of these air negligible in my mind legal fees can you review your own photo contracts varies based on the individual we've begun pretty pro on? I'm not a lawyer, but we're obviously in the business of licensing, so we know how to read them pretty well at this point, but we have our own counsel still, and if we're not sure we mounts it off it's a benefit or photographers get is that we're reviewing every contract and we're not sure we can send it to our counsel. You may want a lawyer toe only review the hard one it's or maybe a couple basic ones to begin with that way, their notes and their advice is now knowledge for you that you could apply to other contracts if they changed this paragraph on one well then remember that in the next time someone else and you very similar paragraph used one that's already been corrected by her lawyer right having paid twice so the legal world just cringed a little bit but it's a great way to save a few bucks on dh you know, again I would expect to spend so money on it's expensive you know, in l a I've yet to have a lawyer that's been less than five hundred dollars an hour and up to about seven hundred in our, uh here smaller locales you might be able to find, you know, down to two or three hundred bucks an hour you know, if you haven't due to earth three contracts you know you could do hourly I also really like the lawyers that do project rates there's a lot of them will say, hey, I'll do this whole thing for you for six hundred bucks and we'll see it through and actually communicate even with the client for you on your behalf so they're the bad guy and not you. So um legals important ah website I mean I mean, if this thing is the website had one more zero and a calm I'd still say it's worth it, you cannot have a website, right? I mean, if you think you cannot have a website, then you're your leave don't do photo photography don't get into the business world just I can't tell you the number of applications that come into tandem and people were like do I really need to have a web site or you are all to show you my work no you gotta have it I tell people see you that's how they find you that's how they communicate with you that is the portal to our entire world now like it or not have a website I say fifteen hundred annually it's probably a lot less but it depends because you might have many different websites you may have hosted one here you may have your portfolio one here you may have you know a bunch of different things going on you may have a designer that helps you out with putting certain elements together that's been helpful for me because I am no designer for what I may have in photography I lack in graphic design marketing online ads paid posts on social media to boost things up again initially probably really smart cost on printed marketing materials, business cards, postcards any of that kind of stuff you know you're going to take any ads I personally don't go into a whole lot of traditional print advertising I focused mostly on social media advertising because you get people in the moment they see it they click through and they either buy or don't buy whatever that means assignments, goods, whatever in an office space. Can you work out of your home? We need an office. You should not have an office until you absolutely need it. I started a company and I started at my dining room table is, you saw, and we were there for two and a half years getting things started so in office, you'll know when you need it because you need a presence. That's, not your home, people, clients, whatever visiting you, you may have hired people you have expanded. If you're spending all your money in office with an air hockey table and you know, a fountain of kombucha, then you have misspent your savings. You joke way, laugh. I've seen it. I think you're misspending anyway, this is what it totals up, tio numbers flexible. This is really when I say total annual cost, I'd say that's, your first year cost is probably between thirty and forty thousand somewhere around there, I'd say you're too, that could drop down to probably about fifteen thousand job down about fifteen thousand, probably about twenty thousand in cost. So you're probably sitting there saying thirty eight grand hole and that's before you paid yourself. So think about that, so now, do you want a salary don't forget to pay taxes on all this stuff, so and I make sure you pay those taxes can't can't stress that enough, so I don't think because now all of a sudden your taxes aren't coming out of your paycheck as a photographer, you're getting the whole amount build thousands get a thousand it's not like, you know, my first career where they took out, you know, the social security and all that other stuff federal state now you get the whole thing, so you're responsible for paying that that's where I say go back to the accountant that's super helpful to have the help you put that aside as you go versus having a pay some big chunk of the at the end of your year, but let's assume you want to pay yourself thirty six thousand a year and you photography business needs to general and you and your call spending thirty eight thousand so that means you're looking at about seventy four thousand dollars a year in gross revenue. So you asked about projections and how to figure it out. At least you have an end point once you map it out and you may say not everything on this last card is important, you know, maybe you've already got a lot of the equipment maybe you can cut back on on printing or maybe one two more printing because you want to do prince and galleries and do your own you know these are all adjustable this is more or less when it looked like for me but either way you're probably looking at something along these lines so if you think about that seventy four thousand dollars a year, twelve months breaks down to what that you know, sixty four hundred dollars a month somewhere around there sixty five hundred dollars a month that's what you have to make how do you make sixty five hundred how many prince have to sell the only make one hundred bucks off each print? You got to sell sixty five prints a month so that's a lot of prints so this is all fine and well and I get that this is super intense and a lot of numbers it's the reality of the business and I want to lose everybody so just put a pretty picture and just for fun and come back to this I'm not thinking about that stuff when I'm here, you know and take you back to the pretty place but this is the stuff you should all really be thinking about um I have a lot more to share, you know, I've got I want talk about photographers website we'll talk about what you should include in that I want to talk a lot of bath you know, other costs on also how much you should be charging people for your work so there's a whole lot more here let's stop for a second on that note and I know what the business plan do you have any questions or any thought? I'm curious what your thoughts are you hearing all this what you think I was just wondering who is like a common client for you like is it magazines that is you're submitting to or online? Yeah common client for may well, for me at first it was magazines I think that's the easiest place because there's a lot of opportunities there there's a lot of magazines covering a lot of different areas of law different genres so I think that there's there's just simply more people to approach therefore magazines a great advertising and ad agencies and getting into that world the money's ah whole lot better however you know, you know single cell of the magazine by making a couple hundred bucks single cell in an ad agency committed five thousand so I could make you fifteen. It really depends, but you're not going to get into there until you sort of go through the editorial process and I'm going to dig in all that a little bit more for me. Kaman clients ended up becoming on profits actually the least expected place for most people say well, they're called a non profit then no profit so how they're gonna hire me? Well, they operate they have staff of four, five hundred right maybe they have a staff of eight various from nonprofit nonprofit some having money truly on dh some have an abundance of funds that go towards their marketing and communications now the business has changed everybody has what they used to have but my entire career was based around the nonprofit world and without the support of all of those organizations who have supported the last course remember the nature conservancy sierra club, the national parks conservation association I would not be standing here today and in a way took me in a photo at a time until I was eventually doing their assignments and and all the big projects we continue to work with them to this day so that was I'd say my most common one I'd say nonprofits, magazines or the magazines at the nonprofits produce what both eventually ad agencies on dh now everything and I'm going to show you the everything that's retail that's uh this student types of different types of distribution models with retail publishing greeting cards so on so forth so good question question wait a few questions is this a good time tio yeah let's do it throughout the segment great because we have tons of questions okay, you know yeah yeah you're talking money that is right. So a couple of folks have some questions about there's some getting started questions sure okay, so colin asks how do you approach your local gallery and sara beth says, I'm having my first photography exhibit at my local library in the month of october is that a good place to start? So could you talk a little bit to those sure let me start at the library question first actually is it a good place to start local library in doing things a bit anywhere your work and be shown and people can see it is a good place to start. So yes, absolutely to this day I still get talks that local libraries um and it's great. I mean, I actually did want in california I had almost two hundred people come I sold something like eighty or ninety books at the place in a single evening and picking up a couple of print clients out of it as well. So yeah, you never know. I mean and local libraries are often overlooked thing, you know, in palm springs they have ah, public library that is unbelievable. Well, I mean, they literally have room for five or six hundred people in it have an incredible mailing list, you know? And when I gave a talk there again I had hundreds of people attended lots of books sold gorgeous space, high quality projectors, you know, I think they're really important andi overlooked institutions that because of the internet people think, well, I get everything on there but the library really represents a strong base in community andi I think is a great opportunity for any photographer great perfect a ce faras the other question was a gallery approaching a gallery first approach in galleries like approaching any client it's have a base of work that you feels appropriate to them first, you should see who is the gallery who have the future to look at them historically look on the web but also have a portfolio of your work that you can share on email doesn't hurt you can certainly sending e mails they have interested in exhibiting how do you consider new people to have a submission process having your work actually printed is I think important as well, eh? So finding a printer that either knows how to do at the quality that you're satisfied with or if you want to start printing on your own, which is an art in itself has I think anything those ansel adams the print was as much as important as the negative that has not changed in my opinion. S oh really I think it's about having a quality of what it is that you're producing knowing who they are, what kind of work they're looking for simply reaching out three other thing that's always a good way to go is you walk into a gallery and they might have five or ten other artists on the walls contact them and see what their experiences like because even though you might want to be in a gallery, you might not want to be in that gallery if you hear that there were no sales because a lot of times a gallery might require you to sell on consignment on dso, you might have a lot of upfront costs and producing the prince some galleries most god require you to handle the framing, you know, I think my first because it cost me, like, eight or nine thousand dollars or something like that, you know? And I don't think I covered half of that in sales, you know, to this day I still have him he saw that shot of the office that was from the first, so, you know, so I think it's ah, those are probably my my best advice on that terrific, and you don't get me started on framing it's like, so when I did it myself, my first coming because you just have you just have to yeah, I wish I knew how had the space to do my own framing, but it's a little tricky it is and ship has a question, and this might be something you're going to cover later, so so do let me know do you give yourself a personal project time away from your from your core creative vision do I get myself personal time away from my core chris personal projects their product you've done a personal projects are you sure you are yeah, well more so now than ever before a lot of people think you know I never pushed myself forward at our agency in fact I never pitched my own work on dh most of the projects I've taken in the last year and a half almost all actually have been personal projects that have done on the weekends but because of the relationships I've actually gotten covers and things out of it shooting for yourself is really important and again going back to the very first car to the beginning of this presentation you have tio figure out if you actually want to make it a career you know that personal projects and personal time is how you prefer to really explore your photography there's nothing that says you can't still market and make a business from it while doing something else too so and again I think everybody has to figure out how that fits into their business for me I think shooting anything that's a personal project is not only going to be my best work but is also usually what I enjoy the most because you do whatever you want yeah we don't like that nobody doesn't like that okay, so this let me know if you want to rephrase this question but I think you'll get it how many years of bad photos before people started saying hey that's really good how many years of bad justin just asking me I still think they're bad right? And that's right? So that's very objective so what do you think your advice is an instructor? Let me let me rephrase the question and you how many years before sales became how I mean years between for my work became sellable regularly break was being best indication because there's no such thing in my mind is a bad photo I don't wes, I love a lot of my work but I also know that a lot of it could be very marketable on dso I think for me it took probably four to six years before even start to think about going full times that three year window before I quit so four to six years of working on my craft first and foremost so we started by talking about the concept and your capture your creations and then this is the career portion of that you gotta have great content all of this stuff out the window if you're not producing good work now, how do you know if you're producing good work? That feedback loop is very important and feedback could also be sales that's why a stock photo agencies of a great place because your images will be seen by buyers they might not be selected by them you have to be honest and say why you could blame the agency which allowed people to or you can be honest with yourself and look at a lot of the things that might be missing from it, you know? And it just depends on what it is is and, you know, there are you know, as you have, if you have agents and you are with an agency, you should be reaching out to them to talk about what could be changing, what could be done differently, and you have to be realistic about what your expectations are. I think in all of that, and I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations thinking I took twenty great shots, I should have a career as a photographer. Um, I think he really answered the questions, not winning my you know, we're not bad photos or not even when did they become sellable, but really, when do I have every component that I need to be successful and it's, not just because you could take a good picture? It's not enough, if it wass than the world be filled with professional photographers all over the place, and you wouldn't have all of the, you know, inspiring talks and things that people who have followed that journey, you know, it's good photos, it's, business sense, it's everything