The business of photography. While most of you watching are kind of like, eh, let me click and I'll click back when we start getting to the pretty, fun, creative things. That's all great, but you're never going to turn your passion into a career into your life without the business side of it. You are sticking around here if you are looking to hone in on your photographic style, because believe it or not, the business of photography does have to do with your photographic style and how you are communicating that. We're gonna talk about the secret areas to brand your business. People think about branding and they think about, I don't know, slapping their logo all over the place. It's not about that, especially in today's consumer world. Consumers are so savvy to brands that if you're not doing it right, they're subliminally clicking off and like, eh, I don't want that photographer. We're gonna talk about social media. I've got some quick tips for you. It's paramount. I don't think I have ...
to convince you of the why for social media. We need it, it needs to happen, we need to be down there. We're gonna talk about methods to making your clients happy. Who here loves having happy clients? Yes, all of us. There are methods to do this no matter if you're working with a lower budget client or a higher budget client. There are certain psychological things that we can do to make sure that all of our clients are happy, and if they're not, ways that we can fix that. We're gonna talk about keys to effective and efficient workflows. Again, while business is important, the business of photography is important, you guys are not marketers. You're not accounting majors. You're photographers. You should be holding a camera, not a mouse, like my friend Moshae says. We're gonna talk about what types of products we, you should offer. We've got all sorts of fun that I'll talk about over here. These are all products that were given to us by Millers. They're gorgeous and there's a lot that we can talk about with products that'll help push your photography forward and really show it off. You're learning about wedding photography this week here on CreativeLive. You should be able to have products that really make them stand out, really make your work stand out. Then, we're going to talk about packaging that sells. Now, when I say packaging, again, I don't mean like the boxes that these, the stuff comes in. I'm talking about pricing. Making sure that you make money doing this and understanding how to make a profit, right? Because we wanna do this for a living. We don't wanna just do this on the weekends. We want to be living and breathing photography, right? Yes? I hope, camera, camera to them, they're all like, yeah. Yeah! That's what I want. That sounds great! (giggling) Here is why this is important. Doing what you love should not mean that you're struggling to survive, right? That concept of a starving artist is all, all too much in our heads, right? We don't want that. We don't want the starving artists. I have a friend of mine, I'm from the New Jersey, New York area, and there's a friend of mine there who is a super talented photographer. I look at his pictures, just instant jealousy. It's something I have to work on, but I wish I could photograph the way he does. I wish I could see the way he does. I wish I knew as much about my camera as he knows about his, but meanwhile he can't put food on his table with photography and I can. That is why this business course and all that you're gonna learn here in photo week, it's why it's so important, because you have to find a way to take this art, take this craft, and make it work for you. I think, by the way, we all start here, right? How long have you guys been in business, less than five years? More than five years? All right, so a lot have been more than five years, so you remember this, right? You all start at the beginning and freaking out when you charge that first like $ (giggling) for the first photo shoot you do, right? I was there, struggling in the beginning. I used to be a Spanish teacher, believe it or not. We could do this whole course in Spanish if you want, right? You don't have to do the subtitles. We'll just do it again. (giggling) All right? I remember not thinking I could ever leave my day job. In fact, I became a Spanish teacher strictly because I thought I had to have a real job. I knew I wanted to do photography. I remember being so scared, so coming out of high school, if you remember, when you go to tell your parents what your major's gonna be. You wanna do something like smart and my older cousin, she was in, she was a dental hygienist, and I remember my parents, they probably didn't mean to, but I remember them saying, oh, you know Carrie. She's a dental hygienist. It's just two years of school and she makes $80,000 a year. As an impressionable child and teenager, I was like, oh, okay, I guess that's a good thing to do, right? I applied to become a dental hygienist. (giggling) I got in. I was the only high school student to even get into the program and I went to orientation and I never went back. I turned, I'm like, I don't want this! I remember sitting down with my parents and being like, so, I want to go to school for photography. I'm like cringing. (giggling) My mother ended up smiling and she was so happy, because she was actually a photographer, but even while I told them that, and I didn't want to be a dental hygienist and I said I wanted to go to school for photography. Even telling them that, I still, in the back of my mind, thought I'll go to school for photography, but I have to double major. I have to have a real job because that's not going to be a real job. Coming over to here, I don't wanna talk too much about myself, but I want to make sure that I seem credible to you. Because you really should never take advice from someone who has no idea what they are talking about, right? These are just some of the companies that I've worked with in the past, including major ones like ProPhoto and Cannon even. Then, the ones that are here with us today, 17hats, which is, we'll talk about them later, and Millers, and Animoto. A lot of great companies. I'm not saying this to brag. I'm simply saying they trust me, so you should too. You should too, all right? I've been around for a little while. I mentioned that I'm in the New York, New Jersey area. I've been doing photography for 18 years or so, and let me tell you, all that 18 years means is that I have failed over and over and over again. I have done so many things wrong that eventually I figured out how to do some of them right. That's what I want to talk about, how to do them right. How we figure it out. Hopefully give you guys some shortcuts to this. This, embarrassingly, is where it started. You can all laugh at that photo, it's okay. (giggling) But, that, I was so proud of that photo. This is one of the first weddings I ever got paid for, 500 bucks. That was the best photo ever. (sighs) And this bride gave me my first review on Wedding Wire and it was a bad one. My very first review. I remember waking up, rolling over to my phone, as we always do, right? Oh, you've got a new review on Wedding Wire. Oh, yay! So exciting! And then just reading it and reading it and reading it. I'm watching like my heart sink, like oh, crap. I actually wrote and tried to dispute it, and wrote to her and tried to make things right. Ultimately I couldn't. It was just the quality of the photos. They weren't good. They just weren't good, period. That was my fault, but I'm not teaching you all of this stuff about business because you should get rich quick. That's not what this is, all right? This is about having a quality life. In addition to doing what you love, doing photography, making a living at it, putting food on your table, I want you to have the kind of life and lifestyle that you've always dreamed of, because this is a make your own schedule, be your own boss kind of thing. Success, to me, is free time. Free time with my family. Free time with my friends, and not only the time, but the financial freedom that goes along with it. Because with financial freedom, what happens? You get to do what you love. You get to buy the photo gear that you love, right? You get to be with the people you love and you get to help other people. You get to give. You get to build other people up and as the Chinese proverb says, you get to teach other people how to fish. That's why all of this stuff is extremely important.
Vanessa Joy is a Canon Explorer of Light that has been an influential speaker in the community for over a decade. Starting her photographic journey in 1998, she has since branched into public speaking, earned 5 college degrees, received a PPA Photographic Craftsman degree, been named a WeddingWire Education Expert, sponsored by Canon, Profoto and Animoto to name a few.
I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free.
Célia Gomes, Portugal.
Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!
a Creativelive Student
This course is fantastic! Whether your new to the industry or been at it forever, there are amazing tips that can easily be implemented to improve your business. Vanessa lays everything out clearly. There were a number of things I had heard in the past, which is not a bad thing. This reinforced ideas and reminded me to work on things that I have been putting off. I highly recommend checking out this course with Vanessa Joy.