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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 59 of 67

Business Diversification


The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 59 of 67

Business Diversification


Lesson Info

Business Diversification

I want to talk a little bit about the business of outdoor photography. And before I dig in, um, I wanna have a few Ah, general statements about doing business. Is an outdoor photographer one of the things that we frequently hear and see a tandem, and it's it's changed a lot, but it's amazing how, um how the blend of creativity and business really don't go hand in hand very often. Um, you know, you as a creative person you're focused on creating, and you're not always focused on the business side, but it is vital to the future and the success of your creativity. The fact that it will that will have a chance toe persist that you understand business at least enough did they get the help you need from other places, whether it be a stock agency, an agent or rep accountants, lawyers, all the other stuff that will help you do the job that you need to dio um, you know, a lot of husband wife teams out there. I mean, it just go. The list goes on and on ways to do it, but you still have a sense o...

f or should have a sense of responsibility on understanding the business and the fact that it is a business. Um, if you're going to try and make money from it and whether that's making money as a hobby or not, there's certain things you should understand. I want to say that, you know, I've encountered people who feel Andi justifiably so that the creative works that they make are so important to them, and they're very protective of it. You put so much passion into it and you put so much time energy, money, thought and care sacrifice. As we've talked about in this class, sacrifice is a huge part of it. But don't protect it so much that you quash your opportunity for him. Don't protect it so much that you know you're a guard dog around your work. I've seen that attitude so many times by photographers where they're very hostile because you want their work. Well, why do you want it? Are you gonna pay me enough? Are you gonna do this, right? Yeah. To slow the process down at the end of the day to a lot of people in the buying community who want the images, its product, they don't think of it as your passion or your creativity, said He's good at that. She's great at this. They're good at this. They don't think necessarily or no. They don't necessarily go out into the field to understand. Do you think that that that, um, you know that vet who's buying an image for an ad understands what went into getting that incredible shot in all the years of experience and equipment cost that went into it? They don't understand that. And so I think in general it's important to have a good frame of mind and a pleasant one when conducting business that allows you to, um, express those things and share those things. Help educate and, um, and have a pleasant approach. Ah, kind approach to doing business. Of course, there's nothing wrong with asking for what you should be getting for the work that you do, but I do think that there's a right way to handle it, and I've seen it done very poorly way too often. I think it's overlooked way too often by a lot of creatives, so doing a good business is very important above all else, so I just want to say that as we get started. But there are also other things that are very important to actually having success at having longevity. You know, When I started tandem seven years ago, I ah, it was we were kind of rounding our way out of one of the worst economic times our country has seen. Certainly in my lifetime that I had to endure as a as a professional. I had started my own photography business only three or four years prior to that. And including on any worse, you know, that would have been what already almost 2007 when I started to set out in 2008 was when the United States went through its It's real struggle. Obviously the world went through a lot of struggles. So, um, for me at that time, I learned that, um, I could have seen that coming. Just quit. Very good job. At the time, I started my business. I didn't really know that that was happening. I wasn't, you know, I wasn't privy to That wasn't part of that. Has a lot of people weren't. And, um, I realized that I wasn't able to go back. I wasn't going toe have, Ah, Plan B. I was going to go forward on my business that I had set out to do my business of photography, and I wasn't intending to have a photo agency of my own, So I needed to think about other ways Teoh make money as a solo photographer in the market. And so for me, the way I started do that was starting as an investment. It is an investment. Ultimately it's investment in your future. And so when you make investments, do you put all your money in one company? One stock? No, you don't put everything all in one place. You have diversity and diversification. And so the importance of diversification in your business and in this business model is very, very important. What does it get You gives you revenue, security and increased revenue. If you're relying on one outlet with one client who pays you really good money and for some reason, that photo interchanges jobs, that outlet goes away. Now what? You banked everything on one. Well, you don't want to do that with everything you wanna have. Multiple clients and only multiple clients want a multiple clients in multiple industries across many different channels, and I'm going to show you a lot of what those channels work like, but that is very, very important. You want to have a lot of diversification and gives you revenue, security, meaning where it comes from. And chances are you're gonna have increased revenues Well, because you're gonna have it coming in from multiple places. And if one dips, at least you have another one. The tandem model is built on that. We have a slow month in stock. Our software side keeps things running. Our original content films side keeps going. One of those has a slow period or were in the postproduction process. New money is not coming in. When we finish a project, we have the software side. We have the licensing side. The three things work in tandem. What I did that varied activities to occupy slow periods, right? Diversification means if you're slow, maybe creatively and you're not doing editorial, maybe you could be doing commercial advertising, right? You fill your gaps, fill the time I've done it to the point of, uh, wearing myself out. But you can definitely occupy your so periods by diversifying. Have varied activities have very different ways and, you know, in the way I'm gonna talk about that is like retail fine art prints. Right? When you're not shooting an assignment, take a day and go finish that book you're working on or at a day to the book you're working on or start a book you want to work on or build a calendar or start learning how to print, make prints. Cell prints find a place to sell prints, lots of different ways to diversify market saturation. Another good reason for diversification is market saturation. It means it gives you the opportunity to have your name in many different places. Do you want to be in one place, or do you want to be in many places? What is going to be better for your marketability? What's going to be better for your visibility? And ultimately, which of those is gonna give you increased revenue and revenue security? It all ties back into the diversification

Class Description

Great outdoor photography starts with a love of adventure and exploration. Learn to maximize your skills and optimize your potential with this complete guide to capturing photos and video in the great outdoors. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive will go in-depth on how to create a story through stills and motion in any environment.

Throughout these lessons, Ian will cover scouting and planning, capturing photo and video, and understanding how to get an audience for your final project
Ian will cover:

  • Permit needs and location scouting essentials
  • Gear basics & prep
  • Introduction to using drones
  • Fundamentals of moving from still photography to capturing video
  • How to capture landscapes 
  • Composition and lighting techniques
  • How to handle low-light situations
  • How to capture for stock photography and video
  • Getting your work seen in print and publications
  • And more!

For four weeks, Ian will be your outdoor guide to capturing the beauty and greatness in nature. If you have a love for nature or adventure, join this class to learn how to turn your passion and social media posts into profit or exposure. 


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview
  3. Elements of a Well-told Story
  4. Storytelling in Motion
  5. Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project
  6. Gear for Drones
  7. Gear for Motion
  8. Inside Ian's Gear Bag
  9. General Advice for Preparation
  10. Virtual Scouting
  11. Weather
  12. Permits and Permission
  13. Model and Property Releases
  14. Health and Fitness
  15. Checklist
  16. Location Scouting Overview
  17. Location Scouting in the North Cascades
  18. Drone Introduction
  19. Drone Safety
  20. What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?
  21. FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare
  22. Telling a Story With a Drone
  23. Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements
  24. Selling Drone Footage
  25. Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?
  26. Establish the End User
  27. Identify Your Audience
  28. Build a Production Plan
  29. Create the Story Structure
  30. The Shooting Script
  31. Production Quality
  32. Composition for Stills
  33. Composition for Stills: Landscape
  34. Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens
  35. Composition for Stills: Macro Lens
  36. Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field
  37. Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography
  38. Capturing Landscapes - Part 1
  39. Capturing Landscapes - Part 2
  40. Capturing Movement in Stills
  41. Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama
  42. Understanding Stock
  43. Editorial vs Commerical
  44. Pricing Stock
  45. Producing Stock
  46. Shooting for Social Media vs Stock
  47. Choosing an Agency
  48. Assignments and Capturing Stock
  49. Stock Photography Market
  50. Create A Style Guide
  51. Stock Shoot Analysis
  52. Workflow for Selecting Final Stills
  53. Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge
  54. Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage
  55. Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas
  56. Script and Story Structure Evolution
  57. Editing to the Content
  58. Music as a Character
  59. Business Diversification
  60. Business Strategy
  61. Pillars of Revenue
  62. Branding
  63. Partnerships and Brand Strategy
  64. Galleries and Fine Art
  65. Budgeting
  66. The Future of Photography
  67. Q&A And Critique



Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.