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The Business of Commercial Photography: The Survival Guide

with John Keatley

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Class duration: 9h 6m

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    12 student reviews

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About The Class

Making your photography stand out

Whether just starting out in the commercial photography industry, or ready for a new chapter in your career, John Keatley shows you how to survive in a competitive field. Known for being innovative, creative and thinking outside the box when it comes to his photography, John applies those same skills into running his business. In this in-depth course, John shares some of the key elements that allow you to be an artist and a business owner. You’ll learn:

  • How to find your style and attract the clients you want
  • How to create a bid
  • The importance of drafting a treatment
  • Estimates and billing for your work
  • Planning and scheduling your production
  • Tips on memorable branding
  • The difference between an Art Director/Agent/Art Buyer
  • Techniques for editing your portfolio

If you’re at the start of your career or ready to expand your client list, this course will be the game changer you need to create a solid foundation for a thriving business.

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    10:30
  2. 02

    Understanding the Industry

    10:32
  3. 03

    Finding Your Style

    23:55
  4. 04

    Personal Work

    11:50
  5. 05

    Building a Brand

    02:39
  6. 06

    Visual Identity

    21:07
  7. 07

    Marketing

    22:18
  8. 08

    Marketing Q&A

    19:14
  9. 09

    Marketing Tools

    30:57
  10. 10

    Social Media

    09:38
  11. 11

    Set Goals & Make an Action Plan

    05:39
  12. 12

    Marketing Plan

    14:32
  13. 13

    Marketing Budget

    20:36
  14. 14

    Before the Shoot

    03:05
  15. 15

    Why You Should Have a Team

    14:03
  16. 16

    Production Schedule

    25:51
  17. 17

    Day of Planning / Scheduling

    23:12
  18. 18

    Protecting the Creative & Day of Shoot

    04:27
  19. 19

    Wrap Up

    12:12
  20. 20

    Artist and Agent Relationship

    31:07
  21. 21

    Common Questions for Reps/Agents

    25:18
  22. 22

    Editing Your Work - Portfolio Reviews

    35:17
  23. 23

    Common Mistakes

    07:51
  24. 24

    Creative & Licensing Fees

    23:24
  25. 25

    Estimates & Invoices - Editorial

    22:04
  26. 26

    Estimates & invoices - Advertising, Photo Libraries

    21:31
  27. 27

    Creating a Treatment

    13:49
  28. 28

    Billing & Payment Collection

    30:43
  29. 29

    Opportunities for Growth

    29:10
  30. 30

    Investing in Your Career & Moving Forward

    20:28

Meet Your Expert

John Keatley

John Keatley often self-characterizes his work as a reflection of himself, rather than the individual he is photographing. In recent years ... read more

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Bonus Material

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Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Keatley Reference Guide

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Bonnie Aunchman

    Bonnie Aunchman

    March 2018

    John & Creative Live - Thank you - Best. Class. Ever.! This is a GREAT class! If you are a photographer, this is definitely a MUST GET class, but even if you work with photographers as part of a creative team - you have to take this class. (I'm a Photo Stylist) John covers it ALL in this class - it really, truly is a Survival (Success) Guide. John is so detailed, honest, and generous in his knowledge/experience/wisdom in the commercial photography industry in helping you understand the business and really succeed (& stand out). When I see that John is teaching a class on Creative Live - I'm in! (I have his other valuable courses as well)

  • Creativelive Student

    Creativelive Student

    March 2018

    I was lucky to be part of the studio audience for this course. John is an awesome teacher and did an outstanding job of making sense of a very difficult side of photography for a creative to understand. He shared his 18+ years of experience, including the good and bad he has gone through. The "special guests" alone are worth the cost of this class. John has an amazing team working beside him behind the scenes. Their perspective on his business was priceless!

  • Joseph Brewster

    Joseph Brewster

    November 2019

    John gave an enormous amount of insight and practical advice in this comprehensive course. I really enjoyed a course focused more on commercial and editorial rather than wedding and family, which is more common. Great info and great work all around!

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