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Thoughts for New Photographers – By CEO of Pictage Jim Collins
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Thoughts for New Photographers – By CEO of Pictage Jim Collins

by liana on April 29, 2010

Some interesting stats came out recently that in a NORMAL year 40,000-60,000 photographers enter the marketplace. This past year over 150,000 photographers entered the marketplace!!

Fellow been-in-business-for-more-than-10-years wedding photographers here in Atlanta agree we’ve never seen anything like it before. EVERYONE we know wants to be a photographer or knows someone who is just starting out.

A lot of new photographers write to ask me about Pricing Photography and What to Do Before they Quit their Day Job. I learned the hard way and if you’ve read my Debt Story I think you’ll understand why I’m so passionate about teaching the pricing and “numbers” to other creative small business owners.

There’s a stigma that what we do is all FUN and GLAMOROUS. I think that’s part of why people decide to be professional photographers. What they do NOT realize is how time-consuming (all-consuming) it is running your own small business, and how difficult it is to make a living as a photographer. The cold hard facts tell us a full-time studio needs to bring in over 10k per MONTH to be able to issue a meger salary of 30-40k to the owner.

Today I read an excellent post by Jim Collins, CEO of Pictage, that I’d like to share with his permission. Here is an excerpt:

….There are those of you who’ve jumped in because the day job just wasn’t working out. Congratulations! You have a day job again. Working professional photographers spend most of their time doing actual work. Between editing events, having sales meetings with prospective clients, bookkeeping, rewriting marketing materials, working with vendors, etc., there is a lot of “slog” that has to happen between the “fun times” taking pictures. You’re your own boss now and there’s definitely an upside to that, but in that capacity you have to discipline yourself to actually doing these things. Otherwise when the tax bill comes at the end of the year you’re going to get an awful shock. (and the health insurance and the … you get my point).

The biggest mistake most of you will make is undercharging….


Thanks Jim for the insights – it’s good to know I’m not the only one who believes in unveiling the ugly truth about what it takes to succeed in this biz!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea Patricia May 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Just read that article: amazing. Quite true. And it def needed to be said. You do a very good job of that, though, Liana.

Off to read your pricing article!

Christy May 4, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I am so glad I found your blog, I don’t really remember how, but that doesn’t matter. I know feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train. Thanks so much!

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