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Old October 29, 2006, 08:50 PM
SteveSki's Avatar
SteveSki SteveSki is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Great Barrier Reef of Australia
Posts: 304
Default Re: Q for Steve (Photo biz)

Originally Posted by Bea View Post
Is it ok to post this here? (I hope so. If not, if you would just delete? - Thanks!)

Steve, I am wondering...I was looking over your photo business & wondering if someone could really do that (start that business) on a shoestring? (& on a shoestring, I mean less than $200.)

Then...the learning curve...if you were to go to a pawn shop, you could get a good 35mm camera, but then to work it right would take a bit, so maybe an automatic?

Just wondering.

Hi Bea,

Do you really want to start a Pet Photography Business? What attracts you to it? Is it the income potential alone? Do you really love working with animals? Are you willing to photograph families? Can you handle screaming two year olds and kids who control their parents?

Yes my Money Making Photography System can swamp you with clients but it’s not all rosy.

Are you willing to pay the price and invest in the tools of the trade and focus most of your energy on sharpening your skills and learning new ones?

If you think that you are going to make a fortune in a flash with just a camera and one light – think again because although that’s all it really takes to get started – there is a lot more to the picture.

You can start with a good digital or 35mm film camera. I started photographing pets seriously with a $300 Auto-focus Canon Rebel 35mm film camera that I purchased at Wal-Mart but I seldom use my film camera anymore since purchasing a digital Canon Rebel camera. I paid $1500 for it two years ago but the same camera body is now priced at just $799.

If you are just getting started invest in one of those two cameras. Get the digital canon rebel if you can but go with a used film camera if you must. The most important step is to get started, make mistakes and learn as you go.

Realize that you are not going to make $5,000 next weekend if you don’t have a certain amount of skill and equipment. But if you enjoy photography, dealing with people and handling pets then a career in photography can be very rewarding.

It is easy for me to sell and market portraits of people and pets because I invested in good equipment and spent years working for several studios. Plus - pictures of loved ones - is something most people want to buy - so if you shoot them - they for the most part – will buy!

Walmart, Sears, JC Penney, Olan Mills and many other national portrait studios hire people with no photographic experience whatsoever and teach them all the technical picture taking skills in just two to three weeks time of OJT “On the job training”. That’s the easy part. Learning how to find and get the business is the real trick to succeeding as a self employed photographer but that’s something the national studios don’t want you to learn because once you do – chances are you’ll choose to quit working for them and become their competition.

Photography has spoiled me. The more I learn – the more spoiled I become - the more choosey and picky I become. When I was hungry - I’d photographed 50 sessions in a single weekend to earn $5,000. Now that’s just too much work in too short a time. Way too hard and stressful for us now. It was okay for awhile but now my wife and I prefer to stay home and shoot just a few sessions a day in our living room studio. Sure beats working as a travelling photographer and we now enjoy creating Antique style glamour photos of women over shooting cute pet portraits but still do a bit of both. We are just becoming more and more picky about who we will photograph.

Money is still important but quality of life is becoming more of a priority to us now. My wife and I can teach anyone how to make $500+ per day with a home based portrait studio provided you live in a populated area and can invest in a good camera, lights, props and computer. It is an ideal business for a husband and wife team. But it’s still just “Owning Your Own Job”. If my wife and I don’t photograph any sessions tomorrow our income stops. But we have two one hour sessions scheduled for today so that should net us a little over a grand.

Now some will ask – if you are earning that much – why sell information products that teach others how to do what you do? Why not just do more of what you are already doing? It’s because we ultimately we want to franchise our systems. And selling our knowledge and guidance to others is just the first steps to growing our little home-based studio into a world wide, world class business that can make us daily income without us having to do it all by ourselves. We don’t want to work that hard forever. But if you’d like to learn how to earn $500+ DAILY PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE AND PETS – we can teach you through our information products or on the job training.
Come to our place and learn hands on or if you prefer and can handle a bigger investment we can come to you and help you set things up, get you trained and get clients into your home based studio.

But this is not for everyone and although one can start off making money with just a camera and one light – to survive and thrive - will take investing in more training and tools then most are willing to do.

Steve Shulenski

Last edited by GordonJ : November 4, 2006 at 10:36 PM.
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