Before I worked with databases, while still in university, I started a wedding photography business which I ran for 11 years.
As I look back at the photography, I really did learn a LOT about business. Marketing: how do I reach those potential customers? Sales. Dealing with customers. And suppliers. Gross margin. Net profit. Cash flow. Operations: altogether, it was about 40 hours of work to shoot a wedding, when you counted up sales, preparation, shooting, and many hours of negative and paper handling to deliver the goods. Capital budgeting; how many more pictures do I need to shoot to make this 1500 dollar lens pay for itself? Break even points. Strategic alliances.
I read a book called Shooting Your Way To A Million, by Richard Sharabura.
There was one chapter called, For Your Eyes Only, where he described how to make a technical portfolio and teach yourself the technical aspects of photography. Do many test shoots, and put them all in binder. Different films. Different lighting conditions, including all the variations in studio lights. Different exposures. Different film processing. Different kinds of objects and people. And always, always, do a lighting test with Polaroid film before shooting.
Why? When you got into a new situation, you could go back to your reference material for guidance and a starting point. Read the rest of this entry »