How The Recession Can Boost Your Business Savvy

The media is full of stories of economic downturns, bankruptcies, and businesses going out of business. While you can look just about anywhere and find the “bad” that is out there, the recession can actually do small businesses some good as well. Instead of bemoaning your situation, change it around and find some positive aspects to focus in on.

Its been said that some of the strongest, healthiest companies in the world were started during hard economic times. It may be because you have to watch how you spend your money and what you invest in. Here are a few things that can help you increase your business savviness over the coming months.

Make savings a priority

Because we’re in the middle of a recession with no clear end in sight, assume this is the new “norm”. What can you do today to make next year at this same time even better? Getting loans is more difficult than ever. Lines of credit are all but extinct. And the last thing you want is to bring on more credit card debt. Make a conscious effort to live within your means, and create a savings account now for life’s little emergencies. Even if you can only add $50 a month to it, consider it as an investment towards your future.

Pay debts on time or ahead of time

When you are living paycheck to paycheck, every dollar counts. And if you fall into the “fee” trap you’ll quickly find yourself in a difficult position. Banks don’t make money if you pay on time; they like the clients that don’t make payments, have their interest rates go up, and are assessed fee after fee for late payments. Make it a habit to pay ahead of time, or at the very least on time. [Read more…]

Can You Teach Yourself Photography?

I recently received an email from someone who was interested in becoming a professional photographer. She wanted to know if she should go to school for it, or could she do it all on her own.

My answer … Yes.

We are living proof that you don’t have to have a degree in photography in order to become very successful professional photographers. Andrew studied business in college, and I have a master’s degree in financial management. No photography or art classes anywhere in our background – on a college level.

Yet what we did have was a knack for photography, a love for business, and a passion for putting the two together. And that’s really what started it all.

We also realized that there were two ways to become better at the art of photograph. One, take more photographs. Like everything, practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the better you get. And two, study under other successful photographers to learn the secrets along the way.

If someone has “been there, done that” it makes sense to follow in their footsteps. Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, if you look to them for guidance, whether its reading a book or taking a one-week intensive training program, you gain the knowledge that they are willing to share with you.

Pros and Cons of Teaching Yourself

The top benefit of teaching yourself photography is the cost. College is expensive these days. A friend of mine has a student in an art college studying photography, and it will be well over $120,000 for a four year degree. Add in the extras – books, cameras, computer equipment, software – and you are looking at a very expensive path. While a four year program can be pricey, the one thing they do give you is intense training. You live and breathe photography for four years, and learn everything about the arts. If you teach yourself, you have to be dedicated to living that same type of lifestyle and subjecting yourself to the same intensity level. [Read more…]

What Skills Do You Need As A Photographer

This post is Day 15 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

I went back and read through many of your responses again, and read through them with a different idea in mind. As I read through each story, I started picking out pieces that would tell me what skills today’s photographer needs to survive. Is it the same as in the past? Or has it completely changed?

And as expected, I found a full array of support for many different types of skills.

I found questions and comments about final output – “Do I provide high or low res images?”

I found questions and comments about social and business – “I have a Facebook and Twitter account, but I don’t get any reactions from there.”

And I found questions and comments about the general condition of photography today – “When I started photography aged 19 it was film and standard print proofing with traditional albums. We now have digital and more impatient clients despite more ‘work’ for the photographer.”

And everything in between.

So what do you truly need to be a successful photographer? [Read more…]

10 of the Best YouTube Channels For Photographers

Do you enjoy heading over to YouTube for a break – choose a video and get inspired for the day? You’re not alone. With millions of hours watched every day, there really is something for everyone. I’ve been doing a lot of research on YouTube lately, and in the process found some wonderful channels that you have to check out as a photographer. Know of any more? Leave a comment below – I’d love to find other professional YouTube channels just for photographers.

AJ Wood
Everything Adobe – whether you are looking for tutorials on Lightroom, Photoshop, or even Dreamweaver, these videos will give you hours of ideas.

Bert Stephani
Bert has been adding videos for a number of years; start with his Confessions of a Photographer series for some quick tips on photographing.

PeachpitTV
PeachpitTV provides a huge array of education and informative videos on a wide range of topics. You’ll find how-to’s on photography, and an interview series from some of today’s hottest photographers.

[Read more…]