starting out fresh

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Stuart Turrell, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Hi there,

    Me and my financee are looking into starting our own photography business,
    specalising in horse events (as thats her hobby) and i need some tips on how
    i can make this business a success.

    I have a powerful PC with the relevant software like adobe 5 (but have no
    idea yet how to use it) and i also am buying a nice digital camera for her
    birthday (£600-£700) next month.
    Then all is next equipment wise is a decent printer then contacts.

    Can anyone advise me into a decent (digital) camera, printer, software and
    what to do business wise.
    I am 21 and new to this stuff, except retail which runs in the family and i
    have worked in safeway and B&Q and got stuck right in there.

    Please help!

    Stuart Turrell, Aug 19, 2003
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  2. Stuart Turrell

    A Lee Guest

    Lets be honest hey, you're not going to make a living doing something
    that you know nothing about are you?
    If you really want to do something like that, then do it part-time at
    weekends, and if you actually start making anything, think about doing
    it full-time then.
    What do you want to do? Sell pictures to horse event competitors?
    I dont think there would be any money in that full time.
    At some of the bike events I enter,there is an 'official' photographer'
    that tries to take as many pics of the competitors as possible.He
    probably takes 2000 pics, then processes them overnight, to put them on
    sale the following morning for £6 each (a 5x7 print in a cheap card
    I reckon he takes in £5000+ for 24 hours work.That would be great if
    there were one of these events every other week, but there are only 3 a
    year, so there is no way he could do just that as his main income.(in
    fact he is a pro photographer, who has happened to be in the right place
    at the right time when these events kicked off.)
    A Lee, Aug 19, 2003
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  3. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    This has to be a joke, surely? You have no particular knowledge,
    aptitude or experience of professional photography and you intend to
    start a business doing just that?

    Yeah, right. Dream on.

    Don't give up the day job.
    T P, Aug 19, 2003
  4. Stuart Turrell

    Alan Mackie Guest

    Stuart Turrell :>
    Employ a professional writer and a proof-reader before publishing
    anything you write yourself as an advert or sales pitch, is a wise step
    to take.

    But first, go on a long and thorough training course in how to start a
    business. Your local college, enterprise company or even the Jobcentre
    can help


    Alan Mackie

    Owner/Manager of 197 aerial photography:
    Alan Mackie, Aug 19, 2003
  5. Since your questions suggest you know very little about computers, virtually
    nothing about photography and even less about running your own business, My
    recommendation, as an IT Professional for almost 20 years and keen
    photographer for 12 years, would be to stick with something you know about,
    like stacking shelves
    Tony Parkinson, Aug 19, 2003
  6. Stuart Turrell

    Liz Guest

    In message <>
    You missed the TV prog in the changing jobs series?
    This bloke chucked in his day job to become a photographer.
    He didn't even know what an f-stop was.
    A short time later, he had pix published in one of the glossy ladmags.
    At the end of the prog, he was working as an assistant, which, admittedly
    isn't the same as running a business.

    Is the shutter-lag and autofocus speed of the 10D up to keeping up with
    rapidly moving horses? Normally these pix are taken from just under the jump
    looking up at the horse just reaching the apex of its jump, sometimes from
    the side of the jump with the horse going over (if it's one of the
    lower-but-wider type). I don't do it myself, but I had a shifty when there
    was a show jumping event in my town.

    Liz, Aug 19, 2003
  7. Stuart Turrell

    garryac Guest

    Not wishing to put a damper on your proposal, but I work as an art
    editor for an equestrian magazine, and as such attend lots of events
    where photographers are present, and often take photographs myself
    (Cannon Eos1n). Photographers fall into three catagories. Commissioned
    photographers there on behalf of a publication, Freelancers hopeing to
    sell to books or magazines, and photographers taking pics of the
    competitors to sell to them.
    Many of the these selling to competitors, have a mobile, film
    processing unit in a van on site, and use conventional film cameras .
    The pictures are ready in a hour or so, for the competitors to have on
    the day.
    Others use professional digital SLRs, and print digital prints from
    sophisticated digital processing systems , again in the back of a van
    with a portable generator.

    I don't think a £600 digital point and shoot and a PC and inkjet
    printer are really up to the job to be honest.
    If you tried to set up a business on that basis you'd soon end up in

    also Photoshop 5 isn't really up to the job you're after.You need
    Photoshop 7 which has a gallery function.

    At the very least you'll need something like a Canon 10 D which is
    around £1300 without a lens.

    Having said all this there are already several businesses that trek
    around the shows and they seem to have it all sewn up to be honest

    garryac, Aug 20, 2003
  8. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    Working as an assistant is by far the best way to learn. The
    conclusion is that the guy on the programme needed to learn *before*
    going into business, which is exactly the point I made.

    Thanks for that, Liz.
    T P, Aug 20, 2003
  9. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    Mm mmmmmmm. Evo-Stik.

    T P, Aug 20, 2003
  10. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    I think you've completely missed the point. It's not about equipment,
    it's about ability. The guy could buy a Nikon D2H and a host of AF
    Nikkors, plus a high end Macintosh and software, but if he doesn't
    know what he is doing, he has no chance of succeeding.

    And I don't just mean knowing about photographic technique. That's
    about 30% of what is needed; the rest is marketing ability and
    business acumen, and you don't learn that stacking shelves in B&Q.

    The guy needs plenty of tuition and lots of experience before
    embarking on a career as a working photographer, and even then it will
    be a struggle to get established.

    (Been there!)
    T P, Aug 20, 2003
  11. Stuart Turrell

    John Colloff Guest

    The message <bhtj6g$gls$>
    Hi Stuart.

    I think that from the refreshingly frank and honest responses that you
    have had you will have seen that you are trying to enter a very skilled
    and possibly over-crowded market, with little chance of success.

    FWIIW, Can I suggest an alternative approach in which I was unable to
    persuade my horse-mad daughter to invest her time and talents.
    It involves video of moving horses, not stills, and so you would need to
    change the camera you propose to purchase.

    The scheme is to sell, by pre-arrangement, videos of horses made when
    they are in their prime condition. Horses, unlike cars, cannot be
    washed and valeted and be ready for sale. During the winter they get
    out of peak condition, spring and autumn their appearance can vary, and
    they can only look their best when they have been working consistently
    for a period of months.

    So, against the time when the owner may be thinking of selling the beast
    (the horse, not the husband) a wise owner might like to have a video
    showing the horse off to its best advantage.

    Currently anyone having to sell a horse at the wrong time has to rely on
    word of mouth, past records, etc., and if lucky, any video footage
    recorded by chance.
    This would be the equivalent of a model's portfolio of glamour shots,
    and I reckon that you would have customers from every other horse owner,
    keen to record their animal at its best.

    As this is an untapped market, you would have to rely on your own skills
    and salesmanship, and pricing, but you would not be competing against
    established professionals.

    Initially your product would be video tapes, so amateur equipment and
    standards would suffice. If successful you could progress to selling
    the product on much more robust video CDs.

    I must admit that I was attracted to your request by the (subliminal?)
    typo of your fourth word; 'financee'. You do realise, perhaps, that
    finance and fiancee go hand in hand? <evil grin>

    HTH John.
    John Colloff, Aug 20, 2003
  12. Stuart Turrell

    Denis F Guest

    you mean like

    they use 4-5 cameras though to cover the whole course.............

    Help Free John Vasey.
    Denis F, Aug 20, 2003
  13. Stuart Turrell

    Liz Guest

    In message <>
    Anyone know any Nat Geographic photogs looking for an assistant? <g>

    Liz, Aug 20, 2003
  14. If I did, I'd be using that info to my own advantage

    Tony Parkinson, Aug 20, 2003
  15. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    If I did, I would apply for the job first, and only post
    details on here when I had been turned down for the job!

    T P, Aug 21, 2003
  16. Stuart Turrell

    Liz Guest

    In message <>
    Ach, I bet they charge a fortune for the privilege!

    Liz, Aug 21, 2003
  17. Stuart Turrell

    T P Guest

    I'd gladly pay a fortune and would double it if got my name in print
    in the mag ... I've had photos credited to me in quite a few
    publications now, but to see my name in the NG would be priceless!

    [ and also highly unlikely :-( ]
    T P, Aug 23, 2003
  18. Stuart Turrell

    John Colloff Guest

    The message <>
    No, not at all.
    I am talking about videoing the horses of hobby owner\riders (- you know
    the people that Thelwall's little girls grew up to be), recording the
    animals in their peak condition against the day that they want to sell.

    The average horse owner, using a day job to support their horse riding
    hobby cannot afford the time or cost of expensive facilities to keep
    their horse(s) in good condition all year round. For example, by
    midsummer the winter fat build-up has been worked off, and the horse is
    looking fine. Also with regular exercising in the longer evenings the
    horse is performing well, and that would be the ideal time to sell.

    I suggest that many owners would pay for a well produced video record of
    their horse in that condition. A bit like the house docotor for horse
    selling, where you cannot redecorate but have to capture a record of the
    animal during a time window of it in its best condition. John.
    John Colloff, Aug 23, 2003
  19. Stuart Turrell

    Denis F Guest

    although the average horse owner would probably just borrow a camera
    and make their own - thinking they could do as good a job as a pro!!

    Help Free John Vasey.
    Denis F, Aug 23, 2003
  20. Stuart Turrell

    John Colloff Guest

    The message <>
    No, they are busy riding the nag, as only the rider owner can get the
    best out of it.
    Plus they and most of their friends are more interested in horses than

    The appeal is the question of timing. For a good product you need
    horse, rider\owner, good weather, suitable location and camcorder
    operator all to be got together at the right time. By paying for the
    last, the client has a far better control of the other factors.

    From the wild indifference I see that this is another non-runner! ;-))
    John Colloff, Aug 27, 2003
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