as a beginner in the photo business

Last Friday, I attended a one-day photo business workshop organized by NPPA. It was one of the most useful workshops I’ve been to.

John Harrington was very open to give all the information to us beginners. John is smart enough to realize that if photographers secure jobs by offering low prices, in the end, the photo business will die. No one could benefit from this low price competition. We should know when we should  turn down an unacceptable job.  By the way, I turned down a job yesterday because the price was low and there is an unacceptable term for image usage.

According to John, all photographers should be aware of his/her cost of doing business. If you don’t know what the cost is to do photo business, here is a good site for you to learn:

Another important thing is learn how to negotiate. Don’t jump to say yes until you know the real deal. Be specific in the agreement. John’s website has a lot to learn from:

Allen  Murabayashi, founder of photoshelter and an articulate speaker, tells photographers to take advantage of SEO, i.e. search engine optimization. I am still not very sure how much the internet search engine can help the business. Allen said, “don’t just put DC editorial photographer in the key word section, add a ‘best.'” Well, if everyone puts a best in front of every keyword, no one can really stand out.

However, Allen did give a lot of good tips about SEO. Here is a link to Allen’s talk:


A lot of thanks to Allen Murabayashi, John Harrington, Chip Litherland, Craig Mitchelldyer, Garrett Hubbard!

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