Your blog is a mighty magnet

February 2018 issue Business

Whenever I teach a marketing class, I like to ask two questions:1. How many of you have a blog? Invariably, at last two-thirds of the people in the room raise their hands. Many are a little reluctant in their response, like they’ve been asked about a load of laundry they forgot about.2. How many of you regularly publish articles on your blog? More slowly and reluctantly still, about five people in an audience of 500 will raise their hands.Gary Hughes © Gary HughesWhy is it that... Continue Reading >

Balancing art and commerce

12.20.2017 Business

Identifying the ideal balance between art and commerce is a challenge for every photographer. Guy Tal’s path to success has been a road beset with compromises, all made to achieve his ultimate goal. For Tal, that means having the financial security to sustain a life filled with reading, art, and the great outdoors.  These are some of the lessons he learned during his journey to building a career he loves.© Guy TalNever lose touch with why you do what you do. There are much easier... Continue Reading >

Keeping up with client expectations, generation after generation

January 2018 issue Business

There are very, very few photography businesses with the kind of longevity enjoyed by Fred Marcus Studio. Founded more than 70 years ago after Fred Marcus immigrated to the United States during Word War II, the studio has been serving an upscale clientele from the same location in New York City ever since. Fred taught the business to his son, Andy, who in turn taught it to his son, Brian. And through the decades the Marcuses have built up a reputation and a client base to rival any wedding and... Continue Reading >

8 lessons for entrepreneurs

11.27.2017 Business

Don’t sacrifice your life for workHaving launched and grown a successful photography business of his own, Michael Christman later served as vice president of sales at the national photography company Lifetouch. Today, he uses his experience to counsel entrepreneurs on performance and business management.Here are eight of Christman’s lessons for growing a business that doesn’t take over your life. Because there’s no point in finding entrepreneurial success if you have to sacrifice... Continue Reading >

Creating a “just-right” business: A three-part plan

December 2017 issue Business

What Michael Christman began in his garage in 1974 has become one of the largest school photography operations in the country, boasting a 78 percent market share in its region. That small business grew into part of the Lifetouch network to become one of its major California operations. Christman transitioned into business positions at Lifetouch, including vice president of sales, and spent decades helping elevate the company’s national presence. These days, he distills that experience into... Continue Reading >

9 tips for growing a debt-free photo business

September 2017 issue Business

“Photographers are good at dreaming, but making those dreams become a reality is the hard part,” says Lindsay Betz, studio manager for Jonathan Betz Photography in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “Watching your budget, avoiding debt, and managing money well—that’s how you make the dream a reality.”In 2006, Betz and her husband, Jonathan, the namesake photographer of the business, moved from St. Louis to Colorado Springs to pursue their dream of living near the mountains and opening a... Continue Reading >

You’re not ready

July 2017 issue Business

Sounds like the perfect timeWhen my daughter started competing in triathlons, her biggest challenge of the swimming, running, cycling race was the swimming segment. She was a terrific swimmer—strong with efficient form—in the pool. But she’d never raced in open water. Moving fast while trying to maintain a straight line undefined by swimming lanes was disorienting and scary. The biggest lesson she learned from a seasoned pro: head down, keep moving, and look up occasionally. The best... Continue Reading >

Lessons earned: Career advice from veteran photographers

June 2017 issue Business

What better way to learn than from someone who’s already walked the path? We’ve asked two members of PPA’s Board of Directors for words of wisdom: PPA President Rob Behm, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Valley Studio in Spokane Valley, Washington; and PPA Chairman Lori Craft, Cr.Photog., of Craft Photography in Marshall, Michigan.What do you wish you’d known when you started out?Lori Craft© Ron NicholsCraft: I wish I had known how important business classes would be. There is more to... Continue Reading >

Business tips: Put strategy behind your passion

4.21.2017 Business

Because it’s not enough to love what you doDo what you love and money will follow. Who hasn’t heard that heartfelt but incomplete advice? Pro photographer Suzanne Deaton, M.Photog., notes that without a strategy behind the passion, you’re just hoping to earn a living instead of planning on it.Deaton offers some advice to fellow photographers looking to follow their joy and pay the bills:© Suzanne DeatonGet educated. “Earning my master of photography from PPA was the best... Continue Reading >