Monday, March 31, 2014

Am I Good Enough To Charge?

Yet another common theme among photographic amateurs. It's a natural question, I guess. All hobbyists wonder if they can turn their hobby into a profession. I periodically wonder if I should start a business baking bread. And then I remind myself that this is stupid and that there's absolutely no way I want to start a bread company.

Should I start a business?

Should I charge?

Should I put up a web site?

Long time readers will no doubt not be surprised to learn that I think you should charge, or not, or start a business, or not, as it suits you. But don't be half-assed about it.

There is no such thing as "good enough to charge money," either you charge money or you do not. Your customers will judge whether or not to pay the rates you ask. It doesn't matter if you're good or bad, there are plenty of terrible photographers charging money, and plenty of excellent ones who do not charge. Making money is a marketing and business problem, not a skill problem.

Don't launch a web site just to have a web site. That's stupid. What purpose does your web site serve? Is it intended to drive business? Is it a convenient place to place your best work for review purposes? Is it purely for vanity? These are all fine reasons to have a web site.

"All these other people have web sites" is not a good reason to have a web site.

As always, the theme here is:

Figure out what you want to do, and then do that.

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