4.1 BUSINESS PLANNING

March 31, 2013 by Brian Lewis

In my case I had felt driven to do a book on Contemporary Caribbean Architecture and then it occurred to me that this might be a sort of retirement business. After all I have been doing architecture and architectural photography for most of my working life. Once I made the decision to go professional the first thing I needed to do is to start reading. Digital photography and the whole digital realm of the web and internet has really changed everything so I began by re-educating myself in the digital realm. There are numerous books and websites out there and perhaps far too much information so what I can do here is just to share a few books and activities I found worthwhile and helpful to me in the hope that you may find them a useful shortlist.

In addition to reading I found that preparing a comprehensive business plan for LUMIS was a really useful exercise. It made me analyse the market, develop a marketing plan and decide on which products and services that LUMIS should offer and of course the related financial issues.

In between starting the book, Contemporary Caribbean Architecture, the business plan, the branding exercise and building a web site and blog I also needed to upgrade my photographic skills in the digital realm by attending a series of photographic workshops. This meant learning digital lighting techniques, Phocus [the Hasselblad platform] and Adobe’s InDesign and Photoshop.

One of the key strategies LUMIS will pursue is to help present architecture by becoming a useful resource and link between architects and publishers for Caribbean Architecture. In order to achieve this LUMIS will develop a comprehensive listing of architects and publishers within the region and to establish a relationship with both.

In between all these activities I spent lots of time on the internet studying architectural photographers and their websites. I also joined the American Photographic Artists and the American Society of Media Photographers associations and became part of the architectural group and joined a number of photographic blogs. All this investment in knowledge, thinking and planning is fine but nothing substitutes getting out there and photographic architecture – and that’s where the book comes in. It’s been an exciting and challenging time but I am enjoying every minute and now look forward to formal retirement as practice manager of acla:works so that I can complete my passion for architectural photography. This of course does not mean that I will stop designing – my second passion.

During the formative stages of LUMIS I did a lot of reading as I always try to ensure ‘nothing overlooked’. For those interested you will a review of the books I found useful in my preparation for setting up the LUMIS business.

BUSINESS & MARKETING READING LIST

The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion – Fourth Edition +++

by Maria Piscopo
Alllworth Press. 2010

A good place to start reading and is strong on marketing, advertising and sales.

The Linked Photographer’s Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media ++++
By Lindsay Adler and Rosh Sillars
Cencage Learning. 2011

A very comprehensive reference book with loads of specific and detailed suggestions. A must have for a photographer interested in social media.

Marketing Fine Art Photography +++
By Alain Briot
Rocky Nook. 2011

Although this book is mainly to do with selling fine art photography I have included it in my list of book reviews because it has some well-written articles on the art of photography.

Best Business Practices For Photographers: Second Edition ++++
By John Harrington
Cencage Learning. 2010

Without any doubt this is a book every photographer needs as a reference and is filled with tons of useful information on just about every aspect of the photography business. Highly recommended

Going Pro: How To Make The Leap From Aspiring To Professional Photographer +++
By Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen
AMPHOTO BOOKS, 2011

The first three chapter are very general but the following chapters present various aspects on marketing and social media with minimal techno-babble and with some clear graphic diagrams that are more memorable than endless text.

Business And Legal Forms For Photographers: Fourth Edition ++++
By Tad Crawford
ASMP and Allworth Press, 2010

This is not a book to read but it definitely is one to have as a reference. Apart from containing legal advise on many aspects of the photography business. Also it included a CD containing numerous legal templates to assist you develop your own contract and licenses.

Digital Photography Best Practices And Workflow Handbook +++
By Patricia Russotti and Richard Anderson
ASMP and Focal Press. 2010

Another useful book that outlines the workflow and processes that photographers need to be aware of and implement in their photography business. A useful reference.

The Photographer’s Market Guide To Building Your Photography Business: Second Edition ++
By Vik Orenstein
Writers Digest Books, 2010

This is a general book that describes the various fields of photography that might be useful to someone considering which field to get into.

The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management For Photographers +++
By Peter Krogh
O’Reilly. 2006

This book is well regarded in the photography industry. Peter Krogh has a very methodical approach to the business. With the variety of software and hardware available not every photographer will want to follow every single recommendation.

Fast Track Photographer: Leverage Your Unique Strengths For A More Successful Photography Business: Revised And Expanded Edition +++++
By Dane Sanders
AMPHOTO BOOKS, 2008

This is an excellent book for someone considering going professional. The book is well written and inspiring with lots of exercises that I found very useful to me clarifying my ideas. Highly recommended.

Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build A Successful Photography Venture From The Ground Up ++++
By Dane Sanders
AMPHOTO BOOKS, 2010

Not quite a gripping as the first book, but nevertheless well worth the read. I will go back and have another look at the marketing exercises.

.