Real Estate and Forex and Life, Oh My!

Apparently I don't know what it means to be a consistent blogger. Anyways there are a few things to be updated in my life. 1. Real Estate Investing Since last November I have been interested in investing in real estate. I Read more

Time Keeps Marching

The summer has been a whirlwind of fun. My parents were here for about 6 weeks, though they did travel a lot during that time. I was able to spend about 8 days with them down at my sister's Read more

Made It Through The Winter!

Well it seems that the winter is finally over. In fact there wasn't much of a spring around here. As my friend Casey put it, in Wisconsin there is winter, and then there's a death match between winter and Read more

New Job Finally

I've been back in the States since October and have had a couple of jobs here and there, but they weren't very good and didn't last long. Well it's been just a bit over four months and I finally Read more

I've Been Everywhere Man

Well I have now come to the end of my career on cruise ships. I thought it'd be nice to provide a little list of all the places I've been in the last 3 years. Most of the names Read more

I'm Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful wizard of Alaska!! Yeah I can't wait to be back in Alaska. Sounds strange to say that because it's gonna be 5 long months of hard work but it's gonna be a nice change - at least Read more

Skydiving in Honolulu

Well, this is definitely something worth writing about. I jumped out of an airplane. The airplane was 14,750 feet in the air. The free fall was 60 seconds. It was amazing. I had never thought about sky diving before Read more

Next Contract - Panama Canal and Alaska

With also a few other places thrown in such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii and Christmas Island!! If you're interested please see below my itinerary for this next contract on the ms Statendam. I'll be joining it during dry dock Read more

Ideas To Make Good, Creative and Catchy Photography Business Names

Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer’s Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More

“A rose by any other name is still a rose.”

A name is extremely important and choosing a name for your photography business is something that you should do before you even open for business. The name that you choose is going to stay with you for the duration of the life of your company.

There are thousands of photographers out in the world trying to make their mark, many of which have set up a businesses, but don’t have a suitable name that really sets them apart. This is your chance to shine and really make a difference.

So what will set you apart? What is going to make your name something really special?

Brainstorming for Photography Business Name Ideas

Brainstorming. Lots of brainstorming. What comes to mind? Just start writing it down.

Use a real pen and paper. Those two ancient tools still exist and they work phenomenally well. Really!

It really is all about getting those brain juices flowing. Don’t worry if you think of a bunch of silly names that you’d never actually use. The process of getting the right name involves a lot of really bad names. If you limit yourself to thinking of only good things, you’ll miss the entire process and you’ll never even get out of the driveway, so to speak.catchy photography business names

Once you’ve written down a hundred or more names that might work, start narrowing it down to the ones that jump out at you as stellar. You can do even more brainstorming with the names that you find attractive. You’ll surprise yourself what you can think of once you’ve gotten into the thinking zone.

Making Your Name Good, Creative and Catchy

If you want your business to catch the attention of prospective clients it will help a lot to have a name that sets you apart from the plethora of other photography businesses out there.

What do you want your name to convey? What do you want to be? Think of something that both relates to your selected field but also something that interests you. If the name is interesting to you it’s going to feel a whole lot more meaningful. That’s one of the most important things anyways because if you feel passion about something you’re going to pour your whole being into making sure that it succeeds.

Personalizing Your Photography Business

Most of the time photography businesses are small businesses and you as the owner are the most important member of the business. For this reason it’s usually a good idea to incorporate your own name into the business name. Here’s a few examples on how that might look:

Bob Jones Photography
Mary Jane Portraits
Lenses of Sara
Shutterbug Frank

Another thing to keep in mind is the particular type of photography business that you are engaged in. You should choose a name that speaks directly to your audience. A name that encourages trust and reliability is super important.

If at first you don’t succeed, brainstorm again. Eventually you’re going to come up with something that you both enjoy and will shine above the rest of the industry. As a last resort you can always hire a marketing agent to do some business name research for you. Just make sure that the name that you finally decide on doesn’t sound like it’s come out of a photography business name generator.

Posted on in Photography Business, Photography Business Names 1 Comment

How To Start A Photography Business From Home On Your Own

So you love photography.
You know something about how to use a camera.
You think it would be great to actually make some money off of the fancy equipment that you have which is currently just being used to make family photos and nice scenery shots from your family vacations.

Well how about starting a photography business?

Having your own business of any kind is very rewarding but of course there are many things to think about before you dive in. If you go about creating your photography business in a way that makes sense and takes advantage of your situation, you’re going to be extremely happy with a job that not only do you love, but also makes a handsome living for yourself.

Choosing a Target Audience For Your Startup Photography Business

One of the first things that you’ll want to do when you start your own photography business is to choose who you want your audience to be. You can’t just start taking pictures of anything and everything and hope that people will buy them. You need to actually try and target the people that you want to sell to. In other words, you need to decide what type of photographer you’re going to be and what you’ll take photos of.

You can be a “jack of all trades” or you can be an expert at a few select trades. It’s much better to do a few things and do them well, than it is to do everything halfway. Someone who knows how to specialize is not only going to really know what they’re doing, but is also going to have a much happier customer base because they will see that they are getting the best that is available to them.

Insurance, Hiring Employees, Buying the Right Photography Equipment Etc.

A big part of the opening process of any business are things like insurance, hiring employees and making sure that you are properly equipped to do the job.

If you aren’t properly insured you’re going to run into trouble somewhere down the road and this can be disastrous to both your business and your reputation. If you only have a small amount of equipment and don’t think that insurance is a big deal, you’d be dead wrong. Insuring your equipment is probably the least of your worries. You need to have a full business insurance policy to insure yourself against complaints from customers and any number of things that might go wrong.

You might one day have an accident where someone gets hurt and sues you, and you need to make sure that you’re going to be covered in situations like this. It only takes one mistake to completely end your career as a photographer if you aren’t insured.

When you’re first starting you may not need to really hire that many employees, if any. You should definitely think about how you might expand your business in the future though because you never know what might happen. If you are good at your job and people start talking about you, you could have a lot of business. This might mean you’ll need to hire a second photographer to help you cover events, or you may need an accountant to help you keep your to start a photography business

The right equipment is really important for a photographer. If you’re going to be taking photos of weddings you’re going to need some really nice lighting to help with the indoors shots. If you’re taking photos of wildlife you’ll probably need some really long telephoto lenses. If you’re taking sports photos you’ll need a professional level camera body that takes many frames per second. The best thing you can do is to do some research about the specific type of photography that you are targeting and find out what the best equipment is.

Understanding the “Business” in “Photography Business”

A good photographer does not a successful photography business make. In other words, just because you know how to take a good photo and maybe even how to market yourself, doesn’t mean that you will be a successful photographer. It is imperative that you also have a mastery over the business side of things.

This is going to range from keeping a tight record of your spendings and earnings to networking so that your business continues to grow.

My simple advice on this topic is to go out and buy a few books about starting a small home based business. You could even sign up for a few business classes at your nearest community college. When you think about it the price of a few books or even of a few classes is going to be very small when you compare it to the amount of income that you will make on your own business. Think of it as investing in yourself to make your business more profitable.

You’ll make your life so much easier if you can avoid as many mistakes as possible at the beginning so you don’t have to learn the right way the hard way.

Working From Home: Pros and Cons

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re starting a business from home. Yes you are probably going to have more flexibility than you would at an office simply because you’re at home, but you need to make sure that you are not distracted from work by your home.

The first pro that I’ve already mentioned is that you’ll have a lot more flexibility. You’re going to set your own hours. You’ll be able to do the laundry in between editing photos. If there’s an emergency that you need to address with a family member you’ll have a lot better chance of getting time off since you’re the boss. The flexibility of working from home is undeniable.

Another pro is that you get to decide how successful your business will be. Your paycheck isn’t going to be limited to what your boss gives you. You are totally in control of what you make. It’s up to you to get more clients and you can charge whatever you like.

The cons of the business go pretty much hand in hand with the pros. You’re going to have to be extremely self motivated to succeed in your own business. Starting a photography business or any business for that matter doesn’t just run itself. You’ll need to make sure that you are involved 100% of the time or it’s going to be a flop, guaranteed.

Because your business is going to be new, you won’t have an already built up clientele. You’re going to have to do all the hard work of building up trust and respect within the community before you can expect giant leaps and bounds to be made. This is different than just working for another company where you can rely on a paycheck every other week. Now you MUST work or you don’t eat.

Doing it All On Your Own, Or Do You?

You don’t actually have to be on your own. Yes you might be in a business that doesn’t rely on an employer for yourself because you are the employer, but you can still have other people involved in your business. Friends and family for example can be some of the best help you could ever want.

You have many things to do and you can use all these friends and family members to help you out. They can help you make fliers, they can spread the word, or best of all they could even be your first customers! This could be great because as a starting company you will need good references. If you have no references people will be hesitant to try you out. It’s easy to get your family to let you take photos of them and then you can let them rave about how good you are.

A rope made of three strings is so much stronger than a rope made of one string. The same goes with starting a business. If you go it all on your own, you’re going to have a much harder time than if you bring a lot of help on board with you. Can you succeed all by yourself? Yes. Will it be easier if you bring help? YES!

Posted on in Photography Business, Starting A Photography Business 1 Comment

Longest Flight Ever

Well I have finally finished my contract on the Volendam. What started as an 8 month contract ended as a 9 1/2 month contract. I enjoyed almost all of it and really got to see a lot of great things. Asia, Alaska, South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand ain’t bad for one contract, and now I’m in London. There are new photos in my photo gallery of New Zealand.

For my vacation I’m chilling out at Niamh’s house. We took a 9 hour flight from Sydney to Hong Kong and then a 13 hour flight from Hong Kong to London. I think that’s farther than I’ve ever flown, including going from China to the States. Needless to say I’m battling jet lag just a bit.

Our initial plans for the 6 week vacation that we have is just to sleep and eat and try to recuperate from an insane contract, but we do have some more interesting plans as well. We’re going to visit Ireland because Niamh is half Irish and has family there. We’re going to visit Scotland because it sounds awesome and Niamh hasn’t even been there. If we have time and money we may take the train to Paris. Also some highlights in the UK are Big Ben, (which Niamh loves making fun of me for wanting to see) Stonehenge, the hop-on hop-off bus in London, and any other various things we want to do. Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on the Underground.

I just bought myself a new camera, the Nikon D700. I had my previous camera stolen on the Volendam and happily Holland America reimbursed me for it, so I get to upgrade now. The shipping in the UK is insanely fast because I just bought the camera yesterday and the guy sent me an email with the tracking information saying it is supposed to be delivered today before 1pm. I guess I’m going to have to start enjoying it very soon! 😀

My next ship is going to be the Ryndam. It’s kinda crazy how over 3 contracts I will have only been on 2 ships. Most people do 2 ships in their first contract. Well I wouldn’t say most but a large majority of people get transferred at least a couple times and I have yet to have that happen in the middle of a contract. I will join the Ryndam in Tampa and do 2 or 3 cruises down there before the ship relocates to Europe where I will spend the rest of the contract. It’s going to be doing a lot of cruises in Norway, going up extremely north. I guess it’s gonna be even colder than Alaska there. We’re also going to go to England, The Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, France, Italy and quite a few other places. As you might tell I’m VERY excited about this next contract. I hear it’s a struggle as far as making money goes, but I’m not really in it for the money this time around, I wanna see Europe!


Posted on in Australia 2011, Cruise Life 6 Comments
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