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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:41 am 
This year, I plan on going full-tilt towards establishing my business. I had dreams about it ever since I got my camera. I have been scared by the non-camera related aspect of the business. Now, no more excuses, I will make it happen. Except, I'm going into this blind, with no business-owning experience.

My steps so far:
- Website (which is still under construction)
- Model Release Forms
- Registering my business with the State of Pa
- Getting a Sales Tax License
- Price List
- Designed my logo
- Setup email using my domain name

Next steps:
- Business cards
- Purchasing Invoices / Receipts
- Separate bank account
- System of document/forms/invoices and other record keeping
- Lots of unknown steps :?

I need assistance. To all the already established photographers: Please tell me (in-depth preferably) everything that you do behind the scenes, the business end excluding actually taking the photos. I'm interested in what forms your clients see, what forms you fill out for your own record, what software you use, what you carry with you for on-location work. Even down to equipment used if you want (folders containing different things, messenger bag/briefcase for carrying documents and etc.)

A step-by-step workflow would be great!

The more info the better. Thanks in advance. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:28 pm
Posts: 1065
Location: Syracuse, NY
Frankly, I think this sort of thing is just as much learning by doing as it is knowing what to do from the get-go.

I'd start really simple, shoot some friends. That's not very helpful, so here's some better advice.

Forms wise, have a form listing everything you offer with costs that they can circle and fill in, maybe have a lot of space for their creative ideas (depending on what you plan to shoot, or how you work.) Next I'd have your typical invoice to bill them. Along with model releases (which are only if you plan on publishing the work) It'd also be good to have a sheet explaining your ownership of the copyright if you plan on maintaining the rights to it.

Keep forms to a minimum, don't want to bother your clients with tons of paper work.

Business cards are important for any good professional anywhere, no matter what anyone tells you. A business card, when done right, is still very classy!

The rest is all out of my arena.

Best of Luck

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"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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