A business person answers “Yes.”
You would agree with the business person. Photographers are good, professional, profitable people.
Of course they are. As are most other professions.
Is photography a poor business? A business person answers, “No.”
You would not. Most businesses are, and most good photographers are. (If you can’t figure that one out, think about how many weddings, photo-shoots, parties, conventions, and festivals you’ve been to in your life. Most of the pictures probably came from that.)
But not all things are a good business. A very low-margin retail store is not good business; it doesn’t make enough money to sustain itself; and most of the businesses that thrive are high-margin, high-profit businesses (like a doctor treating cancer patients).
So if you’re a photographer you should be concerned about low profits: It isn’t good business. Just because it might not come from a “good” business doesn’t mean it can’t have a very big business.
This is an important caveat to remember.
If you have a good photo-shop and you’re happy to let the customers go to it – especially when they want to buy things from you – you’re doing good business. But if you’re not happy with the customer – a photographer, an artist – you’re losing business.
This is why I am very skeptical – or at least more anxious – about this new industry that is now sweeping across Hollywood and creating the equivalent of a mega-retail industry in the photography scene.
And it’s why photography-fans should keep their fingers crossed and get into this market as early and as widely as they can!
(A final note for the people who want more information ….)
Even if you’re happy with your store, there are some important things you should know about before you open your doors.
First, the biggest and best photographers don’t go after high-profit businesses.
A few great photographer, such as Richard Avedon, did, and they were happy with their small shops. But they never made more than enough money to be a “big fish” in the market of photography (because photographers are not very profitable).
Many of the people now making that kind of money aren’t very happy with the way they make their money. They want their business, and they have the expertise to be very successful.
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