Correspondence with an up and coming photographer.

I’m a senior in high school, I do Hair and Photography as well. I am doing a project and it involves researching what I want to do for a career. My question was ” How can I successfully own my own hair and photography Business” I Googleed it to see what I got and your name showed. I was wondering if by any chance I could ask you a few questions about it? It would be greatly appreciated. And help me a great deal with my project.
Thanks for your time.
Lexie Bennett 

Do you want to email me or drop by the studio? Scott

Ha ha, I live in Washington. I could just e-mail some questions if that’s not to much trouble?

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 10:22 PM, Lexie Bennett wrote:

Ok, thank you SO much!! I have to do a ten page paper on this to graduate. The more you write the better. You don’t have to finish it right now if your to busy. Thank you so much again!

1) Tell me what your profession is: Photographer

2) What made you want to start this particular career: I enjoyed Photography, but I was schooled in graphic arts, old school, so I needed to do something else when old school graphics became out dated.

3) What are the benefits of owning your own business: Just being my own boss, but you really need a business background or payout allot for someone else to do your business, and you concentrate on the creative end. 

4) What were some of the biggest challenges: Getting the word out, getting clients in front of your camera, sales, taxes, advertising, etc.,   ( you need to shoot, to create the income, to support your career…)

5) How is it financially ( does it support you well ) : Currently all photographers are having a tough time for several reasons, economy for one, everyone is being more cautious about spending money, being that this is a luxury, we suffer.  Plus allot of ernest individuals think they are photographers because they just got a 10 megapixel camera and go shoot their cousins wedding… sorry if this is sounding disappointing but with your natural energy and desire you can sway people to use you services, I have had a very successful career its just slower now.

6) Did you set up a business plan: A basic plan with allot of desire and getup and go!

7) Did you take any class for hair, photography or business: I was in the graphic arts industry and so I studied the master painters from the past, learning about light and design, etc., photography was a required course in graphic arts back then, not now,  Thank goodness for my sake.

8) What is the best way to get started: Passion and shoot allot. Study your work and set the goal of higher percentage rate of successful, salable image content, every time you shoot. study and plagiarizer all the great photographers. Something really helpful is become friends with photographers on Facebook. Allot of good work at your finger tips to view and study…

9) Would you recommend this career why or why not : Only if you have a passion, I, at this time, can’t think of anything else I would want to do except my passions, I like the creation aspect of anything.

I wouldn’t recommend this to a novice as a trade, unless their passion is really strong. but if you can’t see the shot when you look through the lens, then don’t go into this as a trade, get a job to survive and do this as a weekend warrior photographer (just my partial opinion).

10) How long did it take you to start it up: It took 5 years to break even, but I was an upholsterer at the time and was able to sustain myself for that period and then I quit and went full time as a photographer but during that time I honed my craft to be more readily acceptable to the masses (you know, those who have money).  🙂

11) Is it home-based or do you own a separate building: Its a turn of the century federal styled house, converted to a studio and is currently on the national historical registry, and See #5 above.

12) Is it just you or your family too: My wife is the main business operator and everything that she needs to be to keep the studio going, we also have a part time employee. we booth rent our salon, with four chairs.

13) What would be your biggest suggestion for someone who wanted to do this: Again, passion and additional income (job) to support your desire of getting you career going, or someone who believes in you and are willing to financially support you while you get going.

14) Is the studio and salon set up kinda close (what’s the set up of the location): Click for a studio tour

15) Why do you prefer owning your own business over working for someone else: I don’t know, My Dad owned his own business, but shadowing someone (established photographer) will give you an edge, I have student come to my studio every semester from the nearby colleges and high schools to mentor.

My question is “How can I successfully own a entrepreneurial business combining my skills in hair and photography?” It will all fall in to place, start shooting your clients as portfolio pieces to shoe hair clients and then expand and have them as photo clients as well! Offer your hair and do makeup to photographer for opportunity to shoot with them and pick their brain, etc…

If you can think of anything else to help me answer this question it would be great! I’m not so sure of what the first steps that I would need to take like financially or anything so any help would be greatly appreciated. =)

Lexie Bennett

I hope this is some what helpful, all this was off the cuff, May I add this to my blog?


GOOD LUCK!!!!!! 🙂
Scott Hancock