I wanted to post about a present day event.  Today. Real time. Not past events and not about future hopes. This is fresh.

Today I chose to launch my photography business!  I had been thinking about it for quite some time.  I did some research on how to make my photography work – work for me and for clients.  I looked at various options – selling my work as stock images, selling prints at markets, setting up an online shop, etc.  None of these really appealed to me as they became exercises in commerce rather than doing photography to add value to the events and lives of everyday people.

So a few weeks ago I set up a basic website.  One that had a bio and links to my various social media sites – including this WordPress blog. One that linked to my Instagram page and my Facebook page where all info about me and my images landed.  Then a week ago I designed and ordered some business cards.  Yes, some people still like a physical representation of a person’s business.  I had done some work for my son’s kindergarten and the director asked for my card and ABN.  I didn’t have them and felt that this was an opportunity to capture an audience.  So they arrived today.  And my ABN arrived yesterday.  Things were falling into place.

Today things just seemed to fall in an order that gave me the confidence to take a leap.  I have always been a big advocate for social media being the new way for business to form and function.  So I used it to my advantage.  I put out to my Facebook and Twitter followers that I was launching Greg Cromie Photography.  I told my audience that if they had need for a photographer, or knew someone that did, to let me know. Check out my work on Instagram, read my blogs, get in touch.  These are people that know my past.  People that have seen me work my way from a dark place to being proud of my photographic work.

The response has been astounding.  I have had so much love and support and positive feedback.  Incredible sentiment from my peeps. And to top it off, within a few hours of posting my business launch message, I had an enquiry from a friend who wanted to have a photographer document her son’s 21st Birthday. Both the big party and the family event the following day! Wow! OMG! What on earth are my rates?

I took a few deep breaths and then remembered that when promoting my new business I had stated that I wanted this to be a reliable and down to earth kind of service.  Doing research into the fees photographers charge has been quite an eye opener.  In general, photographers will charge a per image fee.  So all the taking photos time and post production time and what the photo is going to be used for,  goes into the cost per image.  I would imagine that is pretty daunting for someone just wanting to get some decent photos at their child’s party.  Or at a graduation event.  Or of their newborn child. Add to this that the photographer retains the rights to ALL images.  That’s not me.  Imagine a stranger showing up to your baby shower or Christening and then saying you could only have prints of the images once you paid for them.  Per print! Not even the ability to have a digital copy to share with family and friends.  That’s not right and certainly not the sort of service I want to offer.

To keep it ‘down to earth’ I made some executive decision.  Because I am the executive here! At this stage, I would offer a per hour fee for on site work, a per hour fee for post production work and then any extra’s that came along.  Renting of special equipment, printing images, producing a photo-book, etc.  That feels right to me. And, the customer, will be given full copyright of ALL of their images of their special or intimate event. We would negotiate me being able to publish a few images on my site and social media pages to promote my work, but other than that, they are not mine to keep.  They are not my memories of a special event. That’s just me. I can look at other pricing strutures once I get some clients and feedback and greater experience.

Today I have bought a bigger desk and a bigger monitor to hook up to my MacBook.  Set it all up in a disused corner of my lounge room.  And now am just waiting for the phone to ring! Wish me luck!