The Business of Photography

How did you begin your photography business? In January of 2000, I joined the management team of Vantine Imaging, a nationwide college composite photography company. Janet joined the team a year later in our customer service department. Neither one of us knew a thing about photography. We really don’t know much more about photography right now either—as Janet likes to say, “Just enough to be dangerous.” In fact, they rarely let me touch the cameras, as I generally end up switching some important setting and messing things up. Janet and I have always been focused on business. In my 17 years at Vantine, I focused on growth and development. As the National Sales and Marketing Manager, I was responsible for market and product development, sales and marketing, and new business…

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Practical Steps For Your Professional Photography Business

The information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is changing daily, so we are doing our best to gather some practical steps you can take to minimize the impact of this event on your business. Please continue to check back with this article, periodically for updates. March 18, 2020 Update BE PATIENT WITH YOUR SCHOOLS Best approach is to be one of support and flexibility. School administrators are dealing with a myriad of urgent issues. Everyone is worried about what the future holds and most genuinely want to help. But understand, the school/league does not have enough information yet to determine when life will resume. Let them know you aren’t going anywhere, you’re there if they need help, and when the dust settles you look forward to seeing them again. IT IS SAFE…

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Our Kids Got Us to Start Our Photography Business. H&H Helped Us Grow It!

15 years ago we had a beautiful daughter. She was our first child and I got suckered into the Sears baby plan. That’s right, every month I was at the Sears portrait studio getting our daughter’s picture made. It was about ‘month 9’ when I purchased the $600.00 package! That’s when Rodney decided that it would be cheaper for him to go buy a camera. So that is what he did. He started photographing anything and everything. We photographed seniors, weddings, babies, families, and an occasional ball team. The cool thing was he was really good at it. We opened our studio around Abby’s first birthday. Our plan was to grow this little photography business as a retirement plan. During the first couple years of our business, we found it…

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How to Win the Bid to Photograph the Youth Baseball League

One of the hardest things when getting into youth photography is knowing where to go and who to talk to. Typically, there are two approaches. The first (and less scary) is to work your network. Find someone that can introduce you to a local league board member. That will work for a while. But at some point, you will need to expand beyond your current social network. That's what I want to talk about here. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PHOTOGRAPH Let's say we're talking about youth baseball. Right off the bat... see what I did there? Anyway, first off, you should know you aren't the only one pursuing that league. There are other companies trying to get the chance to photograph the sports program…

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4 Exercises to Help You Crush Your Next Picture Day

What does sports photography take out of you? Do you feel winded setting up for a shoot? Do you get tired carrying your equipment from the car to the ball field? Tired from spending all day routing little kids where you want them to go? Wired by the time you get home and toast in the morning? Funny enough, during a trade show this winter, I overheard a group of volume photographers catching up after another year. Instead of discussing lighting techniques, or the latest camera gear, or even sales tips, most of the discussion was comparing everyone's new body parts - "Hey, I got a new hip!" or "Finally had to have my knees replaced." My personal favorite was, “I’m a quarter of the way there to becoming the…

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5 Reasons Why KO Sports Can Help Your Spring Sports Season

Spring represents a new beginning. The revitalizing spirit that brings us forth from the cold winter into a blossoming new season... Ha! I wish spring sports were as poetic as they sound. Experienced sports photographers know spring really means spending more time rescheduling than we do retouching. Spring means looking for gorgeous backgrounds of freshly bloomed branches when all we can see are winter ravaged lifeless sticks and mud. Many schools start their spring sports practices as nature is putting the finishing touches on the winter season. If your company is like mine, you want your spring sports clients photographed before the first pitches of those early games. Considering the self-imposed deadline, this can be difficult. However, when using green screen, or whatever extraction service your company prefers, we eliminate…

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5 Tips to Great Spring League Sports Photo Shoots

This month, sports league photography is beginning in our studio. As we move towards spring our league photography grows in volume. As many do this time of year, I look back at the key lessons I’ve learned over the years and make sure I learn from them. Here are 5 tips I’ve learned to make league sports a great experience for all. For this article, I’m going to talk about one of our more successful assignments, a flag football league. We typically photograph this league outdoors. As in previous years, we schedule a rain date on another day. Now in the past, this rain date was also scheduled to photograph outdoors. This year I got smart (my wife is still in shock) and scheduled an indoor shoot in case it…

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3 Tips For a Successful Spring Sports Program

Spring often breathes new life and new hopes in many volume sports photography businesses. At this time of year, you are back from some of the country’s largest conferences of the year, full of ideas for new technology and products. You’ve just finished setting your business’ annual goals. Now is the time to execute. Just like that first big completion in the football game, many sports photographers hold their breath as they look to see if the market is going to accept these new ideas, and hope sales will go up because of it. At H&H, we want to help you continue to innovate and grow your business. Regardless of what your goals are, there are a few key steps to help you avoid fumbling the first snap. STEP 1:…

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Spring Pre-Season Checklist

Free Checklist 6-Week Checklist to a Successful Spring Season FREE 35+ point checklist from H&H Color Lab where we help you get ready for the spring season. Are you ready for spring? Are you, really? At H&H we want to help you have a good spring season and help you grow your business. And yes, we know it's winter. We know you are so busy that you're not even sure if your kids remember what you look like. So, we put together a checklist to take the stress out of preparing for spring season—all while you are still taking care of the business you have today. Hope you enjoy. This checklist will help you prepare for: Confirm picture dates for spring. Design & print your spring sports flyers. Setup hhimagehost…

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What I Learned From My First Dance School

Volume photography was not something I intentionally set out to pursue. I was roughly 5 years removed from volume when Scott and I were asked to photograph a dance school. We got the opportunity to interview for the job thanks to a friend who worked the front counter at a dance school. The school had just fired their photographer and my friend raved about us to the owner.  We had a great first meeting and by some miracle, they chose us! At this point, regardless of all my previous experience in volume photography, I still had no clue how to photograph dance. To learn, Scott and I headed to a convention in Las Vegas with eyes on one lecture where we hoped to learn volume from the pros.  As luck…

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