Basic Steps to a Successful Commercial Photography
To put it in a simple definition, commercial photography is plainly taking photos for commercial purposes, such as ventures that make use of professional shots for advertisements, sales pitches, brochures, product placements, and merchandising. It is basically important that endeavoring, as a professional photographer, into commercial photography takes more than talent and skills on the art side, but that you have to flex your mind and understand that this field is about taking risk in a business undertaking, which requires more in-depth study of basic concepts that are important to operating the business from laws on copyright up to the marketing plans and strategies.
Due to a huge possibility of covering similar photo subjects by photographers, a commercial photographer must understand the basic steps of registering his works into the protective custody of copyright laws to prevent the copying or unauthorized use of his works by illegal means and, thus, by registering his works as intellectual properties, he obtains the means of legal protection from infringement. All kinds of infringement violations can be prevented when your photo materials are all copyrighted since the US Copyright Office makes it a point to record and publish all intellectual properties in public, thus, informing the public of your ownership of your photo materials. The viable benefits of having your valuable photographs be copyrighted are not just for protection from infringement or showing your legal ownership to your works, but, more so, your copyright pieces can be legally used by others, thus giving you an income, through what is referred to as acquiring the license to use your works by having a written agreement that stipulates the terms and conditions of use.
Insurance is one basic step needed to be enrolled in, when venturing into the business of commercial photography, in order to help mitigate for the financial losses brought about by fire, physical accidents of staff, or equipment being lost, stolen or destroyed. There are many kinds of insurance coverage to choose from, depending on your needs, such as comprehensive general ability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, owned and rented equipment coverage, computer and mobile device coverage, portfolio coverage, business content coverage, etc.
To guide a commercial photographer in accosting for what should be the appropriate cost of doing business, before accepting an assignment, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has provided this calculation for a candidate to use: non-reimbursable expenses + desired salary = the total overhead cost divided by the number of billable days = the total cost of doing business. In the age of digital information, it is very important for commercial photographers to channel their marketing strategies into this technology by using communication in a consistent mode to their potential clients through emails, phone calls, or using social media, and building a website to showcase the business profile and photos and investing on SEO to have the website be ranked in the search engine servers.