October 3, 2013


Re-BLOG & Not in anyway, form or shape a "amillerfoto" BLOG | But something that a fellow photographer, business owner and educator has blogged and I thought it to be extremely relevant to followers and subscribers....

Carry ON and READ and sign up for her BLOG updates, she is AMAZING | http://www.elizabethhalford.com/


OCTOBER 3, 2013
Posted in Taking Pictures,The Business of Photography

“Elizabeth, I loved, loved, loved how you handled this!” -Elizabeth Hope

I got this in my email this week:

“I want to start a photography business but I don’t have a camera. What camera should I buy?”

Face. Palm.


Guys, how has it come to this? I’ve literally felt so sad since receiving this question. Why, oh, why does photography look like a cash cow to people? Since when has this art become so very disguised as something else? And don’t you dare tell me it’s because DSLRs are more readily available than ever before.

Because so are computers. I have two and I’m not thinking about becoming a programmer.

I have a drawer full of paintbrushes. I haven’t once considered selling paintings.

I have an entire dresser full of hair products and tools I use for myself but I’m not going to go and try to be a hair stylist.

I have a stove – it doesn’t make me a caterer.

So now tell me…why do people who have a camera that they use personally (or in this case, no camera at all!) think it makes sense to start an enterprise to make money with it? It’s baffling to me. Truly.

I’m not despising small beginnings or big dreams. Because I started super small. But long before I ever thought I could establish a business, I fell in love with photography and started my artistic journey. Then people started asking if I could do it for them, too, and that’s when the penny dropped that I could do this for a living. I didn’t start learning photography to make money. That just feels so wrong. Where’s the heart in that? And worse, what happens when there’s no money coming in? Because the photography business is largely fueled by love and passion, not money.

It’s like getting married for sex. What you gonna do when your marriage to this art isn’t putting out?

Oh this occasion, I answered this email. And this is exactly what I said:

How are you going to establish a business in the arts when you’re not even (yet) an artist? Consider the following questions:

“I want to sell paintings. What paintbrushes should I use?”

“I want to get published. What pen should I write with?”

“I want to make a record and get on the radio, but I’m not a singer.”

Photography is art. It’s not just something you decide you’re going to do if you’re not an artist or you’ll get eaten alive. This is my suggestion…

Get the cheapest DSLR you can (Nikon or canon. Doesn’t matter). Learn the art. Excell in composition. Learn to harness the decisive moment. Learn how light behaves. Learn how to work with people. Make lots of mistakes. Pour your blood sweat and tears into your art. Learn to make something amazing without much to work with and then graduate up in lenses and cameras when/if you can afford it.

Study business. Learn how people think. Make a business plan. Study psychology and sales. Choose your genre/niche. Stick with it.

Your camera is a paintbrush. It’s not what you use to start your business.

I wish someone told me this when I started.