professional practice

Professional Practice – Working self employed-Pros and cons

Things I would need to do to make a successful business:

  • Marketing
  • Business Planning
  • Sources of further help

Most businesses need some form of funding, Banks do not support small businesses…


Advantages of being self employed:

  • You are your own boss
  • Pick and choose to a certain extent hours work
  • Your own choice of work
  • More control over charges for your work
  • Choice of clientele
  • Creative control (genre)
  • You benefit from the success
  • Own our own work
  • Freedom time is flexible
  • There may be tax benefits

Disadvantages of being self employed:

  • Lonely
  • Not a guaranteed income
  • Cash flow
  • Risk
  • Pressure is on your own shoulders
  • Responsibility on YOU
  • Liability
  • Trends changing Market
  • Find Clients
  • Keep clients happy
  • Purchase and maintain own equipment
  • Paper work
  • Need self discipline
  • Manage time effectively
  • Less time perhaps for your family
  • No sickness or holidays paid
  • Need to keep accurate financial records

Sole trader – working for myself

Private limited company – partnership two or more partners working together.

Copy right is there to protect the artists work:

  • Protects work,  stops others from using it without permission
  • Others can not copy or distribute it on the internet
  • automatically get copyright protection when you create original artistic work, including photography
  • Copy right is active until seventy years after the creators death

A contract is a written agreement with both parties protecting photographer and the client, it is to prevent misunderstanding.  It is important to read the contract out to the client and ensure the client reads carefully all the small print.  So the client is aware of all the relevant information regarding the photographs and the necessary details. Having a written contract is evidence of agreement between both parties.


Professional liability insurance,  covers for lack of earnings, or a memory card that is corrupt thus losing images from a wedding or commercial shoot for example.  This covers costs for the client should they wish to sue.  This  safe guards the photographer from loss due to unforeseen accidents, incidents.

Business owner insurance protects the photographers equipment , this insurance will pay for any accidental damages

(BOP) Business owners Policy covers the clients belongings as well as the photographers equipment so it is important for the photographer to have this insurance as well.


Starting off a business will need preparation, such as marketing and establishing the business, purchasing or arranging equipment for loan as well as other elements such as refurbishing the studio for example.

Banks are helpful when you start off, but unfortunately do not really support small businesses (Sole trader) There is a fee for a business account and as soon as you are making more money and become successful the bank will become extremely helpful and have more  interest in your business,before this you can be seen as a risk factor.


Raising finance:

  • Having another job to enable the photographer to save for the necessarr finances to set up in business
  • Investment
  • Redundancy – using a payout to fund or part fund a new business
  • Loans
  • Selling something such as your home or expensive items
  • Princess trust
  • Grants
  • Crowd funding, for example putting an advert on a website called kick start where they invest in a project in hope to make money on their sol trader of interest.
  • Lease expensive equipment rather than buy

Reasons for failure:

  • Inadequate market research
  • Failure to identify market needs
  • Under pricing
  • Over optimistic of sales forecast
  • Lack of cash
  • Failure to control costs
  • Unexpected problems (e.g. illness)
  • Accident (No accident insurance)


Sourced from books, lecture notes and general knowledge:

Beyond The Lens, AOP

Setting Up A Successful Photography Business, Lisa Prichard


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