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Do You Need An Agent for Your Photography Business?

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/30/2009

So, you have acquired the skill to become a professional photographer and you've set up your own photography business, complete with your own photo studio and equipment. You are now asking yourself, "do I need an agent for my photography business?" Here are some reasons why our answer is YES.

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    First Things First - Promoting Yourself as a Photographer

    Starting a photography business is not all the skills it takes to capture great and stunning photos. In case you didn't notice, photography is just one part. The other part, business, is as equally important when you want to have a successful photography business. But you might say that you already have a business plan even before you've set up your photography business. You have everything in place. You know what you are offering to your customers. You know how to deal with customers. But still, your photography business can't seem to pick up.

    Have you asked yourself this question? - "Do potential customers know about my business?" If you answer yes to the question then something might be wrong with the mechanism you are using to let customers know about your photography business. If you answered no, then it's right that you consider building a marketing/public awareness campaign about your photography business.

    But how do you let customers know about your photography business? An online portfolio or website is good. Distributing flyers is good, too. But in the photography business, one important thing that customers consider most is reliability of service. For customers hiring photographers, it’s not so much about how good of a photographer you are, but whether somebody has recommended your services.

    I've learned this the very first time I did an event photography gig. I was recommended by a close friend to his girlfriend who happens to be an event coordinator. They were looking for substitute photography for their regular photographer who could not make it on the day of the event. If not for my friend, I wouldn't have landed that prestigious gig.

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    Do You Need an Agent for Your Photography Business?

    I would have to answer yes to this question. Enlisting the services of an agent may be an additional overhead cost for you, but you can weigh this to the potential of getting more photography gigs. Agents are business-minded individuals whose main purpose is to sell a product or service. They do it better than anyone of us. If photography is your business, selling that is the agent's business.

    If you're still not convinced that having an agent for your photography business is essential, here are three reasons why you should get yourself an agent for your photography business:

    Why You Should Get an Agent Reason #1: Agents know the ins and outs of club events and, within those club events, agents know individual people who, at some point in time, will need the services of a photographer. Agents are your sole contact to these people.

    Why You Should Get an Agent Reason #2: Agents are well known in the circle. Your potential customers know them either personally, through peer recommendations or through professional associations. They are the first person whom your potential customers will approach when they need the services of a photographer.

    Why You Should Get an Agent Reason #3: Agents are business-minded individuals who can effectively get you the best pay for photography gigs. They know how to negotiate. They've mastered the art of business bargaining and they work with one purpose in mind, to get as many gigs as they can. Of course, chances are you are not the only photographer in an agent's red book of contacts. So, the more customers they can get the more profitable it is for them, as well as yourself.

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    Focus on Perfecting Your Photography Skills and Let an Agent do the Rest

    Running a successful photography business is composed of two things; your photography skills and your business agent. If you are really serious about landing good photography gigs, it would be much better to focus on perfecting your photography skills rather than busying yourself getting clients to hire you. Don't look for clients but rather, let them look for you. And how could they find you? Through the agent you hire for your photography business, of course!