How do you start a photographic business? This workshop will give you the tools you need to plan, set up and improve your business before exploring the benefits (as well as the potential pitfalls) of short or long-term working collaborations.

To run a successful photography business, it’s important to understand what it really means to be a professional photographer. This workshop will help you to consider everything you need to set-up or improve your business, and will provide you with the essential know-how to attract potential clients.

The second half of the session will go on to explore the benefits of working with others; both short term on group projects, exhibitions and collaborations, or longer term as independent collectives or agencies.

Course content:

Morning session - Business Development with Nancy Dykins and Zoe Whishaw

Nancy Dykins will begin the workshop with an exploration on the practicalities of starting a business, including:

  • The viability of your business - strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis)
  • Developing your vision, top line strategy and goals
  • Business planning and models
  • Market Research
  • Finances and cash flow including Tax, National Insurance and VAT
  • Professional services: accountancy, the law and insurance

Nancy will also cover where to go for further advice and information.

Zoe Whishaw will then deliver a talk on ‘The move from Emerging to Professional Photographer: content and practice’. Zoe’s session explores the following issues:

  • How do you know when you’re ready to become a pro?
  • What are the markets for a professional photographer?
  • What characteristics in a photographer do art buyers and photo editors look for?
  • What are the essential elements of a compelling website?
  • What does a photographer’s rep/agent do and when is the right time to find one?
  • What are the best ways to market your work?
  • Zoe aims to give you a reality check to really determine whether running a photography business is the right thing for you. She will explore what it takes to attract potential clients to use your services and the essential characteristics and personality traits that you need if you are to be successful. She will also discuss how important it is for photographers to develop a brand in what is a very congested creative arena.

    Afternoon Session - Collaboration

    Growing numbers of photographers see the benefits of working with others. It can help creatively, and more importantly increases visibility and momentum. But it’s also something of a minefield, with plenty of traps for the unwary and uninformed.

    In this afternoon session, we aim to inspire you to consider collaboration if you haven’t already, or give advice if you’ve already started. This part will start with short presentations by Charlie Meecham and Marcelle Holt, both Photographers/Artists with extensive collaborative experience, followed by a panel-led discussion where you will have the chance to present your own questions to Charlie, Marcelle and Redeye’s Paul Herrmann.

    Who is this workshop for?

    This workshop is aimed at photographers who are about to make-or have recently made-the leap from emerging to professional photographer. It is for those who need information on the practicalities behind running a photography business and advice on how to ensure its success.

    Speaker Biogs:

    Nancy Dykins:
    Nancy set up her first company, a Mac training business, in the late 80’s, aged just 20 at a time when Apple computers were first breaking in to the studios of advertising and design businesses. The business grew quickly as an appetite to ‘come off the board’ and switch to Macs grew apace. This business has now become part of the Soho Editors group.

    Nancy went on to set up and build Orchard, Manchester’s first dedicated freelance and permanent recruitment agency to the design and advertising industries, before selling in 2002 with offices in Manchester and Leeds. Since this time, Nancy has been working within an advisory capacity, working with agencies in the region, most recently with Delineo and is also a Director of ShootCutGo, a video production company, specialising in the new technology of personalised video.

    Zoe Whishaw:
    Zoe Whishaw is a commercial photography consultant and Mentor providing creative direction and strategic advice for photographers and photo agencies who want to take their work to the next level. She is an expert in the visual language of stills photography within commercial contexts.

    As a seasoned editor and art Director she has had many years experience analysing and critiquing project ideas and imagery across a broad spectrum of genre and subject areas. Zoe has developed and contributed to the success of leading media company, Getty Images, where she worked for 17 years in senior creative and strategic positions, latterly as European Director of Photography. Since then she has worked and consulted with other leading independent photo agencies.

    Zoe currently runs hands-on workshops on photography and works as a mentor she works on one-to-one sessions with photographers. She has been on the judging panel of a range of national and international photography competitions, including the AoP, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and ArtGemini Prize and regularly conducts portfolio reviews at industry events.

    Marcelle Holt:
    Marcelle Holt is a Manchester-based artist who founded DIY Art School, a peer-to-peer education project for recent graduates. Marcelle also co-runs artist led space TOAST, as part of Castlefield Gallery's New Art Spaces at Federation House.

    Charlie Meecham:
    Charlie Meecham is a practicing photographer with over 30 years experience and is currently leading a photography degree course at Bradford University. Charlie is a founder and the co-ordinator of The Bradford Grid, one of the longest lasting and best-known collaborative photographic projects in the North of England. He helped to promote colour photography in his youth and built up a career as both a photographer and printmaker. He has had to adapt to all the changes that have happened since. He's still pretty optimistic that photography has an important professional role in helping promote cultural understanding in our crazy mixed up world and is always keen to help others embarking on their journey.

    Price: Standard: £40; Student/Unwaged: £30; Redeye member: £20
    All prices include VAT.
    To buy Redeye member tickets, you need to have joined as a member and be logged in.
    Click here for more info about Redeye membership.

    More about our full workshop programme:
    Redeye’s career development workshops provide essential, cutting edge information on building your photographic career and business. They run from Oct 2014 to April 2015.
    All Sessions take place at Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD.
    The workshops are aimed at any photographer or artist who is considering, or has recently started, working professionally, selling their work, collaborating with others, or who wants their work to be seen more widely and taken more seriously. They look in detail at the key business and professional requirements of practicing photographers. Led by a range of experts from the world of photography, the arts and creative industries, this series fills the knowledge gaps to make sure you are given the very best information and guidance to support your creative careers.
    You can buy tickets for any or all of them; a ticket for the complete series offers a saving over buying separate tickets.

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