Got the creative side of running a photography business down pat, but need some help everywhere else? Then ACP’s Business Basics for Photographers course has you covered. Taught by award-winning artist and ACP tutor Fiona Wolf-Symeonides, you will learn a range of important practices and tips, including basic book-keeping, quoting, invoicing and budgeting, along with the ins and outs of making connections and running a small business all of your own.
Besides being a successful professional photographer for many years, Fiona has achieved a number of incredible feats including being a finalist in this year’s National Portrait Prize, as well as winning the Portrait Award in this year’s Head On Photo Festival. These achievements have been many years in the making, but Fiona kindly chatted us through her successes, and the secrets she has learned about running her own photography business along the way.
Q: What was the spark to starting your own photography business?A: I moved from Berlin to Sydney to start my career fresh and started my professional career by attending the “Photographer’s Assistant” Course at Australian Centre for Photography with Martin Mischkulnig.
Q: How did you turn your passion for photography into a profession?
A: By assisting photographers whilst building my portfolio. I learned many good business practices from the photographers I worked for and found that hands-on experience to be invaluable.
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting your own photography business?
A: It’s hard to make a sustainable living by shooting what you love. As dry as it seems, you need to understand copyright and licensing to be able to quote and put a dollar value on yourself. Given how many photographers there are these days, it’s easy to undervalue yourself, but being a professional with a solid practice and understanding of business is a huge point of difference in the market – “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur…"
Q: What’s the most exciting thing about working as a professional photographer?
A: For me it’s the introduction to interesting places and meeting new people. You learn something new on every shoot and it transforms the way you see the world and your practice.
Q: Can you tell us about any success stories from students who participated in ‘Business Basics for Photographers?’
A: Robert Annesley and Melanie Sleigh both started with Business Basics for Photographers. They developed business plans and portfolios which eventually lead both of them to realising their dreams of becoming professionals.
Business Basics for Photographers runs on November 7, 2020 and classes are limited to eight participants so be sure to enrol today.
All Images Courtesy and © Fiona Wolf-Symeonides