Tips On Starting a Successful Photography Business

The difference between starting your own photography business, and starting a photography business that will become successful can be just a few simple tips and extra things to be aware of that you might not have thought of. If you’re going into business for the first time, it’s important to plan really well, and plan ahead. Photography is an art of course, and you’re bound to be creative. Now you need to add organised, disciplined, self-motivating and resilient to your abilities.

The first step is to plan ahead. Make sure you know exactly what kind of a business you’re aiming for. Do extensive research to find out about your market, and the demand in your area of photography as well as in your geographic area. This ground work can be the deciding factor in the success or failure of your photography business. A combination of your own passion and preference, and your target market’s demands, requirements, preferences and needs, will help you to determine your goal.

Once you’ve chosen your area of expertise and you’ve conducted good research into what your target market want, what challenges and issues you will be able to solve for them, and the quality and size of business you want to create, you’ll need to ensure you have the right equipment. Taking into account the type of photography you’ll be doing, along with the prices you’ll be charging, work out the best equipment you can afford with the budget you have. Don’t skimp on quality and convenience if you can help it. It’s worth spending what you can in order to be able to produce a higher quality of photo, and in turn be able to charge a good price for it.

Pick up as much experience as possible. Even if you begin by doing a few freebies or discounted jobs, in return for being able to use the photos in your portfolio and on your website. And, most importantly, be sure to get testimonials from your clients, and include those on your website with the photos. It’s really worth doing a few low-priced or free sessions in order to receive great references and portfolio shots.

Another reason for starting out with free and discounted photo sessions is building contacts. Most people will only hire a photographer they’ve either used before, or had recommended to them by someone they know and trust. Naturally, make sure you always have a supply of your business cards with you, and that each client leaves with at least two – one to keep, and one to pass on. Encourage referrals by offering your clients a bonus print or a discount off the cost of their next session, for recommending you.

Plan little “gimmicks” to get noticed and to encourage clients to come back again and again. An example is: Offer a special bulk price for parents and children, where they pay for so many sessions in advance, at a substantial discount, and you will photograph them each year on or around the child’s birthday. This is a wonderful gift idea to suggest to friends and family members of new parents. You could even supply a special montage frame in which they can place the print they’ve chosen from each year. There are some lovely novelty frames available, and if this being purchased as a gift for new parents, you could supply the frame along with a specially designed voucher in a lovely gift pack.

Thinking out of the box like this, and using your own special and unique style, rather than doing the same as the crowd, will help to ensure your success.

Welcome to Focus Shift Magazine

Welcome to Focus Shift Magazine’s official blog!

In here we’ll be reporting photography news from across europe – lots of photography hint and tips, product reviews and photographer profiles.

Please excuse our dust as we start to build the site over the next week or two as we start to load the site with content and kick the tyre a little.

In the meantime we’ll leave you with the hottest news on the block this week – the launch of the new Nikon D810 – Nikon’s highest image quality ever!

Nikon’s Official Press Release


Nikon today introduces the D810, the new high-resolution master that’s ready for anything. From delicate textures to high-speed movement, this astonishingly versatile 36.3-megapixel camera will exceed every expectation.Offering incomparable image quality, high-speed performance, and Full HD video flexibility, the completely redesigned D810 surpasses its predecessor to deliver a new benchmark for high-resolution shooting. Its all-new FX-format sensor, ultra-wide ISO range, and EXPEED 4 image processor deliver unprecedented sharpness, impressive tonality, and reduced noise across all sensitivities. Flagship AF performance, a burst rate of up to 7 fps, and Full HD movie recording at 1080/60p enable any scene to be captured with rigorous precision, and Nikon’s Picture Control 2.0 provides exceptional in-camera image processing and optimisation flexibility. In the studio or on location, this is the ultimate imaging machine for serious photographers who want to realise their vision in exquisite detail.Simon Iddon, Group Product Manager for D-SLR products at Nikon UK says: “Feedback from professional photographers has been integral to the development of this product, upping the game of high resolution photography.”

He adds: “Significant increases in speed and ISO versatility, along with new features that minimise the camera’s internal vibrations during shooting for incredible stability, make the Nikon D810 the ultimate tool for visionary photographers working across a broad range of genres.”
High-resolution master
Taking creative freedom to a whole new level, the D810 opens up spectacular new possibilities for high-resolution shooting. The camera’s brand new FX-format sensor offers a class-leading count of 36.3 megapixels, and is designed without an optical low-pass filter to deliver the ultimate in image detail in both stills and movies. In a first for a D-SLR, the D810’s ultra-wide native ISO range starts at ISO 64 for cleaner, better-defined images when shooting in bright light, and you can shoot at up to ISO 12800, or extend the range from 32 to 51200 ISO equivalent. Equipped with the same EXPEED 4 image processing engine as used in the flagship D4S, the D810’s overall performance gets a significant boost: image rendering and ISO capability is vastly improved in both stills and video, with sophisticated new algorithms enabling remarkable clarity and enhanced gradation with a tangible sense of depth across the entire sensitivity range.
High-speed fidelity: fast, powerful, and ready for anything
Engineered to excel in any environment, the D810’s powerful high-speed capabilities deliver exceptional versatility, ensuring you can capture even the quickest, most unpredictable subjects in a big way. Faster continuous shooting speeds and the flagship Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-point AF system enable precise, uncompromised full-resolution images at up to 5 fps, plus the camera can shoot 15.3-MP images at up to 7 fps in DX crop mode. Nikon’s new Group Area AF mode offers fast acquisition and improved background isolation when shooting subjects that are comparatively small and close to a high-contrast or distracting background. A new shutter/mirror box mechanism reduces image shake for a steady viewfinder image with minimal blackout during high-speed shooting, and you can activate the new electronic front-curtain shutter to minimise internal vibrations and reduce the risk of micro-blur in subtle details. For faster image transfer and smoother post-production, Nikon’s RAW Size S file format delivers richly graded 12-bit uncompressed Nikon NEF files.
Cinematic movie-making freedom
Shooting movie footage on a camera as powerful as the Nikon D810 is an enriching and liberating experience. A powerful and flexible tool that will satisfy even the most demanding cinematographers, the D810 records Full HD (1080p) movies at 50p/60p frame rates with markedly reduced noise, moiré, and false colour. The camera offers FX and DX sensor crop formats as well as clean HDMI out, plus simultaneous capture of full-resolution footage in-camera and on an external recorder. You can set sensitivity from ISO 64 all the way up to ISO 51200 equivalent in M mode, and the auto ISO function lets you configure the maximum ISO settings you want to work with. Nikon’s 3D noise reduction reduces random noise, distortion, and flicker when filming at high sensitivities. Zebra mode shows you on the camera monitor exactly where highlights are blown. Superior audio control improves sound recording and offers greater overall flexibility: a stereo microphone input and an audio out let you fine-tune audio levels in isolation both before and during recording, you can select the sound range (wide/voice), and wind noise can be reduced when recording with the built-in microphone.
Creative flexibility
No matter which kind of photography you focus on, the D810 will perfectly realise your creative vision. Whether shooting stills or video, Nikon’s newly introduced second-generation Picture Control System provides invaluable tools for before and after the shoot by offering total control over sharpening, contrast, brightness, hue, clarity, and saturation. For the ultimate freedom in post-production, the new Flat setting will retain all the details and preserve rich tonal information in both highlights and shadows; the new Clarity setting lets you precisely adjust contrast and differentiate fine structures. When shooting, the camera’s 8.0-cm (3.2-in.), 1229k-dot colour-tune monitor lets you push the colour balance and brightness in any direction to suit your personal workflow preference. The new Live View split-screen zoom makes it possible to check levelling and sharpness with complete precision and is ideal for architectural or product shot photography. Additional creative capabilities include unlimited continuous shooting that lets you capture countless JPEGs and produce spectacular light-trail photography.
Total Digital Imaging System
Augmenting the D810’s spectacular imaging potential is the full power of Nikon’s total imaging system. The highest calibre optics are vital for such a high-megapixel camera and Nikon’s wide range of NIKKOR lenses will draw out the full potential of the D810’s 36.3-megapixel sensor with ease. With their exceptionally high resolving power, NIKKOR lenses meet the demands of photographers in every field. Also fully compatible with Nikon’s industry-leading Creative Lighting System, the D810 works with a range of versatile Nikon Speedlights for creative flash photography on- or off-camera.
Summary of key features:
– New 36.3-MP FX-format sensor: offers the ultimate in image detail and excellent cropping flexibility.
– Ultra-wide light sensitivity: ISO range of 64–12800, extendable from 32–51200 ISO equivalent.
– Up to 7 fps burst rate: uncompromised full-resolution images at up to 5 fps. 15.3-MP images at up to 7 fps in DX crop mode.
– EXPEED 4: boosts the camera’s overall performance to a whole new level.
– Flagship AF performance: Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-point AF system configurable in 9-point, 21-point, and 51-point coverage settings and sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F).
– Group Area AF mode: fast acquisition and improved background isolation even in challenging lighting conditions.
– Multi-area D-Movie: Full HD (1080p) movies in FX- and DX-format at 50p/60p. Access the full light sensitivity range, from ISO 64, while filming, and control shutter speed, aperture, and audio levels, too.
– RAW Size S: delivers richly graded 12-bit uncompressed Nikon NEF files that enable faster image transfer and smoother post-production.
– Picture Control 2.0: ease post-production with Flat setting for maximum dynamic range; fine-adjust detail with Clarity.
– Ultra-sharp: new shutter/mirror box architecture and electronic front-curtain features ensure the sharpest possible results.
– Colour-tune monitor: anti-reflective 8.0-cm (3.2-in.), 1229k-dot RGBW LCD monitor. Push the colour balance and brightness in any direction.
– Live View split-screen zoom: check levelling and sharpness with complete precision. Accessed via the camera’s ‘i’ button.
– Fast durable shutter: Kevlar/carbon fibre-composite shutter unit with 52 ms shutter lag, standard life cycle rating of 200,000 releases, and a shutter speed of 1/8000 to 30 s, with flash synchronization at up to 1/250 s.
– Unlimited continuous shooting: capture countless JPEGs and produce spectacular light-trail photography.
– High-capacity EN-EL15 battery: ultra-compact and lightweight lithium-ion rechargeable battery with a capacity of 1900 mAh (7.0V). Capture up to 1,200 still images¹ on a single charge.
– Storage media: two card slots for a smooth shooting experience. One CF card slot for high-speed UDMA 7 cards, and one SD card slot for high-speed, high-capacity SDXC and UHS-I cards.
– Durable magnesium alloy body: extensive weather and dust sealing ensure the D810 is moisture and dust resistant.
– Wired and wireless connection: supports Ethernet and wireless LAN. To connect, use the optional UT-1 Data Transmitter together with the WT-5 Wireless Transmitter.¹ Based on the CIPA standards.