Most of the posts I write about are posts about the creative process or the shoots I have done and how I achieved the results I get. You know, the fun stuff! But as photographers,we have to understand that this is a business, like any other business, and a strong knowledge and good practices are key to making it a successful one. Which should be everyone’s ultimate goal. We all want to do this for a living but in order to do that, we must have a sound business in tact.
One resource that EVERY photographer should know about is APA. APA’s mission statement is as follows: ”Our goal is to establish, endorse, and promote professional practices, standards, and ethics in the photographic and advertising community. We seek to mentor, motivate, educate, and inspire in the pursuit of excellence. Our aim is to champion and speak as one common voice for advertising photographers and image makers to the advertising industry in the United States and the World.”
There are many benefits of joining APA but one of the particularly key benefits is they offer an outstanding insurance program. Designed specifically for photographers, they have many packages to choose from that can be tailored fitted for your individual needs.
For instance, if you don’t normally rent $100,000 worth of equipment every time you shoot and only need insurance for the occasional Octabank rental, etc, they can customize your insurance plan to fit your specific needs. They even offer insurance for Students! You can click here for more information on their insurance plans.
Guides and Training
Once joining APA you receive the APA business manual which includes a stack of helpful forms to help manage your business. This includes estimating guides, business forms which include estimate and invoice forms, model releases, property releases, assistant invoices, guides on copyright protection. I mean, the list is endless and so important to maintain and uphold your work in today’s market! It’s important to always operate your photography business in the most ethical way. APA offers endless help in aiding us photographers to maintain these practices. They even have a Find an Assistant board where you can list yourself to be considered by a professional photographer for possible work opportunities. And what I find really cool is they have an Assistant Basic Training ! A two day workshop includes getting real world answers from actual professional assistants to hands on training. Hone your skills so you can increase your chances at working for that photographer you’ve always dreamed of working for!
APA also offers products discounts on companies such as Agency Access, Apple, Adobe, Dripbook, Livebooks, Photoshelter and BlinkBid. And you get discounted or free admission to all APA events!
And if this isn’t enough, what APA really does is it gives us photographers a sense of community. Come on, you’ve all felt it….it’s one reason you probably kinda’ like blogs like mine: You can feel totally alone out there trying to figure out how to “Make it” or “keep it coming” because there’s so little help or assistance. At least with APA there is a place to get that help!
I was never particularly a strong business woman when I was first starting out. In retrospect, this actually hurt my business. This is why during my two day workshops, day 2 includes a strong business class where we sit down together and learn about marketing, promoting, copyright laws, estimating a job, what to consider when bidding a job, etc etc etc. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did in the beginning, so I hammer into my students the importance of understanding the business. It’s also an opportunity to ask me whatever questions that are really pressing for you. And just so you know, we have decided to hold one more workshop for this year at ROOT Studios in NYC. Actually ROOT is in Williamsburg which is just over the bridge from Manhattan and where I proudly call home. Williamsburg is probably one of the hippest neighborhoods in the world (and not just cuz I live here) So come join us November 10 and 11 at ROOT for another Fashion Photography Workshop! And since I LIVE here, I know the best bars in the neighborhood for a nice after-workshop drink! Hope to see you there! xoxo