How to Survive the Early Years

Contributed by: Atlanta

Description of program: You’ve got the talent. You’ve got the desire. But what’s it like starting out as a freelance photographer? On Wednesday, February 17th, at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta) a panel of several esteemed and established ASMP members will share their experiences with the anyone who would like some insight on how to break into the photography business. They’ll share how they started as freelance photographers and describe their challenges and solutions.

Designed to coincide with SCAD’s Business 101 course, this won’t be a rehash of the ins and outs of accounting or model releases. Instead, fellow members Kevin Garrett, Jonathan Hillyer, Brad Newton, Ken Reid, and others will share their experiences from when they first wanted to become known as professional photographers. Some of the questions they’ll address are:

  • What prompted you to begin freelancing?
  • How did you approach clients?
  • Did you market?
  • Which marketing approaches worked and which didn’t? Is marketing different now than it was when you started?
  • Considering the technical changes in photography over that last decade, how did you approach staying current?

Have your own questions? Bring them along. If you are starting out or wanting to become a freelance photographer, this program is not to be missed. But there’s more. Come early and take a tour of the photography department at SCAD. Tours start at 6pm.

How many people were needed to produce the meeting, and what were their tasks?
One to be the team leader, plus two or three to pick up refreshments and man the welcome table. Set up and breakdown was handled by SCAD.

Describe the type of location needed for the meeting.
A large space at a school or studio. This program was held in the studio area of Savannah College of Art and Design.

Break down the costs associated with putting on this type of meeting.
$100 for refreshments.

Describe the attendance and the fee structure used for this meeting.
All of our meetings are free to members and students with valid ID. Free attendance was also given to non-members.

What was done to market or publicize the meeting?
Several email blasts, and our contact at SCAD got the word out to students.

Was this a public meeting or a chapter only meeting?

Is there anything else we should know about this meeting and why it was so successful?
The informal setting made this program a success. Photographers sharing their experiences starting out with younger members was well received and always works, for us anyway. Our most successful programs are those when there is participate and dialogue.