It’s funny that in today’s world the best way for photographers to make money is by writing books and teaching classes to millions of aspiring photographers, so I tend to laugh when I see books like this. However, as I read through this book I became pleased to see that its subtitle (150 ideas for Cutting Costs and Boosting Profits) was probably a more appropriate title. In fact, this book has no chapters and simply lists 150 tips of the trade – very good tips in many cases!
It’s actually quite hard to write a review for this book because I can’t do my typical chapter-by-chapter walkthrough. What I can tell you though is that you can think of this book as a collaboration of tips collected by the author, Karen Dorame, by a legion of seasoned professionals to come up with some great tips for any aspiring photographer – whether you intend to make money with your hobby or not. From basic tips like #1 – Specialize in a genre, to the practical like #14 – Practice is the cheapest training, there’s a lot of sound advice that may come off as “duh” to some, and a light bulb moment to others. For example, I’ve heard tips #33 – Raise prices instead of lowering them and #121 – Effective print displays sell larger wall art from multiple well-seasoned sources, but reading it in this book made me think – you know, I’ve heard this enough now that I think I’m going to do something about it!
There’s good tips in here from the beginner (#97 – Learn to say no), to the intermediate (#81 – Show only your best work), to even the hard core pro (i.e., #88 - Get on the blog bandwagon) so I can easily recommend this book for anyone. Just like going to the psychologist, you may feel that the book states the obvious, but if you look at your life you are certain to see that you aren’t really applying some of these tips (which really are more like rules) to help minimize your costs and maximize your profits. It’s sound advice and a super easy read. In fact, this is one that I’ll pick up from time to time to remind myself of what I should be doing, instead of being stuck in the habits of what I am doing.
If you take pictures of more than just your family, or if you spent more than just the cost of a kit lens DSLR setup, then it’s worth your time to read this book. Buy and read it, and then from time to time read it again and make sure your not falling into your old bad habits again.
Skill Level: All
Value: Good. At first it may seem like a waste, but when you think about the thought provoking actions you will take from reading it then it’s priceless.
Recommendation: Buy it, read it, apply it, and then read it again. Good stuff that is sure to help you as a photographer more than a new lens or camera body.