Tuesday, June 18, 2013

REVIEW: The Photographer’s MBA

The Photographer's MBA: Everything You Need to Know for Your Photography Business is a book that everyone who is serious about trying to make it as a photographer these days should read.

I’ll admit, when people contact me about becoming a photographer I paint an accurate gloom and doom picture of what many GREAT award winning photographers face these days. If you are JUST a great artist/photographer, you will fail (financially) in this business. I see it all the time. However, a mediocre photographer who understands how to market themselves, their product and who understands the economics of the system has the potential to make it. In this book, Sal highlights these realities and shares his tricks of the trade.

Unlike other books on the subject, this one isn’t super dry. It’s an entertaining and motivational read that will have you fired up and ready to take on this challenging industry. With that said, I still urge extreme caution as those with good day time jobs that provide medical benefits and food on the table have a luxury many amazingly  great photographers these days wish they had!

Chapter by Chapter Walkthrough

one – So You Want To Be a Photographer – This chapter offers a dose off reality and hope for the 50,000,000+ people who want to quit their day job each year to become what their imagination this is the relaxing glamorous life of a pro photographer.

two – Let’s Talk Business – This is an important overview with pros and cons about the different business types (i.e., Sole Proprietor, LLC, S-Corporation, etc…). This is the chapter I’ve been wanting to read by someone in the photography business for a long time! If you are still operating as a sole proprietor, then you must read this chapter!

three – The Business Plan – This type of stuff makes artists puke, but the reality is that in this is century you are NOT an artist. You are a business person who sells artwork that you create, and as such there are fundamentals required to ensure your business is a success – and that it is one that banks and business partners will respect. This the meat of the MBA portion of the book, so read this one after a good rest when you have an open mind about what you should be doing  for your business.

four – Branding – This a brilliant Business 101 course about how to establish a brand that your customers will respect.

five – The Marketing Plan – This is a great chapter that shares the reality about what your marketing dollars and effort will get you using a variety of common marketing options. This is a great chapter for the woefully out of date veterans of the business who haven’t caught up to the reality of what no longer works these days and what does. It has great cost, time and return analysis of a variety of techniques ranging from television to AdWords and more.

six – Getting Social – I’ll admit that I enjoy Facebook for personal use, but I really despise having to do anything with social media. However, my embracing social media has taken me to the next level so I can confirm what Sal says here is true. This is the modern day business tax, but most of the time your investment will pay dividends.

seven – Cost and Pricing – This is a brilliant chapter, especially when he talks about packaging. This is an area where most photographers fail miserably, so consider it a must read if you aren’t a rich 6+ figure photographer right now.

eight – Contracts – Another necessary evil chapter, but a must read after your morning coffee.

nine – Finding Your Niche – A good overview of the different categories of photography and practical advice on Sal’s journey trying each technique.


This is a must read book for both the beginner as well as the seasoned pro who doesn’t have enough jobs to not worry about money. Of course, many photographers will argue that they don’t do this for the money, and that’s fine – IF you keep your day job that pays the bills. For those that throw caution to the wind and rely on their skills to pay the bills, this is a must read book.

I give this book a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating from beginner to seasoned veteran (and it’s a bigger must read for struggling seasoned veterans).

Where to order

Click here to order this book on Amazon. It’s also available for your Kindle Fire HD.

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