My post of yesterday brought in many great comments and questions, it would seem something I wrote connected for some. One recurring question comes from my comment about inventory, what most photographers call their slide files. Looking up the definition of inventory, you can find this: a merchandise or stock on hand, work in progress, raw materials, finished goods on hand, etc., made each year by a business concern. If you think about this definition as it pertains to a photography business, the very definition is a basic business plan. It starts off with the simple premise that you have something to sell when the year begins, photographs already taken, processed and ready to go to a client. It goes on to suggest you need to have raw materials, ideas, camera gear, execution and passion which you in turn create new, fresh finished photographs for clients. The definition concludes that you’ve followed this basic formula all year. And that you start the next year with the same basic formula. The one thing the definition of inventory leaves out though which is essential is, it is only a small portion of a successful business! Any good photography business has a solid inventory and uses it as a mere starting point and not a ending point. This means that in a photography business, the image is where it all starts but is by no means where it all ends. And that my friends is what makes being in the business of photography such a grand pursuit!
If you’re in the portrait business, how you view and deal with the concept of inventory will be totally different from a wildlife photographer. And if you’re into sports, that would be totally different from car photographer. And if you live on the east coast it will be totally different from someone who lives on the west coast. You can easily have a totally different inventory though in the same business. And when you add in the most important variable to any business equation, YOU, then what we simply call inventory can easily be a lifelong pursuit. We are still talking photography, we are still talking business, basic business at that but you quickly can see, it’s really not that basic. But you should also see why I said what some brought into question. I do believe anybody who wants to make photography a business can do so. The biggest variable and the one that counts the most is the one you have the greatest control over. That’s the person behind the camera!