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Resources for Photographers and Photography Businesses
Industry Resources for the Photography Industry and Photographers in Canada
Building you photography business in an industry which has seen a decline in average profits over the past 10 years is challenging but not impossible. Covid-19 has not made it any easier with the reduction in wedding photography, event photography and international photography assignments. The bright side is that there is still a growing need for professional photographers and photography businesses. With more companies moving to online marketplaces, they require quality images with professional editing and tagging to reach their full potential. Not the photos that are taken with a smartphone camera and posted as they are.
Professional photographers should be using their skills and experience to increase the content views and engagement. This is true regardless of the media format of online sales or traditional print marketing materials. Wannabe photographers do not understand the importance of staging, framing the image / product, color correction, lighting methods, composition and other technical aspects of creating results driven images. Images may look simple to many viewers but there is a strategy behind each photo and the goals set in sharing images.
Having the proper photography training, skills, experience and passion takes years of development. The most important part of developing your craft and skills is to continue new processes and experimentation. Learn from photographers which you respect and enjoy. You are looking to learn from many in order to find your own path and direction. You will learn from studying many photographers that each has a unique style and is known for such. Many photographers can be recognized simply by viewing their images. Every picture should tell a story. It should provoke emotion, action or thought. This can be a journalist sharing an image from the rubble of the World Trade Centre through to the simplicity of a product photo that conveys a message to potential buyers. Many times, you will use text, background etc. to add to a story but in all, the image is of vital importance.
Understanding the marketplace and industry is important to all types of businesses. Failing to understand this will devalue your brand as you are not focusing on the industry needs and how you can prepare to meet changing market conditions. Learning and monitoring industry market reports must be a part of your successful business plan while allowing you to adjust your strategy as the industry evolves. This is what takes you from photography as a hobby and interest to an actual photography business owner. If you think this is of no importance to you as you are a freelance photographer with no employees and no physical studio, you are about to make your first big mistake. Try to avoid mistakes but when you do make them, embrace them and learn from them without repeating them. Most often it is not making mistakes which hurts our business, it is the failure to recognize them in time and accept that you need to change that aspect of your operations.
There are many resources for photographers, video producers, artists and others working in the creative world (and most other industries in Canada). Not only can these resources help you with planning your business and future but also offer programs to help fund creative projects. I have posted a few here but make sure that you also look at what programs and resources you can find in your province or community. Also don't be afraid to seek out international programs and potential projects in your situation allows for commitment to potential international assignments or opportunities.
https://www.ibisworld.com/canada/market-research-reports/photography-industry/ provides in depth market reports on various Canadian industries but I have included the direct link to the IBISWorld Report for Photography in Canada.
The National Arts Centre is also a great resource for those looking to take on projects in the artistic framework of professional photography. He is the link to the National Arts Centre for Canada. https://nac-cna.ca/en/
https://canadacouncil.ca/ is the national council to promote and preserve works by Canadians and projects which share Canadian Culture, Heritage and also is a source of funding grants and programs for artists in all medium throughout Canada.
The British Columbia Arts Council has been around since 1995 as an agency of the Province of British Columbia. They have a supportive role in nurturing and supporting British Columbia Artists. https://www.bcartscouncil.ca/
Google is a great tool for searching private art grants and projects which sync with the direction and goals of you as a photographer and as a business.
If you are outside of British Columbia, search for your provincial or territories arts council and also for regional initiatives.
Written by James Cousineau, President and CEO of ProPics Canada Media Ltd
Providing professional photography, video production and content creation for local, national and international clients. Learn more about ProPics Canada Media Ltd and visit our ProPics Canada home page http://www.propicscanada.com