Setting up a photography business

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Laura

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Okay, it's time to get a business license so I can write off all these photo trips as tax deductions recoup some of the costs of all these wild hair photo trips I take and maybe even make some $$. I've noticed that just about EVERY photographer I know of calls their business "First Name Last Name photography". I don't really like my last name, though it is definitely unusual (and cheaper to register as a domain name). Is it better to use your real name for your photography business? Or does it work to make up something catchy? Suggestions?
 

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Nick

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I think it depends on what you're shooting, but ultimately yes, I think Jane Doe Photography is a good way to go in general. The way I see it, having your name in the business name is important when it's you that is being marketed. If you were a wedding photographer or something and had a team sometimes, that would be a different story, but with fine art, architectural, etc., I think it's important for people to be psyched on WHO is taking the photos and important to be able to market your name so that there is no confusion that it is your skill/eye that they are purchasing. Sure, everyone does it, but for good reason, IMO.
 

Laura

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All good points Nick, thanks! One of the advantages to a weird last name is you're easy to find so might as well turn that to an advantage, even though I don't particularly like it (and one of these days Stan and I will get around to tying the knot so it'll be changing, but what's the rush after 8 years :D). Now that I think about it, when I was younger I noticed that all my favorite photos were taken by this guy with a weird last name-David Muench. It stayed in my mind and he's done pretty well with it. :cool:
 

uintahiker

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Now that I think about it, when I was younger I noticed that all my favorite photos were taken by this guy with a weird last name-David Muench. It stayed in my mind and he's done pretty well with it. :cool:

Stopped by the library last night and saw one of his photo books laying on the bottom shelf!
 

Laura

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haha, I've been lurking thinking the same thing:D
You guys should know, we're flickr contacts and I use my full name there-Laura Zirino :D Which is probably more reason to use my name as the business name.....
 

Laura

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Or... you could adopt a "screen name" like 1/2 the people in Hollywood. I guess that would be a "Photo" name in this case!

- JG
I was going to call the business "Wild Hair Photos", since almost all of them start with me getting a wild hair to get a certain photograph (most recent: Bryce Canyon with snow under the full moon) then doing whatever it takes to get it (already bought a plane ticket and rented a car)!
 

Bob Palin

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I was going to call the business "Wild Hair Photos", since almost all of them start with me getting a wild hair to get a certain photograph (most recent: Bryce Canyon with snow under the full moon) then doing whatever it takes to get it (already bought a plane ticket and rented a car)!
Last weekend I made my first attempt at selling photos at a 'street fair/parade/market' - Torrey Apple Days. I did quite well clearing a few hundred dollars. Several people looked for a short while then asked if I was the photographer, they seemed more interested when they found I was. Perhaps having your name as part of the company name would be useful, especially if you have some way to identify yourself as that person. My company name is Fremont River Photography, I think I'll put a small poster up with my bio next time so that people get the connection. (I'm a bit shy about my pictures, I wouldn't have signed them except that my wife made me!)
 

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Laura

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(I'm a bit shy about my pictures, I wouldn't have signed them except that my wife made me!)
You sold several hundred dollars-listen to your wife! ;) Congrats, wish I'd been there. I've decided to use my real name for that reason, now just have to get around to filing all the paperwork.
 

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