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How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant Paperback – October 16, 2007

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How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant + Advertising Photography: A Straightforward Guide to a Complex Industry
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Allworth Press; 1 edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581154917
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581154917
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Maitreya brings a unique spiritual understanding to the everyday challenges that photographers face in the twenty-first century." -- Beverly Adler, freelance art buyer

"Reading this exquisitely written guide, you'll suddenly realize that you have in your possession a priceless blueprint for success." -- Alice B. Miller, Editor, Studio Photography magazine

"Selina takes the ever-changing business and marketing of photography and shows you, in detail, how to succeed in it." -- Michael Grecco, photographer; author, Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait; Chairman, Advertising Photographers of America, Los Angeles

"Those smart enough to follow Selina's advice will find all of the answers leading to their own personal and commercial success." -- James Sullivan,

From the Publisher

It takes a lot more than a camera and talent to make a living as a professional photographer. The most successful photographers have developed, but their vision, values, and business plans. For those still developing or rethinking their strategies, a new resource is here to help. With How to Succeed in Commercial Photography, author Selina Maitreya offers the insights of her nearly 30 years as a leading consultant.

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Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book not just to established photographers but for anyone who is serious about working in the business of commercial photography.
Michael Boland
From building a strong online portfolio to understanding what contributes to a successful business, HOW TO SUCCEED IN COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY is packed with tips.
Midwest Book Review
Selina Maitreya has written a no nonsense book that outlines the basic requirements for achieving success in one of the most competitive businesses around.
David A. Wagner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By R. Barbir on March 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was led to this book among a few others after asking for advice about how to get in the commercial / advertising industry. Since Amazon wouldn't let me peek inside the book and I couldn't find it locally to get a closer look, I took a chance and bought it.

What a disappointment.

Within the first few pages of the book, Selina states that her book is not a "How To" book. Why then, Selina, would you slap a "HOW TO" right in the f***in' title? Perhaps to sucker in a few more sales.

This is a self-help book.

I hate self-help books.

You see, I believe that confidence and a positive outlook are acquired through specific knowledge of the industry you're in rather than the general suggestion of reconnecting with one's spirituality, something the book hammers on endlessly. Nothing inspires confidence in a photographer more than knowing exactly what to expect at a meeting with an Art Director, how to submit your book, how to price yourself competitively, how to plan a debut in the industry, etc. And besides, if reconnecting with one's spirituality is the only way to success, does that mean an atheist can never be a successful photographer? What about a Wiccan photographer? Or an agnostic photographer? The whole premise seems silly to me.

If you want a simply awesome book, buy "Advertising Photography - A Straightforward Guide to a Complex Industry" by Lou Lesko. The advice there is much more practical and very easy to read. Other books I'd suggest are "ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography" and even "Best Business Practices for Photographers" by John Harrington, although this last one is excruciatingly tedious to read through. Still, all three of these books would be far more useful to any photographer than Selina's book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is aimed at professional photographers seeking assignment work from photo buyers, art directors and the like. It will be of less use to the professional shooting fine art or stock, although someone in one of the latter categories might pick up a few tips. It's also of more value to someone who's already working in the business rather then just starting out.

Maitreya, who is a marketing consultant to assignment photographers, provides a series of essays that are more inspirational then instructive. For example, she tells the assignment photographer that in today's marketplace he or she must provide the client with value and attempts to explain what value is. Perhaps it's my business background, but I always thought that assignment photographers had to provide value if they wanted business, but maybe most don't realize that, or at the very least had never considered that deeply.

The author seems to move from the practical side to the spiritual side. For example, early in the book she tells the photographer that he must have a book (the phrase photographers use to describe the portfolio submitted to customers as part of the effort to influence the client to hire them) that will show the client how hiring the photographer will yield images that enhance the client's campaign. That means showing the client work that is the essence of the photographer, even at the risk of it not being consistent with the client's vision. The author believes that, if the portfolio is essential (my words, not hers) and the photographer keeps marketing, eventually he or she will be successful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Vaughn on October 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Selina Maitreya's How to Succeed in Commercial Photography is a great read and provides solid information on the importance of your photography portfolio. One of the greatest parts is the focus on a print portfolio and making upfront-in-person presentations and not just rely on Web or direct mail marketing. What I also found intriguing was her take on how a photographer needs a product and a vision and not just be one that shoots everything but focus on themselves, there skill level and how to overall show your true work, which will land you the job. I also enjoyed reading the solid information from other photographers and how they approach photography and business. Selina brings a reality check on photography and gives great information on making the sale, finding leads and how you should market you services as well as taking time for yourself.

As a graphic designer and one who hires photographers, I especially found this book helpful on how and what I should be looking for when hiring a photographer. It has helped me look through the eyes of a photographer and has giving me new tools to work with as a business owner.

Great job Selina!
Jason Vaughn
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Burns on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Selina goes beyond the usual "how to" marketing book with this creation. In it she looks more holistically at what it takes to build a successful commercial photography business. With her many years of experience, she knows whereof she speaks, as they say. She points out and encourages following the activities and mindsets of successful photographers as a whole while gently dissuading the reader from the common paths that lead away from success. While some may recognize certain spiritual elements, Selina never gets preachy. She speaks the truth and challenges photographers to walk a better path.

I was lucky enough to be a guest speaker at two of her recent presentations where she discussed her book. The reactions of the audiences were very positive to her message, even when they were initially skeptical. They recognized that she was offering help and came to understand that these ideas and concepts aren't inventions of her mind, but rather wisdom from her experience. The book is, in my professional opinion, required reading for commercial photographers today.
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