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How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant Paperback – October 16, 2007
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"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, www.photoassistant.net
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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. She doesn't give many specifics about preparing such a book, perhaps because she has already covered that ground in an earlier book, "Portfolios That Sell: Professional Techniques for Presenting and Marketing Your Photographs".
At the spiritual end she talks of developing faith in oneself, and using affirmations that will reinforce one's faith. Even though it sounds a bit mystical, I think that psychologists agree on the importance and usefulness of such things in marketing.
Whether the author's approach will help the assignment photographer is not clear to me. I'm not an assignment photographer, but I think some of her points make sense even in fine arts photography. Whether the author's message will make sense to the particular assignment photographer, and whether she will convince him or her to try the suggestions, will ultimately depend on the personality of the photographer. On the other hand, for the assignment photographer who is interested in improving his business, this book might provide the necessary inspiration and, even if it does not, there is little to be lost in time or money in considering the author's approach.
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!
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