Let’s Talk Business

mickyatesBusiness, Coursework, Critical Research Journal, Photography, Practice, Professional, Project Development, SPWeek2, Sustainable Prospects 4 Comments

We have been asked to write a business statement for our photography.


My work is ‘Unfinished Stories’. Life is always in motion, every moment creates a sense of place or personality. Having travelled and worked all over the world, my photography is informed by my view that we are more the same than we are different – yet differences reveal stories. Details matter.

I seek intimacy, rapport with and understanding of the subject, whilst asking questions about who people are, what they’re doing, and what concerns them. I deliver to the best standard that I know how: technically, artistically, respectfully, ethically. The aim is to delight and challenge audiences with engaging and creative story-telling.


  • Complete the Cambodian ‘Unfinished Stories’ project, with an installation/book both in Cambodia and Europe
  • Whilst self-funded, also evaluate sponsorship and other financing for this project
  • Continue to work with and extend a small portfolio of clients for events and documentary/reportage
  • Decide to what extent my future photographic practice becomes financially self-sustaining
  • At the end of the MA, define new project directions


  • Build a body of documentary work which fully explores the story and engages the audience
  • In parallel, explore ways to explain context, show individual character and drive presentational impact
  • Develop a recognisable signature style
  • Deliver to brief with high quality and aesthetically appropriate work – deliver on time
  • Adhere to sound ethical practice, acting with integrity, treating people fairly and with respect.


  • Documentary Story-telling – with a sense of who, what, when, where and why
  • Event Coverage –  including both structured and unexpected happenings, and portraying the character of those involved
  • Environmental Portraits – seeking intimate, engaging, poignant and sometimes funny moments which truly reveal character

Market (Audiences)

  • My subjects, always presented in a respectful manner
  • Clients, especially for events, in the South West of the UK
  • My social following
  • The ‘Unfinished Stories’ project has three audiences
    • First, the people of Cambodia, who have still not fully come to terms with the Genocide
    • Second, an International audience who may not be fully aware of the historical story
    • Third, the MA Faculty
    • To reach the first two audiences, I need to better understand the dynamics and workings of the photography marketplace


Sophie’s comments on everyone’s submissions:

One thing which stands out after talking with many of you is that we have some here who feel you are starting out as professional photographers and some of you for whom photography is a love and a passion and not something you need or plan to turn into a business. For all of us a plan or road map of some kind is vital.

Try to keep it simple and remember…

The mission statement: a brief summary of your photography business.
The product: the services you offer and your niche – are you a fashion photographer, a documentary photographer, a still life photographer? Do you want to work for magazines or in advertising?
The market: Who are your costumers? Who will buy your photography and commission you – magazines, advertising agencies, brands? We will look at the different markets for photography at a later stage but start thinking about this now.

We may not all feel we are aiming for customers or clients in our market place – but if it helps to think of it in another way… we all have to have an audience. Whether or not we wish to make money from photography we all want people to see our photographs – otherwise why would we make photographs? Think about how you are going to connect with that audience, how your work will communicate with them, who they are? Will they see your work in a magazine, in a galley, on an interactive bespoke website, as public art, in an art book/ travel book/ guide book, as illustration the list goes on… this might be a helpful way for some of you to identify that market and therefore your product.

In photography – audience is always important.

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