Author: Alan Harris


I don’t use Instagram although I have a standard non-business account. I find it to be one of ‘those things’ alongside Twitter, Snapchat etc that I don’t really see a need for in my life, although I do have a Flickr account  it has not been updated on a regular basis.

Having made that statement, this unit does seem to be stressing the increasing importance of Instagram and of having an up-to-date well maintained and presented Instagram account for the professional photographer. I need to find time to do this but time is in very short supply at the moment.

The prospect of using Instagram does raise a question for me – Where do I want to go with it? Do I want to ‘try’ to become noticed, to obtain lots of followers or perhaps receive a photographic commission from a business or agency? Or, Do I just want to use it to make the type of images I enjoy making available to the general public yet maintain the high degree of creative freedom that I currently enjoy, continuing to operate at an ‘amateur’ level?

This is obviously something to which I will need to return at a later date and examine more fully…


Mission Statements, Products and Markets

Despite the realisation that I’m not interested in setting up a business its still a good idea to consider the creation of a Mission Statement, Identify a potential product and a potential market.

Mission Statement:-

To produce high quality images of subjects that interest myself and possibly others, examining the effect of such photographic images upon myself and those who may wish to view them.

The Product:-

For myself, with no interest in or desire to create a photographic business the product will be :-

  • A meaningful and related collection of images having a clear narrative structure.
  • Initially a PDF document containing the above images
  • A Portfolio
  • A ‘photographic book’ created using the images made to satisfy my own creative and photographic desires.

The Market:-

  • Immediate family, friends and other interested parties
  • Talks / Presentations for Local Camera Clubs and Photographic Societies

Should there be a desire for such works to be made more widely available then I would look more closely at the above statements and aims but, making money is, for me, not the aims of this exercise.


Business Plans…. Is this for me?

Should I ever decide to pursue the option of becoming a Professional Photographer and try to setup a business I would need to identify and produce the following items :-

  1. A Mission Statement
  2. The Product
  3. The Market – Who are your customers and who are the competitors? Photography is a constantly changing cut-throat industry
  4. Management Requirements – If employing others
  5. A Financial Plan – How much will I need to setup the business, find customers, create the product, market the business and still have enough to live on
  6. Insurance – will need some or all of these – Public Liability, Personal Indemnity, Employers Liability, Equipment, Portfolio and Goods In Trust.

Then I need to consider :-

  • How much will I need to survive?
  • How much will the business need to run successfully?
  • How much income will the business potentially generate?

Without even pausing such things as operations costs, bank management costs, accountants and sales and marketing or agents fees this is a very daunting proposition.

At this point I think its again necessary to ask the question – is this really what I want? I’m afraid that I once again have to state that the answer to the question is no – its not what I want at all.

From a personal point of view I would be happy just to complete the MA with a good, well thought out and executed Final Major Project, with the possible;e bonus of a self published book and a small exhibition as the final result. I think that will be enough for me.