The Business of Photography: Left-brained vs. Right-brained

This series of articles, written by Jerry Weiner – CEO and owner of PWD Labs – provides tips and insight into the business end of professional photography.  Feedback, questions, and ideas for future articles are all welcome.

Photographers are artists.  They tend to be right-brained, if you will.  This means they are intuitive and holistic in their thinking.  They readily synthesize a range of subjective assessments into an aesthetic whole.

Business managers are not artists.  They tend to be left-brained.  They are logical and sequential in their thinking.  They are analytical, rational and objective as they slice and dice their distinct pieces into more and more distinct pieces.

In an ideal world, every professional photographer would have a business manager available to take care of all those business things that are more difficult for right-brained people to manage.  After all, we live in a world of increasing specialization so it’s hard to expect one person to develop both sets of skills.  It is the rare person that can be both left- and right-brained.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.  Most professional photographers are sole-proprietors that leverage spouses and other family members to help take care of the business.  It’s not a new model, nor is it unique to professional photographers.

Running a business is never easy, regardless of whether you employ real workers or family members.  Even having a business manager who’s “takin’ care of business” does not relieve a business owner (such as a professional photographer) from understanding what’s going on and how the business is doing.

So, what’s a photographer to do?  Like most things, a little knowledge goes a long way.  To that end, future editions this blog – The Business of Photography – will contain useful tips for the management of your photography business.  We’ll cover topics such as how to organize a marketing effort, understanding and planning cash flow, maintaining adequate books and records, effective management of employees, and more.  If there are any other topics or questions you’d like to see addressed, please leave a comment below and I will try to work them in.

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Comments

  1. Bobby LeComtpe says:

    I’m VERY interested in the topics you’ve mentioned in this blog. These ARE the things I stuggle with in my photography studio. Thank you for deciding to help the right brainers.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I think there are a lot of photographers that struggle with this. Please let me know if there are specific items you want us to cover.