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Hospitality, Travel & Creative Program ►Photography Entrepreneur Certificate Program




The Photography Entrepreneur  Specialist

Photographer entrepreneurs start their own photography businesses. Often they work within a specialized niche or group of niches and market their services to specific target markets. In addition to having photography knowledge and skills, the photography entrepreneur must also acquire business savvy, including how to establish a legal form of the business, how to write a business plan, how to brand and market the business, and how to use the numerous types of contracts required to comply with copyright and other types of photography-related laws. If you’re looking to strike out on your own as a photographer, any small business needs a good business plan and this course will walk you through the ins and outs of the business aspects of photography so that you can start to earn a living and be your own boss without having to leave your passion for photography behind.  This course covers the basics of setting up a photography business


The Photography Entrepreneur Specialist Program

The photography industry is expected togrow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024.  The photography entrepreneur can use their great communication skills, excellent eye for detail and technical expertise to help their business advance. The photography entrepreneur can expect to obtain clients in their own town; however, willingness to travel makes way for more opportunity and a larger clientele. Photography Entrepreneurs require a variety of business and communication skills over and above the artistic skills of a photographer.  Opportunities will continue to grow for Photography Entrepreneurs as they continue to sharpen their business skills with marketing, sales and advertising in order to land more projects from weddings and special events, to portraits and specialty shoots.

Program Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
Describe a career as a professional photographer including the different niches:

  • Explain the different types of business structures common for professional photographers
  • Explain the different components of a business plan for a photography business
  • Explain how a professional photography can brand a photography business endeavor and how effective branding can help the photography business
  • Explain the different components of a marketing plan for a photography business
  • Explain common ways that a professional photographer can use social media to advance a photography business
  • Explain the concepts related to costs and pricing in a photography business
  • Detail the important considerations and legal and ethical principles related to the required contracts for a photography business

Professional Photography Module 1

Camera Basics

  • Camera controls
  • Explain what each control of the camera does
  • Describe common categories of cameras and the specific characteristics of each
  • Explain the steps to getting the camera ready, focusing an image, and adjusting the camera settings

Lens Basics

  • Define focal length including how it impacts an image
  • Explain how to control a photograph's sharpness
  • Define perspective including how to create a desired perspective using the camera lens
  • Discuss various lens attachments

Basic Concepts of Light and Exposure

  • Explain the characteristics of light and how to use these characteristics to take aphotograph
  • Explain how light sources and the time of day affects a photograph's color
  • Explain how to use a light meter and histogram when taking a photograph

Basic Workplace and Workflow Concepts

  • Explain components of an effective workspace for a photographer including the required equipment
  • Explain how to determine a file format and resolution of a photograph for an intended use
  • Explain steps for saving, downloading, and scanning digital images

Basic Image Editing Concepts

  • Explain how to adjust an image's characteristics using Photoshop
  • Explain the steps for editing a digital photograph
  • Explain legal and ethical considerations related to photography

Basic Printing and Display Strategies

  • Describe equipment and supplies needed to make prints of digital files
  • Discuss how to use output profiles and soft proofing in order to properly print an image
  • Explain common methods for matting and framing photographs for presentation

Common Strategies for Organizing and Storing Images

  • Explain common strategies for organizing digital photograph files
  • Explain common methods for storing photograph prints

The Characteristics of Light

  • Describe the qualities of natural light and how to duplicate these qualities with artificial light
  • Explain the use of an electronic flash

Basic Photography Design Concepts and Techniques

  • Discuss ways to discuss photographs in terms of its characteristics and design
  • Explain the basic components of a picture
  • Explain the decision making process for designing a picture

Important People and Milestones in the History of Photography

  • Identify the important people and milestones in the history of photography Terms for testing, pathology, and procedures of the reproductive system

The Successful Photography Entrepreneur

  • Address important considerations for the beginning professional photographer related to starting the business, maintaining a work-life balance, being ethical in the industry, and becoming successful
  • Describe the current expectations of photography clients
  • Identify pros and cons related to being a professional photographer
  • Identify the types of expenses incurred by professional photographers
  • Identify the types of facilities and office set-up commonly used by professional photographers
  • Identify the various niches in which a professional photographer could work

The Business Structure

  • Detail the pros and cons of the various business structures commonly established in photography businesses

Establishing the Business: The Business Plan

  • Steps to Developing a Business Plan
  • Define each component of a business plan for a photography business
  • Explain the purpose of creating a business plan before starting a photography business

Branding the Business: The Branding Strategy

  • Steps to Developing a Branding Strategy
  • Detail the steps to effectively branding a photography business
  • Explain why effective branding is critical to the success of a photography business

Marketing the Business: The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing Strategies
  • Explain why an effective marketing plan is essential for a successful photography business
  • Identify several common marketing options for photography business
  • Steps to Developing a Marketing Plan
  • Define each component of a marketing plan for a photography business

Marketing the Business: The Social Networking Strategy

  • Developing the Business Website
  • Define the steps required to develop an effective social networking strategy for a photography business
  • Explain why an effective social networking plan is essential for the success of a photography business
  • Social Media Considerations
  • Define the steps required to develop an effective social networking strategy for a photography business
  • Explain why an effective social networking plan is essential for the success of a photography business

Pricing the Products: The Pricing Strategy

  • Costs Related to the Photography Business
  • Identify the costs associated with a photography business
  • Pricing Products and Services
  • Explain effective ways to price products and services in a photography business

Protecting Yourself and Your Products: Legal and Ethical Considerations

  • Common Types of Contracts Used by Professional Photographers
  • Discuss the importance of protecting your assets in a photography business
  • Identify the various types of contracts commonly used in a photography business including common clauses and inclusions in each type of contract

**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There are several National Certification exams that are available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.


National Certification

Upon successful completion of this Auburn University program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam.  Although there are nostate approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program at Auburn Universitywill be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam.Students who complete this program canand do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so.Auburn University works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

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