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Ev­ery month Gra­ham Parker shares what he’s been up to on his jour­ney to go­ing pro. This month, he’s plan­ning for 2016…

I am not the type of per­son to make New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, per­haps be­cause I wouldn’t like to fail! But in 2016 I would like to ex­pand my pho­to­graphic busi­ness enough to en­able me to step back from my other busi­ness and make this one full-time.

One of my ma­jor goals is to make post-pro­cess­ing quicker. That will have to in­clude a new 5K iMac as my 2007 iMac strug­gles with the soft­ware that I use, and can’t de­liver the speed I re­quire. I also need to get quicker at edit­ing. On a shoot at a pet shop I can take any­thing be­tween 800 and 1500 shots, which I cull down to about 250. And 250 ed­its at three min­utes each… that’s 12 and a half hours! I need to re­duce that time by at least half.

Ad­ver­tis­ing my ser­vices is an­other area which I need to con­cen­trate on. Word of mouth is a great ad­ver­tis­ing medium. Other forms of ad­ver­tis­ing have been very ex­pen­sive, in my ex­pe­ri­ence. One av­enue I haven’t ex­plored yet is Face­book ad­ver­tis­ing. I know peo­ple who use it, and it seems to work, so I will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

An­other av­enue for ex­pand­ing my busi­ness is char­ity– not nec­es­sar­ily in the pet world. I re­cently did a shoot for a small char­ity called Pro­tect a Pup. I got paid, the char­ity made money and I sold some ex­tra prints as well. From a busi­ness point of view it was a great suc­cess, and the whole day had a great at­mos­phere – with the added ben­e­fit that ev­ery­one knew they were help­ing a char­ity.

I’d like to ex­plore some new gen­res of pho­tog­ra­phy pro­fes­sion­ally in 2016, too. Hope­fully I will be able to tell you about them later in the year when they’re prov­ing suc­cess­ful!

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