Best non-photography books for professional photographers
Best Photography books for professional photographers
As a professional wedding and portrait photographers, we are constantly working on our crafts and looking to be inspired. When it comes to running your own photography business, however, this becomes so much more than just working on your photography skill set. In my opinion, having a successful photography business requires proficiency in a whole bunch of other areas including finance, marketing and communication to name just a few. It is a sad fact that some amazing photographers don't see their business thrive due to only working on their craft ( which is important) but not knowing how to conduct their business.
As creatives, we are naturally adverse to these non-creative skillets but fortunately, all of these skills can be worked on the same way you can work on your photography. There are tonnes of ways to do this but a good book is always a safe bet. Here are a few of my favourite non-photography books I have read recently which all contribute to how I approach my business in different ways. I will also be hoping to post a top 5 of my photography books soon. Enjoy!
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It - Michael E. Gerber
The one lesson I can take from this book is that one of the main reasons why people fail with their own business is that they think that if their craft is good enough then the business will succeed. This book is full of valuable lessons as to why small business fail and is a must for those who are starting out. I love the bit where it teaches you how to run your business proactively instead of reactively and would highly recommend it to those who handle plenty of clients such as wedding or portrait photographers where automation is key to not only freeing up your time but providing consistent value.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson
Not your typical self-help book but one I can totally vouch for. Mark Manson gives an honest low down on what is and isn't worth your energy to care about. Manson doesn't sugar coat anything in letting you know that constantly trying to be happier is probably a waste of time. Instead, the book talks about embracing your limitations and not feeling entitled due to the hand dealt to you in life, whether good or bad. One of the key things I took from this book to apply to my business is that I will probably never be as good or successful as the photographers I look up to and that's ok, the happiness is in the pursuit.
Hug Your Customers: Love the Results Jack Mitchell
A book about an American suit store, Jack Mitchell embraces the act of putting his clients first in everything he does and going the extra mile wherever possible. This book is a must for those who work is customer service based photography areas such as weddings and portraits. The value of your product can be so much more delivering lovely photographs, by putting attention and care into extra step your clients will feel more valued and cared for and referrals are a lot more likely.
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Not as manipulative as the title suggests, this book was first published in 1937 and is well known as the granddaddy of all people-skills books. If I could recommend one book from the list it would be this one. Carnegie focus on honest techniques for communicating people in a way that they feel appreciated, it also has plenty of tips on how to handle people who are maybe not so happy you. This book is worth reading more than once as it inst just about communicating with people but how to be an all-around good person, something which can be forgotten in such a competitive industry.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity - David Allen
When your photography business starts to grow if you don't keep on top of things you could soon find yourself overwhelmed with things to do and your brain swamped with things you need to do. David Allen teaches you his approach to getting things out of your head and into reliable storage places where they can be recalled at any time. By having a head free of information you have to juggle you can focus on the task at hand and the time you need to do it. I read this book three years ago but the lessons still help form the foundation of my photography business.