Turning a hobby into a business ...

It’s been a while since I’ve had a book to bring you here, and, frankly, this one is a bit of a stretch. Now, it is about starting a business, but in a very narrow focus. I was back-and-forth a bit with the concept of getting one of the authors to do an e-mail interview that would “spin” this into more of a general “taking your passion and building a business” sort of thing, but in the end I figured that this wasn’t where they were coming from, and opted to just bring it to you here.

The book in question is Scott Bourne & Skip Cohen’s Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer. As you can tell by the subtitle, this is specifically targeted to those looking to move from hobbyist to pro photographer … which I expect is a fairly limited audience, and a vanishingly small part of The Job Stalker readers. When it came in (having been sent out as a review copy from Amphoto Books) I was even hesitant to add it to my to-be-read piles, but after an exchange of e-mails with their PR folks, I was assured that if I needed to get something “spun” by the authors, they’d be happy to work with me.

Over the years I have had periods where I have been an “enthusiastic amateur” photographer (oddly, being turned off by the switch from film to digital), so at least the subject was generally familiar to me, although I’d never seriously considered any sort of a pro career (although these days with print-on-demand publishing, I may have a photo book or two in me). So, to sort of settle the issue, I launched into reading it.

I was very pleased to find that much of the book, on a philosophical and “broad stroke” level, was reasonably applicable to any situation where one has been doing something because of love of the activity, and wanting to make that a professional situation. While the specifics of the book are very detailed for the photographer, the general approach of how to set up and grow a business can well be followed for other fields.

More details on this are over in my review, of course, but suffice it to say that if you enjoy photography books (this is a large format paperback with quality paper and a plethora of pro images), or books on business, or are somebody looking to take a hobby into a business, you will find much like here. Needless to say, if you are in the slim demographic of those looking to become pro photographers, this is something you don’t want to miss.

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