How to Start, Survive & Make Money as a Photographer

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About this course

Most photographers lack the business foundations needed to stay alive for 3 years, let alone a decade and prosper. 

This is the course for you.

  • Have you been questioning how to start, or move your commercial photography business forwards but aren’t sure how to handle the business world?
  • Do you have trouble handling estimates and clients properly?
  • Perhaps you don’t have enough clients, or perhaps too many bad ones?
  • Are you established and are curious to know how to take it to the next level?

Well, if you like to learn by example – Vadim Chiline, photographer and creative director at EpicMind Studio will share his day-to-day methods that he uses to not only survive, but increase his brand and business each year for over a decade with several anecdotes of the ups and downs of his studio.

Most of us are not born with business minds or personalities – having started out as a web developer he has transitioned careers to not only be “another photographer”, but to be regarded as one of the top luxury product photographers today.


Learn to avoid the many mistakes photographers make when running their business – stay busy doing things right.



3 hours, 36 minutes


From beginner to professional


Unlimited Access, Downloadable Content

At the end

Photigy Certificate

This course is for you, if you …


… are looking to start a commercial photography business.


… Want to avoid making common mistakes in business



… Have a photography business, but are wondering what you can do to get to the next level.

About the course instructor

Vadim Chiline

Vadim Chiline

I’ve mixed it up over the years – having studied various fields from Cell Biology, to Computer Science; I’ve always been involved with art and photography but had a technical side which helps me today manage my studio. Having rarely taken the easy path in life, I believe obstacles present challenges to build on and promote quick learning. If I had to compare myself to a composer, I would choose Beethoven; things might not always come easily, and I believe my emotional nature comes through my photography with its dramatic counterpoint of light and dark images.

See Vadim’s portfolio 

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How to Start, Survive & Make Money as a Photographer

Course Breakdown

Total Running Time: 3.5+ hours 
Level: From beginner to professional


Your first Steps to Success in Commercial Photography (part 1) - 22 min

1.1 Your first steps to success in commercial photography
1.2 You’re not only a photographer
1.3 When should you quit your day job?


Your first Steps to Success in Commercial Photography (part 2) - 35 min

1.4 Finding yourself and defining your portfolio
1.5 Is doing free work bad?
1.6 Getting clients — The state of marketing today
1.7 How to source products to garnish your portfolio?


2. What are you worth? - 16 min

2.1 Conditions that affect your photography fees
2.2 What are you worth? Determining your base rate
2.3 Factors affecting your creative fee


3. Copyright and licensing — What is it? - 21 min

3.1 Owning the rights vs work for hire
3.2 How to protect your images from theft and illegal usage?
3.3 The usage fee


4. How to create estimates like a pro - 44 min

4.1 Handling inquiries professionally: Human psychology 101
4.2 Negotiating: The art of saying “No”
4.3 What should a quote look like and contain?
4.4 Terms and conditions


5. The invoice - 2 min


6. Bookkeeping and accounting: Knowing what’s going on - 14 min

6.1 Keeping paperwork in order
6.2 Business expenses
6.3 Working with a professional accountant
6.4 Accounting software


7. Dealing with slow or non-paying clients and false promises of volume of work - 6 min

7.1 Dealing with slow paying clients; Making first contact
7.2 Ways to recover your money
7.3 Handling clients promising you big volumes of work


8. Growing your business with external help - 10 min


9. Your studio - 25 min

9.1 Home studio vs external studio
9.2 Things to consider for your studio space
9.3 The hidden costs of renting a studio space


10. Protecting yourself and your business with insurance - 8 min


11. Dealing with clients: The good, the bad, and the ugly - 7 min


Downloads: Sample Invoices, quotes and estimates

Real documents from real business, for you as an example

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How to Start, Survive & Make Money as a Photographer

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This course is included in the
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