Friday, August 9, 2013

Internet Initiative Scholarship

What do you plan to do after college? How would you use the internet to help you excel in your occupation?

 For the past two or three years, I have realized and begun developing a love and passion for digital photography. I have been teaching myself as much as I can on my own from reading books, watching videos, and practicing every day with my camera. I plan on earning a Bachelor's degree in Visual Communications with a focus in digital photography. I'm hoping to take courses during college in business (preferably focusing in photography business) and starting my own photography business.

Like all forms of creativity and art, photography is a very organic business; meaning, it is always changing, and there are always new ideas and styles emerging. The easiest way to observe the changes in these trends is to have a wide source of current photos and artists, namely the internet. Not only will the internet help me to learn about new trends in my business, but the internet is also a great way to network and get word out about small businesses. I will most likely create a website, along with a Facebook page to share photos and event packages and special deals. The more people that you can get to view your work or portfolio, the more likely you are to be able to spark interest and gain customers. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best ways to get a new business started, especially in a small town like the one I live in. Being able to "tag" a business's Facebook when you share something about them brings more traffic and more awareness to that business. I know that personally, I never would have known about some great family-owned restaurants or shops in my town without my friends talking about it on Facebook. I have also used the internet to enter photography contests, and have so far received 2 peoples' choice awards and 1 judges' honorable mention. It has helped me to enter internet contests because they allow me to retain rights to my photos and gain critique on them as well. 

While I know that it takes time to start a business and get good clientele, I also know that it is possible to gain some of that clientele before you even start  your business. I plan on doing many free shoots for friends and family, who will post the photos online and tell their friends about it. There is also the possibility of using internet model searches to "hire" models for specific  creative shoots that I would like to try. Many  beginning models will do small shoots simply for prints from the shoot to add to their portfolio, so it wouldn't be harmful to my bank account to start out that way.

Internet banking will also help my business succeed. Allowing my clients to pay via PayPal will open a wider variety and availability for customers. It will also be easier for me to be able to keep track of my business's funds and investments. Being able to access my business account's information from anywhere will allow me more flexibility in traveling to do photo sessions, which can sometimes make or break a business in a creative field.

The internet has been transforming small businesses nonstop, and none more so than those focused on creative outlets. I plan to use the amazing resource of the internet to its full capacity as I start and run my own business after I finish college. 


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