Anthony Rogers attended my Self-Promotion class at the Academy of Art University in 2014 and (apparently) took many of the lessons to heart! Already in freelance business mode while in school, he started an online magazine, http://www.bobcutmag.com/ after graduation and has achieved a lot of success in a very short time. He recently gave my current class an informative guest lecture on “getting your business started” and here are some of his thoughts on the subject.
Piscopo: You already had fashion clients for your freelance photography business, why start an online magazine?
Rogers: I started my online magazine as a way for me to curate the work of others I really loved and to also write freely. While I was in school, I worked freelance for a couple of publications and did a lot of writing for them. Over time, I saw that the work that I had written was being edited down to a point where it didn’t even sound like myself. What I thought strung the piece together (whether it be the humor or what have you) the editors didn’t see it that way so I started Bob Cut in January of this year and haven’t looked back.
Piscopo: What advice do you have for those looking at photography as a business – pitfalls to avoid or opportunities to pursue?
Rogers: My photography is a business. Especially in the first two years, I took all the clients and partnership opportunities that came at me. I never said no. Now that I’m in my 6th year of working freelance as a photographer, I’m a lot pickier from job to job. Before you decide to go into business. really establish your voice as a photographer because, without that, you could be stuck shooting something you don’t even love. For me, I did a lot of events…but they were not EVER what I wanted to shoot.
Piscopo: What skills or areas of expertise (other than photography) do you think a photographer needs for a successful business?
Rogers: I believe a photographer should be a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Learn to do free-form writing, to design type, make short films, and take a business course. A little of everything goes a long way. For myself and Bob Cut, I really took time to dive into the topics I was reporting about…fashion, food, art, interviews, and beauty.
Piscopo: When you are looking at your overall marketing efforts, what seems to work best for you?
Rogers: I feel that the best marketing efforts come from my promos. Whether it be for Bob Cut or my personal brand. Having promo pieces does set the tone of who you are and your level of humor.