This is not a registry that allows anyone who wants to to sign up. You can’t just pay a few bucks and list yourself as a Professional Photographer and reap the benefits of extra links and visibility. This registry is monitored, and each business who would like to be included must fill out an application, meet our standards, and be approved before being listed.
Those standards are:
* Be in business (legally!) for at least three years. Why? Because studies show that 50% of small businesses fail in the first year, and 85% don’t make it to 5 years. If a photographer has been in business for at least three years, they’ve made it past the first big hurdle and are well on their way to passing the second. Additionally, we believe that experience counts. The first few years in business involve a lot of on-the-job learning. A photographer who has been in business for 3+ years has done the grunt work and gained valuable skills in a variety of photography and business aspects.
* Have a website that shows a variety of subjects, and displays professional level work that is technically sound. Terms like ‘variety’ and ‘professional’ can be subjective, but the point of this standard is accountability. A photographer’s website is their virtual portfolio, and having an adequate representation of solid work shown is important.
* Be operating a business designed to be sustainable and profitable. In other words, no undercutters. Pricing for photography varies wildly based on location, specialization, and a dozen other factors, but in a nutshell a ‘photographer’ who offers a full session + set of images + digital files for the low low price of $75 is not operating a profitable business. Or, quite likely, a legal one. Our goal here is to determine that the photographer is an asset to the photographic community, not a liability. Profitable businesses are also assets to their communities, and to their clients. Clients often create relationships with their photographers and trust their memories to them. They deserve to know that the photographer is not going to put himself out of business in a year due to unsustainable business practices.
If you’re a Professional Photographer and feel you meet the above standards and would like to be listed in the Registry, please visit the Registry Application page.