"A successful photography business is 20% photography, 80% business". Lara White says this right at the beginning of her book and continues to remind the reader right up until the end. In fact, she places so much emphasis on this fact that it might discourage some photographers from ever going into business. That's a good thing.
The book has four sections: moving from a hobby to a business; business fundamentals; sales and growth; and marketing. Each of the chapters in each of the sections emphasizes the practical aspects of the business of photography. As I read the book it was as if White had my checklist for the things that I look for in a book about the business. For example, she made it clear that any photography business has to cover living expenses in setting prices. This might seem self evident but many of the books on photography business don't even mention this. I also liked the fact that she continually emphasized the importance of continuously (but diplomatically) selling. In fact, her book covered every point that someone in the business, whether just starting out or already on the road, needs to keep in mind.
On the other hand, I wished that she had gone into greater detail. It's nice to know that you need a marketing plan, and to know what should be in it. It would be even nicer to have a sample marketing plan, not to copy, but to give an even better idea of how to create one. Similarly she often talks about software for running one's business but doesn't recommend brands. Perhaps it is contained in the resource guide on her Photomint website, which she regularly referenced, but in order to access the guide I had to register in a process that gave White access to my Facebook friends and other public information, which I found too intrusive. Of course this illustrates that White follows her own advice to always market.
Each section of the book contains extensive good advice, but it inevitably can only scratch the surface. It would have been nice to have had other recommended readings or a bibliography.
As I looked at all of the photographs in the book, I was reminded of a comment made by another writer on the photography business that a book on the business side of photography didn't require a single photograph. Still, I enjoyed the photographs of her wedding clients, even if they didn't contribute much to my understanding of the business side of photography. I'd have been happier if the author had used the space to provide greater detail.
Although White suggests that the information in the book applies to every genre of photography, it will probably be most useful to those dealing with retail clients, like wedding, portrait and event photographers. Those shooting fine arts, commercial and news can probably find better references. But for the first group of shooters, this book is a clear and comprehensive introduction to photography business and a must-have for any one considering launching a career in these areas.