If you enjoy taking images and want to start your own business, a photography business could be for you. This might be a great opportunity to do what you enjoy while also making some extra money. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to work with local clients and develop partnerships with local organizations. But first, there are a few things you should be aware of. Here’s how to start a photography business in the present time:
Photography can be a profitable business if you learn the right way. These 12 tips will teach you how to start your own photography business and tell you what type of equipment you need. So, let’s begin.
Suppose, photography is your hobby. You have spent much time capturing images that you like or taking photos of others as they like. You love the work and have got a lot of experience. But at a certain stage of your life, you may think to leave it because you have to involve with a moneymaking profession.
Now, suppose you are trying to have a job or have already been involved with a job. In this case, as you don’t love this job, you aren’t doing well. Your mind is craving the photography that you do well.
In this situation, I think it would be best for you to set up a photography business. Does it sound much? Or are you nervous about the success? If you can follow some necessary steps patiently, it can fulfill your dream of success.
Since I’m inspiring you to start a photography business from home, let’s know the strategies to run it successfully.
Before you can start taking photos, you’ll need to get your equipment together. This includes the camera body, lenses, flash (if applicable), tripod, and other bits of kit that photographers use. If you’re going to be shooting professionally then I recommend getting all this stuff new as second-hand gear can be unreliable or not fit your needs very well.
It’s also worth investing in good quality tripods; they make a huge difference in how stable your images look when hand-holding a lens isn’t an option.
There are plenty of companies out there who sell photography equipment including Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm among others – but it might be worth waiting until after Christmas before buying any new gear so that you don’t pay full price!
You might want some software too; Adobe Photoshop is popular but there are also lots of cheaper alternatives available if money is tight or if Photoshop isn’t something that interests you at this stage in life (I’m looking at YOU millennials).
It’s also important for photographers’ well-being – both physically and mentally – that they have regular backups for their data storage devices such as hard drives or memory cards since these can fail without warning due to various reasons including loss through theft/theft attempts (eep!), water damage, etc…
What comes first is to determine your brand. You should think and research enough about what niche you like to set up your business strategies. Since I’m talking about the niche photography business here, I assume that you have taken the niche for your business. Then, what you should do now?
Choosing a brand name, you can google. Zero results are ideal in this case. After selecting a brand name or niche, you should check out the availability of it on the internet. You should check out whether your brand name is available on different social media or not, would these media let you open groups, pages, slides, or not?
This kind of search will help you to choose a unique and exclusive brand name. Choose the brand name that has an available trademark, .com domain, and Vanity URL for Facebook, Twitter, and other major social media.
Next, you have to set up your branding strategy. You can create your branding with your actual name, or blend it with your niche, or business name. Suppose, you are Scott Kelby. You can brand your name (e.g. Scott Kelby, Skelby). If it is very common, then you can add anything with your name, maybe a nickname or niche name (Kelby Photo).
As an individual photographer, it can be Scott Photography or Kelby Photography, whichever you choose. If you don’t like to personify your brand, then you can use another meaningful name that instantly tells what your niche is about (e.g. Bridal Lens).
If you cannot find any, you can blend 2-3 meaningful words related to your niche into a blended word. Even if you can’t find any of those as well, you always can choose non-meaningful words to brand your image. But, make sure the pronunciation is pretty easy (e.g. Cla-ching, the camera click sound evolved from Ka-ching). Make sure you can easily relate your brand to your photography niche.
There are many ways to check whether your brand is qualified as a good brand. I’ll not go through all the strategies. But, you can try this one: Word of Mouth. Get 5-10 people who do not know about your brand. Whisper your brand name to the first person and tell him to whisper the same name to the second person.
And after transferring your brand name to the last person, if the pronunciation of your brand is a close match, then you have got a very good brand.
After this stage, you have to create your corporate identity. You need a well-designed website. Decorate the site with relevant texts, images, videos, infographics, flowcharts, graphs, etc. Create social media networks with great-looking pages, groups, texts, and images. You can create these contents by yourself, or you can outsource from outside.
Regarding your product images, you might need to take various image editing services to display them gorgeously. In this case, you can outsource to us for this.
Proper planning is half of the success of any business. It is like a road map of a journey. It is a forecast whether you will be successful or not. So, you should make a specific plan of what to do or not do, and what way you should follow or avoid regarding your business. Remember these two quotes:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” –Yogi Berra
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” –Antoine De Saint.
It is a very hard task. You can do some paperwork, discuss with the respective person, or take help from an experienced someone to make a strong plan of a workflow.
For setting up any business, everyone should figure out the financial issues carefully. It is also a part of planning. A photography business needs equipment, office space, studio tools, photo editing software, business license, insurance, website, accounting software etc. To buy these things initially, a considerable fund is a must. So, initial funding is so important because:
“An entrepreneur without funding is a musician without an instrument.”
—Robert A. Rice Jr.
If you are worried about your business fund or capital, then I’ll say that there are many solutions. It would be very good if you can have this capital from your friends and family. Besides, a bank loan is a great source for a startup business. Here, you’ll get your required business loan as per their banking policy.
As a fresher, you can start a photography business with the funds that you have managed from your family without tension. If you have a good economic backup, it would be very helpful to grow your business as you wish.
But, if you are a service holder and don’t have outside income, then you should continue the job as long as your business comes to a handsome profit. When your business makes enough money to run itself as well as your daily needs, then you can leave your job and should give full time to your business.
Proper experience in starting any business is an asset. In the case of photography or this type of business, professional experience helps much to run forward. Spend enough time patiently to learn the pros and cons of your business.
I know a photography business owner who very first worked as an assistant to a photographer. He has enough experience working with photographers and he can run his photography business successfully.
Making a pricing plan is quite tough and it’s important also. Reasonable and affordable pricing will contribute much to getting enough orders for photography.
When you are making a pricing plan, don’t forget about editing. So, if you decide to take $50 per hour, keep in mind another 3 hours for editing. At the very beginning, your hourly rate may be less, but as time goes on, the rate should be increased per service quality, working complexity, and experience.
A photography business demands a killer website. It is a storefront of your works. It will act as a showcase of the recent photos. Now, it may be your headache about how it should and what it should contain.
However, as you are going to set up a business, you must have a business looking for a professional website. It should have an engaging look with specific buttons for your services. To get various kinds of users, make your website mobile-friendly. It will help you to grow your website traffic. As a photography business website, it must contain a photo gallery and an excellent slider.
In the About page, clarify your business and yourself, provide a contact address, company profile, and so on. This page will give an idea to your customers and help to grow trust. You can also keep a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page.
It would be great to attach a wonderful pricing page that helps your subscribers to have a primary idea about the service charge. Create a call-to-action button so that your customers can order directly.
Add a blog page to your website. Write blog posts regularly providing photography tips & tricks, video tutorials, photography stories, etc. for the newbies as well as for your customers. A blog page will help you to market your business. Another important task you should not mistake is to attach various social media buttons to your site. Social sharing is very important for business publicity.
Photo editing is one of the most important things to boost your business. It is not sure that every time you can capture the best images you want without any defects. Rather, most of the time when you will capture the images, they are unsuitable and you must feel the necessity for image editing.
Then how you can solve image editing-related problems? Don’t be so worried. Just use Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom on your computer and edit your images. There are lots of software or add-ons free for making stunning images. You can edit the images by yourself.
Learn many techniques for making your image better. But, do you like photography more than editing? Then concentrate on what you are good at. And free most of your valuable time, by sending the images to us.
Getting customers is not an easy task. You have to do a lot of things to attract them to your business. At the primary stage, you should try to create a brand for your business. Be strict to provide the best service quality. Show your own unique style of photography. You should target your customers with services like wedding photography, product photography, baby or nature photography, and something like this.
Grow a strong network to flourish your business. You may be a skilled photographer, but if people don’t know you, it won’t bring anything good. So, for publicity, you should join in the forums, clubs, meetings with the people of your track, etc. As a businessman, you have to maintain a proper relationship with your clients regularly. Show your cordial interest to them so that they become your long-time clients as well as they refer you to others.
As a part of marketing, use various social media. There are various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. But, for your photography business promotion, Facebook and Instagram can be the best media for you. Social media are the finest tools for marketing and increasing traffic to your website.
Your first customers may come from your friends and family. It may be that they have helped you much to set up this business. So, you have to spend time taking their photos. In this case, remember it is your business. So, make a specific rule and discount for them. Even though you are working for them at a discount rate, take an opportunity to make them understand that it’s your business. But, never neglect them, rather seek help from them.
You can search for target clients on various social media as well as search engines. There are endless strategies and newer strategies are also coming in every day. So, I’ll not go through all of them. Just to name one, you can try searching for leads in Twitter Search, and search for “looking for” OR “searching for” OR “planning for” “photoshoot OR “photographer”.
You might find some promotional Tweets, but out of them, you can find some really good leads also. If you search, “can anyone recommend” photographer on X (previously named Twitter) you can get more refined leads.
But, the best way to get clients is through your website. Well, perhaps this is what you can do from home. But, it is not free. Invest in a website to get targeted leads. Then go for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. This brings the best quality leads for your business.
Because the right message is the trigger to the right audience at the right time when they need it. But, let me warn you that, SEO is not a quick-fix thing. It is like life itself. You have to live strongly long enough to become stronger than your competitors.
Suppose, your business is well set up. Now, it is time to promote your photography business to reach its goal. You should take steps properly for marketing because it is the fuel of business. However, here I would like to give you a list of what you should do to get the desired growth
“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”
— Michael John Boba
At the beginning of the business, most of the work like setting up shoots, taking shots, editing photos, and event marketing is done by yourself. As the company grows, you need to expand the arena of your business. You may need to employ people as-needed basis.
Once your business is established, you can delegate responsibilities among the employees. But, when your company is too busy, you can do some work by outsourcing. Suppose, you can take various photography post production services like clipping path, image masking, image retouching, color correction, image retouching, neck joint, image restoration, and so on.
In conclusion, starting a photography business from scratch requires careful planning, a strong foundation of technical and creative skills, and a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, aspiring photographers can establish a solid business structure, define their niche, build a portfolio, acquire essential equipment, develop a marketing strategy, and establish an online presence.
Additionally, fostering strong relationships with clients and continuously honing one’s craft is crucial for long-term success in the competitive photography industry. While the journey may be challenging, with determination, passion, and a commitment to excellence, aspiring photographers can transform their love for photography into a thriving and fulfilling business venture.