Starting your own photography business comes with its challenges, but it is also very rewarding. If you love taking pictures and sharing them with others, then starting your own studio or freelance business can be quite exciting.
Running a photography business means there’s always something new to learn. You will encounter situations and scenarios that are similar to what other professional photographers have gone through before.
With enough research and preparation, you will know how to manage and overcome most anything that comes across the screen!
Having your own space and equipment makes it easy to produce quality work and retain loyal customers. Plus, being your own boss allows for more flexibility in terms of hours, timing, and services offered.
This article will go into detail about some of the things needed to start promoting yourself as an aspiring photographer. These include creating your business name, finding your marketing voice, developing your website, organizing your files, producing great photos, and getting organized.
To take your career to the next level, you must develop your skill set and promote your expertise.
Choose a business structure
Finding your voice as a photographer is almost impossible if you don’t have your own style. What I mean by that is, if you are just a totally different person in front of the camera than you are off-camera then most likely people will notice!
If you want to see how powerful having your own style can be, try looking through some old photos of yourself. You might even find one or two pieces you love and could create more of. Add those bits into what makes you feel passionate about photography and you have started building your personal brand.
Your personal brand is everything about you as a person (what you like, what you do for fun, etc) extended onto your life as a professional artist. It includes things such as your tone, energy, and charisma when taking pictures, and your willingness to go after your dreams with no guarantee of success. All these qualities show who you are as a person which others may or may not agree with, but they are always seen within your circle of friends and family.
Since being creative is part of who you are, why not turn it into a career? By starting your own business, you will get to use your creativity every day, take all sorts of interesting photographs, and earn enough to live a comfortable lifestyle. Plus, you’ll get to meet other creatives which is an invaluable source of inspiration and motivation.
Write up your company contract
Now that you have found your passion, let us talk about how to start a photography business! The first step in starting your own business is coming up with an ideal name for it and then writing up your company contract.
Your company will be considered legal even before you make your final payment if you include these two things in your business agreement. Having this set up prior will prevent any issues down the road!
When organizing your business, think about what kind of services you offer and position yourself as an expert in those areas. For example, if you are good at taking pictures outside, then add “Outdoor Photographers” to your list of services.
Pay your expenses
This is probably one of the most important things to do as a new business owner. You must understand that having a successful business means spending money, lots of money.
You will need to have enough money to pay for all of your operating costs such as rent or office space, utilities, internet services, photography equipment, etc.
It’s very difficult to succeed if you don’t have adequate funding up front. It takes time to build up a stable source of income so it’s best to start off by investing in less expensive initial equipment before scaling upward.
Remember, your financial success isn’t dependent only upon yourself — it’s a team effort!
By acting like an entrepreneur and paying your own bills, you’ll set a great example for others who want to join you on this journey.
Running a business also requires saving money so make sure you are conscious of where your expenditures are going and try to cut back wherever possible.
Fund your business
Now that you have opened up this very important door, you will need to fund your new venture. This is arguably one of the most crucial parts of starting your photography business!
You will want to make sure that you have all of the necessary equipment pre-funded before you start shooting for money.
This includes buying a good camera body, investing in some quality lenses, and making sure you are well equipped with basic editing software.
These things cost money, so it’s best to do it up front to avoid having to look for extra funding later on.
Also remember that your gear can be expensive, even if you only invest in budget friendly ones.
Choose your team
Choosing your business partners is one of the most important things you will do as a photographer, and there’s no way to say it with more certainty than that! You will be investing in these people for years, so make sure they are someone who can help you achieve your goals, actively works towards your success, and brings value to the table both professionally and personally.
As mentioned earlier, being able to work together well takes time, which is why it is best to choose your teammates at the very beginning. The better you know each other now, the easier it will be later when you need to rely on each other. And trust me, you WILL depend on each other at some points!
Finding people who share your vision and are willing to work hard to see their dreams come true can be tough, but it’s worth the effort. They must also believe in you and what you’re trying to accomplish, otherwise this partnership won’t survive. It’s much harder to find such people today, because almost everyone has access to a smartphone with a camera attached and free photo editing software. But if you’re determined to start your own photography business, don’t give up just yet!
There are many ways to market yourself before investing in expensive equipment, and even better – you can keep marketing yourself while using paid services! Here are my top tips for how to launch a successful photography business without too much investment.
Know your clients
As mentioned before, being able to connect with people is one of the most important things you can do as a photographer. Your potential client or customers are there to be talked to — we’ve already discussed how to gain their trust by offering quality photos and services, but now it’s time to give them more than that!
Ask about their lifestyle, what products they own, what areas of the world they live in, and what types of pictures they desire. If you see someone walking around with an expensive looking camera, ask if they take good pictures with it. Try talking to some people just for fun to get their input on photographers and styles.
The best way to start connecting with people is through social media. Create a profile on all major social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make yourself visible to the community. Use these profiles to talk to others and exchange ideas and information.
Running a photography business doesn’t mean only working during business hours, so keep active times outside of work. You can also use technology to run part of your business from anywhere in the world.
Choose your location
Choosing your business location is an important first step in starting your photography business. You will want to consider many things when deciding where to position your studio.
You should think about whether you would prefer having more space or being close to other businesses, restaurants, etc. While most professional studios have very little open parking, it is helpful to know what that limitation is so you can plan for that.
You also need to determine if owning a house with a large back yard is more important than having low overhead. If possible, try to find a property with an indoor/outdoor room so you do not need to invest in expensive lighting.
Open a business bank account
After you have done some photography, determined that this is what you want to do as a career, it’s time to start thinking about how to run your business!
First, you will need to open an office space or use a pre-existing studio owned by another photographer. If you can’t find one close to you, then you’ll have to invest in equipment and supplies yourself, unless you are very wealthy.
Next, you will need to secure a business bank account. This is an essential part of starting any business, and most banks offer at least one free online banking option (usually with quick payment functions) so you should look into those before investing in paid accounts.
You don’t necessarily have to keep all of your money in the same bank either. Many photographers these days choose to have different savings accounts, credit cards, checking accounts, etc., which all work together to help you stay organized and on top of things.