A-Z Guide to Starting a Successful Photography Business
If you think you have knack for photography and you possess excellent skills, then why not start a photography business of your own? It’s not that hard. Many have done it. So can you. Photography is a popular profession more than a hobby, in fact.
However, to start your own business, you need to find your photography foothold and of course, a direction to get you started with. Read on to find out exactly what you need to do:
Plan your business
You probably have a camera. Good. Now, what you need is a website and a strategy to set your business up.
- Create a business plan
You need a proper business plan, planning everything all the way from financials, to ownership matters and keeping pace with your competitors. Photography, being one of the most competitive businesses, you need to be a good business man. Even though, a business plan can be an overwhelming task, but not for someone who knows how to get his way through.
- Gather your financial startup needs
When making your business plan, you’ll need to carefully evaluate and gather your startup funds. The camera equipment alone can cost at least $10,000 and more. Other than that, you’ll require business licenses, business insurance, a website, an HDR photo editing software as well as accounting software.
Studio can come later in the list since you can even work from your home. You can always plan for it once you have established yourself in the market.
- Secure your funds
If you have enough savings money in your bank account for starting your business, you might need to worry about borrowing money, however most entrepreneurs require financial aid. A study from the National Knowledge Commission reveals that 63 percent of entrepreneurs self-finance their business, but it doesn’t mean every person has cash saved up their piggybanks. Nearly half of the entrepreneurs seek help from family or friends to get their business up and running.
- Work out your personal finances
Since you’re just starting out, understand that your business isn’t going to be making you money overnight. For photographer Peggy Farren’s Avant-Garde Images, it took her almost 18 months to make enough money to pay for all the bills. Sometimes, you might have to work two jobs to make the ends meet until your business starts minting enough money.
- Seek a professional expert
To get your business rolling, you’ll need to team up with an experienced photographer to show your prospective clients what you can do. Not only will it gather you clients, but it will also build your portfolio.
- Buy your camera gear
To begin with, you’ll require two cameras, two high quality lenses, two flashes, Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the images. It’s always best to go for new gear, rather than used gear, since there is no guarantee of a second hand item.
- Make a pricing plan
What will you charge for your photography services? That’s difficult to decide for any photographer, particularly when it’s just the beginning. Search on what the market charges are for one hour’s time. Suppose, your time is worth $100/hour, then for every hour spent shooting, you’ll require somewhere between 3-4 hours of editing. However, bear in mind, that you need to begin with affordable charges as a startup company.
- Invest an AWESOME website
You need a website. After all, your business needs a face and a website can do just that. You can use free website templates, or maybe even get it made from a pro web designer. Your website should be a place that embellishes your expertise in the finest possible way. That’s the only way your clients will want to hire you, be it for their wedding or their child’s graduation ceremony. Organize all the pictures in a gallery according to its suitable category. You would also need an “About me” page with a picture of yourself and a few words about who you are, your experience, your forte…everything written immaculately. Also, include a contact page with information on where you can be reached at.
With any new business, there are ups and downs, but if your commitment to your dream and work and your professionalism will get you where you want to see yourself in no time.