Launching Photography Startups | So You Want To Be A Photographer? How To Start And Run A Money Making Photography Business

Launching Photography Startups | So You Want To Be A ...

Launching Photography Startups | Simple fact: creative artists like photographers need business know-how just as much as Internet startup businesses and small companies. A photography career can be truly fulfilling, however, as you launch into the professional realm, it is vitally important to be thoughtful and realistic about the road ahead. Your favorite photographers may make their job look easy, but trust us, it’s not. There are many things that should be considered before starting up your own photography business.

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Today, it is easier than ever to get your hands on a camera and start taking pictures, but becoming a successful photographer requires a lot of time and effort. The photography business can be extremely demanding, both financially and in terms of work hours. But if you are dedicated and passionate about taking pictures, and you are willing to deal with a bit of unpredictability, it may be just the ideal career for you. If you’re thinking of taking this passion a few steps further into launching your own photography business, we have a few crucial tips and recommendations you should consider before plunging in.

Make A Business Plan | Launching Photography Startups

Any serious business person will tell you that you have to organize your thoughts on paper. This detailed document serves as your overview and a road map, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition. Starting a business begins with the end. By setting business goals you will find a clear path to your destination, like breadcrumbs to follow down the road. You have to be a very skilled business person to make a decent living taking pictures, and you’ll get there much more quickly if you start out right.

Launching Photography Startups | So You Want To Be A ...

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Come Up With A Pricing Plan | Launching Photography Startups

How much will you charge for your services? It’s a difficult question for every photographer, particularly when you’re just starting out. Keep in mind that as a photographer, you are not competing with the cheap chain studios, so don’t price like them. For every hour you spend shooting, you’ll spend about three hours editing. You are providing a much more refined service, with 300% more time involved. Factor that into your rates. Create business pricing packages and draft contract templates for your clients. Coming up with these before you open your business will help you to run your business without having to worry about these details.

First Steps In Marketing Your Business | Launching Photography Startups

Once your portfolio is complete and your business is branded, it’s time to begin marketing your photography business. Landing work through word of mouth is a powerful way to promote your business but it’s not always available, particularly when you’re just starting out. Thanks to the internet you can reach thousands or even millions of people within a few clicks. Online communities such as Facebook, Flickr, Blogger and Twitter can link your postings to a worldwide audience.

RELATED: Important Marketing Tips | The No-Nonsense Guide To Marketing Your Photography Business

Launching Photography Startups | So You Want To Be A ...

Invest In A Killer Website | Launching Photography Startups

Although there is still a need for directory books, newspaper ads and magazine listings – you have to consider building a strong presence on the internet. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your own digital storefront. You want it to be impressive, so it’s best to have a website professionally designed just for you. Google discriminates against websites that have large or high resolution images – so make sure to reduce your files to 72dpi. It is also a good idea to watermark your work, especially if you decide to sell your images online, and to list at least some of your prices. This helps manage potential client’s expectations and keeps people from trying to negotiate for a lower price.

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Referrals Are Essential | Launching Photography Startups

Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful sources of bookings for photographers. People are way more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend than an ad in a magazine. Join groups, forums, clubs, collectives, whatever you can. Make sure these people know about you and enjoy working with you, and you’ll get referrals. Offer discounts to your current clients for referring people that they know, or offer discounts to them based upon the type of photography you are doing. For example, if a couple wants you to take their wedding photos, offer them an engagement sitting for free.

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