Photography Business Made Easy | Ready, Steady, Pro! Beginner’s Checklist Before Starting A Photography Business
Photography Business Made Easy | In the past few years, camera equipment has become more affordable and consumer friendly, and as a result, everyone can become a photographer. They get a camera, set up a Facebook page, and start shooting their friends and family for little or nothing in the hopes that they can “test the waters”. But, that doesn’t mean you have to toss your dreams of running a photography business aside. It just means you have to work a little harder and smarter to set yourself apart from the flock of amateur shooters already out there.
With a world-wide recession, photographers and other small business owners are forced more than ever to think creatively and outside of the box. With little or no money to invest in your own small business, how can you move forward? If you’re new in the photography industry, or you’re thinking about turning pro, here are a few tips that can save you a lot of headache later on when you encounter the many hidden challenges involved down the road!
Choose A Specialization | Photography Business Made Easy
Choosing an area of photography to specialize in is one way of standing out in a saturated market. There are several different types of photography businesses, but wedding photography is the most high-profile money-maker at the moment, as summer is the wedding season. However, bear in mind that the gig of taking wedding pictures takes considerable expertise.
Set Business Goals | Photography Business Made Easy
Launching any kind of business begins with the end. By clearly defining business goals you will find a clear path to your destination, like breadcrumbs to follow later. Any serious business owner will tell you that you have to organize your thoughts and ideas on paper. This detailed document will act as your roadmap, describing what your business is all about and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition.
Invest In The Right Equipment | Photography Business Made Easy
A bad workman may blame his tools, but a good photographer knows that the right quality equipment can make a huge difference. This will be your most important investment, and it’s a wise idea to get the best you can afford. Do your research and work out how to use your budget to get the most useful equipment. Wedding and portrait photographers often need studio lighting and/or portable strobes and lightweight cameras. Architectural photographers, on the other hand, use larger-format cameras that have the ability to tilt/shift the lens plane, and sports photographers typically need cameras that have a fast frame-rate and the ability to use long focal length lenses with wide apertures.
Building A Portfolio Builds Credibility | Photography Business Made Easy
To charge a professional fee for your services, you will have to be able to convince potential clients that you have the skills and experience to deliver great results. In order to do this, it’s crucial that you set up a professional-looking portfolio, weighted towards your area of specialization. When potential clients stop by your portfolio they are “window shopping” just like you do when you walk by a brick-and-mortar shop. And just as you only walk into shops you like, people will only stay on your website if they like what they see. Impress them.
Create A 12-Month Marketing Plan | Photography Business Made Easy
A solid marketing plan will keep you in a proactive mode. You’ll be prepared well in advance for family sessions in the fall, the summer wedding season or Christmas holiday sessions. Avoid scrambling to put together packages and marketing pieces after the season is already here. Set up a website and distribute flyers or brochures to local schools, churches and rotary clubs. In addition, create social media profiles and publish updates and special promotion announcements.
You Need Insurance | Photography Business Made Easy
Yep, don’t forget insurance. Liability, errors & omissions, and gear insurance. For many photographers trying to go professional, it will be the first time they have had to deal with payroll, VAT and tax. Find a trusted accountant, ideally one recommended to you by a friend. Photography business insurance is not cheap and can be a major deterrent for those who are just starting out. In the long run, however, it’s more costly to be caught without insurance, so set up business insurance right away.