Photography Startup Essentials | How To Start A Photography Business – A Beginner’s Checklist

Photography Startup Essentials | How To Start A Photography Business

Photography Startup Essentials | Making the decision to start a photography business in the first place is the easy part… So easy, in fact, that nothing whatsoever is stopping anyone with a camera and at least one eye from choosing professional photography as a full time career. Photography is a popular profession and hobby right now — and that’s exactly what the problem is. But, that doesn’t mean you should forget about your dream of running a photography business. It just means you have to work a little harder to set yourself apart from the other photographers.

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The photography business can be extremely demanding, both financially and in terms of work hours. But if you are passionate about taking pictures and you are okay with a bit of uncertainty, it may be the ideal career choice for you. The photography industry offers many opportunities for dedicated amateurs who want to make a living from it. If you’re thinking of becoming a pro, this is what you need to know to succeed.

Choose Your Ideal Client | Photography Startup Essentials

Beginners often believe they have to take on any assignment that comes their way. However, choosing an ideal client up front gives you the comfort and confidence to turn away the client who is too far away from your area, can’t afford your prices, or is simply too complicated to work with. Choosing an area of photography to specialize in is also a great way of distinguishing yourself in a crowded niche.

Photography Startup Essentials | How To Start A Photography Business

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Set Business Goals | Photography Startup Essentials

For starters, you will need to write a business plan. Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that you need to write down your ideas and organize your thoughts on paper. This detailed document serves as your roadmap, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. In other words, launching any type of business begins with the end. By clearly defining business goals, you will find a clear path to your destination, like breadcrumbs to follow down the road.

Beef Up Your Portfolio | Photography Startup Essentials

Being able to show concrete examples of your work is vitally important for securing new assignments. Potential clients will always want to see proof of your skills and expertise so they can be sure they will be getting their money’s worth. After you’ve written down your business plan and know what kind of audience you’re targeting, the portfolio website you set up should be designed to appeal to that market particularly. Consider including a picture of yourself and a separate page that describes your background and experience. Contact information is also a must.

Build A Unique Brand | Photography Startup Essentials

Whether you give your business a company name or use your own name, you will have to get a logo professionally designed and then some business cards to pass around. You’re a part of a creative industry and your business’ personality has to show it, so don’t hold back. Here at MediaNovak, we’ve helped quite a few photographers to build a unique brand and communicate it throughout their materials – from websites to business cards.

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Photography Startup Essentials | How To Start A Photography Business

When it comes to building a brand, coming up with something personal, unique and consistent is incredibly valuable. It helps you stand out from the crowd, and communicates who you are. You can’t be everything to everybody or you’ll fail miserably. To appeal to your target audience, you must carve out a brand and style. Figure out what makes you unique as a photographer and use it to brand your business.

First Steps In Marketing Your Business | Photography Startup Essentials

Once your portfolio is set up and your business is branded, it’s time to start promoting your business and the services you’re providing. Landing work through word of mouth is a great way to promote your business but it’s not always available, particularly if you’re just starting out. As well as being an expert photographer, you’ll also want to learn all about search engine optimization and social media marketing to promote your services. If you find it hard to do it all yourself, investing in a monthly contract with a reputable SEO agency might be worth your while.

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Get Ready To Be A Business Owner First | Photography Startup Essentials

Take the time to set up everything properly from the get-go so you never get caught unprepared. You will present yourself as a professional because you will have taken the right steps to actually BE a professional business person. A solid business plan keeps you in a proactive mode. You’ll be ready 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 upon you.

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