Pro Photography Business Ideas | You’re Doing It Wrong! 5 Common Business Mistakes Photographers Make (And How To Avoid Them!)

Pro Photography Business Ideas | You're Doing It Wrong! 5 Common ...

Pro Photography Business Ideas | If you’re passionate about photography, you might be thinking about starting your own business. Heck, who could blame you? It’s an incredibly creative industry, there’s rarely a dull moment when working with people, and your friends and family say they absolutely love your work, so what could go wrong? As it turns out, a lot of things. The truth of the matter is that your ability to take beautiful photos will get you only so far – in order to turn your hobby into a profitable business, you’ll need to become just as skilled at being a business person, because we’ve all seen many photographers struggle to make ends meet only to eventually close their businesses.

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You’d be amazed, however, just how many photographers go out of business because they keep making the same mistakes. To make the matters worse, these mistakes can easily be avoided with some foresight and the right guidance. To help you get started on the right track and turn your passion for the art of photography into a profitable business, we put together a list of some of the most common misconceptions, myths, and mistakes plaguing the startup stage. Let’s dive right in!

Winging It Is Perfectly Fine | Pro Photography Business Ideas

One of the most important differences between running a professional photography business and doing photography as a hobby, or even on the side is the amount of prep work it requires. While winging it, or deciding as you go, is perfectly fine if you’re just a hobbyist, every established business owner will tell you that in order to turn your hobby into a solid source of income, you will need to write a solid business plan. This will allow you to stay in the proactive mode and maintain at least some control over the situation, as you’ll be prepared to tackle any challenge that comes your way, instead of being reactive and constantly stressing about avoiding unexpected curveballs life might throw at you.

Pro Photography Business Ideas | You're Doing It Wrong! 5 Common ...

RELATED: Top Photography Industry Secrets | How To Start A Photography Business Without Losing Your Passion (Or Your Mind!)

Branding Is Reserved For International Business Empires | Pro Photography Business Ideas

One of the most common misconceptions that can cost you more than you think is believing that branding is something reserved exclusively for international businesses with multi-million budgets. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Think about it – branding is all about creating a unique, memorable, and appealing business identity in order to stand out from the crowd of other businesses offering similar (if not the same!) services and products. The truth of the matter is that there are only a few major players in each industry, whether we’re talking about soft drink brands, smartphones manufacturers, or some other popular industry.

Take a look at your main competitors in your niche or your particular area. Chances are, you have far more direct competitors than Coca-Cola has, so you need to make sure you stand out and grab the attention of your target audience, something international brands don’t have to worry about, as they’re already household names. But with a solid branding strategy, your photography business too can become a household name and pop into a potential client’s mind the moment they start thinking about purchasing a product or a service you’re providing.

The Equipment You Already Have Is Enough! | Pro Photography Business Ideas

If you’ve been doing photography for some time now, you probably have gathered a good amount of equipment, so when you do decide to launch a business of your own, you’ll be all set, right? Not really! Remember, you’re a professional photographer now, and the equipment that worked before may not be enough. There’s no denying that the equipment you use will affect the quality of the photos you take, so make sure you take inventory of your equipment and see what needs upgrading and what new equipment you need to get. You’ll want to get the best equipment your budget allows, but before you go on a shopping spree and blow your entire budget, take some time to come up with a plan.

RELATED: Photography Business Cheat Sheet | How To Start A Business – The Lazy Photographer’s Guide

Pro Photography Business Ideas | You're Doing It Wrong! 5 Common ...

The equipment you’ll need will be greatly affected by your target audience and area of specialization, because each niche of the photography industry has slightly different equipment requirements. Also, don’t forget about the backup equipment either, so find a way to work it into your budget. Remember, even brand new equipment fails, so make sure you have a backup – the last thing you want is to have your camera die on you in the middle of a shoot. And lastly, you’ll want to invest in a good computer and powerful editing software.

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My Art Is So Good My Potential Clients Will Come Rushing In | Pro Photography Business Ideas

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying anything about you or your ability to take stunning photos. We are, however, talking about the situation in the photography industry. It’s one of the most saturated industries, after all, and you need to figure out a way to stand out from the crowd of other shooters. This means you need to bring your A game when it comes to marketing. The industry has been changing quite rapidly, so just because something worked 5-10 years ago, it doesn’t mean it’s working today, so do your research and consider investing in a monthly contract with a reputable marketing agency at least until you get your business off the ground.

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