Expert Photography Startup Advice | How To Start A Photography Business: The Golden Rules Of Success

Expert Photography Startup Advice | How To Start A Photography Busi...

Expert Photography Startup Advice | “Photographer” is one of those jobs that many people want. And why not? Taking pictures is fun and exciting. It sounds like a dream gig, right? You’re making money making art and taking stunning pictures, so it’s got to be the best! However, we’ve all seen countless photographers start out with all the excitement in the world, but ultimately fail at running a business.

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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 just the perfect job 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 professional photographer, this is what you need to know to succeed.

Make A Business Plan | Expert Photography Startup Advice

For starters, you will need a business plan before diving right into the world of business. Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that you need to organize your thoughts on paper and define your business goals. This detailed document serves as your roadmap, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. Business goals can be general; for example, you may want to work 40 hours a week doing only photography (replace a full-time job) or set up a group of pregnant moms whose families you can photograph from maternity through seniors.

Expert Photography Startup Advice | How To Start A Photography Busi...

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Choose A Specialization | Expert Photography Startup Advice

In the early days there is little option but to take every gig going, even if you are not so familiar with the subject matter or conditions. You say yes to any inquiry that comes your way regardless of the client’s budget. 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 location, can’t afford you, or is simply a pain to work with. Choosing an area of photography to specialize in is one way of distinguishing yourself in a crowded market.

Invest In The Right Equipment | Expert Photography Startup Advice

This will be your most important investment, and it will be worth your while to get the best your startup budget allows. Do your research and work out how to get the most useful equipment. When it comes to camera gear, you’ll need two cameras, two lenses, two flashes, and Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the images. As your business grows, you will be able to get better equipment, but, when you are starting out, it may be a good idea to take out a loan or seek third-party investment.

Come Up With A Pricing Plan | Expert Photography Startup Advice

How much will you charge for the services you’re providing? It’s a difficult question for every photographer, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry. Begin with the amount of time you want to put toward the business, the amount of money you want to make, and you will start seeing real numbers emerge after doing a little bit of math. Keep in mind that for every hour you spend shooting, you’ll spend about three hours editing. You need to factor that into your pricing if you want to break even at the end of the month.

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Expert Photography Startup Advice | How To Start A Photography Busi...

Building A Portfolio Builds Credibility | Expert Photography Startup Advice

To charge a professional fee for your photography, you will need to be able to convince potential clients that you have the skill and experience required to deliver the job. To do this it’s vital that you have a professional-looking photography website, weighted towards your area of specialization. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your storefront. You want it to make sure your portfolio is impressive, so it’s best to have a website professionally created. Professional presentation of your work is critical, and if you are not prepared to invest good money in it, you will never stand out to your clients.

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Start Marketing Your Business | Expert Photography Startup Advice

As well as being an expert photographer you’ll need to learn all about search engine optimization to promote the services you’re providing. If you find it hard to do it all yourself, then investing in a monthly contract with a successful SEO agency will certainly be worth your while. Social media is another great marketing tool, but it’s best to start out with one or two sites and use them on a regular basis. Facebook is a good option, but you might want to lean towards one of the more visual social media channels like Instagram.

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