Photography Business Cheat Sheet | How To Start A Business – The Lazy Photographer’s Guide
Photography Business Cheat Sheet | Starting a photography business, while it may sound rather straightforward in theory, can be a difficult and challenging venture in practice. It’s a scenario more common than you think – you get a DSLR camera, practice shooting, and at some point down the road, you decide to quit your day job and start your own photography business. Your friends and family say they love your photos, so why not try and make some money doing what you’re talented at and what you love doing? What many photographers realize only once they launch a business is that a lot more than the ability to take stunning photos is required to become successful in the photography industry.
After all, photography is one of the most popular career choices and hobbies, and it’s becoming an increasingly saturated industry where standing out is more often than not the critical difference between success and failure. If you’re passionate about the art of photography, starting a business might be just the right thing for you, in spite of the number of shooter already out there. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to make sure you don’t end up closing your business after a few months of struggling to make ends meet. To help you get started (and stay) on the right track, we put together a list of all the most important things you’ll want to sort out.
Do Your Research | Photography Business Cheat Sheet
While you might truly love photography, and launching a photography business is a dream come true for you, even photography business is still just a business at the end of the day, so in order to become successful you need to do some research before jumping right in. Photographers tend to think with their heart first instead of their heads, which can land them in some tough places financially, majority of which can be avoided with some prep work. Do your research and figure out which niche has high demand and not enough photographers, for example. If there are too many wedding photographers out there, no matter how much you love shooting weddings, standing out will be nearly impossible.
Write A Business Plan | Photography Business Cheat Sheet
Every successful business owner will tell you that in order to turn your passion for photography into a profitable business, you will need to take some time and come up with a solid business plan. The more detailed you are, the better! Your business plan will be your guide, helping you navigate the tumultuous waters of the startup stage, make the right decisions, and even handle finances. Figure out how much money you need to make in order to make a living and write an income projection that covers it. Find out what your cost of doing business is and come up with the numbers you need to cover it.
Get The Right Equipment | Photography Business Cheat Sheet
You probably already have a good chunk of gear you got over the years of doing photography as a hobby, and you may think you’ve got everything you need in order to run a business. However, you’re a professional photographer now, so make sure you take inventory of the equipment you’ve got and check what needs replacing, updating, and which items you need to get. It’s incredibly important to emphasize one often overlooked thing: before you go on a shopping spree and blow your entire budget, remember that you need to get the backup equipment as well, so find a way to work it into your budget.
At the end of the day, even the brand new equipment can fail, so unless you want to have your main (and only) camera fail on you in the middle of a shoot, get some backup! If you’re struggling for cash, get the equipment you’ll be using most often, and you can always rent the rest. In addition to the main and backup equipment, get a powerful computer and some editing software for editing the photos before sending them to your clients. Slower computers mean slower editing, which means you’ll be wasting a lot of time on editing photos instead of being out there and shooting new photos!
Brand It Or Lose It | Photography Business Cheat Sheet
When people hear the word “brand,” the first thing that comes to mind are well-establish, iconic brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, or Apple. Just thinking about the enormous budgets that went into building those brands probably sends shivers down your spine. But, what most business owners fail to realize is that branding is not a privilege reserved just for large corporations. Branding is just as important for small startup businesses. And while you might do it slightly different, the end-results should be the same: loyal clients, better word-of-mouth advertising, and a well-rounded image that pops into your client’s mind each and every time they need a photographer.
Choose 5-6 words that describe the style of your photography – is it fun, edgy or classic, couture, polished, romantic, modern or vintage, stylish or hyper-realistic? Once you define the essence of your company’s brand, setting its overall look and feel will be a lot easier. This will be the essence of your brand, so take as much time as you need to make sure you get it right. You are a part of an incredibly creative industry, and your brand is an ideal tool to show it.