Photography Business Explained | The Secrets Behind Successful Photography Businesses
Photography Business Explained | You love taking pictures, so it’s only natural you’re thinking about starting your own photography business. Keep in mind, though, that taking brilliant pictures will only take you so far when it comes to running a successful business. Photography is a popular profession and hobby right now — and that’s exactly the problem. In the past few years, photography equipment has become more affordable, and as a result, everyone can call themselves a photographer. If you’re really going to succeed, you’re going to need to become a great business person.
For many photographers, dealing with the business side of things is something that they avoid and dread doing. That only leads to an unfulfilled photography career that’s filled with lost business, fewer clients and less prestigious assignments. You have to polish up your professional skills and be ready to compete for every potential client with other photographers who not only have talent and artistic vision but an established competitive edge and business experience. It may sound like a lot of hard work, but being your own boss can be well worth the effort. Here are some practical things to consider when launching a photography business to help you get started.
The Planning Stages | Photography Business Explained
Before you purchase a camera and set up a website, you’ll want to do a little prep work. Any serious business owner will tell you that you should write down organize your thoughts on paper. By clearly defining your business goals, you will be able to find a clear path to your destination much easier, like breadcrumbs to follow later. This detailed document serves as your roadmap, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, target audience, ownership, and even competition.
Choose Your Ideal Client | Photography Business Explained
New photographers often think they have to take on any business that comes their way. Choosing a target audience up front enables you to turn down people who are too far away from your location, can’t afford your fees, or are simply hard to work with, but it is also a great way to stand out in a saturated market. You need to have very good business and marketing skills to make a decent living in the photography industry, and you’ll get there much more quickly if you start out right with a defined target audience from the get-go.
Come Up With A Pricing Plan | Photography Business Explained
How much will you charge for your services? It’s a challenging question for every photographer, especially when you’re just starting out. You need a strong understanding of your financial ins and outs. Start with the amount of time you want to put toward building your business, the amount of money you want to make, or a combination of the two. You will start to see real numbers emerge after doing a little bit of math. Keep in mind, though, that for each hour you spend actually taking pictures, you’ll spend about three hours editing, so make sure to factor that into your pricing as well.
Building A Portfolio Builds Credibility | Photography Business Explained
To charge a professional fee for your photography, you will need to convince potential clients that you have the skills and experience required to deliver great results. To do this it’s crucial that you have a professional-looking portfolio, weighted towards your area of specialization and designed to appeal to your target audience. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your storefront. You want it to be memorable and effective, so it’s best to have a website professionally designed for you.
Invest In Equipment | Photography Business Explained
Since price really does affect quality in photography, starting a successful photography business usually involves investing a good-sized wad of cash right from the get-go to purchase some high quality equipment and backup gear. While photography may be all about the brain, eye and heart behind the lens, you do need to keep in mind that, even though you don’t have to get the absolute best quality glass or DSLR to take great pictures, it definitely helps if you can. Do your research and work out how to use your budget to get the most useful equipment.
Use Social Media To Promote Yourself | Photography Business Explained
You can be the best photographer in the world, but unless your potential clients know about you, it won’t do you any good. Social media is a great promotion tool, but it’s best to start out with one or two networks and use them consistently. Facebook and Twitter are a great starting point, but you might want to consider one of the more visual social networks like Instagram. Many photographers have even had success with using Instagram as a digital portfolio — in place of the old-fashioned physical portfolio!