Photography Startup Handbook | Top Myths About Starting A Photography Business Debunked!
Photography Startup Handbook | Photography is one of the most popular hobbies and professions right now, and for good reason: not only is it an incredibly creative industry, but the equipment has never been more affordable, or easier to use, for that matter. In order to start a business, all you need is some extra money lying around to get your hands on some gear, register a business, and you’re good to go. What many photography enthusiasts fail to understand, however, is that this is just the first step of a very long journey. Starting a business may be easy, but keeping it afloat and turning your passion for photography into a success story is a completely different thing.
This is just one of the things many photographers realize only after they launch a business. In fact, we gathered a list of common misconceptions and myths surrounding photography startups and photography businesses in general. Our goal here isn’t to tell you that starting a photography business isn’t as easy as you may think, but to point out potential pitfalls lurking along the way and help you avoid them, so let’s dive right in!
My Friends Tell Me I Take Great Photos, So I Can Start A Business | Photography Startup Handbook
If you’re passionate about photography, and people that have seen your work consider you to be good at it, the thought of starting a photography business probably already crossed your mind. After all, they do say that if you’re good at something, you should never do it for free. However, turning a creative hobby such as photography into a profitable source of income requires a lot more than the ability to take stunning photos. In addition to being a great photographer, you will need to become a good business person as well!
I’ll Be Able To Wing It Most Of The Time | Photography Startup Handbook
While there will be some things you will need to sort out “on the go,” keep in mind that you’re running a business here. While hobbyists can tweak their strategies, goals, and plans, you will want to have a solid plan sorted out long before you start your business. This short document will allow you to get a better idea of who your ideal client is, what services you’ll need to provide, what goals you’re working on, and the best way to achieve them without wasting too much time and money. This is where you should get to the nitty-gritty details, as it will make your life a lot easier down the road, and save you a lot of headache.
For example, many photographers mistakenly believe that they’ll get better results if they cast a wider net, while quite the opposite is actually true. Don’t try to target absolutely every demographic in your area. Instead, choose an area of specialization and clearly define your ideal client in terms of age, gender, location, even marital status. This will help you come up with the right business strategy and make your marketing and branding efforts that much more focused and effective!
Saved Money Is Made Money | Photography Startup Handbook
Once you define your target audience, you need to start building a brand for your photography business. Even though many people think that branding is something reserved only for well-established, multi-million companies, it’s actually just as important for startups as well, especially in saturated markets such as the photography industry. This is one aspect of your business that will differentiate you from your competitors and help you stand out from the crowd of shooters. However, in order to stand out, you need to be different.
Using design templates, whether for your logo, stationery items, or even your website, will be the very first idea that pops into your mind when it comes to branding, especially if you’re just starting out and you’re on a limited budget. However, keep in mind that most of these templates have all the signs of amateur design, and even the ones that are pretty decent are already being used by many other business owners, maybe even your direct competitors. And how are you supposed to stand out if your potential client has already seen a logo or a website that looks just like yours?
A Second Body Is Optional | Photography Startup Handbook
When it comes to photography gear, you’ve probably already built quite a collection, especially if you’ve been doing photography as a hobby for some time now. However, before you start booking gigs, you’ll want to take a look at your inventory and see what you’ve got, what needs updating, and what other items you need to get. Keep in mind that the equipment you get will depend on your area of specialization, so make sure you do your research before going on a shopping spree and blowing your budget on cool equipment you won’t get to use that often.
Another thing worth noting is that you’ll to find a way to fit backup equipment in your budget as well. Remember, even brand new equipment fails and the last thing you need is having your only camera break down in the middle of a shoot. There are a few other things besides the backup equipment you’ll also need, such as the right editing software to touch up the photos before sending them off to your clients, and a powerful computer that can handle Photoshop and other resource-intensive software.