COVID 19 hit us hard to the bottom, but it opened a new window of possibility that you can earn with your passion.
If photography is your passion, invest in yourself and be happy rather than working an 8 to 4 shift, but your mind is wandering. Then try out the photography business. You don’t have to work because you enjoy every minute of it.
You may ask yourself this, what do I need to start a photography business? Fret no more. This guide can help you kick start your new career in the photography business.
What do I need to start a photography business?
Starting a photography business would require you to prepare equipment, tools, and the right attitude. Here are what you need:
Types of equipment you may need daily:
- Editing tools for the post-production
- Software tools for removing your backgrounds, such as Removal.AI
- Storage devices
- Passion and grit
The above checklist is a sample of how you start a photography business. You don’t need to buy all of the pieces of equipment that you need. There are types of equipment that you can rent as well.
Steps on How to Start a Photography Business
1. Write a business plan.
Every business is always built with a plan. You must know and mindfully see where your business is heading to. So know the niche that you want to focus on, who your target market is, how you want your business to run, who you want to work with, etc.
Here are different photography niches:
- Landscape photography: is best when you are into nature. You take photos of mountains and lakes.
- Portrait photography: capturing your clients’ emotions is the best niche for you.
- Fashion photography: You love fashion trends, so this niche is the better option for you.
- Photojournalism: This niche might suit you well if you want to capture everything that happens under the sun.
- Sports photography: you love sports and freeze the athlete’s moment of triumph! Then this niche is best for you.
- Product photography: You love to market social media products so this niche will fit you nicely.
- Lifestyle photography: If you love to take photos of your lifestyle, this niche is best.
- Event Photography: Memories and events are your most comfortable with, then this niche can make your event last forever.
- Wildlife photography: If adventure is what you are looking for in the Safari and witnessing the wildlife, then this niche is for you. Blimey! The wild is not for the weak heart, though.
- Street Photography: If you want to look at the streets and their activities and are fascinated by how cars pass, it best fits you.
- Real Estate Photography: You love houses! This niche will best suit you.
You can offer multiple niches, yet choose the one you are comfortable doing as a best practice. Choose one niche, and be the best in it.
Opportunities come your way, yet it is best to practice in your niche to have a steady flow of customers. It’s not wrong to say no if an opportunity comes.
Another step in starting your photography business is to make a business plan.
Here is the rest of what you need to know and do when making a plan for your business.
- What is Your USP? Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a statement you will use to sell your services. Sample USP is “highest quality” or “lowest cost.” This statement is short, so your target clients would know what services you are selling.
- Analysis: You analyze your competition. Business analysis is one of the things that you will learn when you start a photography business.
- Services: In starting a photography business, you prepare a jumpstart package of services for your clients. Give a list of your services to offer to make it easier for them to decide.
- Product line: choose a niche that you think you are comfortable with. Then connect to your prospects.
- Target client: These are people you think are the best client for your services, but you may need to connect with a client looking for your assistance.
The next step you may add to your plan is your investments in your business. That includes your capital, the amount you need to start, your operational expenses, or the amount you will shell off while starting your photography business.
Lastly, you may add which legal structure you are going to use. These are:
- Sole proprietorship: owned by one person. You get all the control you want, and it is easy for start-ups. It is easy to report taxes, and you have privacy.
- LLC: You have partners. They are co-owners of your business. That means someone may share profit from how much you are earning. The best structure is if you have limited funds and need friends to help you out.
- C-Corp: This is a big company. Owners are separate entities, meaning their savings and ownership, like cars and houses, are safe from corporation’s debts.
2. Check if your business name is still available.
Develop a brand for yourself. Before putting up your name on a website, double-check if the name that you chose is no longer available.
Choose a name that aligns with your niche and your brand.
When choosing a name for your photography business, it is best to align it with your niche. Do your research when deciding which characters you are going to choose.
Aligning your photography business name to your niche helps customers understand your brand.
Business name is another starting photography checklist that you could want to accomplish.
3. Manage all legal documents needed to start a business
Legal documents are helpful for you when you start a photography business.
One more best thing to do is prepare your legal documents for your business to avoid problems in the future.
Check out business licensing if your photography business needs licensing in your State.
Double-check your name, address, and contact information as well. There are business forms available on the US Small Business Administration website that you can download and fill up.
Develop a firm ground first. That is how to start a photography business.
More tips on your starting a photography business checklist:
- Finalize your business name
- Register to your local business community to be recognized
- Set up a business bank account: Your bank account should be separated from your business bank account to check your cash flow.
- Research your State on how to apply for a license: You can also check it out at The US Small Businesses Administration website.
- Get business insurance: this insurance will help you manage some monetary problems in the future.
- Draft a contract from day one: Draft an agreement between you and your client. Write in detail the services you will offer and what your client expects you to give. In turn, write down your price listing and what you expect from the client.
- Find a lawyer: Find a lawyer to help you with legal matters. Include the help of a lawyer in your checklist. You don’t have to pay them monthly. You can get a lawyer that you can hire per hour to help you understand the legalities of your business.
4. Set Up your website
Remember that now is a digital era. Make a website to help you reach out to your customers with your services. Don’t forget to add you’re excellent work.
Choose the photos that make you stand out from the rest. As you know, you have competitors in the field. Give your best when you work so your customers will see what you can do.
Here are the tips that may help you in setting up your website:
- Choose a domain that you will use; there are free website makers like Wix or GoDaddy.
- Make sure that you add your best work to your website.
- Remember to make your portfolio user-friendly, as some clients may check your work using their computer or mobile phone.
- Add a professional touch to your website.
- Use tools that can help you make your website load faster
- Don’t forget to add your contact details so your clients can find you right away.
5. Collect all your best photos and make a portfolio
Don’t forget to make a portfolio, this will make you stand in the competition. Upload only your best photo on your website.
6. Advertise and make sure the right clients find you
When you know your niche, spread the word about your work. Be intentional and add value to your work so that the right clients will come your way.
Here are the tips that could help you boost your online presence:
Register to all local listings: in registering, this will add to your ranking to make it higher.Add your work to your social media accounts: Add social media accounts even if you are not going to use them. Your accounts will add to your media presence.Referrals: ask your clients to refer you to their friends. It is beneficial as well.
Blogging: Blog the photos that you shoot. It will add to the portfolio that you can share with your prospects.
Research: Do your research about photographers and their work related to your niche
Write a review: Write a blog or a thought about your fellow photographer’s photos. Add positivity to your work, and the rest will follow.
Community: Join a community that has a like-minded concept like yours. Being in a community is helpful, especially when a start-up company.
Social bookmarking: to get you higher on ranking, as thing bookmarking. These are link-building sites such as Scoop it and Stumble Upon, to name a few. All you need to do is submit a link to your website URL to increase your ranking.
Get yourself published: contributing an article or your photos to a big magazine like Vogue and Elle could help you connect with your prospective clients.
That is how you start your photography business.
7. Do local SEO
People spend half of their life asking Google to find things for them.
So you better get a friendly SEO to put your ranking higher. So that when people type in your niche, you’ll get the number one spot right off the bat.
More people would see you and visit your website if you did makeup to rank one—another potential earning for your photography business.
8. Set up your social media accounts
Your social media accounts are another way to boost your reach to your prospective customer.
Align your socials to the business that you do. Post content about your business using images.
Add infographics to your social media account. That is how you start your photography business.
9. Develop great content to share your story and expertise
Have your social media account do the marketing for you. Posting random content will let your users know that you are active.
Yet developing better content such as storytelling, infographics, polls, and a video about your work can increase your viewers. That is another income potential.
10. Make sure to file your taxes.
If you think that you are missing something on how to start a photography business, you might not forget to file your taxes.
You love what you do, so make your effort easy in this photography business.
Imagine! You are earning from the things that you love doing.
Let’s admit that starting a photography business is no easy thing. You are not alone.
There are so many guides that you can look for on the web, but this guide has all that you need when you start your photography business.