Do you have a passion for photography? Maybe you love taking portrait photos of people, or perhaps you love helping people capture special events in their lives. Or maybe you simply want to share your photos with the world.
Whatever your reason, it’s well worth looking into starting a photography business. It’s never been easier to start your own business, so if you’re considering it, you’ll first need these five essentials:
It goes without saying that you need the best equipment you can afford if you’re starting a photography business. High-quality equipment translates into high-quality photos, so it’s worth spending an extra few dollars.
Obviously a decent camera is essential, but don’t neglect the other elements too. Backdrops and props are particularly important for studio photography, for instance, so it’s worth getting the best quality you can afford at this stage.
As your business grows and you start to turn a profit, consider upgrading your equipment. This will increase your value as a brand and help justify an increase in your prices as time goes on.
The best businesses have slick internal processes that keep everything running smoothly. These are the behind-the-scenes processes that make sure your clients get billed, you get paid on time, and everything else.
Your basic business essentials will include:
- Pricing plan
- Insurance agreements
For many of these, you can find free generators online to create boilerplate content you can amend as needed. Make sure you nail these down early on during your business growth so you can hit the ground running and start billing clients (and getting paid) as soon as possible.
No photography business would be complete without a website. This forms the central hub of your business online — it’s how new clients will check out your work, and it’s where you’ll direct prospective clients from your online marketing strategies too.
It’s important that you find a solution that lets you sell across a number of channels: your website, offline via a POS, social media, and so on. This opens up a world of possibilities for you to expand your business. For instance, you could take your photography business to fairs or conventions and sell prints in-person as an extra revenue stream.
As a photographer, you’ll likely find yourself out and about rather than confined to a studio every working hour of the day. Consequently, it’s worth finding a platform that lets you manage it easily and on-the-move. Most good platforms offer a mobile app for easy management, while you’ll also need a robust hosting solution such as Cloudways to ensure a reliable and secure connection to your online store wherever you are.
Perhaps the most important thing your photography business needs is clients, and you won’t get that without a solid marketing strategy.
There are myriad ways you can approach your marketing. Here are just a few:
- Social media is an absolute must when it comes to marketing your photography business. It’s virtually free (unless you invest in paid ads), easy to use, and offers plenty of scope for reaching prospective clients.
- Blogging is also a great way to reach new clients. Educational guides, photo essays, and other forms of content are great for helping guide people to your website.
- Contributing to photography collectives, stock photo sites, or other websites is also a good way to get your name out there. For instance, if you specialize in wedding photography, offer some free photos to wedding planners to display on their website for some free exposure.
Spread your marketing out over several channels, but don’t overreach during the early stages of your business. Slowly build your marketing strategy over time and within your budget. Make sure each one has a clear way to contact you, either with a website URL or email address.
When prospective clients consider your business, your pricing and service will only go so far towards influencing their decision. Ultimately, they want a good-quality photographer to capture their special day, and it’s up to you to demonstrate it.
This means you need a solid portfolio of your best work. You’ve likely already got a good selection of photographs under your belt. While they’re all of good-quality, you only want to show the very best of your work to prospective clients.
Trawl your portfolio and find a number of your most high-quality images to display to your prospective clients. Be ruthless — it’ll be tricky, but it’s better to have a few high-quality images than several average-quality ones.
Once you’ve got the above essentials behind you, you’ll be ready to launch your own photography business. It takes time — it won’t happen overnight — but keep at it and, slowly but surely, you’ll build a flourishing photography business you can be proud of.