If you’re interested in photography, you could consider starting your own photography business.
- Is photography a lucrative business?
It sure is though it’s also a very competitive one. Here are the top tips for setting up a photography business from home, being one of the more popular small business opportunities.
Before you jump in and start charging for taking photographs, check out these business strategies and tips for success.
Business Plan for Starting a Photography Business
Many photographers don’t bother to make a business plan and then wonder why they aren’t successful! Take the time to make one to get a good direction and focus for your photography business. It’s like a compass. And it need not be long and complex.
- Create a photography business plan stating your objectives, mission, start up costs, location, facilities you will be offering and so on.
- Create action plans and timelines, an important aspect of photography business tips.
- Analyse the results.
- Define the type of photography you’re planning to do. (Wedding, Birthdays, Pets, Cooking, Fashion, etc.)
- Mention your charges.
- Whether Full time or Part time.
- Your target clients.
- Analyse the demographics in your area and whether they fit into your genre.
- The competition and your USP.
- Projected costs and profits.
- Your branding.
Skills Set / Photography Experience
Photography could have been your hobby but you need a certain skill set when you make it your career.
- No special degrees required when you’re working from home in a photography business.
- Create a resume and a portfolio of your best photographs depicting your style/range so that you can share these on your website and with potential clients.
- You will surely need some technical skills for such a legitimate work from home job or business. A basic understanding of photography related hardware/software. For instance, knowledge about cameras; lenses; lighting and other equipment.
- Learn more about visual editing and the latest video editing software.
- Business or marketing skills.
- People skills.
Tip: Check out this book. It’ll teach you how to interact with others.
Camera Gear / Expenses
What do I need to start a photography business? You need some basic equipment for starting your photography business. All the skills in the world are not enough to replace technical requirements.
- A computer for communicating with clients, running a website, editing photographs, marketing your business, using social media and so on.
- Among the top equipment needed to start a photography business is a camera. The type of camera you buy depends on your genre/specialty. For instance, do you need a fast auto-focus or a high ISO. A DSLR is a wonderful camera, but do you need it?
- You will need to spend on business licenses, business cards, business training, studio space (or you could work from home with a home photography studio).
Selecting a Niche
While considering small business ideas, what type of photography are you interested in for this business? Businesses need a different type of photography from individuals. For instance, realtors need pictures of homes and magazines need pictures for their articles. There are all types of genres in photography business.
- Choose a niche that satisfies your creative urges and, at the same time, is also a viable business.
- Check out different genres of photography business, such as weddings; portraits; family photographs, newborns, birthdays; Boudoir or private; Real Estate/vacation rental photography; fashion photography; business photos and others.
Tip: Portrait photography may not have much of a demand, so networking is important to get more business. Wedding photography is more popular, especially in a bustling city.
- Try stock photography business, where you just take pictures and send them to agencies who host your collection. You earn a royalty every time your photograph gets sold.
Tip: Check out online business opportunities by signing up to sites like iStock, Shutterstock to sell in bulk.
- Check out the legal requirements for a home based business.
How to Start a Photography Business from Home
- After learning the basics, start taking your camera with you everywhere. Take risks and try different techniques. Keep practicing and have fun.
- Learn to shoot pictures in manual mode. You learn a lot of things about light. You can improve your skills and get more control over your images. Also, try out other modes like AP.
- Start volunteering for local events and for family and friends’ events. Take pictures at nearby school events or for a local business.
- Build local business by word of mouth.
- Set a price. Research your area and find out what your competitors are charging. Factor in travel expenses, preparation and editing labor, gear and website costs, etc.
Marketing / Brand Awareness
It’s not enough to be a good photographer, period. You have to learn to wear different hats to sell your business. Photography skills are the basic requirement but there’s lots more to the story.
- Start a photography blog to get more followers and clients.
- Establish your online presence with Instagram and Facebook. Start sharing pictures with family and friends to begin with and then slowly keep building your portfolio. Post regularly. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, you can blog about tips to brides on hiring photographers.
Tip: Use free services for automating posts, so you don’t have to waste time.
- Start charging low to begin with.
- Build an email list. No random lists. It should consist of your existing clients, potential ones and those who are really interested in receiving your emails.
- Networking with professionals. Business owners can be loyal to each other by promoting one another.
- Conventional advertising, such as newspapers/magazines.
- Run contests or promotions. Give away a free photography session. It helps increase business visibility.
A photography business is a great primary business or a secondary one. You need a good balance of raw talent and marketing skills to succeed. Build your business slowly.
Expand and get additional gear after your business starts growing. Reinvest in your business. Buy new lenses, improved editing software and technology to improve results. Diversify and start adding different genres to your services.
When you keep pushing yourself, success is bound to follow. Keep learning new techniques in photography, keep renewing your unique selling point and you’ll soon be setting yourself apart from the rest of the competition!! Success is all about perseverance.
Cover photo by Pexels