Would you like to know how to start a
This article will explore all the ways in which you can run a successful
The Pros of Starting a
Every successful business knows there are many pros to running a small
- Creative Job-Many aspiring photographers love their job because they get to put their own unique style and personality on every shoot
- Independence-Many people love
photographyand want to put their name on their business without having to answer to another boss.
- Income-There is a lot of money to be made in the
photographybusiness, and if you work hard to generate sales, you can provide yourself with even more than a steady income. It doesn’t matter whether you love wedding photographyor a pet photographer. The key is having a proper business plan from the start.
- Travel the World-Many successful photographers get to travel the world using their
photographyskills and a stable internet connection.
- Changing Environments– As a small business working in the
photographyworld, a successful photographer is sure to see a change of environment on a regular basis, shooting in different places and oftentimes with different people.
The Cons of Starting a
Now that we have explored the good parts of running a
- Insecurity-Even if you are a good photographer, many photographers struggle their first years in business and have to figure out how to invest in customers and marketing.
- Expensive gear– When starting a
photographybusiness you may find the startup costs of cameras and other camera gear to carry a heavy price tag in the beginning before you are making real income.
- You have to wear many hats-successful businesses know how to wear many hats. You can’t just show up with your camera bag and call it a day. You have to learn accounting, marketing strategy, search engines, pricing, budget, and be constantly learning as the industry evolves.
With so many different types of
Take a look and see if any of the genres seem like something you would love working in on a daily basis. Any of these would make for a booming industry, and you can set yourself apart from other photographers by implanting your personality on your own business.
- Real Estate
- Fine Art
The Must Haves to Get Started
These are the top things you will need to get started today. The rest of this article will go into deeper detail on how to start a
But see if you can get past these first steps before investing too much time and money into your new business.
- Gaining Experience: Make sure you feel comfortable enough in your
photographyskills and services to start charging money for it. If you have to offer free photoshoots to get started, there is no shame in that. It’s all part of the learning experience.
- Camera: Your camera will become your new best friend. I recommend heading over to B&H Photo online to talk to a representative online or going to your local camera store to ask for advice on a good camera.
- Lens: Many professional photographers believe your lens is more important than your camera, and with good reason. Your lenses will last forever if you take good care of them, and a nice piece of glass will complement your
- Computer: You will need a computer to edit your photos and connect with potential clients. Most photographers work with Apple computers. But you can choose what works best for your budget and skills.
- Photo Editing Software: Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop are extremely user-friendly and pro when it comes to editing your
photography. No matter what equipment you are using, it’s easy to make your photos prettier with a photo editing tool.
Important Legal Steps for Establishing Your New Business
It doesn’t matter if you are shooting wedding
As a small business owner, these are some valuable tools for your business education. Don’t forget to include these in your personal finances and accounting software when crunching the numbers for your business.
1. Business Name
You need to come up with a brand name for your services. Oftentimes photographers choose their own name or something easy to spell and remember when searching for your services. Be picky when it comes to a business name, as it will go on all your marketing materials and social media platforms. Also, use this website to see if your business name is already taken by a competitor.
2. Register Your Business
If you want to have a legal business that pays taxes, you need to register your business with the state and the IRS. As long as they get their tax money, they are happy to allow you to run your business. While registering, you will need to decide on which of the following you want to be. You can also check out legalzoom.com for more business advice if this feels confusing.
Sole Proprietor: This is the quickest and easiest way to register your
LLC: An LLC protects your assets and can still have your taxes go through your personal tax return. If you have multiple members, you will be taxed as a partnership. The paperwork is a little different than a sole proprietor but not that difficult.
S-Corps and C-Corps: This is the most complicated tier of registering and includes ongoing costs. Most single-person
But you should speak to an accountant to find out if this is a way for you to gain more money and save on startup costs like editing software, camera body, and office space. Finally, you should attend trade shows in
3. Obtain a Business Permit
So you take amazing photos, you have people skills and a marketing budget, but do you have a business permit? Well, this varies state by state. Some types of
The best way to find out what you need for your
4. Secure an EIN
An EIN or employer identification number is a very important part of setting up your professional
5. Create Client Contracts
As you become the go-to photographer for your target market, you must have client contracts in place to protect you and the clients. It doesn’t matter if you shoot family portraits or pets. You always want something in writing stating your services, what you provide, and what you don’t.
Also, you may consider signing up for Professional Photographers of America for this very reason. They offer lawyers and contracts for free within your membership. It’s the perfect way to look professional to prospective clients and an easy way to create contracts without having to think much.
6. Get Insured
No matter what niche of
Tips on Running and Growing your
Now that we have had a look at some of the niches of
If you want a more in-depth look at any of the tips below, we recommend you to check out our course on getting started with a
1. Write a Business Plan and Define Business Strategy
Writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to starting a
2. Conduct Market Research
Look at what your closest competitors are doing and find ways you can do it better. It’s also a good idea to read the good and bad reviews from your competition to see what customers are saying about them and use this info to better your own work.
Define your Target Audience
If you want to make money as a photographer, you have to decide who your dream customers are. What pricing are they willing to pay for your services? What are the names? What are their income levels? Jobs? Interests?
I like to give my dream client a name and write down everything I can think about them. From there, you can use all this info to decide where your marketing money should go and your
Evaluate your Competition
Head over to Google and type your niche and location in a search. Look at the top 10 companies that pop up and check out their websites and services. Do you see things you like or dislike? Ideas to add to your business?
Things that are missing from their business? Find ways to fill these gaps and better your own work by evaluating the people who are already succeeding in big ways at what you want to do.
3. Decide on a Pricing Plan
Whether you have a studio or work in the streets of Paris, you need to come up with a cost for your services.
When you start a
4. Create a Marketing Plan
The next step to start your own
Think of volunteer opportunities and what websites your dream customers often visit. This way, your marketing is more likely to get in front of the right people.
Social media is an important part of your
The top sites small business owners use are Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. But you should further research which social networks work best for your business to reach your target market and fit customer expectations.
Find New Clients
You can’t expect to sit in your studio, and clients just magically appear at no cost or energy from you. It’s important to constantly reinvest in your business and reach clients in new ways. You can do this by offering better services than your competition.
A great example of this is shooting some of your sessions in film and some digital. This has become extremely trendy recently. Start a
Branding should be at the top of your list. Many professional photographers miss these important details when they first start building their business. Branding includes a lot more than just your photo services.
It is everything from your fonts, colors, and portfolio. Branding is your company identity, and you need to create a common theme across your social media and website so people can identify you from your brand alone. Don’t be like other
6. Design an Online Portfolio
When you start your photo editing and taking on more shoots, it’s important that you begin to define your own style and create a portfolio for showcasing your work. Never overshare your work. You should only post your very best photos and think about what you are conveying to your audience.
Are your photos speaking to your dream clients? Ask yourself this question when choosing which photos to share on your website and social media pages.
Your website should be beautiful to look at, clear, concise, and easy to navigate. You want to display your photos as the main attraction on the site but also don’t forget to add lots of information, reviews, and personal details that will help your dream clients connect with your brand and your personality.
Also, don’t forget what we said above about being picky about which photos you share. If you need help designing a website that works well for a computer browser and on the phone, try one of these sites. They offer easy-to-design templates and affordable costs.
Search Engine Optimization
If you want to run a business with no experience, then start learning search engine optimization as soon as possible. By using keywords on your website, social media pages, and blog, your business will be found by more potential customers.
If you aren’t sure how to use SEO, consider outsourcing this type of business work to someone on Fiverr.com for a price that won’t break the bank, but will help potential customers find your website through search engines.
7. Decide on Equipment
Which camera lens are you dreaming of owning? Which camera is best for your niche of
These are all questions you should ask yourself when deciding on the best equipment for your business. There are many wonderful sites that help you compare equipment. Here are some of our favorites:
8. Client Management Systems
There are an array of websites that help you track all of this and more but are specifically designed with photographers in mind. Have a look at these top systems to help you get your
9. Hosting and Sharing Photos with Clients
As you start earning more shoots, you need to learn the best ways to share your photos with clients. There are a variety of ways to share photos with past and new clients but what’s most important is that you make it easy for clients to download and find their photos.
We love these sites because they also act as a backup source of all your
10. Offer Other Services
A great way to learn how to diversify your services is by heading to
11. Selling Your Photos on Stock
Have you ever considered building off-season income through stock
You have complete control over which sites you list your photos under, and it’s a great way to create cash flow and off-season income. Check out Shutterstock, Canva, Adobe, and Alamy, to name a few.
We hope this article helped you gather some of the best ways for starting a
With a little bit of inspiration and hard work, you can be on the fast track to running your business. Follow these simple steps above to get started and feel more confident in creating a business you love showing up to every day!
Meet Krystal Kenney –
Photography Business Coach
Our very own professional photographer Krystal Kenney has designed an online course all about how to start a
With over 50 videos, bonus materials, and fun engaging content, you will learn how to quickly start and successfully run a
Krystal Kenney started her own
Her work has helped her to experience unbelievable events and meet fascinating people. She takes everything she has learned from running a successful
You can take the course at your speed because all the videos are prerecorded. You can also rewatch as much or as little as you need. She starts from the beginning of running a business breaking down a business plan, and then moves into more advanced marketing techniques with great depth and insights.
The Photography Business Course is currently on sale for only $49, so sign up today to gain access to the easiest way to build your business today from someone who has done it successfully and profitably for over a decade!