This post provides a unique collection of hand-picked resources that you can access anytime.
The articles are written by various authors, giving you a broad overview of what it’s like to start and run a photography business. You could use these resources during the startup phase, and once the business is up and running.
Before you reach the resources further down the page, let’s go over a few considerations related to starting your business.
The Type of Person Suited for This Type of Opportunity
People with a creative flair, have an eye for detail, is patient, and has excellent people skills, may do well in this business. Also, you need to have an entrepreneurial spirit. The good news is you can learn the skills and build on the character traits you don’t have.
What you do need are dedication and passion. When you’re passionate about the business you’re considering, you’ll have the drive needed to improve your success rate.
Pros and Cons
- You are The boss.
- You have creative control.
- Most events you’ll be covering are celebrations, and the mood is positive.
- When business is slow, you can always build your portfolio.
- You meet a lot of people.
- If you like celebrations, you could be attending a lot of them.
- You can’t miss or be late to an event you booked, no matter what.
- Revenue can be sporadic.
- You can only handle one event at a time unless you have a crew.
- You’ll probably be busier during spring and summer compared to the winter months.
- If you make a mistake during an event, you can’t undo it, for example, missing that important shot at a wedding.
For more see, The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Business.
Getting Inside Information
Here’s a tip to get inside information about this business. You can search for photography businesses for sale. Contact the owners and go over how the business operates, the profitability, the customer base, etc. Naturally, you would have a list of pre-written questions to ask.
See Our List of the Latest Business IdeasThanks for dropping by. Before you leave be sure to have a look at our list of the newest business ideas to spark your creativity.
This technique has two benefits.
1. You will get inside information from someone that has experience. You’ll gain tips and insights that are hard to come by.
2. You may find a business that is a good opportunity, and it may be better for you to purchase a profitable business that comes with a customer base and ready for you to take over.
You can also contact business owners to interview. When taking this approach, you need to find a business that you won’t compete with. For more on getting inside information, see An Inside Look Into The Business, You’re Considering.
You need to research the region you’re planning to operate in and review the competition. If there is no competition, you may have hit the jackpot, or more likely, there isn’t a demand for photographers in the area. If there is no demand, you may need to operate somewhere else.
If there are many photographers in the area, you may be dealing with a saturated market, with no room for newcomers. If you plan to enter a saturated market, you need to improve or bring something new to the market to compete.
For more on this topic, see, What Is the Demand for Your Products and Services.
Your startup cost can’t be determined until you have a clear plan on how you will operate. You may be planning on a one-person operation. Or you have plans to hire a crew and create a studio and cover a large area.
You need to plan first then start to research your startup cost. For more see, Estimating Startup Costs – Are You Missing Anything?
Your business registration and stationary can cost you anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on how you plan to operate. You can operate as a sole proprietor or as a corporation or as an LLC.
There are pros and cons to each type of company you create. The simplest is a sole proprietorship. Corporations and Partnerships are more complicated. No matter what you choose, you must register correctly to avoid legal troubles; for more see, How to Register Your Business Using These Resources.
With any business, you must have the right insurance. Whether you operate from home or a commercial location, once you have clients coming and going, you need to be insured in case of an accident.
Insurance competition is high, and that gives you many plans to choose from that are affordable. See the resources further down the page to get the right business insurance.
Your gear is where a lot of your startup budget will be used. It’s important to keep your costs down as much as possible, especially during the startup phase, because you don’t have any revenue coming in.
Many businesses fail during the first few years because they don’t have enough revenue to keep the doors open until they are profitable.
Unless you have unlimited funds, you need to purchase equipment that will do the job effectively and nothing more. You can always upgrade your gear once your business is up and running. Another benefit to upgrading later is you’ll better understand what you need and what will work best for you.
Do some research to help you get the right equipment during the startup stage.
Will, you focus strictly on photography only, or do you plan to offer other services? For example, video coverage, along with photos, is a good match. You would need help to do this. You can’t be shooting a video and taking photos at the same time.
Many businesses that offer photography also offer video. In the early stages, you can even hire a videographer to cover the events with you.
If you plan to use a drone to enhance your photos, see How To Start A Drone Photography Business.
A few more ideas that come to mind for add-ons are:
Offering a photo booth for events where guests can use props and take some memorable photos.
Online Photo Gallery
You could also create a site or a Facebook page for the wedding and other events. You could create a few professional templates and allow your clients to choose the template they want.
You would then customize it and add content. This is also a good idea to build and show off your portfolio. Naturally, you would need permission to show other clients these pages.
Another add on is to create a summary of the event using a blend of the photos and video. You could use a program like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Adobe Premier. You would highlight the most important parts of the event and be short and sweet with tasteful transitions. This is great for those that don’t want to spend the time to see the full version.
Getting the Word Out and Getting Customers
How will you get clients during the startup phase? Getting those first few clients is always the toughest. You don’t have referrals. You don’t have a strong portfolio yet, and people may be reluctant to hire you because of a lack of experience.
You can do a few things to get started. The first thing you need to do is build a portfolio of your work. You can also cover a few events free of charge to get some experience and build up your portfolio.
During these events, you have to give it your best and play mind games because, in reality, you are getting paid! It’s something worth more than cash. It’s experience and a reputation.
You can also search for a wedding planner in the area and set up some meetings. You could show them your portfolio and offer your services. You could even cover a couple of weddings for free to prove yourself. This can be a great opportunity to build a long-term business relationship. You could also refer their services when an opportunity comes up.
Will You Operate From Home or a Commercial Location
This type of business can easily be run out of your home. If your business expands to the point where you may need a studio and need to hire employees, you have the option to expand to a commercial location.
Operating from home can keep your monthly expenses to a minimum, which is important, especially during the early days of starting your business.
What Pricing Will You Set For your Photography Services?
It’s important to set up your pricing properly. If you set your prices too high, you may make more profit but have fewer clients. If you set your pricing too; low, you can harm your work’s perceived value and come off as an amateur.
Your prices have to be in range with the market in your area. Focus on Value. Customers want to make the right decision, and price does come into play, though the value they receive will affect the decision.
For more on pricing your products and services see, How To Set Prices To Improve Sales, Revenue, and Profits.
A Collection of Hand-picked Resources Related to a Photography Business
Below you’ll find the resources that were mentioned at the beginning of this post. It took time to find and organize these resources. Spend as much time as you can to get the information that will make a difference. Remember you can come back anytime you need to use them.