You may be thinking, “I’m not a professional photographer. I don’t know anything about photography.” That’s okay! This guide is for you too.
And if you’re still reading this, then that means you care enough to want to learn more about doing your own photography business, which is cool of you. You are a brave and ambitious person who wants to take control of their life with their own business. And in this article, we will show you exactly how to do it, so keep on reading.
#1 Find Your Niche
The first step in starting your photography business is finding out what type of niche or style resonates best with your personality and what people are searching for online the most right now.
For example, let’s say you want to become a wedding photographer, but that’s also a very saturated market. Your next step is to start researching what makes you different from the other wedding photographers out there.
Maybe you’re more laid back, and your photographs reflect your personality. Or, maybe you have a background as an event coordinator and know the timelines and logistics of what’s needed for weddings like the back of your hand. Perhaps, you love shooting in unique settings like on a rooftop or an abandoned warehouse.
Think about what makes you different from everyone else out there and keeps you true to yourself.
#2 Internet Presence
Having an online presence is an absolute must if you want to succeed as a photographer. Clients and people looking for photographers will be searching online (so it’s important that they can find YOU). Most of your future clients will probably meet you through your website, blog, Facebook page, business email address, or social media accounts. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure everything you do is completely professional and polished.
Creating your website where potential clients can view your portfolio of images is a must, but be sure to add in some information about yourself and what makes you unique as a photographer, too. Also, include some testimonials from past clients on social media websites like Facebook and Instagram so that people can see how much others love working with you.
And most importantly, make sure your website and social media profiles are always kept up to date and try to post regularly (but don’t flood these websites with too many images or updates). You also need to be very involved in the online photography community by interacting with other photographers via their blogs, Facebook pages, and other social media websites.
#3 Have a Website
Although not necessary for a photography business, having a website is a great way to promote your services and portfolio.
Having your website means that you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home without ever needing to visit an office building or meet with someone face-to-face. All attempts at contacting you will be done through email, which is also great because you can keep all interactions within your own office space.
Your website will be a hub for everything related to your business. It’s where potential clients can view images of past projects, get information about what you do and who you do it for, see testimonials from past clients, read blog posts that are relevant to your line of work, and get information about yourself.
It’s best to invest in having your website search engine optimized as well to make it easier for potential clients to find you. For example, when people look for the best custom photo gift websites, it will be awesome if your site shows up among the search list.
#4 Get a Business License
One of the first steps you need to take is getting a business license for your photography company. In most cases, this is usually done through your city’s government office. Just search online for “Your City Name” plus “Business License,” and you should find all the information you need to get one.
The fee for a business license typically only costs $10 to $20, and it’s so much better than having to worry about getting fined or penalized down the road. It shows that you’re legitimately running a photography company, which is why it’s crucial to take care of this step ASAP.
#5 Develop Your Style and Brand
It’s imperative to develop your style and brand so that you can stand out from other photographers and provide clients with a unique experience every time they work with you. Think about what makes your photography different from anyone else. What environments do you like shooting in? What types of people do you typically work with? What specific project types do you enjoy working on most?
Once you’ve figured out what makes your photography unique, develop a brand that reflects this and will attract the type of clients that would want to work with someone similar to you. Doing this is a serious step towards making sure your business is successful.
#6 Market Your Photography
Maybe you’re the best photographer in your city, but what’s the point if no one knows this? Marketing your photography is extremely important. If clients can’t find you, then they won’t be able to hire you.
There are different types of marketing. Some of these include social media (mentioned above), print advertisements, signage on vehicles, direct mail campaigns, etc.
The kind of marketing you do will vary depending on your location and how much money you want to spend on the project. However, email marketing is an excellent place to start if you’re unsure about which types of promotional methods work best for getting clients. An easy way to send promotional messages to your current and potential clients is through a newsletter.
#7 Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment
No one will hire a photographer who doesn’t have a camera or other equipment necessary for work. The best way to be confident that you can handle whatever photo-related tasks come your way is by having all the necessary equipment.
You don’t necessarily need anything too fancy or expensive in fact; you can probably get away with using your smartphone to take some high-quality images (especially if it has a good camera!). Also, make sure that you invest in versatile lenses and allow for different types of photography styles. You never know when the next big project will come your way, so it’s best to be prepared.
Starting a photography business can be quite an intimidating thing to take on. You are literally putting your hopes, dreams, and aspirations all on the line by deciding to pursue this career path.
But there are many advantages of owning your own photography studio—namely, complete control over your schedule, fulfilling work that doesn’t feel like work at all, higher pay rates for shooting someone else’s wedding, etc. These tips will help you get started down this exciting new path.