Starting a photography business seems like the perfect job for an enthusiast. Running a photographer’s office requires a fairly diverse area of expertise. But it also requires a real mastery of photography and its customers to stand out from the competition already very present in this market. If Photographing people and immortalizing events is your hobby, you can make it your profession. However, starting such a business is arduous, but the accomplishment it rewards is well worth all the trouble. Here, let’s discuss what you need to start a photography business.
Learn the basics.
To become a professional photographer, you need to learn everything about photography than any hobbyist. You should learn to know about this area’s technical part that should no longer hold any secrets for you.
Familiarize yourself with basic technical terms (lens aperture, shutter speed, ISO number …) and identify what they correspond to.
Find your specialty.
First of all, find out what type of photographer you are. Most photographers have some sort of specialty. Some are experts in a family portrait, wedding, landscape, while some are interested in animal photography. Each specialty has its own standards and subtleties, which requires you to know it in detail to excel.
If you have not yet chosen a specialty, allow yourself time to find, among the various options. The one that interests you and best matches your skills.
Take courses and participate in workshops.
You can start working on your own, but attending appropriate courses and workshops will benefit your career. It will allow you to improve your knowledge and technique and gain insight into your future competition.
If you are already working full-time or part-time, take some free time to attend classes (weekends in particular) or search for classes online.
Invest in quality tools and equipment.
Having a camera will not be enough. If you want to become a professional photographer, you need to have the right equipment and always have back-up equipment.
Basic equipment and tools include:
- A professional camera
- A set of lenses, flashes, and batteries
- Photo editing software
- A professional cliché development laboratory
- Reserve material
- The price list
- Accounting software
- Documentation for clients
- CDs with their box
- An external hard drive
At a minimum, you should have a back-up camera, lenses, flashes, batteries, and a memory card. Make sure you always have this back-up equipment with you to be prepared for any eventuality.
Work on your strength and improve your weakness.
For a small business, you will certainly have to do all the work. Take and edit the photos, do your advertising. But for legal and accounting issues, it may be better to call in the professionals.
Plan a budget dedicated to expert consultations: lawyers, jurists, accountants, and others. Your relationship with a lawyer will end after the creation of your business. However, the relationship with your accountant will last the entire time of your business. You will need to meet with him at least once or twice a year to deal with the balance sheet and tax matters.
Determine your rate.
It is not uncommon for novice photographers to provide services at low rates to build a following and gain experience. This method makes it possible to be competitive and to create a place on the market. However, the prices should not be too low, as this will damage your credibility.
Your price will not only depend on your skill level but also on the direct competition. Your price must also include, in addition to the service itself, various elements:
- The preparation time for the session,
- The return trip to the place specified with the client,
- The editing of the photos,
- The creation of the photo gallery online,
- Delivery of photos,
- Packaging and CDs.
In addition to the time devoted to the service, also think about the costs incurred: travel, CD, packaging of photos.
Complete the legal and administrative formalities.
As with any business, you must comply with legal requirements. You will need to obtain a registration number and define a name for your business. You will also need to purchase insurance, get a license, and a sales permit.
Consider opening a bank account dedicated to your activity.
Even if it is not mandatory, opening a professional bank account will allow you to have precise monitoring of your income and expenses. It can be useful if you are looking to expand your business.
Use social networks and the internet.
Modern society lives at the pace of technology. Use all the tools at your disposal to promote yourself and gain attention. The ideal is to have your own blog or website and at least an account on a social network.
Open an account on all the social networks that come to mind and, in particular, on Facebook and Twitter. The LinkedIn network is recommended for professionals. Finally, Instagram is an application that allows the sharing of photos; it is, therefore, more than wise that you download it.
Remember to update your blog and social media profile regularly. Make sure to interact and be supported by other artists, especially those whose work you enjoy.
Build your portfolio.
Before you commit, a potential client will ask you for samples of your work to feel your skills. A portfolio will provide your future client with proof of your professionalism and creativity.
A portfolio must mainly contain the work corresponding to your specialty. For example, if you want to specialize in family portraits, don’t fill your portfolio with landscape or food photographs.
Trust your artistic sense.
When everything is done, you need to take photos according to your own sense of aesthetics to reveal your originality. If you absolutely try to conform to a standard, your work will lose quality.