If you are thinking of how to start a photography business, I guess there is a traffic of questions going on in your head.
Is it worth it? What equipment do I need to get? How much money do I need? What equipment do I need to get? How do I get the funds? Am I skilled enough? How do I breakthrough in a competitive market? Are there jobs out there?
And it goes on.
But the good news is, if you love taking photographs and you are willing to put it to work, you can earn a good living out of it.
All you need to do is to balance your passion with real business skills, and the rest is the story.
In this article, we will run through the following steps on how to start a photography business.
Table of Contents Hide
- How To Start a Photography Business
- #1. Write a Photography Business Plan
- #2. What You Need
- #3. Startup Costs
- #4. Funding Options
- #5. Family and Friends
- #6. SME Loans
- #7. Grants
- #8. Freelance Jobs
- #9. Collaborate with Nonprofit Organizations
- #10. Sell Your Knowledge
- #11. Look out for Investors
- #12. Get Professional Experience
- #13. Pricing Plan
- #14. Build a Unique Brand
- #15. Identify what makes You Special
- #16. Create a Unique Logo
- #17. Identify Your Ideal Client
- #18. Develop a Strong Personality for your Brand
- #19. Keep it Simple
- #20. Connect Emotionally
- #21. Build a Spectacular Website
- What are the Available Photography Job Opportunities?
- Film Set Photography Jobs
- Pet Photography Jobs
- Insurance Claims Photography Jobs
- Forensic Photography Jobs
- Military Photography Jobs
- Photography Teacher Jobs
- Photojournalist Jobs
- Photo Editor Jobs
- Funeral Photography Jobs
- Industrial Photography Jobs
- Medical Photographer
- Travel Photography Jobs
- Wedding Photography Jobs
- Real Estate Photography Jobs
- Nature Photography Jobs
- Sports Photography Jobs
- Product Photography Jobs
- Food Photography Jobs
- Influencer Photography Jobs
- Freelance Photography Jobs
How To Start a Photography Business
The steps are procedures that will help you start up a photography business:
#1. Write a Photography Business Plan
Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that you need to organize your thoughts on paper. Inarguably, as a starter, you need a business plan if you must start well.
This detailed document serves as a roadmap, pointing to the direction you wish to go with your business.
Photography is one of the most competitive businesses out there, and you need to be a good business person to make a decent living.
#2. What You Need
Every business requires a set of devices and tools for smooth running.
The quality of your equipment should also be considered if you want to produce work that you can confidently charge for.
Here is a list of everything you need to start a photography business.
#3. Startup Costs
Before you start a photography business, it helps to have a rough idea of how much getting set up will cost.
According to Nermin Grahovic, starting a photography business in 2021 will cost you about $3,000 to $5,000.
Yes! The competition is huge, but we all need to start from somewhere. If getting new photography gears will go way above your startup capital, then you can slow down and go for good used photography equipment.
#4. Funding Options
Many people who aspire to become entrepreneurs are deterred by the challenge of looking for a way to finance their business.
If you are looking for ways to raise funds for your photography business, you might wan to check out the following.
#5. Family and Friends
You can tell your family members and friends about your photography business plan, and ask them to help you raise the funds.
#6. SME Loans
This loan can be accessed from financial institutions, like banks.
But to do this, you will need a business plan in place that lays out how you will spend the funds and when or how you will pay back.
Grants are so good, in the sense that you don’t have to pay back the money. Many times, government or private organizations give out photography grants.
In order to be eligible for a grant, you need to come up with a solid business plan that appeals to those who have the power to grant.
#8. Freelance Jobs
If you are really in need of funding, then the safest option for you is to rely on your own money making ability. You can do freelance photography jobs to raise the desired capital.
#9. Collaborate with Nonprofit Organizations
There are plenty of reasons why a nonprofit organization may be interested in funding your photography business.
Among them, perhaps the most common is your ability to portray the underprivileged through your work of photography.
#10. Sell Your Knowledge
You have to be incredibly knowledgeable about the photography industry.
If you have attained that necessary knowledge, then you can use it to get the finances you need by form of writing or video tutorials. People can pay to gain access to this knowledge.
#11. Look out for Investors
It is not enough to be committed; you need to be innovative if you must attract investors. Nowadays, people would want to invest in your idea can make an impact on society.
Therefore, instead of portraying your business as a money machine, depict it as a medium of change in society.
#12. Get Professional Experience
This is really important because you need to show your prospective clients – what you can do.
Working alongside a professional photographer is a great way to get some experience and start to build a portfolio.
#13. Pricing Plan
Many photographers have difficulty with setting their price and determining their value. Certainly, you should never price work that will lead to a loss.
You can research on competitors’ prices, but ultimately you need to charge what you are worth.
#14. Build a Unique Brand
When people think about unique brands, they often think about large retail companies like Nike, Apple, and other multinational companies.
However, creating a unique brand isn’t reserved for large businesses. In fact, small businesses like photography studios can build a solid brand that consistently attracts loyal customers.
A powerful brand comprises of a unique and attractive logo, a catchy tagline, an unforgettable personality and more. Listed below are ways to build a unique photography brand:
#15. Identify what makes You Special
One of the most important things you need for your brand is the “X” Factor. It is the one thing – or a couple of things – that makes you special. For instance, it could be a certain photography style.
#16. Create a Unique Logo
Having a unique and attractive logo allows you to stand out from the competition. When your customers see your logo in ads, social media content, videos, etc. then it helps in building brand loyalty. You can create a logo for free with Hatchful.
#17. Identify Your Ideal Client
A business is all about selling right. If you don’t have a clear mental image of your ideal client, then your marketing and branding efforts will be weak.
#18. Develop a Strong Personality for your Brand
Believe it or not, brands have personalities like humans. They have a certain way of speaking and communicating to your clients about your company. They can give good or bad first impressions.
If you are going for quirky and fun, then that vibe and communication style should be present in your images, on your about us page, and on your social media profiles and content.
If you are going luxury, then that theme needs to stay consistent in all of your content as well.
#19. Keep it Simple
An important rule in branding is simplicity. A viewer should be able to tell what you do and why you are different within 5 seconds of viewing website or profile.
#20. Connect Emotionally
The end goal of all brands, for most businesses, is generating a lot of revenue. However, emotions sit at the core of every major brand.
Some of the main attributes that your photography brand should have are charisma, passion, and reliance. Use these emotions to build stronger bonds with your customers.
#21. Build a Spectacular Website
Photography is all about presentation and visuals. So, when you build a website for your photography brand, then the website should be vivid, attractive, and simply captivating.
What are the Available Photography Job Opportunities?
If you thinking of the type of photography you want to specialize in – here is a list to choose from.
Film Set Photography Jobs
Photographers are hired for shooting movie posters, promotional materials, and other such things on a film set by filmmaking companies.
Pet Photography Jobs
Pet photography is another lucrative area you can make serious money. Pets are closely attached to their owners, and therefore, the owners would like to have photographs to keep memories of them.
Insurance Claims Photography Jobs
Insurance companies hire photographers who can depict the accident scene accurately. It can be challenging, but the pay is good.
Forensic Photography Jobs
A forensic photographer takes photos of crime scenes. If becoming part of the team that solves the crime is an exciting option for you, then you should get into forensics photography as your photos could be presented as evidence in a court of law.
Military Photography Jobs
A military photographer has to cover training events, and news conferences, and travel to different places in the world to do criminal photography.
A military photographer has to follow the same rules and regulations as that a soldier but doesn’t have to be involved in the fighting.
Photography Teacher Jobs
A photographer can take up the job of a photography teacher since many schools and colleges are now offering courses on photography.
A photojournalist has to cover news events that range from political to sports or culture.
Photo Editor Jobs
A photo editor is not directly involved in photography but has the role of collecting, choosing, and reviewing images for publications. These publications can be a newspaper, magazine, website, book, art gallery, museum, etc.
Funeral Photography Jobs
A funeral photographer captures all the moments that take place during the event of a funeral.
Industrial Photography Jobs
An industrial photographer has to shoot the workers and machines and the process of the industry.
A Medical photographer or Biomedical Photographer is someone who takes anatomical photographs which help physicians to understand diagnoses and treat illnesses. They also keep track of operations and procedures through pictures.
Travel Photography Jobs
To work as a travel photographer, you need to find a client that will hire you. These clients can be governmental tourism organization, NGOs, commercial organizations, and media.
To work with a government tourism organization, you need first to have worked with travel magazines, newspapers, or similar organizations.
Wedding Photography Jobs
You can start by working as a second shooter or an assistant photographer under an experienced professional or a wedding photography studio. Wedding planners hire wedding photographers from time to time.
Real Estate Photography Jobs
For residential and commercial brokerages, photography is a very big part of their real estate. Chances of getting a real-estate photography job are more than many areas of photography.
Nature Photography Jobs
A photographer interested in making a career in nature photography has to start by developing a strong portfolio in your free time first and start by getting photo story assignments by pitching to magazines, newspapers and other media. Some of nature and wildlife magazine even hire a full-time photographer.
Sports Photography Jobs
If you are starting a career in sports photography, then volunteering to photograph at a local sports club or events would be a great place.
After a while, you can look for assisting a sports photographer in your area and build a strong portfolio.
Product Photography Jobs
As with other commercial photography jobs, product photography has more opportunities for a product photographer to get a full-time job.
Many manufacturing industries hire a full-time photographer while others rely on freelancers or studios to get their work done.
Food Photography Jobs
Food photography involves food styling as well as some knowledge of cooking at least.
Influencer Photography Jobs
Instagram celebrities, influencers, and bloggers look for photographers to capture their daily lives.
As these influencers find the need to update their lives to their audience continually, photographers can use this opportunity to become personal photographers for them.
Freelance Photography Jobs
Freelance photography job boards are a great place to start your search. Here are some of the biggest freelance job boards on the internet, to search for next freelance photography job.
To start a photography business – you need to write down a plan, know all you need to run the business effectively, weigh in on how much it’s going to cost you, get your funds ready, and get a professional experience if you don’t have one, plan your pricing model, build a unique brand for your business, and get the jobs out there.