- How To Start A Photography Business In 7 Simple Steps
- 15 Photography Business Ideas To Help You Get Started
- Photography Business Names
- A Photography Business Plan Template To Kickstart Your Business
How To Start A Photography Business In 7 Simple Steps
If you are interested in photography, you can hone your skills and earn money from it. You can turn from being a hobbyist into a professional photographer with hard work and determination.
For those who are asking how to start your own photography business, here are 7 steps that you can follow:
1. Train and educate yourself to become a professional photographer.
- Learn the basics of photography, especially its technical aspects, such as lighting, shutter speed, and more. Study these technical terms to have a better grasp of how the camera works.
- Choose a specialty before starting a photography business. It could be wedding photography, pet photography, portrait photography, sports photography, and more, depending on your passion.
- Invest in photography workshops and courses to prepare you for your business. Improve your skills by taking weekend or online photography classes.
- Find a mentor. He or she should be someone whose work you admire.
- Intern with professionals in the field that you’re interested in. Earn hands-on experience that you can use for your business later.
- Master your photography skills. It usually takes around 10,000 hours of practice for you to get better shots.
- Know your gear and the best ways to use it. Learn all about its manual settings and light settings and posing people in front of the camera.
2. Set up your photography business.
Use the appropriate tools and equipment. The basic equipment that photographers need are a pro camera; lenses, flashes and batteries; packaging supplies; photo editing software; professional lab, or at least access to one; CDs and their cases; external hard drive; client information forms; and accounting software. Prepare some backups, too.
Determine your strengths and exploit them. Find out about your weaknesses and eliminate them. Although you may be gifted in taking pictures, let the right lawyers and consultants take care of all your legal and financial matters.
Set your price list. This depends on your skill level and the competition’s fees. Also consider the time spent setting up a photo shoot, driving to and from the studio or location, doing the shoot, editing the pictures, and more.
3. Go legitimate.
After setting up your business, take care of its legal aspects. You need to at least set up a tax identification number (TIN) and a business trade name. Get a business license, insurance, and a seller’s permit as well. Small photography businesses often register as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
4. Learn to process your photos.
One of the worst things that could happen to you is when you see your images over processed or underexposed, but you can remedy it by processing them. Invest in an image editing tool, such as Adobe Photoshop. Learn how to post process your images to make them better and to speed up the process.
5. Build vendor relationships.
You can make better money if you can prove to your customers that you can give them professionally printed images in a timely manner. You can get a business partner to help you save your pictures, manage your sales, and give you access to labs for the processing of your images, and deliver the finished products.
Find a reputable supplier of your camera gear. Having an established relationship with them will assure you that they can help you out if you encounter problems with your equipment.
6. Establish your brand.
Tell people that you are starting your own photography business. Ask your friends and family who have seen your pictures to write down the emotions that they feel whenever they look at your photos. You can ask for a marketing expert to design the right brand idea for you. Just tell them what you want to achieve with your business.
7. Look for clients.
- Go social. It helps if you campaign for your business on social media. Create a photography blog or a Facebook business page, for starters. Upload your photos and use your page to showcase your work. Update your social media pages and blogs regularly. Interact with photographers that you like in as much as you interact with your potential customers too.
- Befriend photographers. Aside from searching for potential clients on social media, it helps to network with photographers. Although they can be your competitors, they may also help you, inspire you, and even refer clients to you if they can’t cater to these clients’ needs.
- Build your portfolio. Collect all the best pictures that you have taken and present them to potential clients to prove how good you are.
- Use print ads. You can print business cards and brochures that you can distribute to potential clients, or advertise in newspapers.
- Trust word-of-mouth. This is one of the best marketing methods that will help spread the good word about you. You can offer a few clients free sessions until you can build a good reputation through word of mouth.
You can use these steps on how to start a photography business and get to work now!
“Always find time for the things that make you happy and alive”
This video explains from two sides of people on the pros and cons of a photography business and what to expect:
15 Photography Business Ideas To Help You Get Started
There are many photography business ideas that you can use to start making money. Here are some top ideas to stimulate your mind with some great ways for your photography business:
- Idea #1: News photography. You can be a freelance photographer for magazines and newspapers. Establish a relationship with news reporters so you’ll know where to go when news breaks. Show your portfolio to news agencies to see if they’d hire you. As a freelancer, you might get paid per photo.
- Idea #2: Landscape photography. You can take photos of attractive buildings, landscapes, and other interesting places. Frame them up and sell them. Find beautiful churches, streets, monuments, bridges, or stately homes. Take photos of these places, especially during the morning or evening with the best light.
- Idea #3: One hour photo lab. Start a business that will show you and your clients the finished product right away.
- Idea #4: Aerial photography. This is ideal if you love flying as much as you love taking pictures.
- Idea #5: Pet photography. Express your love and passion by taking their photos and making other pet owners happy.
- Idea #6: Digital printing service. Use digital technology to your advantage and make money by offering a digital printing service, while putting your photography skills to good use.
- Idea #7: Actor’s photo portfolio. Take photos of actors and help them build their professional portfolio.
- Idea #8: Real estate photo service. Combine your passion for architecture and photography and earn money from it.
- Idea #9: Portrait photography. Make your clients happy by capturing their perfect poses.
- Idea #10: Photo mugs and plates. Preserve your clients’ memories by printing their photos on mugs and plates.
- Idea #11: Wedding photography. Capture love in pictures by documenting one of the best days of your clients’ lives.
- Idea #12: Trade show displays. Take eye-catching pictures to boost your clients’ promotional efforts.
- Idea #13: Stock photography. If you’re already taking photos, why not setup an account at stock photography sites such as iStockPhoto.com and BigStockPhoto.com and make money from royalties? It’s easy to get started. Upload some quality photos you already have that may be of great use for web designers. It’s the ideal business since you only need to upload once and the sites deliver the photos automatically.
- Idea #14: Discounted introductory service. Starting out can be hard. Why not offer a discount of up to 50% off your regular rate to gain some clients? It will give you an opportunity to build your portfolio and also gain some more clients from word-of-mouth marketing.
- Idea #15: Become a second shooter. A great way to make money and also gain some more experience towards your photography business is to become a second shooter for an established photography business.
Photography Business Names
We know it can be difficult to come up with a great business name. As they say, “first impressions last”. So it is a big deal to make sure you come up with the perfect name.
It’s important to note that your business name should reflect your core values. What are your beliefs? What separates you apart from your competitors?
Your photography business is an indispensable element for marketing purposes. It is also one of the most early critical decisions you have to make.. Therefore as you consider your possibilities, you must keep in mind that your business name should work for multiple marketing activities. The name should be right, attractive, easy to pronounce and spell and also translate into a user friendly website domain name.
You must keep the name simple and try to identify with your potential customers. However, if you have an extremely common name for your photography business, it will be easily lost in a huge crowd. Therefore take some time to settle for a more creative name — the choice of name can go as big as you want it to be. This should also be considered when coming up with photography blog name ideas.
If you’re thinking of names for your photography business, it might be a good idea to look at how other businesses were able to come up with great names. Here are some tips that you can use:
- Find a distinguishing characteristic that can be attributed to your business. This should help your business stand out.
- Use an action verb. Find one that describes what you can do for your customers.
- Find one that suits your geographical location, although others consider it a mistake, especially if you are planning on expanding or moving your business soon.
- Find catchy phrases that will make your business name memorable. This is one of the common photography business name ideas that you should follow.
- Insert some emotional words in your business name to make it more appealing to your potential customers.
- Take advantage of professional help in naming your business from marketing experts.
More info on coming up with a business name from the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
40 Catchy Photography Business Names
To have a better background on photography company name ideas, look at these catchy business names for inspiration:
- Let Love Photography
- Sees the Day Photography
- Pin Me Up Photography
- Lovebirds Wedding Photography
- Swim Snaps Studio
- Precious Things Photography
- Photography for Good
- Girl In The White Dress
- High Click Photography
- A Beautiful Moment Captured
- Art And You In A Flash
- Click Studio Captures
- Camera Shot Photography
- Fade To Black Photographers
- Color Shot Studio
- Face Print Lab. Picture Perfect Moment.
- Photo Pick Studio
- Weddring Photographers
- Camera Auburn Blinks
- A Fine Portrait
- Digital Track Lab
- Click And Shoot Studio
- Moonlight Photography
- A Lasting Impression
- Its All About You
- Refined Golden Captures
- Foxy Silver Snapshots
- Have Fun With Our Photo Studio
- Best Shot Picture Gallery
- John’s Light Photography
- Alluring Striking Azure Artistry
- Wild Image Photography
- Happy Photography
- Say Cheese Photo Studio
- Lind Justin Photography
- A Beautiful Self Portrait
- Flawless Coral Photo Shoots
- Its All About Moments
- Angelic Blossom Exposures
- Sublime Pearl Smiles
A good way to come up with a name is the “same letter” technique. This technique involves using the same letter in two words or more. Take this as an example: Double Your Dating. Did you catch the Double D’s ? And yes, that is actually a website. Think of some words you could use. A good way to come up with names is to Google “words starting with X”, where X = the letter.
Use some of your creativity to come up with great names for your business. Brainstorm with your friends and family. Get to know your business better and you’ll find its values that you might be able to describe in a business name to attract more clients.
Once the name is decided, you can plan the color, style and fonts accordingly. Additionally, a nice looking photograph can add an extra effect and benefit to your business name.
Do’s And Don’ts of Choosing a Photography Company Name
There sure are things you should do and definitely and completely avoid. Here they are:
- Do you due diligence. Make sure the name is not already registered or trademarked.
- Do choose a name that’s web-friendly. The last thing you want is a really long domain name. Avoid dashes in your domain name. If you’re planning on doing photography in your country, consider registering the right TLD. For example, if you’re in Australia and want to target Australian clients, register a .com.au. For a UK business, go to .co.uk.
- Do think of a unique name that’s catchy or you’ll be forgotten very easily.
- Do claim your social media profiles. Register your Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms so that nobody else can.
- Don’t copy other competitors’ names. Indeed you’ll probably be stuck with coming up with a good name, but always stick to your core values and beliefs.
- Don’t use names that may be insulting, racial or explicit. As obvious as it may sound, ultimately you’ll be the face of your business.
- Don’t over-complicate it. Keep things simple and don’t go overboard with a name.
A Photography Business Plan Template To Kickstart Your Business
If you think you’re ready to get to work on your business, you need to make a business plan first. This is the most critical foundation of starting any business. You need it like how architects need a blueprint while building a house.
Here is a photography business plan template that you can follow:
Cover page and Table of Contents.
This will be your title page and index for easy referencing.
This section should summarize your business plan so when it’s being presented, it’ll be easy to understand and comprehend. It doesn’t need to be details since the rest of the sections explain and elaborate further. It should act as an overview of your plan.
The mission statement is the entirety of your business’ core values and beliefs. It should spell out your goals and provide a path to your decision-making. Simply put, it’s a goal that you want your business to achieve.
Business Name And Description:
Settle with a catchy business name following the steps above. Make sure that it is something that your potential customers can easily recall. Read the section above on how to come up with a photography business name.
Goals should be tied to your mission statement. If your mission included building a reputation, your goal could be to increase brand awareness. If it included becoming a knowledgeable and reliable company, then your goal could be to improve customer service. You can also set it after settling these things: what you want to achieve in the future, what you want to conserve, what you want to get rid of, and what you want to avoid.
There should be a clear outline of your target goals based on periods, such as:
- Monthly Goals
- Six Month Goals
- Yearly Goals
- Five Year Goals
- Ten Year Goals
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What are your opportunities?
What are your threats?
Have a well-researched section on your marketing. This includes offline and online marketing.
Your marketing plan should be about your marketing strategy. It should include significant marketing decisions about your product or service and why you’re offering it to the customers, the detailed description of your ideal customers, the market positioning of the product or service, the pricing strategy with detailed price points, the sales and distribution media that you will use, and the promotion strategy, such as press release, SEO, viral marketing, and more.
Starting a photography business doesn’t end with your skill in taking a picture. You need to remind yourself that you also have the business side to take care of, in as much as you need to focus on your creative side to please the customers. But putting a business plan first will be a strong foundation in establishing a stable business that will continue to grow in the years to come.
This is a basic template you can follow, but being well prepared is better than not. You’ll be a step ahead of your competition and start your business strong by having a plan laid out.
Critical Elements of a Photography Business Plan Template
- Know your strengths. Start with looking at your direct competitors, those other photographers that your target customers will seriously consider hiring aside from you. Look at the things that these photographers can offer and look at yours. Find those things that you alone can offer your customers, or where your competitors are weak in.Realizing your strengths will help you capitalize on them and grow your business using them. Take advantage of your unique strengths to pull in more customers.
- Determine your weaknesses. These might be stopping you from reaching your full potential. List these things down and improve them. It could be your lighting technique, packaging, or search engine optimization of your blog.
- Know your target customer. List down even the smallest details of who your ideal customer is. He or she should be the type who is looking forward to hiring you and who appreciates what you do. Describe where your target customer lives, what he or her family situation or relationship status is, what he or she likes to do, how he or she gets to work, and such. This will make it easier for you to cross paths with your target customers and promote your photography business to them.
- Be aware of your financial condition. This aspect is probably the most burdensome part of running a business, but you can’t avoid this task if you want your business to grow. Calculate the sales every month, the cost of sales every month, the gross profit, the general expenses, and the net profit. Once you’re making money, you can either decide to increase your income as the owner of the business or invest it in developing your business.
- Set your goals. Review the previous sections of this business plan and you’ll get plenty of ideas about what to do with your business within the next few months or years. It could be improving your weaknesses one every month, maximizing your strengths, or strengthening your financial condition.
Starting a photography business doesn’t end with your skill in taking a picture.
You need to remind yourself that you also have the business side to take care of, in as much as you need to focus on your creative side to please the customers.
But putting a business plan first will be a strong foundation in establishing a stable business that will continue to grow in the years to come.