How to Start a Photography Business: 12 Steps

One of the most common complaints about starting a business is that it’s too expensive. However, in the case of photography, this is not true. It’s true that cameras and photo editing software can be pricey, but there are plenty of low-cost alternatives. 

You can start off with just your phone or camera that you already own to get started!

A professional looking portfolio website with high-quality images is an absolute must for any budding entrepreneur looking to get into photography.

A photography blog is a great way to showcase your skills as a photographer and share what you have learned with others. It’s also a way to learn from other photo enthusiasts as they share their techniques and photography blog ideas.

Starting a photography business is not easy. There are countless pitfalls to consider, and the goal of becoming a professional photographer can seem like an insurmountable mountain. 

But you can turn your passion for taking photos into your profession by following this 12-step guide! 

Here is what you need to know about starting a photography business, and the steps that will help you get there:

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1) You must love what you do 

Think about why people become photographers. What inspires them? How many hours of work do they put in each day? Plenty of people might think that it’s the money or prestige, but go out on a limb with yourself and discover your passion for what you do so that there is no turning back.

2) Make a decision 

Once you have found a subject matter that intrigues you, make a decision about whether or not this is going to be a part of your career. You don’t have to officially quit your day job yet, but you need to dedicate as much time as possible to the craft.

3) Make connections 

These days, it’s all about who you know and connecting with those in the know. If you’re just starting out as a photographer, try getting in touch with those who are well established and already making money doing what they love. Not only will you get valuable advice, but it could be the difference between being successful or failing.

4) Leverage your networks 

Take advantage of your personal connections. Do you have a friend who’s connected to someone who can help further your career? Who might know of an expert in the industry? What about your family? Every person has a network, and you can leverage all of the contacts that you already have to further your goals. You might even consider obtaining some professional photography services like free advertising for example, through agencies that specialize in connecting photographers with clients.

5) Establish your brand 

You aren’t just another person out there with a camera. Make sure that your work stands out and that you’re clearly different than anyone else in the field. Your brand should be unique, but still relate to what you do professionally. The goal of branding is to let people know who you are and what you provide to clients so that they become interested in getting in touch with you for a meeting.

6) Create a portfolio 

If you’re going to be a professional photographer, it’s necessary that you have a portfolio full of photos that show off your work. You need to create a portfolio that is visually appealing and can represent your style and expertise.

7) Write a business plan 

If you’re going to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, it’s important that you have certain goals in mind and that you write these goals out in a business plan. Figuring out what you want before starting down the business path will provide a foundation for success in the industry.

8) Set up your office 

You don’t have to work from home when starting out, but you will need an office space where you can meet with clients, store equipment, and showcase your outstanding work. Make sure it looks slick and professional so that people know what to expect from a meeting.

9) Get insurance 

Most photographers get insurance for their equipment, but you should also get business-related insurance to protect yourself. This will help to ensure that you are covered in case of theft or damage to your equipment. You can get insurance through local agents who handle business agreements, or you can explore some more personalized options through sites like 123Agencies.

10) Start promoting yourself 

Once you’ve established your brand and started building your portfolio, it’s time to start promoting yourself. Learn all that you can about online marketing, work on your social media profiles, and get listed on top sites like Google Maps that include your information with others in the industry who are relevant to what you do.

11) Make a list of the pros and cons 

As you get closer to actually starting your business, you’ll need to make a list of the pros and cons of doing so. Think about whether this is really something that you want to do. If it is, there’s no time like the present, and if not, it’s important to look at all of the possibilities before making a decision. Try to do research and find out what some other photographers in your area have had happen with their business.

12) Show up 

Once you decide to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, it’s time for action! Get your equipment ready and get ready for any roadblocks that may come up along the way. Don’t let anything get in your way of succeeding. You can do it!

Many believe that you need to literally be in front of a camera or watch TV before you can start taking pictures, but it isn’t necessary to learn how to take pictures before you start this journey of starting a photography business.

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