Perhaps you’ve been practicing photography for a time while learning and improving during a few paid gigs.
What started as a hobby has now become a desire to take things to a business level.
While you may be good at taking and editing great photos, you might need help to plan how to establish a photography business. We’ll guide you in accomplishing the necessary steps to turn your passion into a dream job. Your passion can serve as a great motivator while helping you earn some money.
Are you ready to get started? There are a few things you need to know before you take the plunge.
Decide What Photography Services to Offer
Choose a photography niche and build your business around it. By showcasing your expertise in this niche, you’ll attract the right clients that can understand your prices.
Do you prefer corporate or headshot photography? Do you prefer food, product, or architectural photography? Maybe you’re more of an event photographer who loves to cover weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. Whatever you choose, make sure you play to your strengths.
Figure Out the Numbers
One of the things many photographers tend to overlook is the financial aspect of a business. It’s easy to think of the possible income while forgetting there are also payables and deductibles to consider. Some of the common figures you need to consider include:
- Rates and Packages: Determining how much you need to earn weekly, each month, and every year can help you create a plan on how your business income can sustain both your payables and profit.
- Fixed Expenses: Costs for equipment, rentals, utilities, and employee salary.
- Taxes and Dues: For legal licenses and annual tax return.
Forgetting to set a financial goal is one of the quickest ways to feel burnout with your photography business. If there’s no return of investment, you’ll end up giving away services for free.
Gather Essential Equipment and Supplies
If you’ve been doing photography for a long time, you probably have the basics such as a camera body, at least two lenses, tripod, and strobe. However, you need to purchase more gear for different kinds of shoots.
For product photographers, for example, you’ll require macro lenses and a lightbox. If you’re planning to manage a photography studio, you need softboxes and backdrops. No matter the niche you choose, there’s great that you can’t simply skip. You must have extra batteries, memory cards, and hard drives to keep up with the demand for continuous shoots.
Develop a Branding and Marketing Plan
Have you encountered a colleague or a family asking you, “Can I see your sample pictures?” or “Do you have a calling card?”. If someone who knows your craft asks questions like these, it’s highly possible that clients will do the same.
Customers rely on visual samples. In fact, a portfolio influences 63% of the decisions to hire creatives. Hence, It’s crucial to have a collection of your work that shows your skills, especially your best images.
Remember, a portfolio is going to be one of your major selling points, so make sure to keep your website or social media accounts updated. Additionally, you can advertise your photography business through email lists, flyers, and business cards.
Set Up a Workflow
While your old habit of ‘shoot now, edit later’ has worked on your time as a hobbyist, you need a more systematic approach if you want to keep things to work smoothly.
You may not notice it at first, yet things like bookkeeping, marketing, and editing can consume too much of your time. Without a proper workflow, you may end up spending more time on these tasks than actually taking pictures. Maintaining a workflow helps you finish tasks within a necessary timeframe, so that your clients can get their images or products on time. It’s best if you can use a studio management tool or some form of online organizer to keep track of everything in an orderly manner.
Find Additional Ways to Monetize Your Business
Along with booking clients, think of other ways you can make a profit through your photography business. If you provide your clients with an online gallery of their photos, try selling prints through this as well!
Gallery hosting platforms such as ShootProof make it easy to customize each gallery and allow you to set unique price sheets for each one. This way, if you shoot a variety of events, you can charge different prices and offer different size prints.
As cliche as “Do what you love and never work a day in your life” sounds, it’s a good starting point. We hope these tips have given you some food for thought on how you can turn your passion into a photography business.