Aside from being a hobby and a passion, photography can also be a lucrative source of profit. If you couple your skill with smart work, it can be a side hustle or a main income stream. A lot of photographers have successfully elevated their passion into a booming business. We’re sure you can name a few famous photographers who started out as hobbyists. Meanwhile, some tried and failed. And the difference? It’s planning the venture. Photography business, as in any venture, requires planning and skillful execution. Here are tips on how to start your own photography business and make it click.
Invest in Your Gears
Your gears will be your partner in the biz. A starter’s pack will include decent cameras, valued at $1,500 to $2,000, and lenses at around a thousand bucks. On top of it, you will also need to spend on flashes that go for $700, laptops, or computers that you can get at $ 2,000, and external drives, and multiple memory cards. In knowing how to start your own photography business, you also have to factor in the charges of getting a business license, insurance, and the cost of starting a website. Your online presence will help you jumpstart your business in a more cost-efficient way. Add to your capital cost the premiums for professional photo editing software and maintenance of your online portfolio. It would be prudent to save $10,000 as a capital investment to avoid starting haphazardly. With that being said, this amount is still on the lower and safer range for photography startups.
Many professional photographers do not advise on splurging on high-end gadgets and getting into debt just to be equipped. One has to remember that the gears you own will not determine your success. Your skill, not your gears, remains to be your best asset. Begin low and fund your equipment upgrade when the income starts to stream.
Finding your Niche
Now that you have your gear, what comes next is finding your space in the photography markets. The wedding and baby market may already be saturated with more prominent names. If you have no interest in competing in already highly-covered photography markets, you may want to explore other avenues with increasing demands. And you can be among the firsts in the field. It’s easier to build a name this way. Here are other niches you may want to consider as you learn how to start your own photography business.
- Product photos: Everyone’s going online with their businesses. With that, retail sellers need quality product images for their websites or to be posted on shopping sites, like Amazon. The work can be done in a breeze, but manage your expectations with professional fees as it may not be as lucrative as covering weddings and likes.
- Food photos: If you’re a lens and a kitchen junkie at the same time, you may take pleasure in producing food images. In today’s ever-competitive world of business, an online presence is a must even for restaurants. You can help restaurateurs create photo menus, promotional photos, and also exciting food prepping videos.
- Music Industry: The world of music gets even better with visuals. You can market your biz in bands who need advertising images for their websites, CDs, media deals, and other merchandise. If your team also caters to videography, then you can serve a broader market.
- Paparazzi: People may not have an ideal impression of paparazzi, but you can earn from selling celebrity photos. If you live in a star-spangled neighborhood and find something camera-worthy, media portals would gladly pay for your newsworthy captures.
- Boudoir or glamour: Sensual photos are hot on the internet, and boudoir is another area where your photography skills can find a market.
- Sporting events: Sports organizations need professional images and videos for their press conferences and sporting events. You can find contract works for full season coverage like a local marathon or bike race.
- Tourism and holidays: To boost a country’s tourism industry, you’ll find government agencies promoting local spots to tourists through photos and videos. You can strike a deal with them and even cover popular holiday events.
- Other niches: Other areas where your photography skills can earn you living are local news, by producing images for local prints or TV and online, photo competition, stock photography, commercial, pet photography, and real estate industries.
Branding and Promotion
Your gears are all set, and you now have a clear niche that you want to cover. How do you proceed with your how to start your own photography business venture? It’s time that your focus on your branding and promotional activities to land with your first clients.
- Advertise your service through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Have a business name that’s easy to recall and a simple and unique logo.
- Be a consistent service-provider. Let people see updated outputs on your platforms. Social media followers who will one day need your service will easily recall you when they often see your works.
- Observe professionalism in your business. Show up in venues on or earlier. Be ready with your gears and have a reliable backup in case your batteries empty and other emergencies that may come up along the way.
- Build not just a business but a reputation as a reliable service provider. The word-of-mouth from satisfied or angry clients will make or break you.
No one starts as a pro, especially when doing business. There will be hits and misses for sure. Planning on how to start your own photography business is the easy part; working it out may be challenging. So, get your camera and yourself ready. Find out more about photography businesses.