How To Start A Photography Business (Part 1- Introduction)

Welcome to my How To Start A Photography Business series of articles. The purpose of these 10 articles, is to get you thinking about the possibilities of taking up photography as a business.

If you want to go straight to a particular section of this free on-line course, then here are the titles of the other sections.

How to Start a Photography Business

  • Part 1 – Introduction
  • Part 2 – Objectives & Goals
  • Part 3 – Selling Your Photos
  • Part 4 – Playing Your Cards Right – Turning Photos into Greetings Cards
  • Part 5 – Portraits & Models
  • Part 6 – Wedding Photography (Coming Soon)
  • Part 7 – Speciality Photography (Coming Soon)
  • Part 8 – More Speciality Photography (Coming Soon)
  • Part 9 – Protecting Your Work (Coming Soon)
  • Part 10 – Setting Up Your Business (Coming Soon)

I do have another series of articles on this site about how to make money with your camera, but those really just focus on simple ways you could make ‘a quick buck’. This set of articles aims to go a little deeper than that and considers the ‘whole business’.

With that in mind, it is always good to start any business venture by looking at yourself………

Have You Got What It Takes To Be A Freelance Photographer ?

Being an entreprenear and running a small business is not for everyone. There’s lots to consider, including budgeting, time management, and the law.

However, if you like taking photographs, you are well on your way to consider making this ‘hobby’ into a freelance photography career. Of course, taking the odd vacation snap, and actually running a business around photography are two different things. You really need to be passionate about it. So much so that your camera really needs to become an extension of your arm. How to Start a Photography Business example image

The good news is that there are countless opportunities in the photography world, and it really is up to you which of these opportunities you take. I will explore some of the possibilities in these How To Start A Photography Business series of articles. You just need to be open-minded and willing to put in some time and effort to develop (no pun intended) your craft.

This is also the type of business that you can very much start part-time, working in and around your existing full-time job. Some people even find part-time photography more lucrative than their ‘day-jobs’.

With the advancement of today’s digital cameras, it has never been easier for the amateur to take professional looking photographs. That said, you do need to have an eye for a good shot, as no amount of auto-focusing and subsequent image enhancement can make up for a badly framed image.

Where Do I Start ?

There are some obvious areas where you can start in this business, and I shall be covering them in future articles. If you are brave enough, then weddings are actually an excellent place to start – of course it does come with huge risks (not least for the bride and groom), and it can be a very stressful day. But also very rewarding.

Other areas might include : work for newspapers and magazines, home-made greetings cards, working with models or portraits and, a particular favourite of mine, aerial photography.

The portraits and models area can have endless possibilities. Local company leaflets and promotional material, web-sites, hair-dressing salons and clothing shops. It is easy to turn photographs into t-shirts, mugs and mouse mats today – which could add an additional stream of income, or even as an upsell to your basic photography business.

What Equipment Will I Need ?

To start off with, you really don’t need much more than a mid-range camera, possibly a tri-pod (depending on the photographs you are planning), and maybe invest in some lighting (for indoor work). You could consider a printer, but actually, as a start, I would consider getting them printed professionally at one of the many stores specialising in printing. Sure, it will reduce your profits, but there are deals to be done if you are putting a lot of business in the direction of a particular store.

What Else Do I Need To Think About ?

Photography can be seasonal. There is no doubting that work can be found all year round, but if you are going to specialize in any particular branch of photography (say weddings), then you might be restricting your work and, ultimately, your profits.

Let’s take the things I’ve discussed here a stage further. Next up…………

Part 2 – Organizing Your Photography Business)

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