"No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now."
- Alan Watts
With the advent of social media and smartphones, almost every person is a photographer these days. And they’re quite good at it too. But how many of them actually turn into professional photographers? Not many. After all, it takes a lot of practice, patience and determination to become a skilled photographer and start a business.
For those people who have the skills and want to start their own photography business, there are a few things you must keep in mind. So we compiled a list of 5 things you should do while starting your photography business :-
Choose the types of photography services you want to offer
To begin with, you need to decide what types of photography services you want to offer to your customers. For this, first decide whether you want to cater to individuals or businesses only or to both, because they both have different photography requirements. Businesses often need photos of their products for marketing purposes and corporate events, whereas individuals need photos for personal events and functions.
Due to the rise of social media, blogging too has become a career option, and most of these bloggers, like fashion bloggers, hire professional or freelance photographers to capture their photos.
Make a simple business plan
The moment we hear the term “business plan”, we get a little nervous. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be something difficult or confusing. You can develop a simple business plan which includes some key points – the photography services you offer, what makes you stand out from your competitors (there are too many photographers out there, so make sure you have your USP!), marketing strategies and all the financial projections. Having a business plan is extremely important as it forms the backbone of a business.
Gather the required equipment and supplies
If photography has been your hobby for a long time, then you might already have most of the necessary photography equipment and supplies. But first, check if your camera and other equipment is of high quality, high enough to justify the price you’re charging to the customers.
Apart from an excellent camera, you’ll also need batteries, lenses, quality photo paper, photo editing software and good packaging material used to deliver the photos. Depending on your assignment, you might also need screens and lights to control the lighting.
Create and establish your business name
Your business name will determine your brand image, so select a name that fits the type of photography you want to do. Once you have a suitable business name and your business structure, the next step is to obtain a business license or permit as required by your city. And once you get your license, you can open a business bank account.
Market your photography business
After you’re set with the above mentioned points, the next most important thing is to market your photography business. First, create a website and business cards. These are most crucial for any business. Then depending on your budget, you can either advertise through offline marketing materials like brochures and flyers or through social media platforms.
Nowadays, creating a Facebook and Instagram business page has become imperative for most photographers as it’s free and drives a lot of traffic to your official website. If marketing your work and photography business online, always get permission from your subjects before posting their photos. Apart from this, spread the word among your personal and professional networks, attend photography events and trade shows to get more clients.