Starting a Photography Business? Here’s How to Gain Success
Starting a photography business isn’t as easy as it seems. But certain steps will put you on the road to success. Here’s your step-by-step guide.
Do you love being the person behind the camera more than you enjoy having pictures of yourself taken? Are you always trying to get “the shot” when you’re out to eat with friends or on vacation with your loved one?
If so, it may be time to consider starting a photography business. This can turn your creative eye into a fun, fulfilling career!
Maybe you work in a creative field already, but you work for someone else. Maybe you just have no idea how to go from a 9-5 to running your own business. Here’s a secret: No one does.
Don’t listen to your excuses any longer. Instead, listen to all the advice available to you to help make your photography dreams come true. If you’re ready to start your own photography business, follow the steps below.
1. Pick a Niche
The first step is arguably the easiest, but also the most important. It determines the path you’re going to take as a photographer. The clients you work with, the places you go, and even how much you charge all depend on your niche.
You may choose to be a wedding photographer or a portrait shooter. You may want to take pictures all around the world or capture the beauty of landscapes in your own backyard. Perhaps you’d like to be a food photographer or even a product packagingphotographer.
These are just a few of the most common photo-taking niches out there. Other paths you can take include fashion photography, sports photography, journalism, or, if you’re up for it, becoming a paparazzi shooter.
2. Get Your Gear
Once you have a clear focus for your photography business, it’s time to gather all the gear you need. You should already have a basic understanding of different cameras and lens.
After all, it’s very different to set up a shot of a sunset on the beach than it is to prepare your camera for a wedding party. Beyond that, though, you need to have a few backup cameras and lenses, a few reliable stands and straps, and a place to put everything, too.
Not to mention, there’s the growing popularity of drones to think about and all the software you’re going to need to edit your shots. Look into the different systems available and find what works best for you. If you aren’t sure where to start, do some research before downloading anything.
In fact, you should read reviews of all the photo-taking gear you plan to buy, too. You want to get the best value you possibly can, as these will be essential to how well you succeed.
3. Build Your Portfolio
What do you do once you have all your photography gear? Start taking pictures, of course! Take pictures of anything and everything when you’re first starting out.
Even if something isn’t exactly within your niche, it’s worth having a variety of shots in your portfolio. This shows potential clients how creative you really are and the overall quality of shots you can take. After you have a few gigs under your belt, you can then start narrowing your portfolio down to best fit your niche.
Building a portfolio is about more than having a bunch of wedding photos or fashion shots, though. Try to create a signature style as you approach each project. Think about everything from the angles in which you take shots to the kinds of filter pre-sets you use when editing.
Every little thing adds up. The more consistent you can make your portfolio, the more clear your brand becomes. This will help you gain recognition when competing against other photographers for jobs.
4. Start a Website
The best place to display your portfolio is on your very own website. Once you’ve completed a good amount of different projects, it’s time to put them online.
Find a web hosting service and buy your domain. This should be the title of your business if it’s available. If someone else already has that domain, make the name of your website as closely related to your photography business name as possible.
From there, focus on the design and navigation of the website. Do you want people to read about you on the home page or have direct access to your portfolio right away? How do you plan to set up opt-in forms and contact information?
Although this isn’t exactly a use of photography skills, it has a profound effect on how well your photography business takes off. You should have a website that’s easy to use and understand if you expect to keep your client list growing.
5. Market Your New Business
Speaking of growing your list of clients, don’t forget to market yourself. In fact, spend as much time on marketing as you can.
Start social media pages just for your photography business and invest in a few local ads as well. Take the time to learn about SEO and how you can expand the reach of your website, and start paying attention to things like bounce rates and conversion numbers, too. You can also see if there are any local businesses you can partner with for extra exposure or any influencers willing to work with you.
This is only the beginning. Other marketing possibilities include starting a blog, investing in PPC campaigns, and using print marketing to further make yourself known. Keep in mind that some of these efforts will be more effective than others, though.
Starting a Photography Business and Making It Successful
It’s one thing to start a photography business from scratch and another to run a popular, highly-successful company. One day you’re scrambling for clients and saving up for all the gear you need, and the next, you have to turn people away because you’re too busy!
Every day, though, you’re living the dream. That’s what starting a photography business – or any business, for that matter – is all about. Put your whole heart into it, follow the steps above, and watch how successful you become.
For more business-starting tips and tricks, click here!