Starting a Photography Business: How to Plan from the Right Angle

Many people have creative talents, but some do not feel as though they can turn their creativity and skills into a money-making career. For example, you may wonder how you can support your lifestyle through a creative activity that you enjoy doing in your free time.

If you love photography, you may be dreaming about a day when you can quit your day job and start your own business as a photographer. Starting a photography business may seem like a pipe dream right now, but the reality is that you could be living this dream and enjoying life more fully when you take decisive action. Here we will show you some professional tips to get you started.

man with a DSLR camera at sunset

The Basics of a Photography Business

Photographs have been used for decades to capture memories, preserve milestone events, market new products and services and more. Beautiful images can express emotion, show detail and more that may take many lines of text to even partially convey in the same way. With this in mind, you can see that photography services are and will continue to be in demand for years to come. Before starting a photography business, it is important to understand what this type of business is and how it can benefit others as a first step. It can be challenging to capture impressive images without the right combination of skills and equipment, and this means that many people may want to pay you for your services.

Why Photography Businesses Can Be a Hit

Many photographers will focus on a specific type of photography when offering services to customers rather than attempting to be all things to all people. For example, some may offer family portraits, and others may offer on-site services for weddings, receptions and other types of social events.

Everyone from individuals and families to business professionals and others may need to use your services, but it may be easier for you to target a specific segment of the market than trying to capture the attention of everyone by offering a full range of services. It is important that you determine who your target audience will be before starting a photography business.

Ways Photography Services Can Help Businesses

While some photographers offer personal or non-business services, many are focused on helping the business community with their various needs. A professional photographer may offer business headshots for business cards and other purposes. He or she may also offer real estate photography services, landscape images, services for products and more. These images may be featured on brochures, websites, billboards and many other locations. If you plan to focus on the business sector, consider further refining your services to a specific niche. However, be careful not to narrow down your services so much that you limit your earning potential.

vintage black and white photo of a DSLR camera

5 Tips for Starting a Photography Business

As you can see, there are many ways to make money when starting a photography business. If you are ready to get started, you may be wondering what you need to do to launch your business. These are a few of the top steps you should take to begin.

1. Create a Business Plan

Before launching any type of business, you need to have a detailed business plan. A well-researched business plan will identify who your target audience is, which services you plan to offer and what rates you will charge. By developing a business plan, you are forced to learn more about your local market, and this can help you to determine the best course of action for launching and running your business. It can also provide you with details about what you need to focus on to grow your business.

2. Run a Business Rather Than a Hobby

Up until this point, photography may have been a hobby that you loved. However, now it is your business, and you need to treat it as such. Track all expenses, and keep your receipts for tax purposes. Avoid offering free services to friends and family members unless there is a beneficial reason for doing so, such as to build a portfolio or to get great reviews to post on your website.

3. Invest in Quality Equipment

Even the most skilled and creative photographers must have quality equipment in order to produce great images. Take a closer look at your current equipment to determine if you need to make an upgrade or if you need to diversify your selection. Remember that your equipment may affect the types of services that you can offer as well. Investing in new equipment may be necessary in some cases.

4. Create a Website

Some people will seek a photographer through word-of-mouth referrals, but many will search online for photographers in their area who offer the types of services they need. This means that you must have a well-designed website. This professional website should feature the types of images that you plan to offer, and it essentially is like a virtual portfolio of your work. Ensure that the website is designed with SEO in mind to boost rankings, and offer multiple contact methods for customers to use when reaching out to you for a quote.

5. Market Your Services

When you are starting a photography business, your marketing efforts should not be based solely on your website. Consider using social media to reach out to your friends, families and other acquaintances who may need your services. Use these platforms to announce regular blog posts or to feature images that you have recently offered to other customers. Consider hosting a booth at a local festival or conference to get the word out about your services.

photographer taking a photo

The Final Cut

Starting a photography business can be intimidating, but you can see that it involves walking through some preliminary steps that are rather straightforward. You may consider running a photography business as a side job until you generate enough money to leave your current job behind entirely. This is a great way to reduce the financial stress that you may feel when launching a new business.

Images from