If you’re wondering how to start a photography business, but don’t know where to start, our guide was written just for you! Learn about the photography industry, how it works, and what to do to establish a successful niche business. MyCompanyWorks has formed tens of thousands of small businesses with our fast, affordable, and online business startup service. If you decide the photo biz is a good fit for your interests, we can start registering your business in any state, usually within one business day.
Read on to learn more about business opportunities and start your company all in one place.
If you’re already a shutterbug, that’s great! But we want to determine whether or not the photo biz can be profitable. Let’s go over some facts and statistics to get a better idea.
You can see how the public values photos to help retain information, buy products, and choose their suppliers. You may not be doing online photo work, but an effective website with a portfolio is the best way to win customers. We’ll get into building a business website below.
There are all kinds of photography needs. Portrait photos, product shots, weddings, landscape photography, the list goes on. You may already know your niche, but we’re going to list details for three top photo categories for those who are exploring options.
Before any pictures are taken, a good wedding or event photographer meets with the bridal couple or event planner to visit locations, decide on the best images, and coordinate photo sessions. You’re responsible for capturing photos from all aspects of the event, so one booking can take most of the day. Depending on the event, you may need to provide props, seating, and backdrops for different photoshoots.
Pros & cons:
Probably the biggest reason photographers shoot weddings is because of the potential to be a very lucrative business. With the right pricing and marketing, you could book one or two weddings a month to make a comfortable living. Even though you’re hired by clients, wedding photography offers self-employment and flexibility. If you’re looking for work/life balance while building your own business, the wedding and event niche is an option worth researching more.
On the downside, you don’t have to go too far to hear a wedding horror story, complete with in-law drama, bad food, and of course, the bridezilla herself. Weddings can be some of the most stressful events we celebrate, and there’s plenty of room for error, even with the best-laid plans. Wedding photography is not for the faint of heart.
Across the US, wedding and event photographers earn around $95,000 annually. Massachusetts came in at the top of ZipRecruiter’s list at over $112k, while Florida finished with the lowest average salary of $80k. How much you make depends on your business plan and execution, but you can see why other photo pros go into wedding and event photography.
Where to find business:
After you register your business (more on that below), you can start to look for new clients. The Knot’s popular wedding website helps couples find local wedding photographers near them. You can sign up to advertise on their site. You can also search the Internet for ‘where to find wedding photography business’ for an extensive list of other options.
Since you want to find local clients, you can set up a free Google My Business (GMB) profile to attract local business. GMB offers a social media component that allows you to post images, events, and promotions so nearby shoppers see your offerings quickly.
Publishing a website is essential these days, so you can use one to host a portfolio, sell packages, and let clients book appointments with an online scheduling tool like Calendly. 70% of all consumers turn to the web to find products and services. A user-friendly website with accurate details and current photos is the best way to find business.
You’re the expert, so you’ll be expected to develop a plan with couples or event organizers before their big day. It’s your responsibility to negotiate contracts, collect payments, provide lighting, props, and supplies, and distribute final images. On the day of an event, the photographer is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave. Your job is to capture images that tell the story about that day, from the attendees to the bride and groom, and all the fun that happens at the event.
TIP: Hours will vary by event, but it’s common to book just one client for an entire day.
After the event, you’ll need to select, edit, and distribute the best images to your client. Digital photography has changed how we manage photos, so you can simply mail pics on a USB drive or post them to a web page where clients can download them to their computers. Newlyweds can also share their wedding photos if you post them online.
Photoshoots involving people and/or products to create marketing material. As a commercial product photographer, you can work with local and major brands to represent their products and services through imagery. There are loads of opportunities for a successful product photo business, and you can combine this niche with others to generate more work.
Pros & cons:
If you love photography, working as a product photographer means you get paid to do what you like doing. Self-employment can be a huge plus, and you can build your schedule to work for you.
On the other hand, product photography doesn’t involve much interaction, so the process can be a bit monotonous. Costs for equipment can run high, so being a product photographer may not be for you if you’re on a tight budget.
The national average shows $39-$40k as the average salary.
Where to find business:
You can build a profile on freelance websites like upwork. Customers will see your profile, hourly rate, and reviews to help them make a decision. You can also search for work on upwork and other freelance sites.
An active website that showcases your best product pics is a great way to get business. Your website is like a modern yellow page ad, so add contact information, office hours, and a portfolio to attract qualified leads.
Social media is the first place many shoppers look for products and services. Having a social media presence is also key to finding new business and giving shoppers content they can share for added exposure.
Clients expect product photographers to research their products and decide the best ways to represent those products visually. Props, models, and backdrops are all the photographer’s responsibility. A professional photographer should also be tech-savvy and know digital editing software like Adobe Photoshop. Your primary goal will be to agree on a contract with clients, then shoot and distribute product images within agreed deadlines.
Whether you post images yourself or sell to clients and let them post their photos, social media photography is extremely popular these days. Influencers, companies and private citizens are always looking for a professional to snap photos for them. Because images help us to retain information, photos are posted with almost every social media post. 1-2 posts are recommended each day, so there’s a lot of potential for profits with social media photography.
Pros & cons:
Social media photographers work alone most of the time. You’ll have meetings with clients, but you can schedule most of your work time around your personal life. You can also work from home to avoid office rent and overhead.
Unfortunately, some photographers are critical of others’ shared work. Creating social media photos means your work is on display for the world to see, which is great! But beware the Internet trolls. An honest critique is valuable, but be prepared to ignore comments and criticisms about your work. All that matters is that your clients are happy with your photos.
The average salary for social media photographers is about $44,000 across the US. Depending on how much you work, you can make anywhere between $12k – $73k. Most shutterbugs in this niche make between $31k – $55k. You can combine this niche with others to increase revenues.
Where to find business:
Since you’re involved with social media, you can work for clients all around the world. Set up your own social media accounts so clients can find you and share your work easily. Advertising doesn’t just happen on social channels, so building a website and starting an email newsletter can help you draw more business. For local exposure, claim a free Google Business profile.
TIP: Add our exclusive Domain, Email, and Website package to any business formation order.
Your job expectations may vary by project. If you’re just creating images, you simply meet with the client to develop a plan, collect artwork (logos, color schemes), study products, then send clients the images when ready. Some photographers get involved with posting images and managing social media accounts, so you may be asked to do these things for some clients.
4. Sports photography
5. Newborn photography
6. Stock photography
7. Aerial/drone photography/videography
8. Food photography
Business websites vary. No matter what style or features you add, every successful business has an active website. 70% of consumers check the Internet first to find products and services. you should start and maintain one to promote awareness and increase sales. MyCompanyWorks offers two exclusive Web Domain, Email, and Website packages for a quick launch and easy maintenance. Choose a custom domain name, set up business email, and create a website or e-commerce store with easy templates.
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By now you probably have a good idea of which niche best suits your interests. When you make the final decision, MyCompanyWorks can form an LLC or Corporation for your business in any US state. Just fill in a few details using our online order form to save money and file fast. Our goal is to make starting and managing your company simple and painless. Starting a business with us gives you access to our free and exclusive Startup Wizard. Follow step-by-step to file important paperwork and keep your business in good standing. We also offer free customizable forms and a website full of resources and helpful articles. Get started today!
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 at 1:23 pm and is filed under New Business Ideas, Starting A Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.