If you have a passion for photography, you may well be thinking of starting your own photography business. Making the transition from amateur to professional photographer can certainly be an exciting prospect, but you’ll need more than just enthusiasm and creative flair if you want to make your dream into a reality. In order to separate yourself from the countless amateur photographers out there, you’ll need to work hard and plan ahead. Here are some of the things you need to consider before you take the leap.
Don’t neglect the business details
First and foremost, you are starting a business. You can think like an artist during a shoot, but in order to make your new venture a success, you need to start thinking like a business owner. If you’re not the best with numbers, hire an accountant to keep an eye on the financial side of things for you.
Before you start taking on clients, you’ll also want to make sure you have the right type of insurance in place to protect you in the event of any potential claims. If you want more information, insurance provider Hiscox have created a guide to the correct insurance for photography professionals, which covers everything from equipment insurance to liability insurance.
Invest in the right equipment
As a professional photographer, you cannot get by with subpar or incomplete equipment. You need at least one high quality camera, as well as multiple lenses, flashes, and other supporting equipment. You’ll also need software like Photoshop to edit the images.
Make sure you have spares for all the key pieces of hardware because you can never know when a crucial piece of kit might break. Not having back-ups in certain scenarios could cause you major embarrassment and even damage your professional reputation.
Purchasing extra equipment, or upgrading your existing gear might be expensive, but it is absolutely necessary for the success of your new business.
Develop a brand
A distinctive brand identity will help you stand out from the crowd and attract the right type of customers. First, you need to think about what makes you special and how your brand identity could convey that to your prospective customers.
Do some research into the competition in order to see what works well, and also where there’s opportunity for differentiation.
Then it’s time to develop your name, logo, and perhaps even a tagline. You may choose to use your own name of course, but whatever you decide, make sure that all the imagery and language you use are consistent with your newly defined brand identify.
Every photographer should have a slick website that showcases some of the best images from their portfolio. The website also needs to be easy to navigate and include important information like pricings and cancellation policies.
Of course, a stunning website is only one piece of the puzzle these days. You’ll also need to be actively promoting yourself through social media. It’s best to pick just one or two platforms and focus on using them really well. Facebook and Instagram are logical choices. Facebook is a great way to interact with potential customers and will allow people to leave reviews, while Instagram, as a photo-sharing community, is a great platform to promote the business by showing off your amazing photography skills.
With the business well taken care of, you can now devote more time and energy to your passion and further developing your skills as a photographer.