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how to start a photography business

Learn how to start a photography business

This free step-by-step guide that tells you how to turn your passion into a profitable business.

With a little skill and a good camera, you can take the next step and create an extra source of income or even go full time.
Average Income:
$20k – $60k annually
Best locations: anywhere!.

Choose your niche (and learn everything you can)

The first thing you need to do is decide what type of photography you want to do: baby photography, family portraits, sports pictures, wedding photography, landscapes, etc. Specializing also comes in handy later on when you build your client base.

Get a business license

Businesses require some kind of license to operate legally, and it will depend on your state.  And while you can easily handle some licensing issues by yourself,  you may need a lawyer to navigate the complicated ones.

Incorporate before taking your first gig

If you incorporate, your business assets will be separate from your personal assets. This means that if the job becomes a nightmare and you get sued, they can only take what a part of the business and not anything you personally own, like your car or house is.  It also helps you look like a legitimate business, which means you can probably charge more. Although the requirements for incorporating vary from state to state, it’s something to consider if you want to limit your legal liability.

Create a portfolio

Building a portfolio is an excellent way to bring in new clients. It’s easy to do, especially when you practice your skills with family and friends.  Also, if you are interested in weddings, you could partner with florists, wedding planners, and churches nearby and create a great network for recommendations and reciprocation.

Draft a business plan

Every business needs a plan, even if you are considering photography to be a side hustle you need structure and to be organized and outline your goals, mission, and vision including your objective and marketing strategies. A business plan is an excellent way to keep you organized, and in case you need to get potential investors or to get a loan. Take a look at our guide to writing a business plan.

Put it in writing  

Using a professional contract with every client is important. Photographers who do not use contracts are more likely to have problems when it comes to getting paid or fulfilling the terms of an agreement, protect yourself and your work. Our document defense will help you in case things go sideways with a document.

Show off your work online

Create a website, update it often and build your brand from there, social media is also a great way to market it your business, focusing on highly visual tools like Instagram or Pinterest. Remember, you are also a small business owner, marketer, customer service and artist, multiple hats are required when it comes to owning your business.

Get insurance

If you break something belonging to one of your clients, or a customer feels you did not carry out the terms of your contract, you could be sued for hundreds or thousands of dollars. In case you break or need to replace part of your equipment you’ll need insurance.

Are you ready to start your business? We’re here to help!

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