9 Essentials For STARTING Your Photography BUSINESS

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When I was starting my photography business, I felt like I had nobody to model after. Because I wasn’t shooting weddings, engagements, or pet portraits, it seemed like what I was doing was really obscured. Because I didn’t know where to begin, I wasted a ton of time, and money, and was really frustrated with the process! What if I could save you the trouble? That’s my goal with this article.

1. Camera

This probably goes without saying, but I wanted to include this on this list because it’s important that you know what kind of camera. That is, to say, you don’t need the newest, professional, full-frame camera to start your photography business. It’s more important that you get started with what you already have. When you hit the ceiling of your current camera’s abilities, look to invest in a new camera then, and only then. But don’t let your camera hold you back from making money with your photography right now!

2. Software

You’re probably shooting in RAW now that you’re looking at being a professional. That means you need some kind of software to edit you photos on. This will allow you to have more of a creative touch to your images as well. I use Lightroom and Photoshop from Adobe, but there are other options out there too. Give a few programs a try before you commit to the full learning curve because once you start learning how to use the software, you probably won’t want to switch to a new one down the road.

3. Niche

When you’re just beginning your photography business it’s a really good idea to identify a niche that you want to master. Mastering one specific niche is easier because you can focus in one small sub-genre and then increase your exposure and credibility in that space which will eventually allow you to springboard from that niche to others and then you can finally generalize.

4. Portfolio

Create a body of work that you want to be paid to create before you try to charge clients for your work. Convincing future clients to trust you to create something for them will be much easier if you can point to other work you’ve done in the past that is similiar. Yes, that means working for free for a time or investing in yourself and your portfolio. Enjoy the process!


5. Social Media

There’s a lot of noise around social media. A lot of opinions. I’ll try to simplify this for you though. Understand who your future clients are. Where they spend their time and what social apps they give most of their attention to. If most of your clients are on Linkedin, then don’t waste too much time on Instagram. Then create the content that you’re the most passionate about. If that’s videos, focus most on video, then post to the platforms you know that your clients are on!

6. Website

Yes, websites are still a photography business essential in 2022! A good website is the best way to streamline your offerings, and even have copy that will help compel potential clients to invest in your business. That’s something you want to do your best to avoid on social media, but a website is a great place to sell your services and products!

7. Email

There are two reasons an email is important for you. You want to have consistent branding for your clients. For example, our business is Life Outside, our agency website is lifeoutsidestudio.com . My email then is ryan@lifeoutsidestudio.com. It’s much more professional to have a consistent look and feel for your business.

The second reason is that an email will also provide a place for you to organize all of your contacts, and create and organize your calendar.

8. Office / Admin

A physical office space might not be important for photographers but digital ones sure are! You’ll need to have programs or apps that can help you with contractor agreements, bookkeeping, and invoicing. I use Law Depot for agreements, Quickbooks for bookkeeping, and Paypal for invoicing and quotes.

9. Client Space

Once you finally have the opportunity to serve your clients, you’ll need a dedicated client space where they can access and view your work. As well, as download and share your digital assets. I’ve been using Smugmug for years and I have nothing but great things to say. There are options out there as well but I think you’ll love Smugmug.

Once you’re ready to scale and grow your photography business, check out our next video on how 9 Essentials For GROWING Your Photography BUSINESS.

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