More and more people in the UK are becoming self-employed and starting their own businesses from home. If you’re looking to monetise your hobby and finally realise your dream of becoming a professional photographer, you’ll want to read our top tips on how to start a photography business.
What’s Your Specialty?
All photographers are different, and some are better at photographing some things more than others. The most profitable type of photography is wedding photography but it can also be the most intimidating as, with many types of event photography, there are no second chances when it comes to capturing certain shots. Certain once-in-a-lifetime shots which your customers are paying a lot of money for.
Your money-making speciality, such as wedding photography, will most likely need to be supplemented with other forms of photography. Family portraits, boudoir, commercial, local events…. Some types of photography, such as family portraits, will require you have your own studio so bear in mind that unless you are perhaps able to convert your garage into an attractive photo studio suitable for guests, you may have to stick to on-location photography jobs only. But many professional photographers do run home-based businesses, so don’t think that you need some swanky studio in the middle of town to operate your photography business.
Have A Business Plan
It might seem as simple as just going out there, getting a couple of customers, turning up and taking photos. But you may need to consider startup costs, operating costs, the costs of investing in new equipment, printing, and of course growth. In a year’s time, will you be wanting to invest in a new fancy professional website, hire someone to do your marketing for you, or even a photography apprentice maybe to lend a hand on shoots? How will your business scale overtime? Also if you really want people to take you seriously, and you want to protect your business financially, you’ll want to get photographers insurance with insurance policies specially designed for photographers. (Suggested reading: Why Do Photographers Need Insurance?)
Promote Your Photography Business Online
If you’re just starting a photography business, you need to build a photography portfolio. Not just professional work, but other things that you have photographed during your off-time. Maybe of the local landscape, which you can then share online with your local community to increase your visibility online within your target audience. As the vast majority of your customers are most likely to be local, putting yourself out there in front of the local community should be the goal. You can do this through Facebook, Twitter and drip-feed potential customers to your professional website so that they can browse through your full photo gallery or portfolio. But many professional photographers, especially ones who are just starting out, are finding that they can make enough business through their social media pages solely through networking and engaging with the right people. If you are only looking to be a “weekend” photographer, you may find that a Facebook page is all you need to get just a paid gig or two a week.
When you’re a one-man (or woman!) band, you are the brand, so don’t be afraid to put personality into your online promotion. Especially on Facebook, people like to get a feel for whose photography services they are hiring. You want to get people to like you just as much as they do your photography.