Are you a devoted fan of photography as well as a small business enthusiast? Merge these two passions and start a home-based photo studio! But before you quit your job and dig into your savings account to get the necessary equipment, let’s look at some pros and cons of having your own photo business.
- You can monetize your hobby!
- You can enjoy flexible hours and make your own schedule.
- You can take part in fun events, meet new people, and thus expand your clientele.
- You get to capture people’s happiest moments and help them preserve those precious memories.
Not So Good News:
- You’ll have to stock up on pricey photography equipment.
- You might have to deal with a lot of stress because working with people has a downside – big important events are as fun as they are stressful.
- You might be disappointed about your salary expectations – income can be very unstable and workflow inconsistent.
- You might lose the interest altogether – making money on your hobby might turn your passion into a tedious routine.
But let’s be honest, every career comes with risks, so if photography is something you enjoy doing, something you are good at, then go for it. What are the most essential steps one should take to start his or her own photo business?
1. Decide What Kind of Photography You Would Like to Pursue
The world of photography is endless and it’s expanding every day with new technologies, trends, and gadgets. So, what can you see yourself doing?
Passport photography is perfect for people who would prefer indoor photo shoots without much risk and income inconsistency. Besides, you will never starve – people will always require photos for driver’s licenses, student IDs, passports, visas etc. It is a great way to start out in this business and create a client base.
You will need: camera, lenses, tripod, backdrop, reflector, passport photo maker for PC to make your business easier, printer.
Event photography is for someone who likes being around people and can capture their happiest days in the best way. If you enjoy yourself at weddings, parties, and ceremonies, it might be perfect for you!
You will need: camera, lenses, off-camera flash, earplugs to stand near speakers, and not lose your hearing.
Travel photography is for citizens of the world out there who can’t live without traveling and discovering new places. If you are a type of person who gets inspired by exploring new cultures, locations, and cuisine, travel photography is a great fit.
You will need: camera, lenses, tripod, filters, rain protection.
Pet photography is for the pet lovers out there. You can express your love and admiration for our little friends and help fellow pet owners create an awesome portfolio. If you are enjoying spending an hour with a cute puppy and making its owner happy, this job might be your dream job.
You will need: camera, lenses, off-camera flash, cleaning kit, toys, and treats for pets.
2. Write an Elaborate Business Plan
Develop a business plan to draft your future business model: the services you will offer, the uniqueness of your brand, financial goals, marketing strategies, and price management. This is a very important step, so do your thorough research, get in touch with experts to outline the entire business structure, meet your goals, and run your business successfully.
3. Come Up with a Unique and Catchy Business Name
You know the type of business you are going to launch, you know the goals and strategies – now try to describe the idea of your company in one-two words. Does it communicate your brand and vision? Perfect, that’s a great name for your company, however, check whether it has already been taken at the US Patent and Trademark office before taking the next steps.
4. Endure Bureaucratic Details
The creative work is put on hold for now – time to go through the circles of paperwork. To run a photography business, you will require a license or a permit from your state. You will also need to collect sales tax for selling photographs to people or businesses as well as open a business bank account with your new company name.
5. Set Up the Studio and Purchase the Equipment
As mentioned before, you will need to purchase some equipment depending on the type of business. However, every photographer needs a standard set, which includes a decent camera, lenses, lighting, tripod, and editing software.
6. Tell the World You Are Here
It’s time to let people know that you are ready to start your business. Make business cards and brochures, develop a website – all the above can be outsourced in case you don’t want to do it yourself. Set up social media accounts with your new name – Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, maybe even YouTube – the online presence is crucially important for any new business.
Clearly, starting your own business is a lot of work and requires some investment at the beginning. But after a couple of months of sleepless nights and stress, you will be one of the happiest and luckiest people who run their own company, make their own business decisions, and don’t answer to anyone!