The post-pandemic world has made people eager to start their businesses and be their bosses. Especially people who previously only took photographs as a hobby. Now is the perfect time to take hold of your life and start your own photography business - even if you don't have business experience!
How to Start a Photography Business with no Experience:
- Have Passion for Photography
- Develop Your Niche and Business Plan
- Invest in Reliable Equipment
- Practice Makes Perfect
- Build a Portfolio
- Create a Pricing Guideline
- Promote Yourself
Here is a great guide to help jumpstart your photography business: Starting a Photography Business Checklist
Experience goes a long way, but you don't always need it. As long as you devise a solid action plan, you can give your idea some legs and start running.
Have Passion for Photography
You may like photography, but you need to love it. Have a passion. Passionate work is what will get you far. If you don't genuinely enjoy photography, the work can become mundane when building a business. Clients can tell when you love what you do and when you like it. The ones with passion are the best photographers.
You also want to have a basic understanding of light, composition, and camera settings. It would help if you weren't an amateur, but you don't need to be a professional.
Develop Your Niche and Business Plan
Before you do anything, you need to know what your niche will be. What will be your main focus? There are so many different options, and it's good to specialize in one or a few that are similar.
Here are a few examples of different photography niches:
- Lifestyle: Portrait, Newborn, Maternity, Boudoir
- Event: Concerts, Wedding, Corporate Events, Reunions
- Product: Fashion, Jewelry, Food, Real Estate
Now you need to write up a business plan. Your business plan should describe your company, goals, and the services you will be providing. Think of a marketing plan and make financial projections. If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of registering your business, check out this article: Starting a Photography Business Checklist
Invest in Reliable Equipment
It doesn't have to be top of the line, but your camera should be reliable. Here are some great cameras to start with:
Investing in your passion is the way to go. Besides a camera, you should also invest in a few more basics:
- A few lenses: Depending on the style of photography, you should have a few in your arsenal. Check out some of our other articles that dive deeper into the different types of lenses.
- A tripod: A sturdy tripod will help keep your camera still and eliminate camera shake. If you can also get a shutter release cable, that would be great!
- Lighting: You can also invest in a few basic light kits to help when shooting indoors.
Practice Makes Perfect
Building a portfolio will be one of the best ways to gain your business's clientele. Take pictures of friends and family as frequently as possible. This will also help you work out your creative process and composition kinks. See what works and what doesn't. While you're practicing, you are also building up your portfolio!
If product photography is your niche, you can offer to take photos of products for friends that sell items. It's common nowadays to know somebody who runs an Etsy shop or makes something. You can offer to take the photos for free or at a much lower cost than you typically would. You could also take pictures of random new products around your house to show off your skills. Product photography can be easier to do than lifestyle.
Just remember, this is the time for you to develop your skills.
Build a Portfolio
Once you have taken enough pictures, you can start building your portfolio. This is necessary when you show a future client what you can do. You can create a portfolio using a site builder like Squarespace, Wix, and more. It's rare to see physical portfolios nowadays, but if you feel you need one, you should. Some people think it is better to hold on to a hard copy.
Create a Pricing Guideline
Benchmark how other photography businesses with a similar niche are pricing their services. Since you are new, you can price match or go slightly lower than your competitors. Just don't undersell yourself.
A great way to market yourself is by building your social media presence. Using Facebook, Instagram, and especially TikTok will help build a following for your business. Social media is one of the best ways to attract people to want to invest in your services.
Once you feel comfortable with your portfolio and gear, you can start taking more steps to become official!
Check out the other articles on starting a business and the best camera equipment to purchase:
Related article: Starting a Photography Business Checklist
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Related article: How Much to Charge for Product Photography
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