Photography 101: Starting a Photography Business

One of the most frequent questions I get asked ever since I got into photography is how someone can get into photography? I always follow-up this question with another question "do you want to be a photographer or do you want to start a photography business". These two things while sounding similar are completely different.

Disclaimer



Now before I get into this, I just want to state that the views expressed here are simply my PERSONAL opinion. It should not be taken as anything other than that.

Becoming a Photographer.



In my opinion, if you want to become a photographer,  I think you should just go out, buy a camera and start taking pictures.  Take pictures every day. Carry your camera with you everywhere. Take pictures wherever you can. I bought my First digital SLR (a Canon 550d) in 2011. I remember carrying it everyday to work. I would take pictures of my friends, colleagues and even clients. Eventually things started to click.

After that the next step is to read a lot of blogs. Digital Photography School really helped me out when I started out. even today, not a day goes by that i don't visit either FStoppers or SLRLounge

[caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="874"]starting a photography business img 1 The very first picture I uploaded to my Facebook page. Not the best picture I've ever taken though[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_668" align="aligncenter" width="874"]starting a photography business img 2 of 2 An image I took within the last month. An image showing three years of experience taking pictures[/caption]

 

There is no shortcut to becoming a great photographer except experience. You can read all the blogs, all the books and all the forums in the world, but if you don't get out there and shoot then it is all for naught.

Starting a Photography Business



This may come as a surprise to most people but I believe that starting a photography business has less to do with photography and more to do about making money. When you own a photography business, you are a business owner first and a photographer second. Your should be concerned about your profit line and not the quality of your pictures. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that if you own a photography business that you should not be concerned about the quality of your pictures. I'm saying that just because you have the best pictures in the world does not mean you're going to have a successful photography business. I've seen tons of people who are taking pictures with kit lenses and air-brushing the life and pores out of their pictures who still run very successful photography businesses. Starting a photography business involves a lot of activities including but not limited to:


  • Developing a business plan

  • Creating business processes

  • Pricing your work

  • Budgeting your finances

  • Accounting and Invoicing

  • Insurance etc.



Most people who decide to start a photography business wrongly assume that all they need to do is buy a camera and a kit lens and they are set. They don't factor in all the other financial and time costs associated with running a business and as a result most of them end up failing.

 

[caption id="attachment_116" align="aligncenter" width="874"]My Current Camera Gear Cost of purchasing gear is something that should be factored in when starting a photography business[/caption]

Are you planning on becoming a photographer or starting a photography business. If the former, then let me be the first to welcome you. I find photography to be a very rewarding hobby which you can pour yourself into. If on the other hand, you decide on the latter, then I say pause. take a minute to think about this decision and weigh in all that is involved. Are you ready to be a business owner and deal with all the pros and cons that come with being a business owner?

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