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You’ve wanted to start your own photography business for a while. What better time to take the leap than at the beginning of a new year! Here we guide you through key steps to get your photography business started on the right path. 

7 Steps to Starting a Photography Business

Congratulations! You’re in for an exciting and rewarding journey. However, being a talented, passionate photographer isn’t enough for a successful photography business. In fact, only 10% of the time you spend on your business will consist of shooting.

So, how will you spend the rest of your time? As you perfect your photography, you also need to learn how to run a profitable business. This post will summarize seven steps to making your exciting new endeavor a success.

For more in-depth tips on creating a successful, profitable business, please read our complete guide to starting a photography business here

Photographer taking a picture of two cute dogs on a blue pillow.

1.Find Your Niche


Most photographers focus on a specific niche or subset of photography. You might think selecting a niche means missing out on more business, but that’s not the case. 

Having a niche allows you to develop expertise. It also helps you become known for that niche within the target market. People are looking for a specific service and an expert in that area.  

A few examples of photography niches include:

  • Family photography
  • Newborn photography
  • Wedding photography (engagement and weddings)
  • Event photography (birthday parties, reunions, etc.)
  • Boudoir photography
  • Maternity photography
  • Headshot photography

As you decide on your niche, consider timing, the role and subjects you’re most comfortable with, and seasonality. For example, family photographers are usually very busy at the end of the year and may struggle to find work for the first few months of the year. On the other hand, if you choose a feast-or-famine niche, consider adding another area to supplement your income during the slow months.

2.Define Your Unique Selling Proposition


Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes you unique. It establishes what you offer to clients and differentiates you from others. So why should people hire you instead of the competition?

If you find that your market is saturated with similar photographers, you may want to reevaluate your market and niche. Then, fine-tune your USP to stand out and succeed. On the other hand, if you live in an area where competition is more significant, you may need to spend more time and money to market your business effectively.

3.Name Your Business


When you name your business, choose a self-explanatory name that allows consumers to understand your brand and services quickly. Then, search online for businesses with the same name and conduct a trademark search to ensure the name is own-able.

4.Develop Your Brand Image


Your brand is the face of your company. It’s a vital aspect of your business, so don’t take this step lightly!

Developing your photography business brand requires a logo and a biography. Work with an experienced designer to create a beautiful, lasting logo that conveys an excellent impression of your business. The bio is a must for websites and other marketing channels. It gives potential customers insight into who you are before hiring you. If you aren’t comfortable writing your own, make a list of critical points and hire a writer to craft your bio.

Smiling woman on her laptop with a camera in the fore ground.

5.Establish a Process


It would be best to establish a basic workflow for your business before launching. Doing so would allow you to get organized to manage your work more efficiently. 

Consider how many hours you’ll work each week/month and when you’re available for client work. Set aside regular times for specific tasks, like shoot days, editing days, marketing, and administrative tasks.

Create a cohesive workflow plan and schedule. Outline each step of communication with clients, session work, expected turnaround time, order fulfillment, and follow-ups. It sounds like a lot of work, but it will help you keep track of every detail so your business runs smoothly and your clients are happy.

Pro Tip

You can use Picsello, and we’ll take care of most of that for you!

6.Set Pricing


Before you start building your clientele, create a pricing strategy that allows you to make a profit. Of course, you want to price your services to cover expenses and earn enough income to support yourself, but these aren’t the only considerations.

It would be best to consider how much time you will spend on tasks other than shooting, how long it takes to edit a shoot, and total costs. 

Next, determine how you will charge. You can charge hourly or by session, with packages for your clients that include a set number of hours of shooting and a set number of prints/digitals.

As you set your prices, don’t be tempted to undercharge. No one wins if you devalue your services, especially your business. You may encounter clients who don’t want to pay what you’re asking, but you’ll also encounter plenty of clients who are willing to value your services properly. This article includes plenty of tips on handling price objections.

7.Market Your Business


Regular, consistent marketing that hits multiple channels is the key to having a steady stream of clients and a successful business.

You will need:

  •  an easy-to-navigate photography website
  •  a portfolio representing your best work
  •  email marketing, 
  • social media marketing

Pro Tip

Claim your “handle” on all social media channels. Start building your following on the channel you’re most comfortable with while continuing to cross-promote to other platforms.

After your marketing brings clients to you, commit to providing every client with the best experience possible. Every step of the way, strive to exceed expectations. Satisfied clients often become repeat clients and may refer you to others. 

A smiling female photographer holding a camera in a photography studio.

Final Thoughts

Starting any new business is no easy task, but it can lead to fulfilling employment and financial stability. If you love photography, have good business sense, and are ready to work exceptionally hard, then starting a photography business may be just right for you. So keep at it, keep marketing, and keep your clients happy, and you’ll undoubtedly be a success.

Remember, you aren’t alone. The team at Picsello is always here to help. We’ll provide you with the framework to run your business smoothly and efficiently. And we’ll be there to provide expert guidance every step of the way, no matter where you are in your business journey. 

For more information on starting your own photography business, check out our complete guide here. 

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How To Start A Photography Business

For more in-depth tips on creating a successful, profitable business, please read our complete guide to starting a photography business!

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