There is nothing more fulfilling in this world than to do what you enjoy doing and to get paid for it. If the photography is your hobby, consider the possibility of starting a photography business and earning money by doing what you love. Starting a business in photography is a great way to get paid to do what you like, and skilled photographers are always needed.
Americans and American businesses need professional photographers for many reasons, including special occasions, photo journalism, landscapes, wildlife and nature photography, head shots and portfolios, portraits and more.
If you have already decided to take a chance in this kind of business there are certain challenges, but also choices you should face with.
To really establish your business you need to think strategically. This means polishing up your business skills and being ready to compete with other professionals. Many of them are in this business for a while and, beside talent and artistic vision, they have a competitive edge and much more experience. That’s why it’s good to differentiate from the competition. Decide what sets you apart from the competition. Research the marketplace and find your niche and the kind of photography at which you excel.
Searching on the Internet you may find a lot of opportunities for photography jobs or freelance photography jobs. Join photography forums and meet people who are already in business. One of options to make money and enjoy your work is to become a freelance photographer. This is an exciting career based on taking good photographs and selling them. You can look for freelance photography job in your local area and look for the companies or local firms that may need photographers. Other things that you might do to find freelance photography job is to submit your work to magazines and contests to get yourself known.
The photography career offers you the choice to make it either your entire career or something that you do in your spare time.
Another decision you will have to make is what it is that you like to take pictures of. You can become a special field photographer-family or wedding photographer. If you like babies, animals or nature these can be your inspiration and theme. You may also become an underwater photographer if you love scuba diving.
There are different kinds of photography business you can do:
Assignment photography is any photography commissioned by client. It covers advertising of products, portraits, weddings, school functions and other images shot on assignment. This type of photo-business provides lower financial risk for the photographer, since you are always paid-before the event or after, depending on contract.
Stock photography is photography shot on speculation, in advance of being sold. Photographs of this kind often take several dozens of photos, going after a perfect shot. They find an inspiration in unusual moments and sights that might be interesting for the market. Afterward these photographs may be used in a multitude of ways: in newspaper articles, brochures, calendars, web sites etc. Instead of commissioning a photographer, many commercial and educational establishments simply buy stock photographs at a lower-cost.
Therefore, one of the most important start-up steps is to determine whether you will specialize or diversify. If you specialize in some field you need to strive to be the best in that field. If you work in several areas, you need to be competent in each of them.
Some photographers combine assignment and stock photography. For example, when on assignment they use the opportunity to shoot pictures of their surroundings or events that they put in their own stock collection.
Like every business, photography business can be overwhelming if you don’t have some sort of a business plan system. A Business System is the way you operate your business and it includes a plan of operation for every aspect of your photography business. Running this kind of business means you have to consider:
How will you run the day to day operations
Equipment you will need to operate your photography business-camera, camera case, camera equipment, vehicle for location…
Decide whether you’re going to self finance your new business, borrow the money from your friends or family, use your credit cards or obtain financing from a bank
Where will your photography business be located at? You may start it out of your home, rent or lease a business location, or buy a building for your business.
A photography business is a special kind of small business usually connected with art and talent, but still it is a business, so let’s point general advices for every small business start:
Write your business plan-it is your roadmap for starting, managing and growing your business. This plan will help you to think out what your goals are and to identify the strategies that will take you to reach your goals. Through the small business plan, you can begin to identify your potential clients, establish a workable timetable, set your prices and plan your marketing strategy.
Make your business legal-get your business license. Take care of any necessary permits you may need to operate your business in the location you have chosen. Set up a bank account for your business. You may also get some insurance. Each country, state and county have different rules in treating businesses, so you should check with your county’s clerk about the rules that apply to a photography business.
Marketing your photography business is going to be critical for your success. Look into professional organizations in your area. Establish connections in your community. These are ways to meet future customers or make important contacts. Use the Internet to present yourself, whether on your official website, or through joining forums and groups connected with your profession. Networking not only can provide you clients and admirers, but also financiers for your business.