Here are ten tips for people who want to start their own photography business.
You love taking pictures, it is something you really enjoy doing, and you may be thinking of starting a photography business. If so, these tips are for you.
Since my main expertise is in portrait photography, my tips will be mainly focus on this area, but if you do different kinds of photos, they can still help you.
1. Is there Money in a photography business?
I have heard this question many times from people who want to start a photography business, and I always reply, is there money in being a teacher, in being an artist or becoming a real estate agent?
We have to remember that the money is from Hashem, our loving G-d and the clients are only the messengers...
We need to do what we really love and enjoy, and the blessings will come.
Of course, I would suggest continuing working in your day job so you are not stressed out in the beginning while building your business, as it does take time, but if this is something that you really love doing, it is definitely worth it.
Before each session take a few seconds to pray to G-d that you should be successful and that your clients should be happy with the results.
Sit down, relax and close your eyes and imagine the business you want to create. Imagine your dream client coming to you, and you photographing them. Imagine how happy they are.
It's important to have a vision so your mind can focus on your dream.
It's important that you have a destination and a plan that you will know where you are heading to.
The vision is very important but it's also vital that you have a goal that you can measure.
Goals are action-oriented that need to produce results and drive business efficiency. A vision is an end in itself. However, visions are long-term while goals are short-term.
It's important that you can measure your goals, for example
I want to earn £££ amount every month
I want to have 3 clients a week
I want to buy a new camera that costs ££, and then see how you take step by step actions toward your goals.
Try to take at least 5 actions each time toward your goal and one day you see great results.
There are so many kinds of photography, for example,
Kids photography, New-born photography, Wedding photography, Food photography Architecture photography... to name but a few.
Headshot for business photography, landscape photography, jewellery photography are some more, and this is only a short list!
It's important that you find out what you really enjoy doing and focus on that, but in the beginning you are probably not sure.
I remember my teacher told me that it’s ok to try everything, and then you start to see what you really like and what you good at. You also begin to see what areas are more profitable.
It can sometimes take a few years until you find your niche, so just keep shooting pictures and eventually you will figure out which area to focus in.
For example, before I move to the UK I specialised in Upsherin Photography, and kids and family in general. When I came to the UK I was planning to continue but there wasn’t a demand in my area for Upsherin pictures. (Click her to read about Upsherin)
So it took me few years to see what the demand in my area is, and what am I good at, and then to focus on that.
Now it's time for people get to know you.
Try to tell everyone about your new business... Although those people might not need a photographer now, perhaps in the future they will, or maybe their friend will ask them for a photographer and they will be able to recommend you. Keep telling people. People are not prophets and if you don’t tell them they don’t know!
And of course it's important to advertise. There are so many different ways to advertise,
but what is the best way for you?
You probably need to try advertising in different places until you narrow it down to the places that work best for your clients.
It's important to ask:
Where are my target clients? Which advertising will they see?
If your audience don’t have internet access, it’s not smart to post on social media.
Also it's better not to advertise in too many places; better to concentrate on one place and to do it the best way you can, then to spread everywhere and not give the best attention to each platform.
A client called you!! Such a good feeling!
It's very important to have a consultation where you meet up or over the phone/zoom and hear the expectation from each other.
Now is the time where you can listen to your clients needs, making sure that you are the best fit for them, and they are the best fit for you.
Discuss pricing and timing, and give them all the details.
Afterwards when you deliver your session, you are both on the same page and know what to except. There are no unwanted surprises.
7. Keep learning/sharing
It's important that you always keep learning and improving your skills.
There are so many ways these days and it's important to learn more all the time.
Also a good way to learn is by keeping in touch with other photographers. You can share your photos and get honest feedback.
You can also pass on work that you can’t do, to them and they will do the same for you.
I have opened a photography group for all photographer;, please let me know if you want to join.
8. Asking for feedback and more.
After photographing your client, it's always good to asking them for feedback and listen to what they have to say.
Take the opportunity to ask them some questions that will help you.
For example, how do you know about me? This helps you know where to continue advertising and marketing as you see which places produce more clients.
If they say a friend recommended you, remember to call this friend and say thank you.
Ask your clients if you can use their photos for your portfolio.
Ask them for their email address and phone number so you can keep in touch.
9. CD or photos?
Should I give my clients the whole CD or should they choose particular photos and pay for those?
There are different ways that you can give your client their photos. You need to find what works best for you. I'll give you some examples here.
· Client pays you per hour and you give them a CD with all the photos that you have taken.
The advantage of this is that you worked for 1 hour, you get paid and that's all.
The disadvantage is that the client will get overwhelmed with so many photos, many of which are basically copies of each other, as you will take many photos to get the best ones.
And what you do if there is a child that needed a bit of photo-shopping because there was a stain on his clothes?
Are you going to photo-shop all 150 photos or give them unprofessional pictures?
if you decide that this method works for you, I would recommend charging a higher fee so it will give you the opportunity to fix photos that need attention.
· Photo by photo is a different method that I like to use.
This is when a client chooses photos and pays only for the ones they choose. I like that I can go through each photo and do the editing if needed, and give the client the best quality photos.
The difference in these two methods is like a singer who sells a CD with 100 songs that includes all his drafts, or else a CD with the best 10 songs that people can really enjoy listening to.
At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you, and make sure that you and your clients are really happy.
10. Family and friends
What to charge family and friends?
I love taking photos of my family and close friends and I like to treat them and make them happy.
I know some photographers have a special price for family and friends, or some will give a special discount.
If you have any question please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photos in this post are from Unsplash and Wix