Why not monetize your photography hobby? People are creative and photographers are even more appreciated in their invaluable creative ability to create memories with so much beauty.
If you are one who everyone in the family always asks to take their photos or you just love to capture the moments, then you might just be imbued with the great skill.
Steps start your own professional photographer business
Photography can be a side hustle or even a full-time business if you work a little harder and smart.
On the other hand, though, while starting a professional photography business can earn you a lot of money, get started has a few challenges which we will also look at in this article.
But first, how to get started!
Know your Potential Customers
Before starting a business, it is important you know your potential customers. This will help you develop a business strategy that has more chances of success.
For the photography business, people and businesses will need your services for various reasons, including:
- Ladies, guys, everyone takes pictures to preserve memories for so many reasons
- Birthday photoshoot, pregnancy shoot, aspiring models shoot, weddings, parties, etc. you just can’t count them
- You can sell your photos
- Businesses need images of their products for brochures
- People into real estates need photography for the buildings they are selling
- Car dealers need clean portraits of their cars to make it attractive for sale
- Publications need images of the articles they are talking about
- And the list goes on…
Below are the steps you would need to start off your photography business.
Sharpen your shot-taking and photo editing skills
Among the very first things you need to do is to sharpen your shot-taking and editing skills. You do not want to present to a customer a picture that is not breathtaking.
Shot-taking involves you know quite well how to use equipment such as shutter speed, white balance, aperture, light, etc. to take wonderful shots.
Editing involves you using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel draw, Adobe Premier, and others to create astonishing imagery.
With good editing skills, you can transform a not-so-beautiful picture into a very beautiful one. And this is one of the things that will drive so many customers to you.
Get the basic equipment needed to start
Since digital photography equipment is expensive, you can get the very basic ones needed to start where you will spend much less and still achieve your aim. You even might have probably gotten some of it (you are a passionate photographer, remember?).
- Camera (Nikon) – the one that costs less ₦100,000.00
- Proper lighting
- Laptop with Adobe Photoshop, Corel draw or any professional photo editing software installed
- Memory device (e.g. memory card) for storing photos and files
Advertise your business online and offline
Advertise your business to everyone you know – friends, colleagues, neighbours. You can hand out flyers, make posts about it online.
Use social media to market your digital photography business online and make it reach more audience. What you need to do is to take beautiful pictures, edit them, and post on your social media pages and watch people contacting you for jobs.
Take a look at the steps to make money on social media to know how to use social media to sell your digital photography skills online and rake in some cash.
Sharpen your entrepreneurship skills
A digital photography business is just like every other business. You need to have a keen entrepreneurial mindset to succeed. You need to know:
- how to control your finances, how to sell your skills,
- how to negotiate business deals and contracts with customers,
- learn emotional intelligence and control because running a photography business means you will meet different kinds of people with different characters, so you must know how to deal with this
Learn to network
You might be a great photographer but if people do not know you, your chances of succeeding in the business will be very much limited.
So you have to network as the success of your business largely depends on it. Join groups, forums, clubs, whatever you can. This is how you will get referrals.
Create a brand
At first, you might not have created a niche for yourself because of course, you are just getting started and exploring the options. But with time, you will have to focus on a particular niche. Maybe taking maternity shoots, wedding shoots, events or maybe shooting for a brand like magazines and so on.
Get someone to help
If you are covering an event let’s say a wedding, you will need someone to help you hold the lights, and note down numbers of pictures taken, amounts paid in and the rest of them.
Getting help does not cost much, and most importantly, it will help you do your job well and be more productive at it.
Do not try to do it all alone when you need a helping hand.
The downsides of starting a photography business
- The equipment for photography is quite expensive. For some starters, this might pose a challenge.
- Your work will mostly be on weekends when you might want to spend time with your loved ones
- The income coming in might be inconsistent (you don’t make a specific amount monthly, or weekly)
- and like most businesses, getting started might not be easy
You can mitigate these downsides by:
- getting affordable equipment for a start since we might be focusing on individuals and small events at first
- consider buying fairly used equipment from a dealer you can trust
- diversify your business. For example, in addition to covering events, you can sell your photos online
- Do not spend much when you can spend less to start
- Be bold and confident
- Be sociable
- And last but not the least, pick up your camera and put what you just learned to good use by starting that photography business today!
Want some great business ideas? Take a look at other lucrative skills you can use to start a profitable business of your own.