Having a thriving photography business means you’re able to deliver good quality work consistently. In this business, you will find most photographers living by the old adage ‘You’re only as good as the last set of pictures you took.’ Regardless of whether you want to be a photographer who does on-site work or one that works from a simple home studio, you are looking at essential equipment costs of $7000 to $10,000.
If you want to become a good photographer, initially try to have a wide array of subject matter or categories you can photograph. You should be capable of working at special events such as weddings, birthdays or Christmas parties. You should be dynamic enough to also cover news, portrait or fashion photography should the need arise. This article will outline some of the more fundamental points of starting a photography business.
When planning to embark on a career in photography, make sure you have saved up enough funds to enable you to live for at least a year with no steady income. To make sure you’re equipped with the right skills, you will also need to focus on a good education in the technical aspects of photography. You will need to build yourself up to a point where you can create photographs that can stand out from the competition. You will need to spend some time in developing an ‘edge.’ Enroll yourself in a few photography courses at a college or university to help hone your skills and ‘artistic eye.’ Studying the intricacies of photography is good. If you want to start a full fledged business that you can live off, however, you need to learn topics that include marketing, small business acumen, accounting, public speaking and post processing or digital processing.
Keep up to date with the latest goings on in the industry by subscribing to the popular photo magazines out there. Magazines such as Professional Photographer, Camera Arts and Rangefinder are good ones. The content of these magazines is sound and you can find information on the latest trends in photography related to marketing, techniques, services and equipment.
Equipment wise, it is recommended that you have 3 cameras with at least a 6 mega pixel resolution. If you shoot film, then you would do well to invest in at least 3 35mm cameras. The better film photographers also add a few medium format cameras to their list of equipment to give them a better range of photography. Make sure you also buy the correct accessories for each of your cameras such as flash units, battery packs or flash extension brackets.
Invest in a few backdrops. At least two – muslin and canvas. Go for a minimum size of 8 by 10 foot backdrops. The colors you should be looking at need to be cool colors such as white, light gray or blue. If you do portraits or product photographs for companies, then you will need to have some background paper with similar colors. If you’re doing on-site work, then you will also need to have the correct lighting to take along with you. Add at least two light heads to your inventory. Also add some soft boxes, umbrellas and extra power packs. Good brands to be on the lookout for are Norman or White Lightning. The prices can range from between $1000 to $3000.
If you go digital, then a very important part of your processing will need to be in photo post processing or editing. Again, you will need to invest in something more professional instead of relying on the software that may have come bundled with your PC. Most professional photographers rely heavily on the myriad of features available in Adobe Photoshop CS and it has quickly become the de-facto standard in photo editing. By simply investing in software such as Photoshop, you open yourself up to augmenting the services you offer. You can create layouts for books, create photographs with different color sets (black and white, sepia, infra-red) and you can also provide retouching services. Try and think up ideas for providing more services. The more you can offer, the more you will stand out from the competition.
Get a website. Websites are direct marketing tools that customers will always look at these days. You will need to register a domain name first and then create the website. GoDaddy have been known to be reliable in their hosting packages. If you can, design the website yourself. Otherwise get it done professionally. You will need a striking website to both excite and entice your potential target customers. Provide a good set of information about yourself and your business. Tell your customers what type of photography you undertake. Make sure to include samples from each of the categories like weddings, portraits, advertising and products. It would be good if you can get some of your past clients to write testimonials for you and include this on the website.
A good way of getting the word out about your website is to place your listing on the many popular search engines out there. Some hosting providers will offer a search engine optimization service which assist to place your website on about 100 directories for a yearly fee of between $80 to $150.
Another marketing approach is to put in some advertisements in places like magazines, internet sites and yellow pages. This part is essential to getting a business off to a good start and may cost as little or as much as you want to spend. You did come up with a marketing budget, right?
Lastly, you will need to consider other aspects of your photography business. Look at things like whether you need to incorporate, insurance, hiring an extra person or two to help out and expansion. It can be challenging, but if you like challenges and are ready to face them and work in a smart manner, then you can’t go wrong.
Copyright 2007 www.photography-business-tips.com