Starting a Photography Business

“Live to work” or “work to live”? Why not do both?

Chances are if you’re reading this, you have an interest in photography. And if that’s true, I have great news for you.

Turning your hobby into a business is fun, easy and rewarding. You can make money, network, and dive into the business and marketing as much as you’d like.

Guide to Starting Your Own Photography Business

So, if you’re looking to start your own photography business, here’s 7 easy steps to get you started:

Plan out your niche

The best way to establish your niche is to experiment. The subject of your photography can range from portraits to weddings to food.

When I was exploring photography, I took my camera everywhere. I took pictures of friends, nature, food… pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

Picking 1 or 2 specialties will help you establish expertise and let potential clients understand which types of photography you’re best at.

Translate your niche into a brand and a business

Are you a wedding photographer with simple style? Or do you bring a fun twist to the senior portrait experience? Let your style and subject speak for you. Then, brainstorm names for your business.

Common photography business names follow the template of [First Name] + [Last Name] Photography, but being more creative with your business name can be fun too!

Build your portfolio

If you’re looking to start charging for photography, you’ll need to start showcasing your skills.

I’ve found the best way to start getting your photography out there is to offer free photoshoots to family and friends. Then, if you do a good job, people will naturally promote your business by posting your photos everywhere!

As you build your portfolio, use a website to showcase your work. Set up a simple online photography portfolio, embed a contact form, and you’ll have a website ready to accept clients.

Go social

Social media is a photographer’s best friend.

Having a good Facebook page for your photography business is essential — I ran most of my business through it. It’s easy to post photos, tag the clients, and then their friends will automatically see your work too. Be sure to set up your own Facebook page and link to your website as well.

You should also set up an Instagram and Pinterest account. Your work is visual. And getting people liking, sharing and pinning your photos will help generate brand awareness.

Set up the mechanics

What’s your pricing going to be like? How will you give clients the photos? Will you include the photos in your pricing? Or charge extra? Answering these key questions will help you define your business and put you on a road to success.

You’ll also need to figure out the legalities. Research your state’s tax requirements to see if you need to have a business license. Decide if you’ll have clients sign release forms too.

And don’t forget to have fun with it! If you’ve gotten this far in the planning phases of your new photography business, then you’ll do great.

Do you have your own photography business or are starting one? Link your work in the comments and something you’ve learned from your experience!