Whether it is to shoot the most important day in a bride’s life or to take the annual family photograph for Christmas cards, there is a high demand for photography businesses across the world, especially in the United States. That is why it is very lucrative for people to start a photography business. So in this article, we will discuss how to start a photography business and become successful.

How to Start a Photography Business

Why Start a Photography Business

There are numerous reasons why you might be interested in starting a photography business and being your boss. If you’re someone who likes to meet new people, wants to grow your own business, and has achievements, then there are things that you will love about the career.

So here are some of the top reasons why you might consider starting your own photography business today.

You’re the boss - No need to report to someone else. You have all the responsibility and decisions for yourself. It can be very rewarding to know when you achieve something that you did because you put in the hard work.

Low overheads - Compared to some of the other businesses that are out there, photography businesses can have relatively low overheads. The biggest expense will be the camera and

Expandable - Want to earn more? Want to be a bigger brand? There are times when photographers can expand their business. You can add new services, hire new team members, and do other activities that can help you grow your business larger.

Regular work - Weddings, birthday parties, family portraits, actors looking for headshots, the amount of work available is endless, and therefore you will be looking to outsource some work, like marketing and accounting, to allow you to have the time you want to succeed.

How to Start a Photography Business

Photography Business Statistics

Here are some of the key statistics that might interest you about starting a photography business:

  • There were 110,500 professional photographers in the USA in 2020.
  • There are more professional photographers in California than anywhere else.
  • Two-thirds of photographers are self-employed.
  • Over the next two years, the average salary of photographers is expected to increase by 12%.
  • The median hourly rate for photographers is $18.
  • Columbia is the top-paying state with an annual mean wage of $84,590.
  • Hawaii has the most photographers per capita, with a photographer for every 2380 people.
  • The US photography market is worth $12 billion a year.

How to Start a Photography Business

How to Start a Photography Business

Here are the steps that are required when you want to know how to start a photography business. Follow these steps to get your new business off to the best start.

Step 1 - Research

The first thing that you need to do is you should look at what is currently available in the area. If your area has an overabundance of wedding photographers you might want to focus on other efforts.

You should also look at what the rates are in your local area. If you start too high, then you won’t get the customers that you expect.

Research should go into your business plan, into the next step.

How to Start a Photography Business

Step 2 - Create a Business Plan

The next thing that you need to do is to create a business plan for your new business. The business plan needs to include lots of different elements of the business. You need to include what jobs you’re looking to attract, who the target audience is, the marketing strategies that are going to be used, and the pricing for the products/services.

It is important to remember that this plan is a rough guide. You might need to make changes as you go along to reflect new circumstances. However, you can reduce the number of changes that are going to be made by researching well before starting. You can also use free business plan templates to help you get the right details into place.

Remember that numerous individuals might want to see a business plan. For example, a business bank, those issuing grants, and others might want to see a business plan.

Step 3 - Create a Brand

Now you need to create a brand for your photography business. With the business plan, you can try to create a brand name that will help you stand out from the crowd. There are lots of ways that you can develop a business name. Though using a company name generator makes the process much easier and quick. You can try the tool here. All you need to do is enter the keyword and see what names have been generated.

Get a Name Idea

You should also consider how you’re going to market your photography business. What are the key target audience, the values of the brand, and the positioning in the market? What are you going to be remembered for? What makes your brand unique?

You might also want to think about registering your business as an LLC. There are lots of tax advantages to registering your business as an LLC. For example, you can protect personal property from business debts.

Step 4 - Plan your Costs

Now you need to think about the costs of your business. It can be challenging to know what the costs for the business are going to be. Or you might have a limited startup budget. Therefore, you might feel overwhelmed.

However, it is relatively easy to start a business with no money or very little money. You might be able to save on costs with some of these simple options:

  • Use a current vehicle or buy a second-hand car.
  • Use equipment that you already have.
  • Market on social media with free profiles, or spend a little on local advertising.
  • Use email marketing.
  • Build a website yourself with WordPress or Squarespace.

Though be sure that you also plan for regular costs. For example, you might need to think about insurance, trade memberships, permits, LLC fees, trade licenses, and other businesses. And you might also want to think about equipment repair/replacement, vehicle repair/replacement, and other potential costs.

Step 5 - Marketing

Now you need to market your business. There are several ways that you can market your photography business. Social media is going to be great to get free exposure for the website and the services that you offer. However, you can only rely so much on your social media. Only about 17% of your audience on Facebook would ever see your content. Therefore, you need to build a website and get it ranking on Google and other search engines.

You should also consider registering on local business listings and perhaps going to local events, expos, etc. to get more exposure for your brand.

Remember that for every customer you get you should look at getting them to be a loyal, returning customer. While some events, like weddings, won’t work like that, there are lots of other opportunities for photography, like family portraits, Christmas cards, and other times.

Increasing your returning customers by 5% can add 95% profit to your business.

Email marketing can be a great way to build a reliable customer base. It can also help with the sales funnel.

How to Start a Photography Business

Final Word: How to Start a Photography Business

A photography business has the potential to earn a lot of money for the owner. Therefore it is a perfect type of business for those who love being part of special moments for numerous individuals. Above are the steps you need to know when you want to know how to start a photography business. Good luck with your new venture.

The average success rate of a photography business is about 10% over three years. It is tough and only the best will succeed.
The US photography market is worth $12 billion a year, though this is expected to increase by 12% over the next five years.
Photographers can sometimes struggle to get customers for their business. However, good marketing can make all the difference.
Weddings are the biggest opportunity for photographers. However, family portraits can also be a great way for the photographer to earn money.