How to Start a Photography Business


Take the First Step Towards Running a Photography Business

When you’re starting out as a photographer, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you need to do to get your business up and running. There are so many tasks, from booking clients and editing photos to marketing yourself and making sure finances are in order. It can feel like an uphill battle without the right information. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on four things all new photographers need to set up in their business.

Create a Website

Having a website is an absolute must for any small business—and photography businesses are no exception! Having a website allows potential customers to find you online, view your portfolio, and get in touch with you easily. It also helps you look professional, establish credibility, and showcase your brand in the best light possible. It gives you a place to blog your clients sessions and really showcase who you are and build that connection with potential clients.  Although website design seems scary, there is one platform that we use that we love because it makes it SO easy to work with and get a site up and running quickly. Check Showit- it’s an easy to use drag and drop system for designing your website. 

Start Learning Lightroom

Once you have your photos taken, having the skills to edit them efficiently and beautifully in a way that enhances the photo is important. The first thing photographers do is typically start looking for presets and while we love presets ( check out our friends over at Embrace Presets), we highly encourage you to really learn how to use Lightroom to create the look that you love and save that as a preset to use over and over again. There is nothing more valuable than learning Lightroom and what each setting can do for you. Alongside this is creating a file management system that works for you so that you’re uploading images to the same places, backing them up in the same way each time, culling them with a system that is easy for you to remember and the list goes on.  

Set Up Social Media Accounts

Social media is an essential part of any business today—and it’s especially important for creative entrepreneurs like photographers! Setting up social media accounts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook will help you reach potential clients in your photography business who wouldn’t have found you otherwise, promote your work to existing followers, build relationships with other creatives in your industry, advertise special offers or discounts, and much more! While it’s not the only marketing strategy we suggest, it’s a great place to start!  We use Planoly to make scheduling on Instagram easier.

Start an Email List as soon as you Launch

I know I know, you’re likely thinking “why do I need an email list” but trust us, you don’t want to be 5 years down the road and starting one for the first time wishing you started one 5 years ago.  If the thought of adding email marketing to your plate sounds overwhelming, just start out by putting an opt in form on your site and writing a quick welcome email. We love flodesk because it makes it super easy to get started and their tutorials are easy to follow. 

Agreements in your Photography Business

Photographers should establish a signed agreement with every client to ensure clarity of expectations and protection from potential disputes. Having an agreement in place will provide legal protection for both the photographer and the client, ensuring that each party understands all expectations from both ends. In addition, a well-written agreement can help resolve potential disputes in your photography business before they arise, as well as help the photographer protect ownership of their creative works.  Because I am not a lawyer and I assume you aren’t either, I always make sure to get my agreements from The Legal Paige. She has agreements made for photographers that cover everything that could possibly come up. Too often, you see photographers thinking that they don’t need this crucial step because they are “just starting out”- if you ask us, they should be in place from the very start- especially if you’re just starting out! 

With these tips under your belt as a new photographer looking to start their own business soon enough you’ll be well on your way! We hope that this list serves as inspiration for how easy it can be just getting started – but remember not everything has to happen all at once either – take each step at a time until eventually that dream job becomes reality! 

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