Becoming a successful business person in the Photography industry is really hard, for most of the photographers today it is nearly impossible considering the number of photography graduates and students and number of successful small business runners. However, photographers and artists are always there to help you, so here are a few things you should know before you decide to start your own photography business.
- Photography isn’t hobby if you’re making money with it. If you are a photography enthusiast, you aren’t interested in running a business, and you have nothing to worry. However, if you are making money from your ‘hobby’, you have to be legitimate. Apply for all necessary paperwork that will make your business legal, pay your taxes, register your business name and then you will be a real photographer, and this still doesn’t mean you will be the successful one.
- Just like in any other industry, running a business isn’t all that easy. Being our own boss is the goal we all share, however, it also means endless obligations and responsibility for every little thing that happens. Experience is what counts, so it would be best if you get some, before you start your own business. Working for someone else can be pretty tiresome and annoying, but you can learn a lot if you just observe everything that happens, knowing that you aren’t the one responsible.
- Leave the artistry for yourself. Create photography that can be sold that amazes and interests your clients. The possibility to sell your work is what will keep your business running. Your artistic expression sometimes can be sold, but if your customers don’t understand the message you want to send, create photography according to their preferences, they are the ones that matter in the end.
- Prepare yourself for the unexpected. Unexpected situations and expenses will surely surprise you now and then, that is just how it goes in this business, but you have to be prepared for it. Unexpected problems such as lack of clients or increased expenses and taxes can occur anytime; that is why you always have to be ready. If you don’t have another income source, the best thing to do is save some money for rainy days, that way, even though you cannot predict when and what will happen, you will overcome the problem.5. Be persistent. Your career as a photographer won’t always be as exciting as you thought it would be. Just like any other thing in life, photography can sometimes become tedious or tiresome for you, but it isn’t the end of the world. You surely know the feeling when your significant other becomes annoying to you but after several days it’s like it never happened, the same thing can happen in your business life, and you will have to stay persistent and patient until everything goes back to normal. Just don’t give up, you can, and you will do it.
Some think photography business isn’t so hard to lead, however, most of the commercial photographers wouldn’t agree, just like I don’t. The school presents this business as an easy money-earning opportunity for everyone with a good camera which, in reality, isn’t the case. You can have the best photography device there is, and you can be a hell of a good photographer but if you don’t know the first thing about management and leading business in general, all your effort in photography school will be in vain. Graduates often think how easy it will be to start their own business after school and how successful they will be, I should know, I was one of them, but the harsh reality awaits.
Here are a few things all photography students and graduates should be aware of before starting a business of their own.
- The school prepares you for taking pictures but not handling the business. Taking pictures is the crucial thing when it comes to the photography business. However, it is the easiest and the smallest part of the business. Managing your time, money and other resources the best way, networking, advertising yourself and your services and, of course, negotiating are also the skills every successful photographer has to own.
- Know your client base. The customer support is one of the most important things about your business, after all, everything revolves around them, right? That is why you have to maintain a good relationship with each of them. Starting a new business without any clients is hard, so make sure your friends and acquaintances spread a good word for you. A few free-of-charge photo shoots will be enough, and you know how they say, a good word is the best advertisement. When you get your first clients, be sure to keep them satisfied, and their loyalty would be your reward.
- Fruit of your labor is, and it should be money. Don’t start with the speech how money isn’t important for you unless you want to live with your parents and eat of their table forever. Making money isn’t something you should be ashamed of, even the fine-art photographers have to keep their business alive somehow, and guess what?! Commercial photographers do too.
- Make sure both your house and your workplace are in the same city if your plan is to become a modern fashion photographer. Let’s face it, most of the photography students enrolled into these studies exactly for this purpose – becoming a fashion photographer for let’s say Vogue. If this is your business goal, you need to know that top brand magazines and brands usually employ the photographers from their city. Don’t plan on living in the small village or your hometown if this is your goal, and it is entirely incompatible with the fashion photographer career.
These four facts are just several conditions for a successful photography business, but as a trustworthy Bozeman business owner says, the crucial thing about photography is to love what you’re doing as well as the constant desire to improve your skills.