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How To Start A Photography Business (2016)

Dreaming of starting your own photography business but you just don’t know how? If yes, then you came to the right place. Like any other business, there are a lot of challenges that you may face when starting your own photography company. But don’t lose heart because this is perfectly normal. For this reason, let me help you start your photography business with this step by step blog post.

Step 1: Choose a studio

Your credibility and professional image will significantly increase if you have a studio. Your customers feel safer and secured when they work with photographers who have a physical commercial space. The studio will also serve as a place where you will do the majority of your business transactions and photo shoots.

When looking for a studio, consider the location, size, and customizability of the place. You should have a place big enough to accommodate your business.

Step 2: Buy the necessary tools

There is no doubt that you need to buy the right tools and equipment when it comes to starting your photography business. The success of your business greatly depends on the type of device or equipment you will be using. Here are some of the important equipment you should have.

  • Camera – this one should be obvious. If you are going to start a photography business, you need more than one camera. This is very important because having at least 2 cameras will give you more freedom in shooting images.

Of course, to say that you need a camera is one thing, but to find the right camera is another. DSLR cameras are the most effective type of camera for photography. Since it is digital, you don’t need a film to produce images. You can shoot as many images as you want depending on your memory card’s capacity.

Finally, make sure you know your budget and need when buying cameras. DSLR cameras are not the same. They offer different features. So better choose a camera that would really boost your photography business.

  • Lenses – cameras are not enough. You need to have different lenses. Every lens differs in the distance they can zoom in and out. Depending upon the distance of the object you are to capture, it is very handy to have different lenses with different distance coverage.
  • Printers – another way for you to earn more from your photography business is to print photos. You need efficient and professional printers that can produce vivid and crisp images. Invest in a good printer since this will give you a high return on investment.
  • Lighting – if you are really serious in your photography business, you should buy a lighting equipment. Sooner or later, you will find yourself shooting in a place where there is inadequate light. In these situations, you need artificial lighting.
  • Tripod – you will need a tripod for taking pictures. This is very important to keep your camera steady. There are different tripods. They may differ in size, height, portability, functionality, and durability.
  • Miscellaneous items – there are just so many types of equipment you need to have but you can just start with the basic. You should have extra external hard drives for file storage, remote control, underwater adapters, lens filters, stool, backdrop, and many others.

Step 3: Buy Photo editing software

Most often than not, raw photos need to be edited. Most customers would like to have a flawless picture of themselves. Some would even request that there would be some effects added on their photos. Whatever the reason is, there is no doubt you need to have photo editing software.

Of course, it goes on to say that you also know how to use them. Here are some of the most common photo editing software you should try.

  • Adobe Photoshop – you might have heard about this software. It is dubbed as the reigning king of photo editing software. It is known for its many features and capabilities to the point that it can literally edit photos in any way you want.
  • Serif Affinity Photo – this is starting to gain more and more popularity. It is known to be one of the strongest rivals of Photoshop. Considering its many features, this software is much cheaper than Photoshop.
  • Capture One – though originally made for the Phase One users, this photo-editing software lets a user create a centralized database of all their photos. It can create richer and more vibrant images.

Step 4: perform online marketing

It is estimated that over a billion of people already now have access to the Internet. The World Wide Web offers you a huge market that you should take advantage. Therefore, it is imperative that you should establish an online presence to further improve your business growth.

  • Create your website – consider a website as your online office. It is open 24 hours and it can surely accommodate your real and potential customers any time of the day.

The website would also serve as a representation of your business. Thus, you need to make your website as professional as possible. This is needed to convince people that you are the right company to work with.

Include in your website sample work, contact form, blogs, pricing, and other important information.

  • Do social media marketing – the majority of people using the Internet are on the social media. You need to improve your visibility in all the major social networking sites. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also upload videos on YouTube.
  • Remember SEO – there are hundreds of websites being added to the World Wide Web. You need to perform search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to increase the page ranking of your website.
  • Add content regularly – people will discover you through your content. Ensure that you consistency add content to your website. This might include blogs, updates, events, and news.

Step 5: Perform traditional marketing methods

Aside from online marketing, you should also consider traditional or offline marketing. Though it may cost you money, consider this as a good investment. There are plenty of ways to do traditional marketing. Here are some examples.

  • Provide free services – one of the best ways to create a following or a group of potential customers is to provide free services. Since you are just starting a business, people don’t know you much. When you provide them your service, they would be able to see the quality of your work and might refer you to other people. Word of mouth marketing would soon happen without any effort from you.
  • Use local classified ads – there are different classified ads that you might want to use. You can use the newspaper, yellow pages, yelp, Craigslist, Kijiji, and others.
  • Use printed advertising materials – you can have your own flyers, business cards, posters, banners, and brochures. Advertising materials will be effective if you place them in a place where there are a lot of people.
  • Be on radio commercials – if you have the money to advertise on radio, you should do so. There are still a lot of people listening to radios. These people can be your next customer.

Step 6: Have a great opening day

Your opening day is very important. As much as possible, you should have spread the word about your photography business before the big day. You need to let as many people as possible know about the existence of your business.


This is a quick walkthrough of how to start a photography business. This should give you an overview of what to expect and a guide to help you be more successful in your endeavor. Good luck to your new photography business!

pauline c
By Pauline Cabrera

A twenty-something savvy web designer / social media manager / SEO strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. Passionate about web design, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and internet marketing. Follow me on social media and say hello! Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Instagram Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Twitter

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