The Photography business is growing and growing. And so your competition. Where clients are getting the benefits always to choose from a vast number of a photographer, your job as a new self-made photographer is becoming tougher. Whether it is a small city or a village, you can always find a few photographers there. So as a new-comer photographer, you have to face a tough competition. Some people assume that buying costly gears will improve their photography and they will be able to stand out in the crowd and can have more clients. But this assumption is totally WRONG! Skills are way more powerful, that you cannot buy with money. You don’t need a lot of money to become a photographer or start your own photography business. Yes, you heard it right. Even I can say with confidence you can start your photography business with NO MONEY or EXPERIENCE. You need to have desire and love towards your passion, and just follow my advice from the next paragraph.
Avoid Spending A Lot of Money to Start Your Photography Business
People often think starting any business require money. They are not wrong, it is true. But it is also true that there is some business which can be started with zero or very less investment. But the majority of people keep spending money at the very early stage of their business. Hiring staffs for every position, SEO manager, website developer, graphic designer, etc. Buying costly staffs, printing leaflets, business cards etc, etc. But most of these services don’t have any significant impact on their business. For the photography business, if you are an individual, you don’t need to buy costly camera and lenses to achieve the best results. But all you need is skills. You have to spend a lot of time learning and developing your skills, not a lot of money if you want to be an expert in your field.
So, What are the minimum requirements to start a photography business?
This is the list of a few things you need to start a photography business. I will analyze each and every point below, later in this article.
- A digital camera
- A stable internet connection
- A proper business plan
- A telephone
- Desire, dedication
Have you noticed that I didn’t mention any website, business card, leaflets, studio space of the office? The things I have mentioned in the above list can cost you a very less amount of money. Now let me explain how you can build your photography business based on these 5 not-so-costly but crucial things.
1. Do You Need Expensive Camera and Lenses?
Yes, It is true, you cannot start a photography business without a camera. This is the most basic requirement to become a freelance photographer. But at the very beginning, you should not buy an expensive camera. Because at the very beginning of your photography career you are not going to cover professional events or weddings. Start with your family, friends. Make them laugh, click beautiful photographs and gift them. By doing this the awareness will grow. More people will get to know about you when your family members or friends will upload these photograph on social media tagging you. They don’t care about your lenses focal length, your camera price or how many megapixels it produces in each image. These are irrelevant to them. Last thing you need to keep your gears safe and clean. Proper care and maintenance are essential so you can utilize your camera and lenses for the longest time possible. Always handle your camera with care, and try to get a DRY BOX if possible.
To start your photography you can use these gears.
2. Why Do You Need a Stable Internet Connection?
I do believe, in this generation, everyone has an internet connection on their computer or laptop or mobile phone. If you don’t have, then you should get one. Internet is the most important tool in today’s world from learning extraordinary skills to reaching out people.
The internet can provide unlimited opportunities for your photography business. You can market your photograph and can reach anyone around the world. Having an internet connection is like having a gold mine for your business. If you can utilize it properly then no one can stop you. from growing your business day after day.
Assuming you have already started taking pictures of your family and friends. Now the second step is to create online profiles on different social media platforms. To showcase your photography you can use Facebook, Instagram. Or you can upload your photographs to online portfolio websites like 500px, Flickr, Youpic. The last three mentioned websites are great weapons to sharpen your photography skills. You can gather much more inspiration viewing other photographer’s work. There are a ton of professionally successful photographers who are creating amazing visual contents day after day.
Last but not least, Youtube. Youtube is a platform where you can find a ton of video tutorials. From improving your photography skills to editing skills to marketing your photographs. There is no better place on the internet to learn more practically. You don’t need to buy any courses. You don’t need to join any photography institutes. There is no better way to sharpen your photography skill if you follow youtube tutorials daily for one or two hours maximum.
Once you start building your profile, once you start earning money through your photography in early stages, the internet can play a big role if you start paid marketing on it. It can reach you to more potential clients you can never imagine. For this, you need to have a budget to run advertisements on social media platforms. And most importantly you need to have a proper business plan.
3. Why Having a Proper Business Plan is So Much Important?
If you really want to turn your passion into a profession, then you must have a proper business plan in your mind. Without a business plan, your photography business will fail to compete in today’s world and leave you dry in the middle of the desert. So seat down on your couch, take a paper and pen, and write down your business plan for coming years.
- Find your competitors. Start growing locally. Then expand slowly.
- Tactics to grow your photography business and plan on how to reach the potential local clients.
- Analysis of your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and knowledge of what threatens your chance of success.
- Research on what people might “want” to buy from me. It’s easier to sell something, that your potential customers actually “want”. This knowledge is very much valuable for any business and it is worth thinking about if you want to avoid wasting time and energy later.
- Examine how much skills you have and how much you need to grow to compete with your competitors.
- Managing your gears to last long. Your camera and lenses are the weapons of your business. So those things need to be up and working. If need, try to have one backup.
- Once your business starts running smoothly, now try to work on cash flows so that you can grow your business by time.
4. Why Having a Phone is More Essential than Having a website?
Photography is a very sociable profession. You can get people or potential clients on social media but you have to talk to them, to sell to them and to get them giving you money for your work. So talking with them face to face is not possible all the time when you are expanding your business outside your local area. The only way to communicate with them is through a telephone. Trust is the most important role to run a photography business. Because this is the type of work where you have to meet with people personally to work for them. So, if you are taking a step forward and talk to them, discuss with them about the photography session they are going to hire you, is more convincing to them. Because somebody has to Know and Trust you before they will ever let you photograph them. This is why having a contact number is an essential business requirement to connect with your clients. And it doesn’t cost a lot.
Get a not-so-smart phone and get a sim card. Recharge it with the affordable package. It will be much better if you set up Whatsapp on your business number. Some people are more comfortable to enquire your service for the first time through WhatsApp rather than a direct phone call.
5. Do You Need to Have a Website and Business Card?
To start a photography business locally, having a new website is not much important. But if you are planning to go outside of your local area then it is a very important thing to add in your business. To create and run a website will cost you something. If you don’t plan to have a website, you must invest something to make your business card. Buy the cheapest possible and do your own simple design. Because most of the business cards end up in the trash at the end of the day. Don’t waste a huge amount of money on them. When you’re earning money and have clients, then you may spend a bit more on business cards. That’s it.
6. Desire and Dedication is More Important Than Your Skills
Nobody starts as an “expert” even if they invest a lot of money to start their photography business. Buying expensive gears are not a sign to become a pro photographer. Becoming a pro photographer needs time and skills. Everybody starts at ZERO. What makes them better day by day is the desire to learn and dedication towards their passion. You don’t need top-level skills when you first start out. You need to be confident while holding your camera in your hand. It can be frustrating and scary sometimes, but you need to be stick with it. This is what makes a photographer better. Keep shooting pictures. Get advice from senior photographers. Learn from your mistakes. Keep experimenting. That’s how you will gain experience. The skill-based profession is always dependent on experience, the amount of time you are spending for your profession. This cannot be judged how many certificates you have or how many degrees you have earned. One can still be dumb even if he/she had spent a lot of money to learn photography if he/she is not going out with his/her camera to experiment with.
It will be hard at the beginning. It will take time and efforts to grow a photography business. As a freelance photographer, you must have a goal to succeed. Work on your skills. Invest your time to learn. The time you pour in your photography business is a significant investment which shouldn’t go down the drain.