Starting a Photography Business? Focus on the basics
Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just a newbie, right now I want you to think about photography as a business and not as a beautiful hobby or something that helps you express how you feel.
Let’s think business for a minute (or two).
When you set up your portrait photography business, there are a few things that you will need. Today, I’ll start with the basics:
You will need a camera and two lenses. Ideally, two cameras and two lenses.
Things fail, and when they do, you will need a backup. A single memory card and a single battery are a recipe for disaster. Make sure that you have a backup of everything that you can.
If you’re not shooting weddings, you can run a portrait business with a single camera. The minute you start booking elopements or weddings, two cameras are not optional.
Before you fall into the GAS trap (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), make sure that you’re happy with your choices. Have one lens that you love and one that you need. Everything else is optional.
Then, think about how your clients will find you. Is it online? Is it by referrals? Will they find you on social media?
You must create a website if your ideal clients want to see one. I truly recommend you to have a beautiful one as that is usually a great opportunity for a first impression.
Will they find you on social media? Maybe a beautiful Instagram account is enough (it rarely is). Are your clients over 30? They might find you on Facebook. Or even Facebook Groups.
No matter which route you decide to take, make sure that it is:
a) Beautifully designed (this is a must).
b) Optimized to get leads and inquiries.
The minute you focus on those, you’re one step ahead of your competitors.
So.. Gear? Check. Website/Instagram/Facebook? Check. What’s next?
A good-looking email account. Please do not use a Hotmail account or anything that screams OUTDATED.
Going for the free option? Gmail is a great alternative.
Can spend a few bucks to look Pro? GSuite (Now called Google Workspace) is the way to go. For $6 a month you’ll have a beautiful firstname.lastname@example.org account.
Then, you will need an invoicing or booking system. How will you charge your clients?
Stripe and PayPal are great options for anyone starting a business. The fees can be outrageous sometimes, but you’ll be taking credit cards in no time.
The key here is to simplify your client’s journey. If you can do that, you’ll get bookings.
If you ask them to transfer payments to a bank account and then you’ll manually invoice them, you’ll hear crickets the next time you look at your inbox.
Gear, Website, Social Media, Email, Invoicing + Payments. Done.
These are the basics.
In my next posts, I’ll help you with a few more advanced aspects of your business. Stay tuned!