Want To Start A Photography Business? Follow These 9 Important Steps
Just in case you ever thought that photography is not a business or women, you have got it absolutely wrong. When you think of photography, think of the likes of Ty Bello who has set the pace for photography in Nigeria and even far as Africa. This can surely be you!
Here are some tips to help you as you foray into the world of photography:
1. Explore Your Options
Yes, you have to choose a specialization. Choosing an area of specialization in photography is one of the best ways to stand out from other photographers. You have to find an area of specialization that you love and at the same time, are better in.
You can start by learning about and also trying various types of photography like Landscape photography, wedding photography, baby/child photography, travel photography, portrait photography, fashion photography, food photography, commercial photography, and the list is endless. Once you get an area of specialization, you can start working on making yourself into a brand.
2. Have equipment, but don’t buy equipment you don’t need.
The problem some photographers have is that they just buy what they see someone else using or what they see online. They don’t carry out enough research on what kind of equipment they need for their particular area of specialisation.
For instance, a nature or landscape photographer doesn’t really need a beauty dish for good pictures but if she goes on to purchase it rather than investing money on a better range of wide-angled lens, she will be harming her business.
3. Get Professional Experience
Working alongside a professional photographer is a great way to show your prospective clients what you can do, and also to get some experience and start to build a portfolio of your own. You can work as a photographer’s assistant while starting your own business.
4. Choose a Business Name and Logo
You need to get a name for your business as well as creating a cool, unique logo that depicts your brand. If you can’t create a logo on your own, you can get professional help from a graphic designer.
“A brand is not just a logo, it’s the overall impression and experience you give to your audience and customers. Always remember that your brand expresses the value you provide.
5. Create a Price Plan
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional photographer, you need to come up with a price plan. What and how much will you charge your potential clients? If it’s per hour or per day; you need to carry out thorough research on that aspect to know the price range of what other photographers charge.
You should know though that when you just start, you might have to bring down your prices a bit just to attract clients that may end up being lifetime clients that can refer you to others.
6. Create a Cool Website with a Photo Blog
A website shows the world what your business is about, what you do and what your clients expect from you. Your work should obviously be showcased on your website and your blog. Your website should have your contact details; must be well structured and organized. Both your website and blog must be very impressive so as to attract clients.
It is also better to get a professional to work on your website design but you can handle the blog on your own. The blog is a way of communicating with your clients or potential clients; you don’t only post your pictures on the blog, you also tell the story behind those pictures. Make sure the quality of your pictures is always the best.
7. Be Aware of Marketing Techniques
As a photographer, you need to market yourself and your work by setting up official pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and Ads. Let people know more about you and what you can do by showcasing your work on these pages.
You can also print out business cards with all your contact information on it; from your official email to your phone numbers, website, blog and other social media platforms you’re on. Referral programs are also an easy, affordable and effective marketing plan. A referral program is a way to thank your happy clients for recommending you to their friends.
8. Learn to Shoot in Manual Mode As Soon As Possible
When shooting in manual mode, you’re in control of the camera. The aperture, white balance, shutter speed and ISO are all under your control so you have to learn and know how to set them right on your camera. Make your camera your best friend; eat, breathe and live it.
Keep practising with it in your free time and if possible, play with it just to know the “in and out” of it. Don’t get too comfortable with other modes (such as aperture priority, shutter priority, auto, sports, portrait modes…) that will give you limited results as they have “already set” themes which cannot be changed unless you change to manual mode.
9. Learn People Skills
These are the most important skills a photographer should have; not only should you know how to handle the camera but you should be able to communicate well with clients.
Also, try and keep a good relationship with your clients and be prepared to refund money sometimes. As much as you need to be friendly and approachable, you also have to be strict when it comes to some rude clients who want to take you for granted, merely because you are a woman.