Photography is photography but once it’s no longer a hobby when money becomes involve is more than just photography it is now a business, “A Photography Business”. Now I’ve heard some photographers say that photography should not be look at as business but something you love to do. Some have went as far to say that treating your photography like business is where many will fail. Personally I think different much opinion can confuse the amateur photographers that are making that translation. If you decide to turn your photography hobby into a business be CLEAR that’s it s a business. Treat it as a business but it doesn’t mean you have to remove the love you have for it. It is very possible to love what you do and get paid for it. I have a few “suggestion” that you may want to keep in mind.
1. BUSINESS PLAN- This is VERY information. I called it a plan of action, a map to completion. This will provide a solid objective to where and how far you want to take your business and the steps that is needed to get there. (Sometimes writing out your plan of action is just the mental push that many of us need.)
2. COMPANY BRAND- Choose a creative name for your company. Something that is consider different and can stand out. Purchase a domain name, a site host, and a web designer. (Also don’t forget a printing site of company such as smug mug or flicker and etc.
3. BUSINESS DOCUMENTATION– Establish legal identify is another key part of starting a photography business. A few examples are LLC or a DBA, tax ID and etc. Contact your local county /clerk for the prices it varies in different countries and states.
4. BUSINESS BANKING ACCOUNT – It’s very important to have separate account from your personal account. Establish a business account and use this for all business purchases. (In my opinion this will make it a tad bit easier to track your business purchases.)
5. BUSINESS FORMS– There are many form s that is need and very important to this business. Models Release, Print Release, and Consent to need a few.
6. SKILLS- Know your Camera is a MUST. Learning your camera is an ongoing process throughout your photography careers. Things are changed, improved, and update daily. The only way you can keep up and stay sharp is to attend a few workshops every so often.
7. EQUIPMENT – Now does not go out and stress you out about getting equipment. Getting the basic will do just fine and add on when you can. But I do suggest the items listed below.
- A camera (oh course) w/tote
- At least two lens
- Filters At least 2 or 3
- Extra batteries (A MUST) and memory cards
- External hard drive (1 TB) to store your photos
- Lights (soft boxes or strobe keep it simple and if you cannot purchase it at the moment, DO NOT put yourself in a bind to get it. Take it slow.
8. INSURANCES – Photography insurance research this is purchases. (Some choose to use insurance just for weddings. It’s your choice as how you will use it.
9. PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIALTY -Decide what type of photography you will specialize in. But be able to shoot any type of photography. Adding skills of different fields are a plus.
10. PRICES- This can be tricky and is an ON GOING DEBATE through the photography business today. (I will not go into it in this blog; it will be a post regarding this debate later.)
11. JOIN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS – There are many groups throughout the countries and state. Check your local area for professional photography groups.
12. CERTIFICATION – If you want to go a step further, enroll in a photography school and receive a certificate. Better yet research a test for photography called CPP. (I will post more information on this as well.
Again these few suggestion can get you on the right path to be a savvy business person.