Top 5 Things Most People Don't Tell You About Starting A Photography Business
Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Starting a photography Business might seem as easy as having a passion for taking pictures, buying a camera and starting to charge for your services.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a lot more to starting a business if you want to be in business for longer than a few months...
Here are my Top 5 pieces of advice on where you should be putting your focus to start building a successful and sustainable photography business.
#1. The first thing you must have is capital. You must have enough capital saved up to cover your overhead and marketing costs till you start to make a profit. When I found Boudoir Photography and fell in love. I spent 6 months taking on as many random shoots as I could and working jobs with my husband in his junk hauling and demolition company and painting company. This is actually during the time we had lost everything. I’ve been thinking about sharing our story.. would that be something you guys want to hear?
Anyways, I still remember it was the middle of summer when we tore down and demoed an entire mobile home and loaded it into a trailer piece by piece to take to the dump. It was over 90 degrees with around 80% humidity because a big thunderstorm was rolling in. I just remember standing there covered in dirt from head to toe with insulation sticking to my sweat through clothes… thinking “Just keep going. Just keep pushing through. This is money you can put towards your new boudoir business”. I said this a lot for 6 months until I was able to afford to put my business foundation in place and save enough to officially start my business. So make sure you have enough capital to lay your business foundation properly and have enough left over to cover your overhead for at least 6 months.
#2. You MUST be willing to make sacrifices. You may need to skip or downsize your kids birthday parties this year. You may need to get more creative with date nights, skipping the steak dinners and movies at the Luxury theater for Netflix and chill after the kids go to bed or grab a blanket and cuddle while stargazing. You may need to pick up some extra shifts or a part time job in order to get the money to afford your business LLC or to attend some workshops to master your skills or pay a coach to help show you how to start a business and lay the proper foundation. Sacrifices aren’t easy. But when your “why” is big enough you will find a way!
#3. You must learn to separate business and family. A lot of photographers I work with are stay at home moms who want to contribute to the family finances but still have flexibility to be home with their kids and be at their important school functions and events. My best advice? Hire a babysitter to watch the kids for a few hours on certain days so you can focus on getting things done for your Business in addition to when you have consultations, shoots, and reveals. Some moms feel guilt over this, but the truth is… if you try to be with your kids while also trying to tackle business tasks, neither of them gets your full attention and you feel pulled in two separate directions. When you set aside time to focus 100% on each, you get way more done in your business AND when you are with your kids you can be 100% present with them since you accomplished what you needed to in your business. I promise you that your kids will be happier to have your attention for less time but with you 100% present, you will be happier not feeling pulled in two directions and your business will grow so much faster.
#4. Master your skills. Everyone talks about how flooded or oversaturated our industry is. But the problem is it’s oversaturated with amateurs. To stand out in a crowd you must be a master who creates masterpieces. Focus on niching down to 1-2 genres and becoming a master at them. People who value art and photography and who are looking to invest money into their paying a professional photographer…. they are looking for experts. They are looking for quality, service and mastery. So focus on mastering your camera, mastering your lighting, mastering your posing, mastering your Retouching, mastering your style, mastering your confidence, mastering your client experience and service. Become a master at what you do and at the art of business and you will stand out far above the crowd.
#5. You must invest in order to get a return. Photography is an extremely low investment for the returns you can make, but you must learn which investments are going to give you the greatest return. A lot of photographers I see try to go the “free” route and spend all their “time” building their businesses. Your time is your most valuable asset, even more valuable than money… because it is the one thing you can never get back, replace or get more of. So guard it accordingly! Learn how to leverage your time by learning where to invest your money to get the highest return. When I learned this, my business exploded! And when I shared these lessons with my Private Photography Coaching Clients, their businesses exploded too!! Growing by over 1,100% in just 12 months! Going from $7,000 to $84,000 in one year is absolutely life changing! Being able to accomplish the goal of taking your family on an all expense paid dream vacation to Disney is so rewarding! Being sold out for the entire year 15 days into the new year… these are all things my coaching clients have been accomplishing by investing in the right places and in themselves!
I could definitely keep going but these are my top 5 pieces of advice on where to put your focus when starting a photography business. Focus on these 5 things and I have no doubt you will be successful!
If you’re stuck on where you should be investing in your business for the greatest return, I offer a limited number of complementary 30 minute strategy sessions, where I take a peek into your business and offer you clarity and advice on where to put your focus and how to work smarter, not harder to accomplish your next business goals.