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how to start a photography business from scratch

How to Start a Successful Photography Business

or shutterbugs, there's no denying the appeal of starting a photography business. This career path affords you the benefit of working for yourself, the joy of being creative every day, and the potential to earn some serious income while you do it. In fact, the photography industry garners pros nearly $11 billion each year, and (with a projected growth of 2.8% this year) that rate is not likely to slow down anytime soon.

photographer working on starting her business

Starting your own business is an exciting yet intimidating endeavor, and you need the right tools for the job. Let's zoom in (pun very much intended) on a few key tips and tricks you need to set your photography business off on the right foot.

Gear Up: Get the Right Equipment

Luckily, photographers have relatively manageable overhead and many who are just starting out can grow their business from home, which means no rent or utilities as you scale. With that said, you'll still need some crucial equipment to get started. Here are the basic investments new photographers must make.

A camera.

Unless you plan on snapping pics with your smartphone (which will likely put off customers), you're going to want to invest in a good camera or two.

Lighting accessories.

Regardless of if you plan to shoot in a studio or on location, you'll need a few lights, reflectors, and modifiers on hand.

A computer with the right software.

Pro photographers lean on software for editing, organizing, and processing images. You're going to want to invest in some Adobe staples (Lightroom and Photoshop are indispensable in this business) as well as other tools to help you edit, organize and simplify your tasks and workflow.

custom flash drives for a photography business
Pictured: De USB Flash Drives

Memory and storage.

High-quality photos can take up a ton of hard drive space, so you want to make sure you've got ample storage for the job. Cloud storage and external flash drives are essential!

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Branch Out: Grow Your Portfolio

If you're relatively new to photography, it's important that you get some experience before you launch into business. Not only will this help ensure that you're prepared for what the market has in store, but it will also help you grow your portfolio so you can build out a full-scale website that showcases your work in all its glory. Without a diverse portfolio, potential clients won't be able to visualize their projects in your hands.

Plan and Price: Create Your Menu

What services will you offer and how much will they cost? Before you start booking jobs, you'll need a plan for what kinds of shoots you'll offer and how you'll price them. Market research is an important part of starting up any new business, and this is especially true in the local photography market, which may be quite competitive. Check out the websites, social media profiles, and portfolios of the top local photographers. Browse through as many as you can find to aggregate data on pricing. Use this as a guide to set your own prices, making sure to price competitively while still making a good profit.

USB business cards for photographers
Pictured: Card Flip USB Flash Drives

Sell Yourself: Market Your Business

What good is a well-equipped photography business if no one knows about it? It's time to start marketing! Of course, you're going to want to create a website and accounts on all the major social media outlets. Be sure to leverage social media to your advantage by using geotags, hashtags, posts, and stories. Partnering with other businesses for giveaways can help you grow your followers and, in turn, your business. Attend local events and hand out promotional USB business cards so no one forgets your name or logo!

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Hit the Books: Start Booking

If you've played your marketing cards right, you should be getting plenty of booking requests by now. Plan an announcement that you're open for bookings and make sure your website and social media channels have easy-access booking forms so it's quick and easy for potential clients. Lastly, be sure to add post-production time to your calendar to account for selecting, editing, and resizing the final batch of photos. You can also use custom USB drives to hand over photos to clients after their shoot.

As your source for the best wholesale flash drives, USB Memory Direct can help you start a photography business that becomes a staple in your community for years to come. With custom promotional items and creative ways to share your digital files, we're here to help ensure that your business takes off in a flash!

About the author:

Patrick Whitener

Marketing Coordinator

Forever Curious, I have always had an eagerness to learn and understand new topics at their core. Naturally, I feel at home in the dynamic landscapes of web development, SEO, and all things digital marketing. Outside of the office, I can usually be found deep in an online rabbit hole exploring the latest marketing trends, pop culture, or politics with a podcast playing in the background.