Do you have your camera with you wherever you go? Are you constantly snapping pictures to add to your Instagram feed? Are the go-to photographer at family functions? You can turn your photo-taking interest, talent, and hobby into a home-based photography business.
While you may be good at photography, before you jump in and start charging for picture taking services, research and plan your business strategy for greater success.
Pros of Starting a Photography Business
There are several great reasons to consider turning your interest in photography into a business, including:
Get paid to do something you enjoy
Flexible schedule that allows you start around a job, and build into a part-time or full-time business
Meet new people
Help other capture important events in their lives
Cons of Starting a Photography Business
There are always a few downsides you should consider in any home business. Here’s a few you could encounter in a photography business:
Can be expensive to start if you don’t already own your equipment
Customers can be extremely picky or difficult to work with, especially at high stress events such as weddings
Many events take place on the weekends, so you’d be working when the rest of your family would be off
Can take time to build up to a steady stream of income
Turning a hobby into a business can take the joy out of the activity
Steps to Starting a Home Based Photography Business
If you’re ready to start getting paid to take pictures, here are the steps to get started.
1. Decide what types of photography services you’ll offer. Businesses and individuals need photographers for many reasons. Businesses need pictures of their products for brochures. Realtors need images of the homes they’re selling. Magazines need photos related to the articles they’re publishing. Or you can stick with non-business photography and take portraits or photograph weddings.
2. Develop your business plan. The business plan outlines the details of your business, including the services you offer, how you’ll differ from the competition, financial projections, and marketing strategies. This is a good time to determine your pricing structure. For example, if you want to make $50,000 per year and believe you can book 26 weddings a year, you’d need to charge nearly $2,000 per wedding. Your pricing needs to take into account the cost of equipment, supplies, and travel, as well as your time.
3. Decide your business structure. The easiest and lowest cost option is sole proprietor; however, creating a limited liability company (LLC) will offer greater protection of your personal assets should you run into legal problems.
4. Create a business name. What you name your business will become the brand image, so choose a name that fits the type of photography you want to do. If you want to take kid portraits you can have a whimsical name, but if you want to do business photography or weddings, you’ll want something that sounds professional or elegant. If you don’t use your given name in your business name, you’ll likely need to file a fictitious name statement with your county clerk’s office. You also need to check with the U. S. Patent and Trademark office to insure the name isn’t protected by trademark.