If you’re ready to take the plunge and start your own photography business, congrats! Making such an important decision can induce a lot of anxiety, but is extremely exciting at the same time. The problem that many would-be photographers run into when starting their business is simply knowing where and how to start a photography business. This checklist is intended to give you some insight into a few quick and easy tricks that will help you become more prepared.
Get Some Experience
It goes without saying that starting a photography business will require you to have some measure of experience in the field. Whether you intern with a large company like Getty Images or serve as a second shooter for a local wedding photographer, it’s imperative that you cut your teeth in the industry. Doing so will give you an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills, have access to other photographers who you can question and observe, and hopefully gain some business skills along the way as well.
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor to help guide you through the process of starting a business can be one of the most important steps you take. You don’t even necessarily have to find a mentor that’s a photographer, although that would help. Really, anyone that has ventured into entrepreneurship could help you with valuable insights about how to start a business, get it off its feet, and sustain it as a successful endeavor. The key here is to find someone that has time for you and is willing to give you that time. A good mentor should be easily accessible and have at least an hour a week that they can devote to helping you realize your dream.
This is a tough one, but perhaps the most important entry on this checklist… It takes a lot of time to become a master photographer – years, in fact. If you don’t have the fortitude to stick it out and keep pressing forward, the chances of success are not good. In fact, the most common cause of business failure is simply giving up. Practice patience and see things through if you want to find success as a photographer.
Get Your Website Lined Out
You can’t be a successful photographer without having an online presence that introduces potential clients to who you are and the type of photography you create. The best way to do that is to build a website that not only reflects your personality and showcases your work, but that also looks professional.
With a photography-specific domain like .photo or .pics, you can do just that. Not only are these domains only for photographers, but they’re also easy to share with clients and easy to fit into tight spots on business cards and social media profiles. Plus, since these domains are from Uniregistry, you know you get the best product for the best price, with service to match!
Never Stop Networking
From moment one, you should be pounding the pavement and introducing yourself as a photographer.
Mention it to your hair stylist, the checkout boy at the grocery store, your mechanic, your friends, family, neighbors, and mail carrier. The more people that know you’re a photographer, the more likely you are to get jobs. The good part is that networking is free – all it takes is a little time, a quick introductory sales pitch, and a business card to hand out!
Bonus: Just Go For It!
Rather than waffling back and forth about whether you should dive in and start a business or not, just go for it.
We often wait for the perfect opportunity to make a significant life change, yet there is no such thing as perfect timing. Don’t wait for all the pieces to fall into place. Just start, and see where things lead!