Photography is fun, so you’ve decided to take it to the next step. Starting a photography business can be a rewarding project—and if you're serious about it, it can even become your livelihood! Like any big project, though, it takes some planning to succeed. Let's talk about nine key steps you need to take in order to start your photography business from scratch.
There is no greater necessity than change. This year has brought about a lot of change for the photography industry. What was said to be a record year for many photography studios was completely upended by a worldwide pandemic that nobody could have ever predicted. If you read my article in last month’s Shutter Magazine, you will know how important it is to take action to mitigate disruption in your business.
Stay motivated and be persistent by continuing to satisfy not only yourself but your client. “Fame and fortune” will come in its own package designed especially for you. Ease into this process of your photography business and know that every mentor or professional in the industry may not be for you. Their vision should not necessarily be your vision, but you can watch at a distance and create your own.
Out of nowhere, our country was hit with the largest pandemic in over 100 years. The state of California ordered nonessential businesses to shut down, all while encouraging us to maintain our staff. As we went through late March and early April, weddings on our calendar began to eviscerate. Concerned couples started postponing their weddings or canceling altogether. We were prepared for a record year, and a record year is what we are going to get. However, this is likely going to be a record low as opposed to the record high. So with that being said, how does a business immediately shift gears? We have had to deal with ups and downs before, but never a down that was so severe that it literally prohibited the main service that we provide to our clients.
This is the point in your business when you probably begin to ask yourself, “Is it time to hire some help?” When you get to that point, it’s usually already too late. Now I want to start by letting you all know that I understand your reservations about hiring employees. No matter how much money you spend on equipment in a year, it will probably never be close to what you invest in an employee. People are inherently expensive, and the workload involved in having employees is also very stressful at times. However, no empires have ever been built by an individual, and if you want to continue to grow your business, you will need the help of other people.
In this video, Sal Cincotta, the editor-in-chief of Shutter Magazine and a small business owner himself, breaks down some of the key points of this relief package and what you need to know for your small business to benefit from it.
This is your business. Your company. Your future. You must be confident in your vision. You cannot build your company on someone else’s vision. Think about it. As a photographer, when clients come to me with their Pinterest vision boards, I typically hand them back. Why? Not because I am trying to be obnoxious, but because that was not my idea. I can’t execute on someone else’s vision any more than another photographer can execute on mine.
If you want success, I promise you, it's out there for you to go and get. Make no mistake, there are a lot of people out there who want it just as bad, but the difference is, they are not willing to work as hard as you are to get it. Once you know this and see it, you start to realize that you can truly get whatever you put your mind to. Change your life. Change your world.
There is not a single thing about owning a business that is simple or easy. So, I want to lay out the truth behind the long race that lies ahead of you and how you can go the distance and be a successful business owner.
So to sum up this article before it even begins: treat all of your clients like they are “high-end” clients, and more high-end clients will find you. Once you have that mindset, then I can teach you how to create that luxury experience, and you will begin to find success.