Starting a Photograhy Business

If you have a camera and a some talent, starting a photography business from home is easy. Where once it required expensive equipment and special facilities/darkrooms, today all you need is a good quality digital camera, a computer, and a decent photo-editing program.

Starting a photography business is very popular because it is so easy and fairly inexpensive. A look at the listings in the local yellow pages confirms that fact. But it can still be profitable. You just need to find the right niche. And you do that by starting with your business plan.

Wedding photographers and potrait photographers are the most popular business models. If that is where your interest and talents are, don't feel there isn't room for you. Find something that can make your services unique and market that. For example, my daughter has a photography business of her own. She does wonderful portraits. What sets her apart from the rest of the pack? She uses photo editing software to create very unique photographs. One of my prized possessions is the photo she created for me for Mother's Day. It is a montage of photographs of the two of us starting with me holding her on the day she was born and ending with the two of us on her wedding day. I don't know how she got them all into one picture. I only know it brought me to tears when I saw it - and if it hadn't been a gift I would gladly have paid a nice price to purchase it. She also does the same sort of editing with photographs she takes herself. She creates a one-of-a-kind photograph and her clients gladly pay to get something unique and memorable.

If portraits aren't your passion, there are many other areas to look at. Pet photography is very popular. Or you can follow the example of a BoomerBizCoach client. Her photography business specializes in photographing pictures of cars for local dealerships to use in their advertising. Another client specializes in vintage photography. What's special about that you ask? Well instead of having to visit a studio, he comes to your home or any other location you wish, complete with costumes and props. Costs a little more but the photographs are truly unique and meaningful. I know because I have some!

Once you have determined what type of photography services and/or products you will offer, complete the rest of your business plan. Will you need financing for equipment? A decent digital camera isn't that expensive anymore but you do want to be sure you have one of sufficient quality to meet your needs. There are many books available to help you with your choice. Or your local camera store can provide advice.

What is your target market? Couples? Families? Businesses? How will you reach them? My daughter has arrangements with several local real-estate agents. They include her card in a welcome packet provided to the buyers whenever they sell a home. She also works with several wedding planners who recommend her whenever their clients are looking for something special for their wedding day. My friend the vintage portrait photographer has brochures and business cards that he leaves at local businesses catering to women with families - his largest target market.

How much will you charge? Research what other local photographers are charging. Analyze your costs. Compare the value of your services to what else is available in your area.

Once you have your equipment and you have determined what type of photography services you will provide and to whom, and how much you will charge, you are in business! You'll need to take care of the legalities of starting a photography business of course. Since they differ from state to state or even city to city, I won't try to cover those here. Contact your local government officials to get the laws in your area.

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