The Business Side of Being a Professional Photographer

Becoming a professional photographer can not only  be a rewarding experience, but also a lot of fun. In this line of work, you will meet and work with many different people, services and products. As you establish yourself and your brand, you will be called upon for special and important photo shoots. Many professional photographers get into the business and focus solely on the photography end of building their business. They often spend most of their time worrying about lenses and cameras, shooting space and clients. In order to be a successful professional photographer, you must develop a strong business foundation. The foundation and building blocks of your business look like this:

Step 1 - Develop a Business Plan

Whether you are a photographer looking to take headshots or a photographer looking to spend a great deal of time featuring different products, you need to write you ideas, you plan down. This is called a business plan. As you write the business plan, remember to outline and detail the following aspects:

  • Your Purpose: What is the purpose of your photography business? What genre will you focus
  • Your Competition: Who is your competition? What do they do? How do they act and behave?
  • Your Competitive Advantages: What do you do really well? What sets you apart from everyone else?
  • Your Pricing Structure: How will your price your products and services? Are you inexpensive or do you lean to the expensive side?
  • Your Market Size: How big is the size of your market? Are there many clients to choose from? Or do you have to work and establish accounts at large companies?
  • Your Advertising and Marketing: How will you advertise and market your services? Will you use the internet? what about print advertising? Does networking play a role in your campaigns?


Step 2 - Develop Your Logo

Start to think about your brand. If you want to establish yourself in the marketplace, get a graphic artist to develop a great logo for you. It should prominently feature your name or the name of your company

Step 3 - Set Up Your Website

If you do not know how, then ask the advice of a friend or hire a professional to design and develop your website. Make sure to register your own domain name so you keep the rights to your domain. Internet Presence is a must-have in today's world of business

Step 4 - The Books and Numbers

Purchase a financial software package that will help walk you through the book-keeping process of your business. If you are unsure, hire a professional. Starting out, there are some great small software products that retail on shelves and online. They will help you setup your books for the small business you are starting out as. Remember, save your receipts for everything, document all purchases, expenditures and money taken out of the business. Be efficient and effective in this domain.

Step 5 - Develop Contacts

Develop contacts. Turn those contacts into leads. Manage these people and companies in a spreadsheet or in a contact management software.

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