How to Start a Photography Business

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How to Start a photography website: EQUIPMENT & STEPS TO RUN THE BUSINESS

you will need:

  1. professional camera (I don’t think a Rebel will do since so many amateur’s have them) Do you want your clients to have a newer model than you? On the other hand, if you have a great lens, the body doesn’t matter as much in natural light outside.
  2. -Variety of lenses, flash, extra batteries/compact flash cards
  3. photoshop/lightroom/other software
  4. -Website, ideally a “.com”  (I recommend Blue Host, It is a great one stop shop for your domain, hosting, and has some templates) (this is an affiliate link) Disclosure: I am a Blue Host affiliate, meaning I make a small commission off of each person that signs up. Thank you for supporting my site, if you choose to sign up after reading this post! All opinions are 100% my own!
  5. -Tax id
  6. -Professional lab
  7. -Stationary: welcome packet
  8. -Packaging prints clear bags
  9. -Gift bags to hold print orders
  10. -stickers: I put these on prints, envelopes, gift bag (Black River Imaging is a great place for all products like this)
  11. -Pricing list online and/or in print
  12. -Accounting software/accountant (every business must pay taxes)
  13. -professional looking Gift cards (I give them to teachers and some people buy as gifts)
  14. -Model release, you must get permission from clients to post their images online, some don’t want it
  15. -Client info form:  gather info like address, cell number, childrens ages and birthdays
  16. -Cd’s/ cases/where to print:  If I sell a digital collection, I have a card that informs how to care and where to print
  17. -Copyright info:  Many people don’t realize it is illegal to scan professional images, good to inform
  18. -Thank you card (mail after session or delivery of prints)
  19. -Biz cards:  can never have too many of these.
  20. -Facebook account:  social media is HUGE for word of mouth.
  21. -Open a business banking account
  22. -Insurance
  23. -Ppa membership (I actually don’t do this, but it is recommended)
  24. -Charge/pay taxes
  25. External hard drive

(Some links above contain affiliates)

How to Start a Photography Business: Online training

I am self taught. I never read my camera manual to teach me how to use my camera, in 2004, I poured over the limited internet resources and various trial and error.

There were no blogs and pinterest with tips back then–there is so much now!!! Online forums helped me a TON!  I was a member of ProPhotogs forum for nearly 5 years.  I used to go daily, and was able to ask so many questions and learned from others questions, but I let my membership lapse and the ownership has changed now.  So many patient people answered my questions along the way and I had to learn to be tough when my not-so-great images were critiqued. Clickin Moms seems to be for those that may not want a business, but just great images.  I’ve made many great photographer friends along the way…online…on the phone…and locally.  I couldn’t even begin to list the people who helped me with specific techniques that I’ve never even met. Find a community and be active in it, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and you will see growth.

How to start a photography business, the importance of SOCIAL MEDIA

With any small business these days, you have to be involved with social media. Blogging is important, but so is facebook or twitter. I just had a friend decide not to have her photog biz anymore because she couldn’t keep up with the blogging and social media–is very important to keep fresh content for future clients to see, as well as sharing the work you’ve done for the clients friends for a future referral.
Photography…I love it, I love it, but I love my family more. My goal is to not let it overtake my family, and most days I feel pretty good that it isn’t. Aren’t they adorable? I think so.
If I missed something, feel free to leave it in the comments, and please let me know if you have any further questions, I will answer in the comments and you will get an email!  Questions help everyone!
  1.  25 Packaging and Branding ideas for Photographers
  2. How to Use Social Media to Gain clients for your Photography Business
  3. What to Charge in a Photography Business
  4. Photo Session Questionnaire for clients

If you found this post helpful, check out my other posts with photography tips:

Business tips and important laws to understand before starting a business can be found in this business e-book:
You can buy it now, and get started right away.

Start your Website now: For a step by step process of how to set up a website, check this out (click on image below):


If you have a fancy camera that you don’t know how to use, (don’t know how to shoot in manual mode) check out my beginner photography books!

If you’d to join the Capturing Joy Photo Club on Facebook, where we have photo challenges, Q&A’s, and image sharing, request to join HERE:

Capturing Joy Photo Club

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