Aside from blogging, I’ve recently gotten started with my own photography business.
Shockingly, I was able to get it off the ground in a little over a week after beginning my research. Here’s how to get it done just as fast, all broken down in 8 steps.
Step 1) Photography Is An Art First
The first thing you should realize is that photography is an art and should be treated as such. Although this is a business decision, your customers will be interested in the quality of your art.
While it may seem as easy as snapping a picture or two, you have other things to worry about, like camera angles, lighting, poses, etc.
Be sure that you are willing to learn the basics of it all before diving in head first.
Step 2) Learning The Basics
While I may be somewhat of a “newbie” to the professional photography business, I have learned one thing, and that is not to read too much. Stick to the basics.
The amount of information online or in books can be overwhelming.
Trying to make sense of things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO was enough to make me wonder whether or not I was ready for such a commitment.
I suggest you read The Basics Of Photography from LifeHacker. In all honesty, you might just want to skim over it.
I will admit that I am against reading too much. I feel that 90% of what you will learn, is going to be from experience.
Step 3) Choose A Camera
Choosing a camera isn’t as difficult a decision as some people make it. While DSLR cameras are considered the standard in most circles, Point and Shoot cameras can get the job done quite well.
I do advise on a DSLR however, but it’s all about what’s in your budget. If you’re interested, here is an excellent starter bundle for under $600.00. It comes with a pretty nice Canon DSLR camera, tripod, lenses, memory card, cleaning kit, and carrying bag.
Step 4) On To Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed
While I said all of these settings drove me crazy, they become easier to understand once you’re actually taking pictures.
Once you have your camera, you can begin taking photos. Taking practice pictures of objects and your surroundings is the best place to start. You probably don’t want to start with people, since you’re just learning about your camera.
I found that the easiest way to learn how each affects the photo is to play around with them.
Step 5) And Now, Human Testing (Evil Laugh)
Yes, finally! Let’s take some worth while pictures.
Find a willing participant that isn’t going to be frustrated with a jittery self conscious new photographer. If your “test subjects” allow it, the your best shots would make a great start to your portfolio.
Step 6) Start A Portfolio
Building a portfolio is important. How else is anyone going to know whether or not you are any good?
It’s easiest if you start off by offering free shots to people you know, or for best results you may want to hire a model with experience.
Step 7) Photography Pricing
There are many ways to go about pricing. There isn’t any one good standard price for a photo.
I charge an up front hourly fee for my time and then other services like, photo enhancements are extra.
Working this way, just starting out, I’ve been able to charge $50.00/hour just for my time.
I’m sure there are plenty of pricing guides and templates around, but it’s up to you to decide what your services are worth based on prices charged in your area. While $50.00/hr is fine with me, others are charging over $200/hr in different areas for the same service.
Step 8) Promote Your Business
Every successful business needs promotion. It’s up to you to decide on how you promote your business however.
For some people, word of mouth is enough for them to get by.
You may want to try things like creating your own website, or handing out business cards. You might even want to put an ad online with google or in your local newspaper.
Your Own Photography Business
There you are, in 8 easy steps. As with any business, you might want to convert to a Limited Liability Company or LLC. This helps shelter you and your personal assets. You might want to learn more about LLC’s from wikipedia.
As with any business there may instances where everything doesn’t work out the way you planned, and i hate to sound like a stereotype, but don’t give up. True passion and hard work are what separate success and failure.
Side Note: You might not even want to do portrait photography. You might be more into landscape and stock photography. You can learn more about selling stock photography here.