Too many times I’ve seen start-ups that don’t know how to start a photography business with no experience and money. In many cases they buy outside professional help: Graphic designers make them spectacular business cards or SEO-rich websites with ongoing contracts to pay for. All these services have a cost, which takes away the valuable cash reserve of the incipient business. I have rarely seen these expensive services have a significant impact on the success of the start-up.
Minimum Requirements For Starting Up Profitable Photography Businesses
This list is the “absolute minimum” that, in my opinion, you need in order to start profitable photography businesses. I’ll expand on each point below, later in this article.
- A digital camera and the ability to create images of people your friends like.
- Access to a computer with internet access
- A Smartphone
- Knowledge of what you want to achieve.
- A positive attitude
Take some time to think about what is NOT on this list. There is no website, no framed prints, no albums, no studio, and no office. There are very few things on this list that cost you more money than you could already have at home.
I met a professional photographer who started trading and getting clients the day after his arrival in USA, Uk, and Spain from Poland. He didn’t have a place to live or his own computer. He was sleeping at a friend’s house and using an Internet-connected computer at a public library.
Wherever you are reading this article in the world, take a moment to consider what your local laws are regarding self-trade businesses.
How To Start A Photography Business With No Experience and Money Do You Need A Camera?
In terms of “sales skills,” there’s nothing easier than selling to someone who likes you, trusts you, and can laugh with you.
Your camera and how good it is, how expensive it is, how many buttons it has, or how many megapixels it produces in each image, is totally irrelevant when all you try to do is make a person laugh.
Yes, my camera is very expensive and very complicated. I use a Canon 1Dx, the flagship camera in Canon’s professional range now. However, this article is about “how to start a photography business with no experience and money”. As an enthusiastic photographer, I was photographing long before digital technology existed and became “Pro” just as digital photography started, but without the income of paying customers, I could never have bought a digital camera at the time. My camera back then was a medium-format Bronica, which only took ten photos for every roll of film I put on the camera. Although it is a different camera system, the commercial start-up processes are the same as today.
He didn’t have much, he barely spoke English, but he needed money to continue living in Spain and he had a lot of drive to succeed. He is still in Spain and still takes photographs today.
In fact, your skills with people will be more important to you than your photographic skills.
Do You Need A Lot Of Photographic Skills?
Again, the answer may be surprising, but no, you don’t need a high skill level when you start. You need an element of “confidence” in handling your camera, but your photographic skills depend on the experience you have. When you are just starting out, you rarely have as much experience as you would like! That’s why the process of “getting started” can be a bit scary, as much as exciting!
As long as you’ve taken pictures of your friends and family that they’ve liked and talked about, you’ll be on the right track. Conversely, if you’re the only person who likes or appreciates your photographs, you may have a hard time finding other people who want to pay for your services.
Before you really start out as a “pro,” you must have done a “soft test” of your skills with people you already know. Family and close friends are usually the best people to help you. They will usually let you photograph them, as they usually want you to succeed in the areas you are passionate about. However, remember that they are doing you a favor, and don’t take them for granted when you ask them to pose for you. Always treat them with the same level of dignity and respect you would give to a paying customer (even if they don’t have any yet).
Why Is It Essential To Have A Smartphone?
Photographers tend to think that the most important part is photography, but that’s simply the form of payment. Someone has to “know, like, and trust” you before they allow you to photograph them. Have you ever tried to get a great photograph of someone who doesn’t like you?
You have to talk to people to make money. Photography is a very sociable profession.
Social media and websites will get people talking about you and your work, but you have to talk to them, sell to them, and get them to give you money. Therefore, the emphasis of all your marketing should be to encourage people to talk to you, preferably face-to-face, but if this is not possible over the phone. Therefore, having an easily accessible number for people to call and from which you can call is an essential business requirement. However, it doesn’t have to cost much. Search the internet for the cheapest call-related package you can get on a cell phone. Maybe just buy a SIM card and use an old phone. The look of your phone is irrelevant to your business needs.
If someone asks about your services via email or chat on social media, encourage them to call you, as then you’ll have more control over the direction of the conversation toward a sale. This way you will be one step closer to learning how to start a photography business with no experience and money.
The Importance Of Having A Business Plan Photography PDF
It has been shown that people who have recognized and thought about what they want to achieve are much more likely to achieve it and often exceed expectations. To start a business, you must be one of these people. You must have an action plan before you start trading.
It is in your best interest to spend some quality time thinking about this, planning and writing your thoughts into a coherent “Business Plan”. Please believe me; this is a time very well spent.
The business plan for my business has the following key areas covered:
Overview of my Business: Their current position, an assessment of local competition, and how I intend to take away some of their businesses or work with them.
Business strategy: tactics I will use to grow, strategic issues, and my core values as a company
Marketing: An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, growth opportunities of my business, and knowledge of what threatens my chances of success. Market research to show that I have thought about what people might “want” to buy from me. It’s easier to sell something that my potential customers really “want.” This knowledge can be very valuable for any business and is worth thinking about, so as not to waste time and energy later on.
Skills I already have knowledge of my current experience, the training I may need, business sources or advice on skills I already know or may need to obtain, and the cost of this.
Management systems: knowledge of the mechanisms of my business (in addition to taking photographs), asset registration, expected maintenance of equipment, and accounting systems.
Financial Forecast: Cash Flow Forecast.
A few hours to think about doesn’t cost money… but they can save you much later!
You’re likely moving from a “hobby” to a “business.” As a hobby, photography can be very, very expensive. There are so many different things you can spend your money on, but as a company, you want to make money and avoid spending it where it’s not needed. Your business plan will guide your expenses and improve your ability to make a profit.
In The UK, You Only Pay Tax On Your Income
So, if you don’t make a profit in the early years and invest money in the business by buying better equipment and getting training as you start earning, you don’t pay any taxes, and the profit potential of your business increases. It gets better and better.
What About A Website And Business Cards?
If you plan to do business work early on, business cards can be useful, but buy the cheapest ones and make your own design simple. More than 90% of business cards end up in the trash. Don’t spend money on them. When you make money and have customers, you can spend a little more on business cards, but at the initial stage, I think they are a waste of money.
Also, nowadays, predominantly making social photography (people, families, portraits, babies) a website is not as essential as it used to be. There are photographers who simply conduct their business through social media and a Facebook business page. I have websites, but I’ve never paid anyone to make them for me. I think, if you are able to take a good digital photograph, then you must have the ability to make websites since the technical skills are very similar. Regarding setting up a business, I would again recommend a free (or extremely cheap) website option with an online builder. Many of my sites have been planned and used as active sites through Weebly; So if they work well for me, I’ve rebuilt them using WordPress and a hosting solution.
As a professional “creative,” our potential client base expects a photographer’s portfolio of images and the way they are presented online to change regularly… so I don’t think it has any value to spend a lot of money having a website designed and built by a third party when you should be able to do it yourself and you’ll want to change your appearance regularly to stay ahead of your competition.
Use “YouTube” To Prevent Theft Of Your Images.
Stealing images from websites is becoming a serious problem on the internet for photographers and other creative professionals. It is important to take steps to prevent image theft or follow the theft and prosecute the person for copyright infringement after the fact.
The easiest way I know of to stop image theft is to NOT use static image galleries for the best images on your website. Rather, create a slideshow of your images and upload it to YouTube as a video (from which it is difficult to capture good quality still images).
Know The Price Of Your Success And Measure It
Most people are in business with the goal of:
- Be your own boss
- Earn more money than if your Photography worked for someone else
Staying motivated and positive all the time can be very exhausting, so you need something to work for, something identifiable that you can achieve. It’s best if it’s something that’s not related to your business, i.e. NOT a new camera, but something with a finite value.
When I was planning my first business, and I got the advice I’m giving here, I left and spent a day in the car showrooms looking at the most luxurious cars. Getting into the spirit, I took luxury cars, which cost over $100,000 in test drives until I chose the one I wanted to own (even though at the time I didn’t have enough money). It was a very stylish Range Rover. On a sheet of paper, he knew exactly which model he wanted, what color, and what extra extras he wanted to place. I cut the car out of a brochure and pinned it over the desk where I worked at home. That was what I wanted. That was my goal and I knew exactly how much I needed to buy it.
Knowing The Exact Cost of the vehicle
I divided it by 12 to know how much money I had to make each month, then divided it by 4 to know how much I needed to earn each week, then divided it by 7 to know how much money to aim for each day. In doing this, even though I had no customers and no one paid me money at the time, I had a goal for every day, week, and month that was a finite amount and was related to a real physical “thing” I could buy with that. money. Every week I wrote down how much money I had taken and colored the trim parts of my car while making money.
In this way, he had a Goal. The goal marked my success and I had a way to measure it.
In Short: How You Can Make Money With Photography
- Don’t waste money
- Buy as little as you “really” need
- Be sociable. Talk to people.
- Be creative and highlight your work
- Be confident
- Be organized. Plan for hard times. Enjoy the good times.
- Know the cost of the car, house, boat, holidays … Whatever.
- Begin. Make money. Enjoy being your own boss!
- Already have an idea of how to start a moneyless photography business right now?
Making a business plan is one of the most important considerations when establishing yourself as a photographer and making this profession your way of life.
It will allow you to set your ideal client, and objectives, analyze the competition, and detect opportunities. Sticking to it will help you overcome the difficulties that may appear along the way and, with this, sustain your business over time. Now that you know, don’t stop creating your photo business plan and start making a living from this beautiful profession!
Now that you know, don’t stop creating your photo business plan and start making a living from this beautiful profession!