I’m doing something a bit new on the blog today and starting a new series of posts! This summer I have been really focused on growing and developing my business and as it has expanded, I’ve started to receive a lot of emails and Insta DMs asking me photography and business related questions. So, I decided that now would be the perfect time to start answering some of those questions here on the blog!
The number one question I get asked is “how do I start a photography business?”. Many of you know that you want to be a photographer and maybe you even have the equipment and know how to take pictures, but you aren’t sure where to go from there. How do you find clients? What editing software should you use? How does this whole website thing work? There is SO much more that goes into a business than just taking beautiful photos.
Step 1: Learn your craft
When I first decided I wanted to start a photography business I knew that I needed to up my game and take better pictures. I set up a ton of senior shoots with friends and friends of friends for free to learn by practicing. I did this before anyone knew I wanted to start a business. I didn’t post any of these pictures because I knew they weren’t the level I wanted them to be, but I was learning and getting better with each shoot! I was also gaining experience editing all of these images in Lightroom. During this time I invested in education. I read tons of blog posts and watched webinars to learn what I could about the technical aspect of photography. There are so many educators out there (blog post on that coming soon!) but my all time favorite is Katelyn James. I’ve now taken 2 of her courses and I feel like those really helped jumpstart my learning so that I could get my images to where I felt good sharing them.
Step 2: Website
Once my images started to get to where I thought I should be charging for my services, I knew it was time to invest in a website. I created my website using Showit and my blog is hosted with WordPress. It took me about 3 months to tweak and develop my site into exactly what I wanted but it was so worth it because I felt professional when I finally launched my business. A good website is essential to booking your ideal clients! Its a great opportunity to showcase your brand and connect with your potential clients. I also began researching marketing and SEO to make sure I was able to reach my ideal clients once I launched.
Step 3: Get legal
Before you launch your business and start charging clients you MUST get yourself a business license. It’s not fun and it costs you some money but it will make sure you aren’t doing anything that could cost you big time later. I decided to make my business an LLC which gives me the most protection under the law, but many people opt for a simple small business license. Also, you must make sure that after you create your small business in Texas to sign up on the comptroller site to pay sales taxes. Again, not fun but you’ve got to do it!
Step 4: Launch!
Once you’ve got a website and a legal business you’re all ready to launch! This is the most fun part of the process because you finally get to share what you’ve spent so long working on. And since you spent the previous months doing shoots for free you have plenty of content and images for your portfolio!! I spent a full year prepping and learning before I launched my business so that I felt confident when I finally took the plunge. That timeline will look different for everyone though, just make sure to set a goal date and stick to it!
Step 5: Stay Consistent
This is the key to maintaining your business. It is so easy to get busy and caught up with life outside of this new business of yours. And sometimes you will have slow seasons where you feel like you have nothing new to share. You must continue to post and share and blog!! This is the only way for your future clients to see your work and interact with you. It also helps immensely with your SEO! I post on Instagram 4-6 times a week and have kept this up almost without fail since I started my business. I also have posted a blog EVERY Monday since starting! Whenever I have extra content I’ll also post on Wednesday but I know that I must post on Monday no matter what. The more consistent you are, the easier it will be and posting will become a habit and you’ll be more comfortable sharing about your business and your story!
There you have it! My 5 first steps to starting your own business. I can’t wait to share more education posts with ya’ll throughout the summer!