How to Start a Photography Business from Home

There can never be a comprehensive guide on how to start a photography business from home because intersecting the particularities of photographic art with those of a constantly evolving market means that any business (and especially one that turns out to be successful) is an experiment and an adventure.

Nevertheless, in this post, we will try to draw a realistic sketch of the financial, the legal and the marketing aspects of what even a modest, home-based photography business entails. You will get a fairly accurate picture of how much money it takes to venture into this sort of enterprise; what you will have to do in order not to upset the personnel at The Castle; and what you will need to learn, acquire and do for the sakes of our masters, the clients.

how to start a photography business from home

The Financial Side of Things

“Everything in life boils down to money” or “you need to spend money to make money” are clichés because they are true and everyone has already grasped their meaning. If you want to (at least) make yourself look professional and for any client to choose your services, then you definitely need to invest in a few key areas.

As far as photography gear is concerned, many people say that you don’t need to bury all your resources in expensive equipment. That may be true, but at the very least you’ll need a professional camera and a suitable replacement camera because electronic failure does happen. Furthermore, as you will need to market yourself as a specialist (otherwise you may be perceived as an indistinct individual) so, for the sake of argument, we’re going to consider portrait and wedding photography.

For portraits, we’ll go with the Nikon D7200 camera while for wedding photography the Nikon D750 will do the job. One can be the back-up for the other. That’s $3,100 for now.

Next, one needs to bother with covering the spectrum of lenses. A crude minimum would be 3 lenses, however, as we discussed both portraiture and wedding photography we’ll contemplate 4: the AF-S FX 50mm f/1.8G,  the 70-200mm f/2.8G, the AF 1923 35mm f/2D, and the AF FX 85mm f/1.8G, from Nikon. That’s going to net you in excess of $3,000.

Other pieces of equipment that you will require – several flashes, flash triggers, light stands, and reflectors – are about $1,500 at the very least.

photography business gear

And this is where the “fun” really begins, as Uncle Sam and the economy require such delights as:

  • a well-crafted portfolio;
  • a website;
  • attorney bills;
  • business insurance;
  • accounting;
  • software licenses

They amount to at least $2,500 and that’s assuming you already own bagatelles like an adequate computer, portable hard drives; and are adept at self-educating (in the ABC’s of marketing and sales) since even introductory courses in the indicated subjects can put further strain on your budget.

These very benevolently-calculated expenses make up for a crude grand total of $10,000, a figure that, while not frightening, is really indispensable as a start-up sum. Now, we’ll concern ourselves with the judicial aspect of how to start a photography business – a few tips on what to expect.

How to Start a Photography Business from Home Legally

We have mentioned, in passing, some aspects in the previous section. That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg in the (hopefully) blissful relationship that you must maintain with the authorities, in order to legally function as a business. These aspects, though not as costly as the equipment, will nevertheless take up a significant part of your time.

photography business legal aspects

You should become acquainted (in a little more detail than is presented here) with the legislation (that will vary slightly from state to state and county to county). Here are the mandatory steps you must follow:

  1. Fill out a DBA form (Doing Business As) – for the state to recognize that you will engage in legally-recognized economic relationships (perform services and receive remuneration) with your clients. It is usually filled out at the county courthouse.
  2. Apply for a sales tax identification number – the tax that is levied by the local government. The form can be filled out online, yet you might want a professional’s opinion on the sections your work is subjected to in your specific jurisdiction.
  3. Income tax is best left to a tax specialist unless you have a background in the field.
  4. Zoning the property on which your home is situated if you live in a city and plan on meeting your clients at home. Depending on the actual positioning of your property you will need to address either City Hall or your Home Owner’s Association. This one is a pretty open and shut procedure as it can be performed in a few hours.

For a better understanding of things, besides solo Google research, you should definitely consult a CPA before you even make a first attempt at completing these steps, and search for photography forums that concern your state, as activity-pertinent recommendations should be found there.

Market Yourself

As we have explored in a previous post, marketing is mostly online marketing. Due to space constraints (and other articles that examine the topic more profoundly), we will only discuss the major tools you will need to master to perform this action adequately.

  1. Website & Portfolio – these two are intertwined because the website is the vehicle through which one makes his/her portfolio visible. If you don’t have a meaningful experience in web design, we recommend getting in touch with a company, as their services are becoming more and more affordable.
  2. Social Media Profiles – everyone stresses the importance of presence on social media, and we feel that it cannot be stressed enough.
  3. Workshops or Mentors – the apprenticeship phase of one’s career may not be what it was in Renaissance times, however, everybody frequents photography courses and a more personal approach towards learning the tricks of the trade could be your secret in succeeding. It goes without saying that you should get as much experience under your belt as possible.
  4. Try to Always Be Your Best Self – this is about projecting an image of professionalism and success, and begins with how you dress, how you react when you approach/get approached by potential clients, how you interact with other members of the photography community etc.
  5. Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Traditional Marketing – even though online marketing is the norm, conventional channels may contribute to the trickle of your workflow, especially if your business is situated in a small community.

marketing a home based photography business

This guide on how to start a photography business from home has provided you with some practical information and some theoretical aspects of what it means to engage in this complex undertaking. However, as we have already mentioned, these are not to be construed as a recipe for success, but mere pre-requisites of embarking on the road from passion to profession.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

 

Freelance Photography Jobs from Home

For anyone who ever wondered how it would be to ply their trade in freelance photography, jobs from home certainly are quite appealing. Nevertheless, one has to put in a lot of work in the marketing part of their business in order to have this dream come true.

As a companion to a previous post, this one is concerned with the pre-requisites of sitting at home and contacting clients (or even better, having clients contact them) and the top sites where photographers look for work freelance. We will also tackle conundrums such as deciding on the appropriate rates, discuss frequent mistakes and frequently asked questions and finally trying to shed a little light on the subject of stock photography.

freelance written on a blackboard

Practical Suggestions before Plunging in

Throwing yourself head on is never a good idea in regard to any subject. Especially when talking about something as delicate as an activity that ostensibly mixes art with salesmanship. Mistakes are part of any path, yet it is better when you learn from those made by others, than the ones yourself have made. Here are some top tips collected from freelance photographers far and wide:

  • Branding and Referrals – it’s hard enough finding your way into any field, but when you’re considering a business that deals with people, invest a bit of time in creating a name for yourself. Having a few (important) people that can recommend you before actually starting your own business may prove crucial for an easier start in getting jobs from home.
  • Sell Your Strengths – always try guiding the discussion towards your strong points and what you know may be something that makes you stand out. Do not get invested in things you do not understand as it will cripple your credibility in front of clients and get you the imposter tag.

Freelancer with an annoyed demeanor

  • Backing up Data – this one is pretty obvious, but then I believe it has happened to anyone, so be on the lookout for external hard drives, and of course subscribe to one of the many backup options at your disposal such as Google Drive, Crash Plan or Dropbox.
  • Aspire to All Year Round Income – there are many cases where real income from photography is a seasonal occurrence. Therefore, one should do their research on the subject before starting their business, try exploring the options at their disposal (opening their own studio, lurking in the background of local schools and businesses, and advertising for all kinds of special occasions). It goes without saying that a steady income is welcome irrespective of the big bucks one may be pulling during the peak wedding season.

Freelance Photography Jobs Online

Undoubtedly, online jobs postings are the first avenue that is explored by beginner and even seasoned freelance photographers. Some keys to succeeding in the virtual side of freelancing are part of the same pre-requisites I have explored in the previous article on how to become a freelance photographer. In addition to those, make sure you configure your social profiles to reflect your new specialty and use tools like Twitter’s search option or Google Alert.

Having covered that, here are the most established sites to visit in order to acquire your freelance photography jobs from home:

Freelancer in front of computer

  • freelancephotojobs.com is the main portal that specializes in offering work just for photographers. While it may not have an interface as appealing as the many other freelance sites, this one does have the advantage of specialized categories for the postings, and an extra section that deals in stock photography and products specific to the industry. Other sections include presentations of e-books (most of them free to download) and an extended thesaurus of how-to articles.
  • freelancedesigners.com uses an interesting approach as it aims to integrate various freelance services – photography, web design, graphic design, and writing – in a specific geographical area. By entering your location, you become available for clients seeking your services in said area. It is a very interesting concept, especially for beginners who are willing to put in the effort to grasp the complexity of the trade.
  • freelancephotographerjobs.com contains job postings from all 50 US states, plus Canada and the UK, all you have to do is search for the adequate section. It also holds a whole lot of other related information.
  • indeed.com is an all-encompassing job portal. Upload your resume and … you know the drill. Its engine researches other platforms, its advantage being the high performance advanced search engine that lets you personalize your inquiry.
  • ifreelance.com is a platform that stresses interaction. Create your profile and become part of the community, pitch to different clients and put your time to good use. Almost every niche is well represented on ifreelance.
  • upwork.com is the biggest freelancing platform that exists, where freelancers and potential clients/employers interact, like when a freelancer  is interviewed by the client directly. Upwork provides a particularly realistic perspective on the toughness of the competition.

upwork.com catchphrase

Pursuing Other Avenues

Given the number of established freelancers, who already possess the portfolio, referrals and especially the people skills that can only be acquired in time, beginners should never discount a possibility. A newcomer’s greatest assets are enthusiasm, self-confidence, lower rates and a willingness to experiment.

Broader Cooperation means becoming part of formal and informal organizations that deal with photography and freelance work in general. Maybe you have friends or acquaintances that are freelance web designers or writers. Try marketing yourselves as a team that provides the full nine yards of services, a single meeting, a single rate, a complete project. Not to mention the different skills that one may learn and the inter-disciplinary perspective that is to be gained, from such an activity.

Stock Photography seems to be the ultimate utopia for the beginner freelance photographer. What could be better than receiving a steady stream of income for previous work? That all sounds promising, yet the reality doesn’t quite fulfill that promise, with the copyright being a shady territory (both from a legal and practical point of view), not to mention the quality of the work required just for toying with the idea of delving into stock photography. Nevertheless, if you want to give it a go, here are some sites on the subject.

The much sought after ideal of freelance photography, getting jobs from home, is only a manner of speaking. Your office may be your home, however, achieving your desired financial and professional goals means a constant agitation, with the embodiment of the said ideal being a reality only for those at the pinnacle of the business.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

How Much Should a New Photographer Charge

Figuring out how much should a new photographer charge for his/her services is no mean feat because, in most cases, we are talking about self-employed people and a multitude of factors. The location, competition, quality of the work, type of work, and business renown all amount to a complicated equation that has no universal solutions.

This is by no means an industry-specific dilemma. All individuals who manufacture products or provide services that touch the realm of the subjective are confronted with the same problem: the impossibility of adequately quantifying their worth.

We are talking portraits, weddings, custom photo shoots, real estate and so on. Established photographers have numerous advantages, such as experience and a certain reputation, that allow them to set their own rates, within the tendencies of the said economic environment naturally.

how much should a new photographer charge

Trickier still is the impossibility of outlining a definitive schematization in a confined space, because of the walloping differences between the different states. Therefore, I will limit myself to rather general considerations on the main concerns on how much should a new photographer charge for weddings, portraits, photo-shoots, real estate, followed by the presentation of a deductive procedure that I found particularly eye-opening and which should be helpful for those of you who want to delve deeper into the matter.

The Crude Statistics

Do not paint a relevant picture, from my point of view. A chaotic aggregate of numbers encompassing the whole of the US is probably why some of the newbies are so confused to begin with. An attempt to break down these numbers is a something of a Herculean task.

Statistics from the Department of Labor state that a photographer makes about $15 an hour, for a median annual wage just north of $30000. This statistic may be helpful further along the way, for judging the average worth of an hours’ labor.

These figures, while characterized by a wide circulation on the Internet, do not take into account the different attitudes regarding the profession between, let’s say, Maine and Montana vs. California and Texas.

If you are a new photographer and do not wish to get a headache, my advice is to get a professional opinion from the academic or accounting fields, because analyzing data by yourself may point you down an erroneous path.

The point where these raw figures prove their worth is in the mapping out of trends. For example, projected data shows that photographers working in the media industry should expect a radical downfall in the number of jobs and their rates. On the other hand, those who ply their trade for scientific research corporations (especially aeronautics) are on the rise in median income, yet they should expect a stiffer competition in the near future.

Stats on Specifics

Those of you looking for instant gratification in the form of numbers for specific activities should take these amounts with a pinch of salt. The best advice on this topic is offering clients various options of personalization. Moreover, adjust yourself to the idea of trying your hand at many types of events, both for professional purposes as well as marketing ones.

A large survey has been compiled for 2015 over at smartshoot.com, that boasts numbers that are more than satisfying – the better part of the US states, rounded by countries with similar economic profiles from Western Europe, East Asia, and Mexico. Adjusting your rates for a beginner status is difficult, however, one should never make the mistake of underselling. The average numbers go like this:

  • Wedding Photography starts at $1000 for the four-hour, no assistant variation while the works (translating into whatever the bride requires) cost a minimum of $3000. As a side note, if you cater engagements, then halving the stated amounts should place you in a correct interval.
  • Portraits present the largest variation in price, with difficulties on attaching a tag. Modest, single portraits in natural surroundings go for a minimum of $150 an hour. On the other end, senior portraits that include equipment transportation commence at $1000 a day.
  • Real Estate shooting prices come at about the same delimitations as portraiture, an average of $200 for the hour and $1000 for a whole day.
  • Product imagery stands out in this survey, because of the apparently subjective taxonomy, with a median price of $300 for small shoots against natural backgrounds and going for as much as $1500 for very large affairs.

Blue Eyes on a monetary background

A Practical and Humanizing Approach

The most helpful take on the question of pricing seems to be that at sproutingphotographer.com. It is an approach that exhibits the author’s practical knowledge, topped by his perspective on economy as truly part of the social sciences. How much should a new photographer charge becomes a matter of balancing 5 factors and integrating them for a formula that transpires common sense.

The main, highly quantifiable ingredients of the recipe, are competition, cost-of-goods, and your own financial target. The last one works better if you aspire at being, or better yet already are a full-time photographer. This is because you have a good idea just how much is your labor cost, based on a sound history.

The cost of the goods, cost of labor, median price of your competitors and final annual target conspire into a price per minute (or per hour) coefficient that provides you with a clear-cut view in estimating every service you offer, regardless of the degree of sophistication or customization.

Now, we have arrived at the point where the subjective factors come by – quality of work, personal confidence and externally-perceived value (something I like to call renown). With these in mind, when you are new to photography as a business, you should come up with a figure (ideally between 0.75 and 1) by which you should multiply your first figure, the result of the so-called objective factors.

This method is actually a variation on concepts set forth in a book, “Pricing for Profit”, available on Amazon. Practical applications of economics are becoming easier to grasp and kind of fun.

Camera Shooting Dollar Bills

When it comes to approximating the value of your own work, you have to be able to successfully balance between the slopes of perceived arrogance and self-induced humility. A better understanding of the concept of opportunity cost (both as an economic term and philosophical thought) might aid you in this. The essential is that there are no golden rules to how much should a new photographer charge, just wide-ranging general guides.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

How to Choose Unforgettable Photography Business Names

Dear photographers, welcome to another article on how to grow your photography business. This time we want to be more specific about choosing memorable photography business names. In the past we have written about choosing the right name for your photography business  and we’ve briefly discussed about the topic in our post on starting a successful photobiz too. As there are so many aspects to consider, we’ve thought it is high time to come up with even more useful, updated info and illustrative examples. Be it funny, catchy or just super-easy to remember, a photo business name can attract more exposure, and thus more clients.

You can find plenty of tips and tricks across the web and still find it difficult to choose the ‘perfect’ biz name. We love it when our articles are as helpful and specific as possible, so let’s have a look at other photographers’ choices that proved to be successful.

Before going further, keep in mind that the perfect photography business names not only should be unique, but also steal a smile.

1.      Catchy Photography Business Names Encountered Online

What would attract the attention of future clients more than a humorous business name, especially when related to photography catchy phrases? Check out these names already taken by fellow professionals from around the world:

Pin Me Up Photography

Just Shoot Me Studio Photography

You Should Be Shot Photography

Flash Me Photography Studio

Shutter Up Photography

Strike a Pose Photo Studio

Which one grabs your attention? Would you choose any of these?

2.       Creative Business Names Encountered Online

Another way to enhance the presence and popularity of your business in your area is by associating your name with your niche or with something able to inspire a sense of wonder. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, find a creative formula to link it to what distinguishes your sector of expertise. As seen below, phrases like ‘I Do!’ or ‘Kiss the Bride’ and ‘photography’ make a perfect combination. ‘Two of a Kind Wedding Photography’ could be another option to consider.

Also, if you are a portrait photographer go for something like ‘Breathless Portrait Photography’, ‘Frozen in Time Portraits’ or something simple like ‘Natural Beauty Portrait Photography’.

What do the following photography business names suggest to you? Is there any of them which you find appealing?

‘I Do’ Photography

Honey Lens Photography & Videography Art

‘Kiss the Bride’ Photography

Kiss Me Boudoir Photography

Kiss Me Hello: Photography for lovers of love

Kiss Me in Paris

Kiss Me Again Photography

Full Exposure Photography

Fluttering Shutter Photography

Captured Moment Photography

3.      Memorable Business Names Encountered Online

A powerful business name should not only be catchy but also short and easy to remember. Here are some examples:

Mom & Pop Photo School

Cool Kids Studio

The Photo Phactory

4.      Turn Your Name Into a Brand

Depending on what your business aims are, using your name is not only the most convenient option when looking for business naming, but also a great idea if you consider building a brand.

As you are at the center of your business it is simply natural to use your own name to promote your services. But building a brand takes more than using your name in reference to your photographic work. If you take a look at huge names in the industry, these photographers have built strong profiles and also a fan community.

What to Consider When Turning Your Business Name Into a Personal Brand:

  • Think of your business as to a brand character and make your profile contain both personal and professional information. Fans and clients alike are always crazy about the private life and preferences of the ‘artist’. Spice your About Page up, in case you have a website, with things that not everyone knows about you.
  • Engage with your clients. Give them the opportunity to reach out to you in diverse forms. Feedback is important.
  • Share your expertise. If writing is your thing as well, why not creating a blog where you can share your experiences and talk about projects? Your followers would love it.
  • Networking is the key to any promotion strategy. Your business name will stand for all your social media profiles, which would definitely bring you more exposure.
  • Consider your branding name in every little thing you do related to your business, from interacting with your clients to participating in different events and workshops. Your name is your brand.

What do the following photography names say to you?

Dimitris Theocharis Photographer

Luigi Bussolati Photographer

Bjorn Lofterud Photographer

Jasmine Jade Photography

Joe McNally Photography

Timothy Hogan Photography

David Bostock Photography

Thomas Kettner Photography

Kazuha Matsumoto Photography

Nicholas Samaras Underwater Photography

Your photography business name should convey a message. Maybe it is the promise of a memorable experience, maybe it inspires something highly creative. Anyhow, it should capture the attention and curiosity of your clients just like your amazing pictures do.

Choosing the ideal photography business names is essential for gaining more popularity. However, it is only one marketing objective among others. Before choosing it, make sure you know your target audience and what new opportunities such a name can attract in your market.

If you are interested in promoting your business online, for instance, take note that your website bears your biz name which practically makes it your visiting card. Before deciding on it, check if the domain is available as to avoid an unpleasant surprise.

Also, your photo business name will appear on all your social media sites. Is your biz name catchy enough to get you more clients?

I hope you this post proves useful to you. If you have any suggestions or thoughts to share on the topic, feel free to leave a message in the comment box below. We love it when our readers engage with our content.

Cheers!

How to Boost Your Photography Business: Top 5 Resources

Do you want to improve your marketing skills and boost your photography business? Here are just a few amazingly cheap resources you can benefit of to enhance your business performance.

Top 5 Resources to Boost Your Business Performance

We often associate marketing resources with complicated strategies and methods that can be developed and applied only by specialists who have a thorough knowledge in the field. There’s nothing more false, especially when it comes to individuals who build up a business driven by passion and determination.

Vintage Camera

Yes, we know you are the artist and your customer service skills might be limited to interacting with clients during photo sessions. But you will be amazed on how many low cost marketing strategies you can implement yourself. What you need to do:

1.      Get Expert Advice

Starting a photography business or a business of any kind is not so difficult as compared to building a great reputation. If you consider starting one or just improving your visibility and performance on the market, the easiest way to gain more skills is by asking for help.

In the US there are many nonprofit organizations dedicated to help you create a business plan or provide you with useful and innovative business ideas. All you need to do is search for one in your local area and give it a try. It is free, it is accessible and it might be very efficient.

The best resources you can access, though, are your fellow experienced photographers. Nothing beats practice. So, try to connect with local established photographers who can show you the tricks of running a successful business.

2.      Participate in Workshops

Another great and interactive resource is participating in workshops. You can sign up for workshops on general marketing topics, but let’s face it, they might be boring and bring more specialized information than you actually need.

What I would recommend is finding as many workshops and seminars led by professional photographers. These are essential for photographers in their first years of business as other professionals can share not only their knowledge and skills in the field, but also their marketing experience. Learn how to grow your business from experienced photographers. 

Keeping in touch with your professional community it is essential not only to get inspiration, but especially to keep yourself updated with everything moving in the industry.

3.      Attend Photographic Events

Attending photographic events is not a waste of time. It is called networking and it is a clever way to promote your services. It might be actually the perfect occasion to observe how things are done from the advertising point of view, and a great opportunity to make yourself known both by potential clients and partners.

If you haven’t already created a set of business cards, it is time to get some. Not only they make you look more professional, but they can also transmit much about you. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a phrase which does not apply at this point in your business development. Your cards should be as creative and promising as the services you provide. Be inventive and experiment with different formats for different occasions and audiences.

4.      Try E-learning

In this electronic age, learning is no longer just about registering to a school or university. There are numberless resources you can find online, from e-books to guides and courses, at the end of a click.

If you can teach yourself photography, you can learn anything about running your business just by, I dare say, googling it. 

5.      Invest in Technology

When I say technology, I refer not only to professional equipment and applications designed to help you provide top quality services, but also to resources created to ease advertising your business.

Online advertising is part of what I see as marketing resources worth investing in. This is a form of using the internet to deliver promotional messages to your clients.  There are many options you can choose. The most popular are email marketing, social media marketing and display marketing.

 It might sound complicated, but it is really efficient and in the long run it might prove the best resource when it comes to marketing your photography business as it allows you to be creative and close to your targeted-clients.   


Don’t get caught in too many plans, ideas and resources, but be consistent when you find the right path. Promoting your photography business should be at least half as exciting as taking shots. Experiment, improvise, try as many things as possible and learn from mistakes.

And don’t forget to have some fun on the way to success.  

Image Source: 1

Promote Your Photography Business Online

Wonder what the cheapest and most efficient method to improve the visibility of your business online is? Learn the tricks and tips from us and get started!

Advice on how to Promote Your Photography Business Online

The following tips will help you boost your online presence and, why not, your profit.

1. Set the Goal and the Objectives of Your Plan

Any marketing plan needs a goal to point you in the right direction. Before you take action, establish what it is that you want to achieve. Do you wish to gain more followers, to sell your work better or enhance communication with your clients?

photography business online

After setting your goal, it is essential to figure out what the objectives are. These are the ones you need to fulfill. These are the concrete steps you take to get the desired results. For instance, a marketing plan that enables you to become more accessible online and indirectly increase your profit can have the following objectives:

  • Create a website
  • Create a social media account
  • Connect with other photographers

With every step you take, you must try to keep in mind the reason you started your photography business. Strong dedication and passion are needed when promoting your business on the internet.

2. Create an Unbeatable Online Presence

If you do not exist online, you do not exist at all, my dear friend. One of the best and most convenient marketing strategies you can opt for is creating a website or a blog that you can customize according to your needs, preferences, and skills. Here’s how you can benefit from being present on the internet:

  • Gain Popularity by Writing Posts on Your Website

Are you good at writing? Increase your visibility by sharing your ideas, work and thoughts with the visitors who access your page. Let your readers, clients and followers know what you do, what inspires you and how you can transform photo sessions in unique and memorable experiences.

home office business plan

Get to know them as well through comments and messages. Be open to criticism and answer them in a natural and polite manner. Writing for your website will bring great exposure to your business. Make it fun and exciting.

  • Create and Promote a Brilliant Portfolio

Maybe your verbal and written abilities are not your greatest asset, but we all know that your visual skills are. Keep in mind that your photos are advertising material.

Start selecting the works that can best represent and sell your qualities as a professional photographer and create a solid and attractive portfolio. Let images speak for themselves.

photo album

Don’t forget to update your portfolio from time to time, so that it reflects not only your style, but also improvement and the ability to change and respond to a variety of needs.

  • Pay-per-click Ads

If you have a budget for promoting your business, creating an ad for search engines may bring you a lot of visitors and potential clients. Internet marketing has become a widely used and affordable tool for owners to promote their business. Plus, it is an eco-friendlier and more convenient option as compared to promotional prints.

3. Take Full Advantage of Your Social Media Accounts

Whether you use Facebook, Google+Twitter or Instagram to showcase your work, it is time for you to start using these platforms as marketing tools. Making your photography business more visible online is easier than you think, but it requires time and dedication.

Social Media Applications

  • Post Frequently

It is crucial to keep your pages updated. Post as often as you can. Invest at least one or two hours every day to keep your followers in the loop.

  • Use Hashtags

First, we have already discussed why facebook hashtags are important to your business. What is essential to mention again, is making sure you don’t over-tag your posts. Online marketing experts say that 1 or 2 hashtags per post are more efficient than 20. Using more than two hashtags will result in a lower engagement.

Second, make them as relevant and concise as possible. Do not use interminable hashtags just to comprise as much information as possible. Keep it sweet and simple! You can consider aspects such as location, type of photography, details of photographs. For instance, if you upload a photo of a bride, you can use #weddingphotography, #bridalphotography, #weddingdress, #brideportrait.

Whether you use hashtags on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they will make your photos more noticeable. Don’t forget to watermark your images.

  • Tag Your Clients

Tagging clients is a communication strategy that can make you look more credible and approachable. This is an excellent marketing strategy as they can comment, share and like your posts, which means free advertising and traffic improvement. Engage with your audience and you will end up building a community of fans.

  • Exchange Links

Exchanging links is another way to build a good reputation by getting into contact with quality people with whom you share similar background and interests. It is advisable to exchange links with photographers in your niche, but don’t hesitate to affiliate with other professionals in your field.

Don’t be afraid to let them know you appreciate their work. They will do the same which will increase your exposure and credibility with no cost. Also, getting in touch with the right people will enhance your professional development as well.

4. Update Your Profile – Be the Face of Your Business

Part of a creative field, shared by passionate professionals, a photography business, is not just about providing services and making a profit. It is about making a job out of passion, and nothing is more appealing than a self-motivated and enthusiastic photographer representing his/her own business.

Photographer with analog camera

Both your website and social media accounts should reflect who you are. Create a short description of what you do, write about your background and interests and make sure you don’t forget to leave contact details.

Let people know who you are as a professional, but also as an individual, write about what inspires you, about the impressive locations you shoot from and the amazing people you get to meet.

Also, give your customers the opportunity to express the way they feel about you and your work. For instance, you can create an inspiring testimonial page. Your clients’ recommendations will strengthen your reputation in no time.

5. Be consistent. Be creative. Be communicative.

Being present online is not sufficient if you are not consistent and communicative.

  • How Often Should You Post?

Wonder how often should you update your website and enhance your social media presence? If you have a blog or a website, it is desirable to post two to five times per week. Your Facebook and Twitter pages should be updated daily or at least every second day. Similarly, you can share photos on Instagram every day.

  • Create a Newsletter

Building a constant relationship with readers and clients is essential. Create a newsletter to inform them about special posts, promotions, giveaways or anything that might be of interest for them. Send it to your subscribers every month.

  • Connect with People

Whether it is your partners, fellow photographers or clients, stay in touch with them.  You can create personalized greeting cards and send them by email on various occasions such as Christmas or birthdays.

Don’t forget to put passion in what you do. Nothing beats a passionate and inspiring person behind a business plan. 

I hope my post will enhance the performance of your business. If you enjoyed it or have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment. Keep in touch!

Image Sources: 1,2,3,4,5

Create a Compelling Digital Ad with Photography

Creating a digital ad today can be tough because there are so many ads that constantly bombard people while they surf the internet and while they’re in public. Your ad needs to rise above the competition and stand out in order to get noticed by people who are too busy to pay attention to most things for more than a second. Otherwise, you’ll be investing your hard-earned money in digital signage that simply doesn’t work.

One of the most effective ways to really grab people’s attention with your advertising is by incorporating stunning photography into your digital ads.

Hire a Professional Photographer for Original Images

Digital Ad

If you know what you want your digital ad to look like, you can envision what type of photography you want to include in its design. You should know what style of photography you want, as well as what images, in particular, you want. Once you have these specifications in place, hire a local photographer who can bring your ideas to life.

Hiring a professional photographer to get you brand new images will ensure that you’re only using original, eye-catching images that people have never seen before. Rather than resorting to using stock images that may be seen in other publications, ads, etc., you will have something fresh that will definitely make an impact and make your ad memorable.

Use Instagram Style Photos

It turns out that Instagram style photos that are taken out of the studio and without a lot of special editing effects, can be more eye-catching than other ads. So if you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer at this time, consider using an Instagram photo instead.

The great thing about using Instagram photos in your digital ads is the fact that they are really affordable, they’re natural and “organic” in appearance, and you can experiment with a variety of different images without breaking the bank. You can even create a series of related ads, each displaying a different Instagram photo, so that people will recognise a theme and remember your brand more easily.

Display Your Products Perfectly

Another great way to use photography in your digital ads is to perfectly display your products. Put them front-and-centre, with loads of detail, on a background that is colourful, natural, or white, so people will be able to see what makes your items better than others on the market.

Again, when it comes to getting great product photos, it’s best to hire a professional photographer with the equipment necessary to capture the smallest details, though you can opt to go with an Instagram style of photography instead to show your products in use.

Finally, if you are having trouble putting your digital ad together, hire an expert company, such as Videonations, that can get the job done for you in a short amount of time. This is the best way to ensure your ad will turn out exactly as you envisioned it, especially if your current staff is unable to meet your expectations.

Where to Buy and Rent Photography Equipment Online

photography equipment

We’ve talked before on our site about where to buy good and cheap professional photography equipment and today we’re going to take an in depth look at the online sector. The big cities, such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami or NYC have lots of stores where you can spend hours searching for the best piece of essential equipment; but when it comes to the online, things get a bit more complicated. You can’t hold the camera in your hands like you would in a physical store and you can’t talk to the salespersons, who, aside from a gleeful Hi, always have precious information for you.

Today, we have a basic guide/list of where and how to buy and rent photography equipment online, so that when you bring your camera or lenses home, you won’t be disappointed.

Can’t Afford to Buy? Rent!

If you don’t want or can’t afford to buy photography equipment, you can rent it. The guys over at Borrow Lenses have a pretty awesome photography equipment rental business. The steps are easy: you need to browse their online selection and choose your product or products (they rent camera bodies, lighting kits, lenses and various accessories). You then add your items to your cart, choose whether or not you want insurance for them and check out. When it comes to rentals, Borrow Lenses are indeed the best in the business.

Excellent Online Photography Equipment Stores

We’ve talked before on our website about the wonderful Adorama and B&H Photo Video but we’re going to talk some more because they’re just that good. They sell pretty much everything and anything a photographer would need, from a simple pole to high-end studio equipment. Their online catalog is huge and they almost always something nice on sale. They have a wonderful used cameras offer which is great for beginners. If you are just getting into the business, you should buy cheap and used cameras, until you get the hang of things.

The impact these (quite old) online stores have had on the way photographers do their shopping is massively positive and that’s why we love them.

Used Photography Equipment

KEH is another great online place to buy photography equipment from. They’re also the first to tell you that the external condition of a camera is unrelated to its internal condition. This is one of the first things a beginner learns when out and about in the photography business, so you shouldn’t be picky about a few scratches. A pro won’t care about a few flaws, as long as the camera does its job, while an amateur will.

Adorama and B&H Photo Video also have a used camera and accessories section that we urge you to check out.

Beware of Scams and Frauds

If the price of a product is significantly lower than B&H Photo Video and Adorama, then the whole thing is, most likely, a scam.

Never, ever send anyone detailed information about your credit card. It’s 2014 and people are still getting ripped off online. If your gut says that it’s iffy, then it’s iffy and you should not buy from that place.

If you have trouble spotting scams, know it from us that any place that doesn’t take credit cards is most likely a fraud. They’ll ask for money orders, bank transfers or Western Union, and while in other countries this is absolutely fine, in the U.S. it is not.

Do a little research on your own, before you buy, don’t just rely on the website’s comment section.

What type of photography are you into? Antique, newborn or wedding? Nature, outdoor or underwater? High speed or Kirilian? Aerial 360 using a kite or a drone? Tell us about it!

What is Boudoir Photography and How to Approach It?

boudoir photography

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography’s increasingly popularity is telling us that people are losing their inhibitions, which can be a great thing, but boudoir photography is not new at all, it first started taking off in the early ‘20s. Back then it was only actresses and models who would be shot in skimpy outfits inside their boudoir. Now, everyone’s doing and loving it. Before we start, you need to keep in mind that boudoir photography differs from nude photography or erotic photography. Today we’re going to take a closer look to boudoir photography and give you, the photographer, a few tips and ideas on how to photograph your clients.

Bridal Boudoir Photography

So many brides are doing the bridal boudoir photography thing nowadays. Before their wedding, future brides will go and have their sexy photograph taken to surprise their future husbands on their big day. It’s a practice that’s been going on for decades and it doesn’t show signs of going away. If you want to get into boudoir photography, we suggest you make future brides your main target. Have special price offers for brides or offer a discount for couples, which brings us to our next section.

Couples Boudoir Photography

Aside from bridal boudoir photography, another type of boudoir photography that’s getting quite a lot of attention and popularity is couples boudoir photography and plus size boudoir photography. Couples who want to get their sexy on in photographs are harder to photograph than, say, a single female or male. Together, their needs will change, and so will their energies. When working with couples we suggest you make the woman the center of attention and keep the man on a secondary plane. It’s what works best!

Boudoir Photography Ideas and Tips

We have three tips and ideas for boudoir photography. The biggest tip is for you, the photographer, to exude professionalism. If you do, then people are going to start feeling comfortable around you and when that happens, the magic also happens. Even if you’re just starting out and you’re a bit uncertain of yourself and your skills, don’t let that show. You know how they say: Fake it till you make it!

Another tips is to always use music while shooting your clients. Sexy music will help your subjects unwind, relax and get their sexy mood on. Keep a wide variety of styles and genres, because you never know which type inspires your clients.

An idea for your boudoir photography studio is to shoot raw, this way you can do the best editing possible. With boudoir photography you’ll always need to touch up and even use Photoshop. Your job is to make the subject as attractive as possible. If sometimes that requires a lot of image processing, then so be it!

Boudoir Photography Poses

When it comes to poses, you as the photographer need to guide your subjects well. When people come to your studio for boudoir photos, they come with something in mind. You need to find out what that is and tell them from the start if that is doable or not. A lot of people still confuse boudoir with erotic, so please remind your clients that they don’t necessarily have to be nude and that the best boudoir photographs involve some clothes. The best boudoir photography poses are the ones where your subject isn’t showing something, but implying it. Talk to them beforehand about the poses, so that they don’t get confused once they’re in your studio.

Some great boudoir photography studio can be found in the city of Houston, Ohio, Philadelphia, Austin, TX, Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Omaha, Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Jacksonville, FL, Virginia, Minneapolis, Louisville, Phoenix, Sacramento, Orange County, Las Vegas, NYC, Utah, Dallas, Michigan, Denver, San Antonio, Tampa, Nashville, Indianapolis, IN and Harrisburg, PA.

5 Cute Photo Album Ideas

When trying to set up a photography business, one of the key aspects which gain most of your attention is, of course, your technique and equipment. There’s almost no end to the constant strive to improve your skills, learn more about how to use various tricks to obtain stunning effects, and to the desire to invest in the next best thing as far as equipment is concerned. This is all very well, but maybe you should spend a little more time considering the experience your clients have after working with you. This isn’t just about the so-called bedside manner, or making your subjects feel comfortable during the shoot, but it should also be about the mementos they’re left with. Of course, they’ll all order digital photos and a few large portraits, but not all of them will think about photo albums. Maybe it’s time to consider surprising your large-order customers with a custom made photo album featuring their best shots. Since there will be some clients who’ll think about it themselves and order one, having the skill to create beautiful photo albums will help you even more. Here are our top 5 suggestions.

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1. Center the photo album pages around themes and sub-themes

Even if the album is basically one big splurge of photos from a certain event or photo shoot, you can still organize them by the feeling they give you. Pair 2 or 3 photos per page either by what people are doing in them, either by seeking to create a funny effect by matching them together. Such a funny effect could be, for example, someone making a sad face, then a photo of another person appearing, and then another of the first person looking all bright and cheerful. You get the idea – just play around with the photos in order to create a funny and delightful walk down memory lane for the people who will receive it.

2. Handwrite labels for each photo, page, and cover

Handwritten labels look way better than printed ones, and an album without labels on its cover and pages looks like it’s missing something. Fill in the labels on the cover or inner covers yourself, and let the recipients fill out the rest of the labels from underneath the photos. They’ll surely appreciate the opportunity to caption it with funny or witty or simply emotionally significant things, and grow fonder of the album you compiled with each passing year.

3. Personalize the photo album with fabric and little insertions

You can get most of the props you can apply over a photo album in any large general store. You can start experimenting with decorations by gluing a large piece of fabric over the main cover, and cutting out a piece of its center so you can still feature a photo on it. Careful at how neatly you tuck in the pages so that the fabric can’t easily be torn off afterwards. Feel free to add all sorts of creative insertions on it afterwards, according to the theme you want to highlight.

4. Take it even further with metallic monograms

If you think you’d be willing to take the personalization even further for a couple of special customers, you could consider decorating the photo album with metallic monograms on the cover, or even on each page. The technique is pretty much a classic and won’t actually require that much skill, but it will look impressive to your more sober clients.

5. Try making a photo card as well, scrapbook-style

If most of your clients don’t really place such large orders as to justify the business decision of gifting them a scrapbook, maybe just apply the same idea to a stand-up photo card. Decorate its frame as nicely as you can, maybe even include two photos on it, and send it with your compliments. Your photographer renown will benefit from these small moves as well.

To maintain inspiration, it never hurts to keep an eye out for new photo album ideas which pop up around the web, gathered together in a growing collection like this one on Pinterest.