10 tips to starting a photography business


10 tips to starting a photography business

One of the biggest questions people ask me is how they can start a photography business. Today I am sharing tips that I wish I had known when I first starting out.

1. Start with what you can: 

I firmly believe that it has more to do with the operator of the camera then the camera itself. Start with what you can afford, master your craft!

2. Get a good portrait lens:

I hate to break it to you but the kit lens is not going to do ya much good. If you can, save some money and don’t even bother buying a kit lens.

You need a lens with a low f-stop to achieve the subject in crisp focus and the background drop off into creamy bokeh goodness. A great versatile starter lens would be what we lovingly call a “nifty fifty”, that is a lens with a 50mm focal length! Canon has some that run as low as a $100, get ya one of those bad boys and start making magic!

Because I knew I wanted to shoot portraits/ high school seniors when I first stared out, my first lens was the Canon 85mm 1.8, I still love that lens and use it to this day!

3. Join the community: 

Surround yourself with other creatives that inspire you.

Join the virtual photography Facebook groups national and local. Valuable information and insight can be found there.

Attend shootouts: This a great way to build portfolio, practice, and get inspired by other photographers

4. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more:

Learn your camera inside out. Learn how to shoot in manual, you tell your camera what to do. Shoot as much as you can. Play with light. Find what you like best. Shoot families, shoot landscape, shoot seniors, shoot babies, shoot pets, shoot couples, shoot fashion, shoot everything you can until you figure out what you’re most drawn to, what makes you come alive.

Some people this might mean many types of photography, some people that means specializing.

5. Sit down and plan out some goals:

It is never to early to start intentionally planning and working toward goals. WHY??

Because it’s harder to gauge your progress unless you’re working toward something.

Because successful businesses and brands are not born by accident or overnight.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be at the end of the year, end of 5 years, 10 years.
  • What do you need to be doing NOW to achieve these goals?

6. Sit down and think about your ideal client:

What is an ideal client?  An ideal client is someone who benefits from your offerings and is someone you most want to focus your marketing efforts in working with.

Ask yourself:

  • Who is my ideal client?
  • Who do I want to be working with?
  • What do they like? What are they drawn to?
  • Where do they frequent / hangout?

7. Post with your ideal client in mind: 

You will attract what you show, therefore you need to make sure you can show images that will attract your ideal client. If you keep posting pictures from that one session you aren’t crazy about, well guess what sessions just like that one will keep being attracted to you because that’s what you’re showing.


8. Create content for your ideal client: 

Now that we know who our ideal client is we need to make sure we have content/ images to attract them. Look at the people in your life that fit your ideal client, ask to do a complimentary shoot with them. Pad your portfolio with at least three killer sessions you know your ideal client will love!

9. Get a website

Make your presence know on the web. This doesn’t have to be fancy, just needs to be functional and professional looking. This is the digital age, potential clients are making snap judgements about you in seconds of landing on your website. So you must make sure it attracts your ideal client and affirms the professionalism and quality of your images.

10. Make a Facebook page:

Facebook is not dead! It is a free platform and is worth having. Tagging your clients on Facebook from their sessions puts your pictures and information onto their wall and in front of their family + friends. I can’t tell you how many referrals I have gotten just by tagging people.

Facebook is also a great place to do promotional giveaways and announcements!