Photography is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With new trends and technologies popping up every day, there's never been a better time to be a photographer. If you want to get started running your own business as a photographer, here are some tips that can help make your journey easier:
Always invest in the right gear, don't feel you need to buy the best most expensive gear to produce professional results.
Of course, you will need the right gear for the job. When choosing your equipment, make sure that it is suitable for what you intend to shoot and how you intend to use it. Don’t buy just any lens because someone else has it—buy what will help you achieve your goals as a photographer and grow your business.
Don't be afraid of buying secondhand gear (or third hand if necessary). There are many online marketplaces where professional photographers sell off their old equipment.
Also, there's no reason to spend extra money on name-brand lenses or flashes. When it comes to high-quality photography equipment, companies such as Tamron, Sigma, and Godox are making it more accessible and affordable.
Adapt, learn new skills and be flexible in new situations
Being a freelance photographer is about being flexible. You have to be willing to learn new skills, adapt to new situations and be flexible in your approach.
As a photographer you need to keep up with the latest trends and technology. For example, if you are a photographer who is not also willing to begin producing video content, which is where our industry is headed, you will have a harder time growing your business.
Don't fall behind and always be willing to learn and pivot as needed.
Do not undervalue yourself, don’t take jobs for less than you’re worth
Don't undervalue yourself or your work. You are the one doing all the work, so it's only fair that you get paid what you are worth. Don't be afraid to say no to jobs that don't pay enough and don't be afraid to ask for more money if a project comes along that is more than just "work."
It's easy to forget this, but there is a market rate for your services and it varies depending on where you live and what kind of photography people want. I'm not telling anyone how much they should charge per hour or day; however, being aware of these things will help ensure that they're not taking any jobs below their value or losing out on opportunities by quoting too low an hourly rate (or daily rate).
If you're trying to grow your portfolio, consider offering a discount on your services instead of a free session. By doing so, you demonstrate to the customer the savings they are receiving while also demonstrating your own value.
Do not give up if you want to be successful at anything if you want to succeed you need to understand that it’s hard work and not easy
If you want to be successful at anything, do not give up. If there is a chance that it might work out, then keep going! As long as your heart and mind are in the right place, then you can achieve anything you desire. You just have to believe in yourself and put in the time and effort required for success.
It’s also important that people realize that failure is not something to be afraid of—it’s part of the process! If we never fail at anything, then how will we know what doesn't work? How will we know what does work? Failure leads us towards success by helping us understand what works best under certain circumstances.
When it comes down to it though... trying isn't enough—you need some help along your journey too! So don't be afraid to ask for advice from other photographers who have already been where you're trying to go; they'll more than likely be more than happy share their wisdom with someone who wants what they have (and has gone through similar struggles themselves).
Always be willing to learn and invest in yourself.
A successful business owner is always willing to learn and invest in themselves. This can mean taking classes, workshops, networking events, hiring an assistant, or simply listening more intently when a client is explaining their needs. As you gain experience as a photographer, you will find that each new project presents its own set of challenges that require unique solutions and strategies for success.
Become a master of light. Learn your craft so well that you can walk into any situation and be ready to produce amazing results.
Don't just stick to natural light photography because you are scared of off-camera lighting.
Learn how to use off-camera lighting. Learn how to use light modifiers. Learn how to manipulate natural light. Adding all these skills to your tool belt will better prepare you to confidently accept any job on any given day. If you want to be a successful photographer, these skills are essential for creating amazing images that clients will love and want more of!
If this seems overwhelming at first, don’t worry! The good news is that there are many resources online where photographers share their tips and tricks (hello #tiktoktaughtme) so they can help others learn their craft while they do it themselves!
Get contracts in place asap
Contracts are also important for both parties. They help you to protect your business and your clients, but they also help the client understand what they're paying for, which is not always obvious from the outset.
I'll be honest with you: when I first started out, I didn't have contracts in place. The few people who asked me about them were surprised at their absence and seemed slightly unsure of how to react—it was as if I'd admitted that I wasn't using good-quality paper stock or something equally trifling (which isn't true). Contracts are essential because they establish a set of expectations between yourself and your clients—both parties know what's expected of them, down to the last detail (and this includes things like deadlines).
When it comes to insuring your business, there are two main types of insurance: liability and equipment. Liability insurance covers you in the event that someone is injured on your property or in your studio (or when they're inside your car). Equipment coverage is important because if something were to happen with one of your cameras or computer systems, you could be responsible for replacing it—and no photographer wants to lose all their gear!
The type and amount of insurance you should carry will depend largely on where you live and whether or not photography is a full-time occupation for you. If you're just starting out as a photographer, talk with an agent at a local agency about what kind of coverage makes sense for where you live. They can tell you what size deductible might make sense for your budget as well as how much money may be available through state-run programs like the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Choose to specialize in one area of photography
It's important to know what type of photography you want to specialize in. It's not necessary for every photographer to be good at taking pictures of children, weddings and pets all at once.
There are so many different types of photography that it can be overwhelming for someone who is just starting out, but don't let that discourage you from picking one area or type of photography and being known for it instead. You don't need to master every category—in fact, by specializing in one field such as wedding or portrait photography, people will immediately recognize your work when they see it online.
How do you know what to specialize in? Try it all out at first and see what you enjoy shooting the most and then put all your effort in mastering that genre of photography.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. I am very curious to hear how this article was useful for you and how it helped you understand more about the business side of photography.