i started doing photography as a hobby about six years ago. i wasn't any good at it, but starting is what got me to this point today. i'm still learning & still trying to grow my business as a blogger photographer in salt lake city, but i'm a full-blown photographer with clients, so i consider that a huge win! i've learned a few things along the way & wanted to share my tips for growing a photography business.
1. get good at your craft
sounds like one of those obvious things right? wrong. i feel like so many people start their photography businesses on a whim & don't realize that having a DSLR doesn't automatically make you a photographer. yes, you definitely have to jump into the industry with two feet & you'll get better once you're here, but practice using your camera a bit before you start charging people. know how your camera works + use it as a tool rather than just pointing & shooting & hoping for something good.
2. choose a niche
some people will disagree with me on this one, but i think that choosing a niche is actually one of the best things you can do for your business. it took me a little bit to figure out that blogger photography was my jam, but once i figured that out, i was able to create workflows that actually worked and cut my editing time + shooting time in half while still making the same amount of money that i was making while shooting weddings. shoot the stuff that makes your heart happy & don't waste a second shooting stuff that doesn't.
3. charge for your time as well as your picture quality
once you start charging people, charge for your time. you're a human being who has a family, friends, work, school, other activities. your time is important. time really is money, so if you're spending hours upon hours upon hours shooting & editing but only charging $50-$100 for a session, you're wasting your time. sure, $100 seems like a lot, but when you break it down to an hourly wage, what are you really making? make sure that you're charging for your time.
4. learn how to edit your photos consistently
yes, styles can change, but one of the best things you can do for your business is be consistent with your work. when your potential clients look at your photos, they need to be able to imagine themselves in those photos. if your editing style changes from shoot to shoot, they won't be able to do that & will have a harder time trusting that you'll be able to deliver what they want which can cause them to not hire you.
5. learn a few marketing strategies
all of the above means absolutely nothing if you don't know how to market your skills. share your work with others & let them know that you're looking for new clients! once you start going, ask your clients to refer you to their friends. post on social media channels. create a website. make sure that people can find you!
BONUS TIP: use a service to help you with contracts, scheduling & payments! i started using honeybook a year ago & it has transformed my business. i am able to send my contracts to potential clients, they can pay online (with payment plans if necessary) & i can keep track of my schedule easily. i know if i'm available for a shoot or not (and it even tells me if i'm booked that day!) it's the best thing ever. & bonus in the bonus tip, if you use this link you can get FIFTY PERCENT OFF. yeah, you read that right-- 50% off.
there's room for all of us here, so if you're wanting to start a photography business, DO IT. live your dreams! that's the best way to live life. it's going to be hard, but you can do it! share your art & perspective with the world because it's beautiful. i know it.