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How to start Photography Business

Updated on February 21, 2016

What is Photography?

This is one of the many questions that most of you think might be knowing. However, I just want to be very clear about one thing. i.e. to make sure that I make this point as clear as possible and ensure that nobody overlooks this fact.

According to Wikipedia which most of you may have read, "Photography is the science, art and practice of creating durable images either electronically, or by means of an image sensor".

Photography is a very important thing these days. Whereever you go on vacation or any other day to day activity, you always make sure that you take pictures. This is extremely important these days.

Being a professional photographer is not easy. A professional photographer does much more than take pictures. Professional photographs are often able to exhibit different kinds of feelings. Just by simply looking at professional photographs, we can bring on feelings of happiness, dismay, fear, or even hunger.

Expert photographers are also able to make people or situations appear different than they really are. This can be done by utilizing different lighting techniques, positioning people or objects a certain way. With the help of today’s advanced image editing software, many photographers also change some elements of their photographs in order to make them look a particular way.

Different Types of Photography

Photographers often choose to focus their career in specific areas of photography. Some photographers might only shoot portrait pictures, which involve taking pictures of people, particularly their faces.

The other kind of photography careers are Glamour Photography and Fashion Photography. Glamour photographers and fashion photographers take pictures of models and their clothes. These pictures, are meant to enhance a person’s beauty or style, and many of them are retouched or airbrushed.

Another type of Photography is Still life Photography. Still life photography, on the other hand, involves taking pictures of static, or still, objects. This can include such things as scenery or architecture.

Another kind of Photography career is Photojournalism. Photojournalism generally generally involves shooting pictures of newsworthy events. These types of photographers are usually referred to as photojournalists, and they are often hired by newspapers and magazines.

There are also other specialized types of photography. This includes science photography, nature photography, underwater photography, wedding photography, and advertising photography just to name a few.

Fashion Photography


Still Life Photography


What are the Educational Requirements to become a Photographer

One thing that you need to remember is that, a formal education is not always necessary in order to become a professional photographer, but it can be helpful. In general, trained photographers will usually be able to command a higher wage.

Most photographers develop a love for cameras and photography at an early age. High school photography classes can often help develop this hobby into a lucrative career. Many budding photographers will also shoot pictures for their school paper or yearbook, which gives them additional experience when pursuing photography as a career.

Students can also take photography classes at local colleges and universities to help fine tune their skills. Some online photography schools also offer photography courses and degrees.

If students have dreams of becoming wildly successful, however, it is usually recommended to obtain a degree from a photography school or an art school.

Taking courses in these types of schools will help a budding photographer learn the skills to become exceptional.

Some specialized photography careers may also require some additional coursework. Aspiring fashion photographers may want to study fashion, for instance, and aspiring photojournalists will usually need to take some journalism courses. Photographers who want to break into advertising photography will also usually benefit from taking some advertising courses.

How to turn a photo into a sketch in Photoshop

Options in Photography

Now, let us talk about the different options in Photography. The different photography options are as below:

  1. Fashion Photography.
  2. Press Photography.
  3. Portrait Photography.
  4. Industrial Photography.
  5. Wildlife Photography.
  6. Feature Photography.
  7. Forensic Photography.
  8. Scientific Photography.

Now, we will explain in detail about the different kinds of the photography mentioned above:

Fashion Photography:

Fashion Photography is the area where one works for fashion houses, designers or individual models. In order to be a part of this glamorous world, you must have knowledge about latest fashion trends and you should be willing to be experimental and creative.

Fashion Photography


Press Photography

Press Photography provide the press with pictures, that are relevant to the daily news and events. This kind of photography is best done instinctively. Hence, you need to be spontaneous and know what kind of a pictures would best illustrate your article. If you are adventurous and are willing to work under difficult conditions when needed, then this field is probably for you.

Press Photography


Portrait Photography

Portrait Photographers are people-oriented photographers who click snaps of individuals. The subjects range from children to pets, functions to social events etc. You can also specialize as wedding photography as well.

Portrait Photography


Industrial Photography

Industrial Photographers click photographs of machinery, merchandise, industrial layout, workers at work etc. to be used for company publications and for the purposes of advertising and selling.

Industrial Photography


Wildlife Photography

Wildlife Photography is the profession where capture the photos of animal kingdom and plant life in its most natural habitat. This kind of photography is a part of the Natural photography. It also covers landscapes and scenery. If you love nature and have the ability to capture the perfect sunsets and waterfalls, in your camera then this is definitely an option that you may want to consider.

Wildlife Photography


Feature Photography

Feature Photographers narrate an entire story through the medium of photographs. In order to be a feature photographer, you need to have extensive knowledge of the subject that you are dealing with and you should be willing to work at any given time and place.

Feature Photography


Forensic Photography

Forensic Photographers take photographs at crime scenes from all possible angles with great emphasis on details in order to help the police or detective agencies.Fine Art Photographers click photographs which are sold as an art form. To be a fine art photographer, you have to be very creative and expressive.

Forensic Photography


Scientific Photography

Scientific Photography is used for scientific publications and research reports. The areas that scientific photography covers are biology, medicine, chemistry and engineering. You need to have both interest and knowledge to be a part of this field.

Scientific Photography


Opportunities and Challenges in Starting a Photography Business

Now, we will examine in detail the different opportunities and challenges for budding photographers.


Some of the core opportunities for budding photographers are as below:

  1. Visual Storytelling.
  2. Custom Decor.
  3. Photo Merchandise.
  4. Consulting.
  5. Education and Technical Support.
  6. Online Photo Sales.
  7. New ventures for art and photojournalism.
  8. New styles of photo-based illustration and art.
  9. Corporate Content Marketing.

Now, we will examine in detail about each of the different opportunities mentioned above.

Visual Storytelling:

Visual Storytelling is very important these days as every family, individual and people are looking for fresh, emotionally powerful ways to tell their stories. Talented Photographers who have mastered the art of visual storytelling can use those skills to create virtual tours, photo books, and mixed-media presentations that blend stills with video.

Custom Decor:

Consumers have learned they don’t need to use mass-produced art to decorate their homes, offices, and businesses. Digital printing has enabled more people to buy limited-edition prints or order customized prints of places or events with special meaning to them. People can afford to buy work directly from artists and photographers.

Photo Merchandise:

Many photo labs and digital-printing firms are now equipped to produce a wide range of photo-centric greeting cards, books, calendars, enlargements and photo specialty items. Most photo-merchandise items look better when the images are shot by a professional photographers.


As digital cameras have replicated film-based cameras could do, researchers are developing new types of cameras with capabilities that go far beyond what was ever possible with film. When new technologies are developed, the engineers can’t always envision the full commercial potential of their new inventions. Only experienced photography pros can help researchers better understand the many different ways new imaging technologies might be used.

Education and Technical Support:

Millions of photography enthusiasts bought DSLRs before fully understanding how to get the most from these cameras. Now, they want professional photographers who can teach them how to get more from their cameras, guide them on location shoots, and expertly print enlargements of their best images.

Online Photo Sales:

Photographers can always sell the images they take through a growing number of stock photography websites, or sell directly to clients through their e-commerce portfolio sites.

New ventures for art and photojournalism:

Advancement in large-format printing technologies and materials have made it possible for enlargement of high-quality, high-impact images for public-service campaigns on outdoor billboards. Some photographers have also created immerse exhibitions that utilize the walls, floors, ceiling, and other surfaces of indoor or outdoor spaces.

New styles of photo-based illustration and art:

Photographers can easily develop their own distinctive styles and products. The range of artistic possibilities is almost endless when you consider how many different combinations exist in terms of: creative image editing; digital, historic, and mixed-media printmaking techniques; printable materials; and new methods of displaying and selling your finished images.

Corporate Content Marketing:

Corporate marketing departments are becoming publishers these days. Instead of purchasing advertising from editorially independent magazines, many corporations are attempting to develop magazine-quality related content for their websites to help establish online exposure and credibility.

Their brands and promote two-way communications with customers. Opportunities may develop for photography professionals who can supply both still photographs and videos.


Some of the challenges faced by budding photographers are as below:

  1. Global Competition.
  2. Changing need for images.
  3. Pervasive and Powerful Smartphone Cameras.
  4. No one-size-fits-all business model for professional photography.

Now, we will explore in detail about each of the above steps mentioned.

Global Competition:

In the present days, an increased number of images from amateur, part-time, and do-it-yourself photographers (writers, designers) has currently pushed down prices in all fields of photography, including stock, wedding, portraits, advertising, and editorial. This is quite a challenge for budding photographers.

Changing need for images:

The transition from print to online image publishing has changed the type and volume of photographs needed for editorial, advertising, and marketing purposes. The increase in the need for mobile marketing and digital signage is changing this mix even further.

Pervasive and Powerful Smartphone Cameras:

These days, many people are carrying high-quality camera phones. They can view news organizations can easily obtain images from on-the-scene witnesses at news events instead of sending staff photographers. Some pro and semi-pro photographers are using their iPhone camera and apps to open up new opportunities for visual expression.

No One-Size-fits-all business model for professional photography:

The markets and opportunities for photographers vary from city to city and region to region.

How to Start Photography Business

In order to start a Photography Business, you have two options: Freelancing or Entrepreneurship.

Freelancing is the most popular option in this profession. In order to work as a freelancer, you need to have great management skills and the ability to work independently. You would not know where the next job is coming from, and the hassles of keeping accounts.

Answer the following question

Have you &/or your family ever participated in a non-studio photo session? If yes, how would you rate your experience?

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© 2016 shivaramswamy


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