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Start a Photography Business - Turning Your Talent into Income

Updated on November 7, 2012

Choosing Your Niche

That's right, if your going to be successful in the business of photography, you have to pick something to specialize in. Preferably, pick something you enjoy photographing. Product, fashion, wedding and portrait photography are all very fruitful fields. People are willing to pay good money for a professional to capture what they need. So here is the question, do you consider yourself a professional grade photographer? You don't have to go to school for it (although it helps), but you do have to understand ISO, shutter speed, and aperature, and how they work together. Also, it helps to understand light; tungsten vs. flash, sunny vs. overcast, etc. This is the foundation of taking great photos.


Build Your Portfolio

Nothing makes a photographer better at their skill than practice. No matter what field of photography you choose to specialize in, you need to have a portfolio to present to your potential clients. So in the meantime, get models to pose for you or take pictures of products and food, just keep shooting and keep adding to your portfolio. When I got my business started, I offered free photo sessions and then started charging an introductory rate which was still very cheap. These sessions would include an hour of my time and a DVD of the images from the shoot. This is a great way to spread the word about your new business and build up your portfolio at the same time. Be sure to have a business card, even if it is just a temporary version while doing free sessions, and give each client a few.


Website and Marketing

Every photographer needs a website in this day in age. If you have a background in Flash or HTML or are familiar with a website building program, then you can get your website online at a very minimal cost. However, even with knowledge of website building, I chose to purchase a flash template from a company, just for the simplicity of putting the site together. Once you have your site built, it's time to learn about Search Engine Optimization, you need to drive traffic to your page. Learn about local marketing, what can you do to have your target market see your work. Make sure your work space or studio looks professional, have samples of your products and prints on display. Pay close attention to what you competition is doing. Participate in social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, it's important to have a good online presence.

Finally, have fun with it.

I can't stress enough how important it is to make your clients feel comfortable and relaxed. If they have a positive experience in your studio, they will spread the word about it. If they have a negative experience they will spread the word about it. The vibe you send out as a photographer has a very big influence on how well the session will go, so make sure you are enjoying your time as much as possible. No matter what is happening in your personal life, remember that your client is paying to spend that time with you, so be professional. Have fun and keep shooting.


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