How to start a photography business

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How to start a photography business?

How to start a photography business
For all photographers Turning Pro! Or, for those in the throes of building a business with the aim to become the best pro they can be. Life can sometimes be a little daunting, if not overwhelming at times. This wonderful industry is packed with many options, opportunities and avenues you can take; some are dark alleys and others are blinding lights of inspiration. Becoming a professional photographer requires far more than excellent photography skills. You have to learn to become the master of your destiny, ambition and direction. Before you leap further forward into the year head, think about the direction and marketplace you want to work in and those you want to serve. Think about the business as a whole offering. What does the business represent? Who is the business designed for? In a nutshell, who do you want to photograph and retail to? At all times remember you own a shop which sells photography!

These are only the first questions of many to ask yourselves. They will lead onto so many other questions and aspects of the business which we will explore later! Take time out to regroup with the vision you have for the business by starting with THE most important aspect: the client. Study your client, profile your client, discover all that you need to know about them. Then, ask yourself the critical question: “What do they want to buy from MY business?” Remember, you’re in retail. Yes, we love, love, love photography, however we are in business to retail.





Once your vision is formed, think about the style of service your client will expect, and reach out to the expectations of that client. What retail ranges will your clients require? Hunt for the products that match your business. Queensberry, for example, has just launched a fine art print service – which is, wow-wee, something else! It’s inspirational. For all those we serve, we should exceed their expectations; from how we shoot to the image ranges we capture, through to image presentation, framing ideas and album suggestions. This is the best bit about being in business; having the authority and giving yourself the permission to choose how you want to serve your clients and with what! When you get it right, being at the helm of your business can be the best and most rewarding game in town.

Those who are successful in business today are a provider of services in a business they fully understand. They have a good and intimate relationship with the business and, at all times, understand. Make it your role to understand what the business seeks to grow, develop and perform. Mastering your destiny is about leaving nothing to chance by reaching out on behalf of the business every day to ensure it glows in the marketplace – and for all of the right reasons.

Many become photographers because they love photography. That is ever-so important and is key to ensuring you steer the business well. The first questions I ask those we teach at Aspire are these: “Tell me about your photography,” “How do you feel about each photography service?” and, “Tell me about your pictures.” These can unveil so much about how you really feel about what you
capture and why your retail sales may be low. I ask this question to ensure photographers don’t try and take to market a service which they will never feel passionate about. If you’re not totally passionate, you will never market or sell your service and products as well as you would things you are passionate about.

Give time to think about your range of services and only offer the products you are totally in love with. If becoming a wedding photographer fills you with dread, don’t pursue it! Concentrate on other areas which might be business portraits, boudoir or capturing the essence of childhood. It is so very important to be in love with the products you offer; being in love will ensure you nurture, develop and put all that you are into the service and how you photograph. Even if you feel you have not quite gained all the skills required to perfect your craft whether these are composing skills or directing the client skills remember that all that technical detail can be taught. Never stop learning; remain at the forefront of your craft and skills.

An aspect of the business which must forever and rightly so remain at the forefront of your mind is this. The sheer quality of your product has to be a mile away from what a client could achieve themselves. A second is how you attract the right clients not just any client, but the right client who will buy into your vision for them and how you want to serve them.

Think about where your clients hang out and how you’re going to attract them into your business. Start with the brand. All those in business have to have an attractive brand; this does not have to be an expensive venture just a creative one! Throw all your creative spirit at building the brand and seek professional opinion and assistance – so many people make the mistake of underestimating the value of a quality brand; it’s not quite everything, but is close!

Discover everything you can about your marketplace and how your brand will engage that marketplace. Where does your business need to hang out, and what impact will it have on where your clients or potential clients are? A business will not be built from behind walls; it needs to sit in the marketplace creating a tidal wave of activity. My tip is to do 40 minutes a day! Small and effective market activity is my motto.

Once you are in the right mindset, your vision and destiny will feel clear. Build your brand around the vision and keep the final outcome in your mind. Alongside perfecting the product, remember to always be the best you can be then do a little better! I am known by many for being the boundary pusher to the industry and I want you to push into productivity and perfection.

The reward we all receive is when our pictures become art pieces and family treasures for times to come. Because of this, with great care and consideration should you select your framers and
album producers. Select those who dovetail with your style of photography and clients’ lifestyle. We are all so very fortunate as we have such a fabulous selection of choice, and many you connect with will feel as passionate about your success as you will.

And finally, being in business can be a lonely game; don’t remain alone. Hang out with like-minded photographers; visit places that inspire you and where your type of person hangs out and this will feed your soul a little. And that soul is right at the hub of your creativity.

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How to start a photography business?
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