We may all be photographers now, but most of us come from very different backgrounds before getting ourselves into this crazy business. As I have discussed in detail in many of my other business or photography pricing tutorials, being a photographer today is no easy task.
Why? Because everyone is doing it. It’s simple as that. As competition increases for any industry, prices decrease. That makes our jobs, as photographers, much harder these days. Much harder to continue to be able to do what we love to do and if we aren’t making profits, then all we have is a pricey “hobby”, not a “business”.
I’ve learned a lot about running a photography business over the last 5 years, but I have had to pound my way through it learning by trial and error. That isn’t a bad thing…but one day while driving I thought of a really awesome idea for a tutorial that would potentially help thousands of other photographers – “What did I wish I knew, before starting my photography business?”
I have an answer, but I also have something waaaaaaay better for you. I asked this thought provoking question to a handful of my most talented and successful peers to get their advice to share with you too!
…and here we go.
What I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Photography Business
One thing that I wish I knew was – “don’t let the idea of “technical perfection” with your camera limit your vision and artistic expression as a photographer” (Cole Joseph Photography)
Melissa McClure – “Show what you want to shoot” (Melissa McClure Photography)
Tim King – “If you do free gigs – make them on your terms (what you want to shoot, deliver, etc) and not the ‘clients’” (Tim King Photography)
Allie Lindsay – “Don’t try to be a master of all, find what you love love love to shoot and focus on that!” (Allie Lindsay Photography)
Melissa Taylor – “Stop comparing, and be yourself. If you don’t love it, don’t do it and contracts, contracts, contracts!” (Melissa Taylor Photography)
Quinn LaCasse – “Skipping developmental steps is a recipe for disaster. You need to intern, work for free, humble yourself and be open minded to all advise you are given without compromising who you are or your worth. If you jump from 0 to 100 without all the steps in between, your missing key elements of the business and in turn doing yourself a disservice in developing a successful business.” (Quinn LaCasse Photographer)
Betsy McCue – “Don’t feel you need to have every single lens or gadget. Less is more. Work with what you have and be a master of it. When that happens, the tools become an extension of your physical body, creative vision and voice.” (La Vida Creations)
Walter Wilson – “I wish I would have known that I would be working 70 hour weeks with 1 day off.” (Walter Wilson Studios)
Ashley DuChene – “Furthering my knowledge of photography through formal education was huge for me to really step up to the professional level. My favorite class was Photo Business Operations as well as Lighting and digital imaging” (Ashley DuChene Photography)
Bryan Koci – “The business stuff you need getting started. Business license, resellers permit, businesses insurance, etc. & learn flash” (Red Tie Photography)
Final Thoughts & Additional Resources
Finding success as a photographer these days isn’t as easy as it once was however with the right game-plan and mindset from the get-go you can get off on the right foot when starting your photography business and find success!
Additional photography business tutorials:
Did you find this post helpful? Got any questions? Let me know, I am happy to help!