HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
They say a photograph is worth a thousand words and indeed so. With a frame, you freeze so many emotions and memories and whenever you look at the picture again, it is like looking in the past and living that moment again. Photographs help us live one of our best childhood memories, they bring back all the good and bad emotions and make us feel nostalgic. Maybe this is the reason that even when the cameras were not modernistic and easily available, photographs were still as popular. Nowadays, we have cameras in our hands almost all the time. Thanks to our high tech phones! We have everything built-in it and they work like professional cameras. We click pictures of every moment and post them online on various social media platforms. This is a daily routine but can it beat a professional photographer? The answer is always a BIG NO! Whenever there is a big occasion in your life be it birthday, wedding, anniversary, convocation, etc and you are celebrating it organizing a grand event. You are busy with everything, be it your dress to addressing the guest. You cannot manage everything. It is when you need the professional photographers. They capture your happiest moment with the right angle, the right frame in a perfect picture. Apart from capturing these private moments, photographers work in several ad agencies, media, and even for government. What if one wants to switch their job and want to open a studio as they dreamt as a child and turn their passion into a professional business? There are a few things that they must keep in mind before starting a photography business.
Let’s have a look at them:
Increase your expertise
To open a photography business, you need to have a lot of information about the trends that change with time. You should be an expert. Take a photography course or diploma to know maximum about the technique of taking pictures and frames. Understand how different lenses are used to create certain illusions. Apart from knowledge of frames and cameras, you also should know how to operate basic editing software for editing your pictures. A photographer requires years of practice to master their craft. You should know what people want and be able to provide them with that.
Decide your niche
Every photographer has an arena where they are an expert. There are different types of photography done such as food photography, portfolio photography, feature photography, portrait, wedding, etc. The list is long. You should decide on a niche and work around that. It will keep you knitted to your photography business at the initial level and it’ll easier to manage clients.
Decide on the size of business
The business has a lot of scopes to grow but keeping in mind that you are starting a photography business that demands good investment and arranging resources for it can be a task in itself, it is better to start small and develop as your customer base develops.
Do your research
The photography business is not an easy venture to open. You have to do a lot of research about how the market functions and what is the demand and supply in this business. The photography business requires your understanding of trends, frames, editing, and presentation. To run any business you need to have an approachable and compassionate personality. You must know how to attract customers to your studio.
Rent or Buy a studio in Good Location
Everyone owns a camera nowadays and looking at poses around it they are able to copy. Keeping that in mind, starting your photography business in a familiar locality where people know you would work the best. It is easier to trust people you know and your customers would show more confidence in your work. Your studio does not need to be a very large space. You can start with one single room 10*15 sq feet studio. Set up your photography business in a busy market that has good footfall.
Design and Decorate
It sounds obvious that the aesthetic of your photography business matters a lot. IF you have decided a niche for your photography business, design your place according to that. The pictures are always there to enhance the beauty but hire an expert interior designer who has experience in this area and can design your place according to your needs.
This is amongst the first things to do. You are setting up a saree retail shop at home. It will require a principal investment. Get yourself sponsors who are willing to support a local business and have your back
License and Permit
To set up any shop in India you need to take certain permits such as a Business License, Resale Certificate, Business Name Registration or DBA Certificate, Certificate of Occupancy, Federal Tax ID, etc. Make sure you have done your homework and have finished all the paperwork beforehand and have kept them handy and be ready to take rounds to government offices before setting up.
Create a website
With time changing and the movement of people from store to online is rising at a steady pace, setting up your business online along with offline store is a good option. To open a portal for your photography business where you can take orders online, you need to set up a user-friendly glitch-free website or an app. Showcase your best work on the website that people would be impressed with your photography skills and be ready to book you.
Along with setting up a studio and marketing your services, you can always give small workshops to students of schools and colleges and invite them for photo walks in your free time. It will be a good learning experience for you and in this way, you can market and make your brand popular.
Be ready to do a lot of marketing. Social Media is used by almost everyone around the globe. It is almost certain that at least one person in a household must be using any social media platform. Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and asking youth in the locality to share it amongst friends, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your store. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you already have an offline store and most customers who have done business with you will keep your number saved, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one to one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
Photography is an art and its business prospect is based on rapport. Your few initial successful projects can make you popular because the main marketing tool in this business is the reference made by people themselves to their peers. Remember to manage your business well, keep a cool head and charm personality, and talk those potential customers into your next big projects. All the best!