Let me cut to the chase. If you want to start your own photography business, here are some ideas for you, based on what worked for me. Of course, this won’t work for you:
Practical Photo business advice
1. Make your own photography website and blog
I recommend and use 1and1.com, and then install WordPress.org for free. Then buy the Genesis theme, and pay for the “Monochrome” child theme. Upfront investment is around $200. Hosting is around $20 a month.
Make your website domain (address) firstnamelastname.com or firstnamelastnamephoto.com
2. Make an email newsletter
I recommend and use mailchimp.com. Free to start, pay later. Why email list? Higher deliverability rate. Don’t waste time with social media. If you post something on Facebook or Instagram, less than 5% of your followers will see it. Email open rate on my list is around 30%. Much better.
3. Don’t expect to make money your first year
It took me a year of blogging everyday to build a following. Once I established my expertise in street photography, I experimented with street photography workshops first for $200 a person for a 2-day course, for 20 students. It worked for me.
Photography Business Ideas
Practical ideas for you:
1. Luxury goods photographer:
The market for high end products is booming. Build yourself to eventually do photo shoots for Gucci, Giuseppe, Porsche, Lamborghini, NIKE, Hublot watches, Rolex, etc.
2. Photography workshop teacher:
This is how I make 80% of my income. Don’t think of teaching how to make photos. Rather, teach your students to find more personal meaning in their lives. Also think of selling experiences – bespoke photography expeditions, adventures, and tourism.
3. Lifestyle photographer
this “lifestyle” trend of selling expensive shit is unfortunately, here to stay. Seek to shoot fashion, editorial, and this market of fashion.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.
Keep your expenses low. To absolute minimum. Elon Musk ate $2 a day on Spaghetti and Hot Dogs to feed himself when starting off, and sleeping in a sleeping bag in his office (while sharing a computer with his brother). And showers at the local YMCA. Are you hungry and foolish enough to start your own business?
Don’t waste money on superfluous shit you don’t need. Don’t waste money on advertising or superfluous camera gear. Buying a new piece of camera equipment will not get you more paying clients. Only the quality of your work, and your networking skills will.
Remember the saying,
It’s not what you know, it is who you know.
If you are starting off, network like crazy. Make professional business cards (moo.com) and give them out to anyone you meet who might help you. Get the cards of others and follow up.
When you sell yourself, don’t tell them to give you stuff.
Rather, offer them something. Offer them free photos, consulting, advice, to get your foot in the door. Then when you build your network, start charging real money.
JUST DO IT.
This should be enough to get you started.
Be like NIKE and JUST DO IT.
Learn how to make a living from your passion:
- Chapter 1. How to Create Value
- Chapter 2. ZEN CAPITALISM
- Chapter 3. Scarcity
- Chapter 4. How to Brand Yourself
- Chapter 5. How to Build a True Following
- Chapter 6. The Blueprint to Success in Photography
- Chapter 7. HOW TO BE BOLD
- Chapter 8. How to Sell Out
- Chapter 9. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Chapter 10. EXTREME ABUNDANCE
Photography Business 101
How to Make Money with Photography
- Why You Should Make Money With Your Photography
- Photography Experience Economy
- How to Charge More Money in Your Photography
- Why You Should Not Pursue Photography as Career
- Can Photography Make You Rich?
- How I Earn $200,000+ a Year From Photography
- How to earn $10,000 a month as a photographer
- Why you must be an expensive photographer
Photography Marketing 101
- Why You Should Do Photography Work For Free
- How I Became an Internet Famous Photographer
- Photography Blogging Ideas
- Why You Should Promote Your Own Name
- How to Build a Following
- How to Stand Out as a Photographer.
- HOW TO GO VIRAL AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.
- How to Master Marketing
- How to Sell Yourself
How to Hustle.
- Entrepreneurial Advice to My 18 Year Old Self
- How to Become Insanely Productive.
- 5 Lessons From Hesiod on Hustling
- It is Better to Beg For Forgiveness Than Ask For Permission
- The Free Way to Become Rich
- JUST DO IT.
- 7 Steps: How to Make a Living From Your Passion
- How to Do What You Love for a Living
- How to Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- How to Fail Big
- How to Invest in Yourself
- How to Be Bold in Photography and Life
- Mission: Cover Your Rent and Food
- 1,000 True Fans
- The “10x Principle”: The Only Difference Between “Success” and “Failure”
- Make More Value Not Money
- We Live in a Photo Utopia
How to be a Full-time Photographer
- How to Make a Living From Photography
- The 3 Principles of Making Money With Photography
- Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers
- Don’t Go Into Debt For Your Photography
- How to Brand Yourself as a Photographer
- Trust: The Most Important Thing You Need to Succeed as a Photographer
- How to become rich from photography blogging
- How to Make a Living with Blogging
- 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners
- How to Start Your Own Photography Blog
- A Photographer’s Guide to SEO, Blogging, and Social Media
How to Teach Photography
- How to Become a Photography Teacher
- How to Teach a Street Photography Class
- Why I Teach Street Photography Workshops
- Why I Deleted My Instagram
- The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers
- Why Do You Need More Likes or Followers?
- Instagram is Going to Be the Next Facebook
- Don’t Trust “Free” Photography Social Networks