So you want to start a photography business?! Awesome! When I started my business, I was constantly scouring the web and absorbing as much information as I could. My brain was a like a sponge! I would easily stay up until 4AM watching YouTube videos and reading blogs. I was passionate… fired up! I joined local and nationwide Facebook groups, subscribed to newsletters, attended webinars, went to socials, and took my camera outside to practice, practice, practice shooting in Manual mode.
If you’re eager to start a photography business of your own then you’re likely feeling very overwhelmed with where to even start! Trust me… I’ve been there! Still today I can get overwhelmed. BUT! Lucky for us, there are so many resources out there to help educate, organize, and set yourself up for success!
I would love to start hosting more one-on-one mentoring sessions where I go more in depth talking about my best practices and strategies on how I started (and maintain) my business. I learned a lot along the way that could help jumpstart someone just getting into the industry. Many photographers played a role into educating me on what I know now so this is my way of giving back!
In no particular order… Here are some quick tips to get you started! 🙂
- I would strongly encourage you to learn more about The Rising Tide Society. This is a community of creatives coming from all different backgrounds and industries built on a foundation of “community over competition“. This group offers tons of free content covering a variety of topics including: branding, blogging, marketing, business, community, etc. They even started “Tuesdays Together” meet-up groups around the country where entrepreneurs can get together to educate and encourage each other.
- My photography business was built on the Shoot & Share philosophy. Therefore, I do not charge my clients a “sitting fee” and then charge them more to receive “X” amount of images… instead, my clients make a one-time investment and they receive all of their high-resolution (non-watermarked) images. I run my business to serve others. I understand that this mentality is not for all photographers so you’ll want to consider this when it comes to your session pricing structure. You can join the Shoot & Share Facebook group for daily engagement on their discussion boards
- I use PASS as my photo sharing solution with my clients. Their high-resolution images are stored safely in the cloud for up to 10-years! I love that they have the ability to access their gallery while on-the-go. Clients can view, print, download, and share their images!
- I use Wix for my website hosting and designed my own site. They also offers tons of templates you can choose from!
- I use Photo Mechanic to cull my images (best investment ever!) and Lightroom to edit my images
- 17Hats has been a game-changer for my business! This is where I store all of my email templates, contracts, questionnaires, client workflows, client address book, tasks, etc. There are other similar programs out there such as HoneyBook and ShootQ
- I use Animoto for creating slideshows for my clients
- Since I shoot in “RAW” (and you should too!), I store all of my images on several WD My Passport drives. This way my computer doesn’t quickly run out of space and easily keeps my business files separate.
- Speaking of keeping business separate from personal… open up a new checking account and have all income/expenses come out of this account. This will help you stay organized for tax season (another fun topic… yikes!)
- Design Aglow is a great site for investing in marketing products/templates to professionally showcase your work
- BlogStomp is a lifesaver when it comes to blogging your latest sessions. It’s a one-time fee and worth every penny!
- When it comes to designing albums for my clients, I use SmartAlbums. Their drag-and-drop features make designing a breeze and you can easily share proofs with clients to sign off on before ordering.
- Evernote is great for organizing your notes, online articles, websites etc. You can access these notes from any mobile device which is great for when you’re on-the-go! It’s free too!
- Subscribe and follow along with Click It Up a Notch
- Trello is awesome for to-do lists, workflows, tasks, etc. Again, you can access this on any mobile device. It’s free too!
- CreativeLive offers online educational classes, workshops, etc. on a multitude of topics
- Showiteer is a excellent blog filled with best practices, tips and tricks! Be sure to check out their YouTube channel too!
- The Law Tog offers helpful legal resources for photographers (contracts, marketing, pricing, taxes, etc.)