Tricks of the Trade: Starting a Photography Business

One business that seems to be growing in society today is the photography business. No matter how bad off the economy is or the financial standing of American families, people still desire to capture the memories of special milestones in their lives. Whether it is a new addition to the family, graduation, a special birthday, or a yearly family portrait, most American families do not mind spending the extra money on capturing these memories. However, those families desire a positive experience that they will never forget. In order to provide families with a great experience, you as the photographer must be organized, welcoming, and possess the talent needed to capture amazing photos.

My name is Michelle Spoon, and I am an upcoming Photographer. I began photographing about a year ago, but did not have the means to start a business until this year. Like me, you are a new talented individual, who is starting their business in hopes that it will become legendary. So first of all, Why would someone want to become a photographer? Most of the time a photographer starts their career because it was a hobby that turned into a passion that became a career. In order for your passion to become a career there are several tasks that must be done to have an effective business.

The first need that I discussed above to be an effective photographer was to be organized. There are several key points on being an organized photographer:

1. Obtain a name and professional business cards. These cards are essential for marketing and an easy way to promote your name and network.

2. Compose a price lists and packages for customers. Make sure you have competitive prices with other new photographers, and have a variety of options for customers to choose from.

3. Use Projected Frame, which is an online accounting program that makes your experience with the “number” aspect of business easier, in order for you to spend more time capturing pictures! Projected Frame will provide you with the accounting tools needed in order to run your business effectively. Projected Frame will also help you become organized, especially with the “numbers” side of business.  Most photographers are photographers, not mathematicians. Therefore, Projected Frame will be there to help.

4. Began to market and obtain customers. (websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
These four things are essential when first starting your business as a photographer. I recommend keeping everything in files that are for your business only. Organization, I believe, is number one in the business society. If a customer sees that you are organized then they feel more relaxed and are most likely more willing to spend money.

Secondly, you must be welcoming! Even on the days that life and business gets tough, you still have to put a smile on your face. You need to look at each session as a new session. You need to make sure that you are personable with the people that you will be working with. Learn their names, their hobbies, etc. With kids make them laugh and have a good time. Your essential goal is to make the customer feel as if they are your number one priority. Remember, if you make the customer happy, they will be willing to put out more money!

Finally, you must possess the talent that the customer wants in the pictures that are being taken. Before beginning the shoot, ask the customer if they would like any special pictures, and what kind of pictures they are looking for. Make sure you get exactly what they want; in all actuality they are the customers. You may also add a few shots that you believe they will like, that they may have not mentioned. You want to make sure there are a variety of photos so the customer has several to choose from.  The more poses and different photos there are, the more likely they are to buy more, because they will not be able to decide on which one they want!

All in all, you want to make the customer happy. Even more, if the customer is happy with your work and their experience with you, they will spend more, which will in turn make you happy and make your business excel even more! They will also most likely return for futures sessions with you. Remember every customer you work with is an advertisement, whether good or bad! Make sure you are providing them with organized, welcoming, and talented service in order for your business to excel.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?