How to start a photography business

how to start your own photography business

Starting a photography business can be a scary thing. You are walking into the unknown and challenging yourself in ways you haven't for a long time. And I have gotten this question a lot, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject!
The thing that I love about photography is
  1. the flexibility and
  2. you can be as busy as you want to be. I currently work a full-time job and do this on the side - which can get busy but it also very rewarding. I also truly believe that if you find your passion, pursue it!
For starting my business, I really was not equipped with very nice equipment. I had a Canon Rebel and the kit lens that came with it. But at that time I was learning and didn't necessarily need a higher level camera. I would ask families to be models for me and to practice shoots on my own family. My siblings became very used to the idea of being in front of the camera! Doing this allows you to build your portfolio and grow to the point where you feel confident in charging people.
My next step was offering "Mini" sessions to people for a minimal amount. They would receive a handful of photos with their mini session and you also gain valuable experience. No matter what you charge, there will typically always be people interested. You are just hitting different target markets.
My business model was to grow with my clients. I never really purchased any equipment until I had the cash flow for it. I didn't want to go into debt for this adventure I was on but wanted to grow strategically. But everyone is different in that regard.
As this continues you can get a sense of what you love to shoot and understand a better sense of posing your clients. Most people feel awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera - it doesn't matter how beautiful they are! They are feeling vulnerable. It's your job to make them overcome that feeling and help them to have fun! I always want people to enjoy their sessions instead of dread them. I always tell people that photographing is more than snapping a photo, it is talking and laughing with them. It is a people person job. And the thing you have to remember is that every person you shoot, whether they are 1 year olds or 90 year olds - they too have passions and interests. Babies are interested in songs and even looking and playing with your camera. Adults love talking about their families, their life story, and their interests. I once had a gentleman that was very uncomfortable in front of the camera, but once I found out what music he loved, he was laughing and smiling and singing! It was great!
The process of learning and growing is never ending. I am always learning new things about posing, about directing, about lighting and about my editing process.

Things that I find absolutely necessary in my business are:

The thing a lot of people forget about photographer, and one of the ultimate reasons they fail to succeed, is that photography is heavily reliant on marketing. You need to actively share your work and spike interest. Otherwise, you will become lost in the sea of photographers.
It's scary taking that jump, but you can! You just want to step out of your comfort zone a bit and start practicing with your loved ones!
Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!!