Photography is a business that will never go out of style and the digital age has made it a more sought-after skill and business.
It is quite lucrative if you know your onions and you can start it as a side business from the comfort of your home.
When you think of photography, think of the likes of Ty Bello who has set the pace for photography in Nigeria and even far as Africa. This can surely be you!
Here are some tips to help you as you foray into the world of photography:
1. Choose a niche
Yes, you have to choose a specialization. Choosing an area of specialization in photography is one of the best ways to stand out from other photographers. You have to find an area of specialization that you love and at the same time, are better in.
You can start by learning about and also trying various types of photography like landscape photography, wedding photography, baby/child photography, travel photography, portrait photography, fashion photography, food photography, commercial photography, and the list is endless. Once you get an area of specialization, you can start working on making yourself into a brand.
2. Choose a Business Name and Logo
You need to get a name for your business as well as creating a cool, unique logo that depicts your brand. If you can’t create a logo on your own, you can get professional help from a graphic designer.
“A brand is not just a logo, it’s the overall impression and experience you give to your audience and customers. Always remember that your brand expresses the value you provide.
3. Register your business
After choosing a brand name, you need to your business registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
4. Get Professional Training
Working alongside a professional photographer is a great way to show your prospective clients what you can do, and also to get some experience and start to build a portfolio of your own. You can work as a photographer’s assistant while starting your own business.
5. Invest in Quality Equipment
You will need quality equipment as a photographer and top of the list is a good camera.
Other equipment you nedd include:
- Editing software
- Desktop computer/laptop
- External hard drive
- Photo printer
6. Create a Price Plan
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional photographer, you need to come up with a price plan. What and how much will you charge your potential clients? If it’s per hour or per day; you need to carry out a thorough research on that aspect to know the price range of what other photographers charge.
You should know though that when you just start, you might have to bring down your prices a bit just to attract clients that may end up being lifetime clients that can refer you to others.
7. Get A Studio Space
You can decide to start your photography business by taking outdoor shots only. But, you can take it a step further by renting space to set up a studio for customers that will love to take photoshoots or travel to you for photos.
When shooting in manual mode, you’re in control of the camera. The aperture, white balance, shutter speed and ISO are all under your control so you have to learn and know how to set them right on your camera. Make your camera your best friend; eat, breathe and live it.
Keep practicing with it in your free time and if possible, play with it just to know the “in and out” of it. Don’t get too comfortable with other modes (such as aperture priority, shutter priority, auto, sports, portrait modes…) that will give you limited results as they have “already set” themes that cannot be changed unless you change to manual mode.
9. Learn People Skills
These are the most important skills a photographer should have; not only should you know how to handle the camera but you should be able to communicate well with clients.
Also, try and keep a good relationship with your clients and be prepared to refund money sometimes. As much as you need to be friendly and approachable, you also have to be strict when it comes to some rude clients who want to take you for granted, merely because you are a woman.
10. Market Your Brand
As a photographer, you need to market yourself and your work by setting up official pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Let people know more about you and what you can do by showcasing your work on these pages.
You can also print out business cards with all your contact information on them; from your official email to your phone numbers, website, blog, and other social media platforms you’re on.
Referral programs are also an easy, affordable, and effective marketing plan. A referral program is a way to thank your happy clients for recommending you to their friends.