A professional photographer who offers his services to the public has a real opportunity to capitalize on his skills. A business plan for a photographer provides for risk assessment and profit calculation, organization of an advertising campaign, and business promotion in the service market.
The transition from film to digital has allowed many creative people to discover photography completely differently. The ability to see and evaluate the frame on the vlogging camera screen at the time of the shooting has significantly changed the approach and prospects for the development of photography, and various effects of editing programs allow you to turn a photo into a masterpiece if you have the desire and certain skills.
However, it is not enough to buy a professional camera to call yourself a photographer. The growing competition every day requires a person offering his services in this area, skills, craftsmanship, and high performance. What should a beginner photographer take into account to not be disappointed in business and himself?
How to start a business for a beginner photographer?
Market and competitor analysis
It’s no secret that the competition in the photo business is high. But the presence of a huge number of proposals does not mean that there is a high-quality photography workshop behind each of them.
Accessible marketing research will help assess the state of the service market. Since advertising tools are usually the Internet and local media, it is worth paying close attention to them:
- material from two dozen sites will give an approximate idea of the list of services provided, shooting conditions, and prices;
- advertisements in newspapers, on local television, will tell you which photographer is the most popular;
- Groups on social networks will allow us to evaluate proposals and work with feedback, analyze customer reviews, their requests, and suggestions.
Portfolio creation – Photography
After evaluating competitors’ advertising, you can move on to creating your portfolio: without a demonstration of work, finding clients will be very problematic.
In addition to photographs on paper, it is worth selecting and posting them on the Internet: create a thematic group on social networks and offer material on specialized sites. Later, when the number of commissioned works increases, the photographs will “go to the people,” and potential clients will see them. At first, questions about where and how you can view photos will constantly arise.
- Photos in the portfolio must be of high quality, without blemishes. Here you need to follow the rule “less is more strictly.”
- Should sort photos into albums according to the theme (wedding, children’s, romantic, staged, landscape).
- The portfolio must provide the client with a certain amount of personal information about the photographer; it is necessary to indicate the presence of special education (if any), participation in exhibitions, and competitions.
- The client must see the prices of the services offered; this will save time for both parties.
- Contact information – phones, e-mail, vibe must be valid.
A competent risk assessment and taking action in advance will help to minimize the occurrence of unpleasant situations.
- Poor quality photos and, as a result, dissatisfied customers. There is only one solution – to work on yourself and your technique, take a long time and painstakingly, undergo training;
- the presence of a backup ensures the failure of equipment;
- against the high competition, you can exhibit work in your original manner, excellent quality of photos, or attractive prices;
- the search compensates for the decrease (absence) of demand for new solutions and proposals.
Organizational plan step by step
Choosing the direction of the photo business
Without trying to grasp immensity, most professional photographers choose a priority direction in photography and improve it. You can combine 2-3 related topics.
Among the most common and demanded:
- wedding photography;
- family and children’s photo sessions;
- shooting at holidays and corporate parties, public events;
- photo sessions during pregnancy;
- studio, portrait photography;
- romantic stories, photographs in nature.
Nobody forbids coming up with your own fundamentally new direction; on the contrary, such a step will help to attract and interest customers.
To work, you need to register with the tax office, obtain a TIN and register with the local administration as an individual entrepreneur.
Codes (OKVED 2) 74 – another professional, scientific and technical activities; 74.2 – activities in photography.
To register as an individual entrepreneur, you must write an application in the prescribed form, attach a copy of your passport and a receipt for payment of state duty.
Taxation system – STS 6%, the choice is registered with an additional application to the tax authorities.
Rent a studio
As a rule, a beginner photographer does not need studio equipment. The only strict exception is made when studio shooting is chosen as the priority. But even then, you can find a way out and save money, at least at the initial stage. There are probably many equipped photo studios in the city that are rented for an affordable amount. In some cases, the master negotiates a rental with the client and includes it in the cost of services; in others, the client pays for the premises, but the photos, accordingly, are cheaper. Eminent photographers allow themselves to combine two options. Finding a themed studio is easier and cheaper than doing your own.
In some cases, customers prefer to be photographed at home; it is worthwhile to evaluate the interior in advance, think over the composition, costumes, technical details.
In rare cases, a beginner photographer invites staff to work together; as a rule, he copes with finding clients, shooting, and subsequent photo processing. Suppose the flow of customers is very large and physical capabilities are not enough to deliver orders on time. In that case, you can hire an assistant (what he will do – process photos or look for clients, deliver orders to the employer).
Advertising services of a photographer
Before you start your professional career, you should draw up a portfolio and select photos that can show the product by your face. It can be shooting relatives, acquaintances, friends, random people. It is important to understand that these particular photos will serve as an advertisement for a starting business.
Information about services should be posted on thematic city portals, submit a questionnaire for advertising catalogs (for example, weddings), show your work on social networks and sites suitable for the profile. Participation and victories in competitions and exhibitions are excellent advertising tools. Gradually, word of mouth will spread the fame of a good photographer, and clients will look for meetings themselves. But negative reviews also spread with lightning speed, so it is important not to harm your reputation with poor-quality work and missed deadlines.
Investments at the start
- purchase of professional equipment – 300-1000 Dolors.
- Advertising – 50 – 100 Dolors.
I can see that the initial investment depends on the purchased equipment. Someone prefers to be content with only the most necessary; someone acquires a complete set, including different lenses, reflectors, and more. For one, a used Digital camera is enough, since it will cost an order of magnitude cheaper, the other will buy a new one of the latest model. If a photographer starting a professional business already has his equipment, then the costs for the business will be only paperwork, about 100 Dolor, and advertising.
Monthly expenses include taxes, replacement of consumables (printer cartridges, photo paper), additional equipment, transportation costs. In addition, you will need packaging for ready-made orders – ordinary envelopes of the appropriate size or boxes, bags with a unique design, printed with logo and contact information.
If the photographer dispenses with an assistant and does not seek to buy new items of photographic equipment, the costs will be minimal.