THE YCEO: Guide to Starting a Photography Side Business - THE YCEO

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THE YCEO: Guide to Starting a Photography Side Business

Guide to Starting a Photography Side Business
Many people say that photography is an art. I totally agree. Photos are an awesome way to capture memories. It also allows you to stop and take in the beauty of nature. Nowadays having just one job is often not enough.
If you have a love for photography, why not take your passion to the next level? You’ll be making money on the side while doing something you love.
“But just how do I start a photography side business?”, you may ask. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In order to start a successful side hustle, you need to know what to expect and how to set yourself up. Here is a guide to help you do just that like a boss!

Calculate Your Personal Finances

Some initial investment is always needed when being serious about launching a photography side business. In order to be financially prepared, it is vital to know how the investment will impact your personal budget. 
This side hustle is usually between $1,200-$3,000 to begin with because there are a few things that are needed. Some things to consider is the cost of equipment, website, business cards for photographers, marketing, and of course legal fees (if you’re licensing).
Before you get scared away by the number, keep in mind it really only takes a few months of planning and budget preparation for the investment. Figuring out the expenses areas you can cut down will lower your blood pressure.
The money which will you’ll  be saving can go towards your business. Personally, I used a budget tracker spreadsheet. It made the task so much easier!

Discover Your Signature Style

When discovering your signature style, it is critical that you know your personality as a photographer. From portraits to weddings, there are many options for clients to choose from. 
This is why you’ll need to be good at visually articulating your unique identity. It could be the creativity you bring to shoots, the unique way you use to manipulate light or your amazing editing style, whatever it is, hold onto that!
It may be tempting to look at other photographers’ work for inspiration but I highly recommend you don’t do this. Hear me out. 
Creating stuff that you love and trusting your own vision will push you into work you are truly proud of. Trying to mimic others’ work will prevent you from pushing yourself to your full potential. 
The bottom line is to trust your gut feeling. Just go with it.

All About The Equipment

There is no need to go overboard with top of the line cameras, lenses and lighting kits. The best thing to do is to start with the basics and grow into it. 

As you learn how to shoot with a specific camera you can improve your skills. A photographer who knows their equipment well is the one who has the best-finished product. Think of it this way, if you have a fancy camera but have no idea how to use it properly, your end product will not be great.

There are plenty of places out there you can rent equipment from. Some places even allow you to try products out before buying it. This provides you an opportunity to discover which equipment you best like before committing to it.

Catch Their Eye

Before diving into the fun part of creating your website here are two questions to answer to help you develop a killer website.

1. Will your clients need to download the photos from your website? 
If yes, a lot of hosting space and a secure login capability will be needed for people to access and order photos.
2.Is your website mobile responsive? 
This will help market your business as it will be more accessible to more people.
Now for the exciting part! 
Not many people know that your website design needs to be optimized to show off all your hard work. Your photography should do the talking. 
Many memorable websites have beautiful gallery pages, plenty of white space and a clean layout. It is also important to consider the amount of space that will be needed on your computer for media. 
Poor organizational panning could lead to lost media. Start off by getting a good estimation of how much storage space. Once you have an estimation, you’ll then need an action plan for how you’ll store and update files regularly.

All About The Legal Stuff

Depending on how much cash you plan on making with your side hustle, there are a few legal things to consider. I suggest getting connected with an accountant to help you understand the logistics of tax. You could try to navigate on your own however, it may be challenging.

You’ll first want to decide on a name for your business and check trademarks. It can be as simple as ‘Your Name Photography’. The simplest way to check for trademarks is to perform a trademark search. It’s a good thing if nothing turns up with the search results. 

The next step is to search google to double check nobody else is using a name that is the same or similar. If they are, it may be easier to choose a new name.

When it comes to registering your name, there are a few different options. You can register your business name, trade name or register your business as a legal entity. 

Don’t forget to include insurance! It’s always a great idea to have insurance to protect yourself and to cover any damage or issues with equipment. The last thing you need is having your expensive camera stolen which you can’t afford to replace.

Time To Market

With the boring things out of the way, it is finally time for the exciting stuff. You can now market your business. 

Some photographers become overwhelmed by this part but there really is no need to feel this way. Although building a client portfolio takes a while, momentum can build quite quickly. 

Here are some tactics you could use to start off with:

  • Google Listing – Make sure you list your business on Google. This will expose your business to people when they use search or Maps.
  • Facebook – Develop a  Facebook business page Make sure to upload your best photographs. Try to stick to a regular posting schedule and if possible, create a few Facebook ads. Once in Ads Manager, it will be easier to target specific locations, interests (such as birthdays), and demographics.
  • Word of Mouth – Create momentum by developing your portfolio with friends and family first. Get them to shoot with you. You’ll be surprised at how many people would love the chance to get high-quality photos in exchange for their time. Consider volunteering your services for local events or artists.

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