How To Start A Photography Business

Updated: January 26, 2019

In my observation, more and more people are buying professional DSLR cameras nowadays.

I have several friends who did; and almost all of them would say that their reason for buying is because they’re a “frustrated photographer”.

But more than that, some are actually thinking that maybe perhaps they can also make some money out of their photography hobby.

As I’ve already written before – one of the easiest ways to make money from your photos is to sell them online through the various microstock photography websites around.

However, one must know that income from these are not that much if you compare it to what a professional photographer can make.

So if you’re one of these people who are seriously thinking of going beyond the hobby and start a photography business, then here’s some tips as given to me by a professional photographer friend of mine.

But before anything else, I’d want you to watch this short video which really sums up the most important things you need to remember when starting a photography business.

How to start a photography business?

Step 1
Be honest with the reason why you want to do the business. As always, one should not do it primarily for the money but for the love of photography. You will not make money if you don’t have passion for photography.

Step 2
Decide on your niche. Ask yourself what kind of photographs you would want to focus on. Will it be events such as weddings? Portraiture? Or something commercial such as advertisement posters and company brochures? Know what subject you’d like to be known for.

Step 3
Make a business plan. Draft a business model and crunch the numbers. This is a very crucial step for the business. You need to know your expected start-up costs, overhead expenses and potential income from your projects. Do your research on the industry.

Step 4
Get your business license. You may start out as a freelance photographer to get yourself some experience but if you really want the big projects to come, you need to legalize your business.

Step 5
Build your portfolio. Collate your best work and print them out. You can perhaps use a few of them as the back design of your business card. Starting a photoblog is also a good way to showcase your work.

Step 6
Buy the right equipment. Depending on your niche, you would need to invest on the proper lens and lighting. You don’t need the latest model, just get those which are good enough to start with. Getting second hand equipment is also an option.

Step 7
Have the right people under your wing. Expect to work with other talents in your projects – these people are the make-up artists, assistant photographers, studio owners, production assistants and many others. It pays to expand your network and have a database of these people.

Step 8
Prepare to market and advertise your services. Plan and dedicate time to hunt for projects. And whenever you land one, give it your best and make sure you ask for referrals. Photography is a very social business. A good word from your customers will really go a long way for you.

And that should be it. I hope I was able to help you get an idea how to start a photography business.

There are a few more pointers you can learn by also reading my step by step guide to starting a business; and I strongly suggest you do.

Lastly, if you want to receive more business tips or know other home-based business ideas, then subscribe to Ready To Be Rich. Thanks!

What to do next: Click here to start your financial journey with IMG Wealth Academy
Photo credit: muha


  1. Great idea for a business. But since a lot of people do have photography gear now, people need to differentiate themselves from the other photographers around. For people in towns outside Metro manila, they can even do wedding and baptismal photography gigs. 😀

  2. And, of course… You have to actually take the plunge, and do it. Some get stuck on this last point…

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