Photography is a fantastic hobby. There’s nothing like capturing a gorgeous sunset at just the right time from the perfect angle. If shooting photographs is your true passion in life, consider turning it into a full-time profession. Even if you’re still honing your craft, earning big money in photography is as much about establishing your niche and marketing yourself as it as about having an eye for artistic photography and the skills to capture images. Follow this checklist to make a career out of your photography hobby.
Choose a Niche
When you’re starting out and hungry for business, it is tempting to take all photography jobs that come your way but don’t do it. While this strategy might put a little more money in your pocket temporarily, it hurts your business in the long run. It is far more profitable to choose a specific type of photography and become the go-to person in that niche. You’ll get more and better clients this way. A person willing to pay big bucks for a wedding photographer wants someone who specializes in wedding photography and devotes time to perfecting that particular craft, not a jack of all trades. Decide what you love to photograph, and develop your business around that niche.
Upgrade Your Equipment
While smartphone camera technology has gotten impressive, it won’t suffice for a photography business. This doesn’t mean you have to empty out your bank account for the best equipment on the market. You can find fantastic used photography equipment on eBay or even Craigslist. Purchasing used equipment lets you try out more gadgets and determine what you really need. As your business grows, you know where to spend your money on upgrades. Another tip from current photographers is to invest in lens quality and not worry as much about lighting technology.
Build Your Portfolio and Market It
You can be the world’s greatest photographer and starve if you don’t have clients. Conversely, you can be a decent photographer and make an outstanding living because you picked the right niche and know how to market yourself. The first step is building your portfolio to show off the quality of your work. Clients are unlikely to pay you big money for a shoot unless you wow them with your portfolio. Building a portfolio might require working for low pay or even free in the early days to get some shoots under your belt. Consider it an investment in your business. As your portfolio grows, get it in front of clients by establishing a website and social media pages for your business.
Keep Good Records
Maintaining good records keeps your business from losing thousands each year in unnecessary tax payments and unpaid invoices. Establish a photography invoice system to track your sales and revenue. Consider using online small business accounting software to keep up with your expenses and keep your books balanced. Businesses in every industry fold each year not because they lacked customers or failed to offer quality products and services, but because their finances were poorly managed. If you’re passionate about photography, you can make it more than a hobby. Consider starting a photography business and turning it into a full-time career.