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Starting my Photography business

(15 Posts)
LollipopViolet Sun 06-Oct-13 11:31:56

Hello everyone. I've had an idea for a photography business for a few years now, but as I require premises and am currently in a job with a £12,500 salary, it's going to take some time before that part of the business can begin. So, I'm looking at starting out doing wedding and event photography, things like gigs, and other types of live event.

I've got quite a bit of camera gear, just need a flash unit, possibly another lens, then I'll be good to go, I reckon. I've got one booking already, for a friend's wedding next year, and am planning on gaining experience as a second photographer. I'm going to a wedding fair with some friends today, so will hopefully get some ideas there.

What I need help with, is the rest of it! I need a name, a logo and a brand image that I can transfer across when I eventually open my studio. I've got a website, that's currently in development, and a Twitter page for the photography side of things, that just uses my real name at the moment. My website also uses my name, so nice and easy to change it to suit my needs. I have business cards too.

I also need to write my business plan, but have no idea how to start with that.

Any advice on starting up, and anything I've forgotten, would be much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
mrscumberbatch Sun 06-Oct-13 17:50:52

Get your portfolio sorted first as your branding etc doesn't matter unless you can back it up with quality images

Bunbaker Sun 06-Oct-13 17:53:51

Think very carefully before leaving your day job. I know a professional photographer who has had no work for so long that she has given up and got herself a day job that pays a regular salary.

LollipopViolet Sun 06-Oct-13 21:37:54

Oh, trust me, I won't be giving up my day job for a long while! I may not enjoy it some days, but it's constant income!

I spoke to a lovely lady photographer at the wedding fair today, she gave me some great advice about not getting hung up on having tons of kit, but to focus on capturing the moments that matter - that's what couples want, after all.

I also agree, I need to get a portfolio made up that isn't just my pictures in a photo album - I've found a few sites that allow you to create your own books/photobooks, so will have a look how many decent images I have at the moment, and get some made, I think. Along with new business cards that have the email address on that I want to use, rather than my personal one.

OP’s posts: |
MarthaS Sun 06-Oct-13 21:48:28

Product photography is a big opportunity if you need some "bread and butter" work and may lead to other work for the same client. As an eCommerce business owner I found it really hard to find someone who specialises in white background product shots plus lifestyle shots as most prefer portraits. As Internet shopping is still on the up then that could be a good USP.

Bunbaker Sun 06-Oct-13 22:10:09

I agree with MarthaS. I am responsible for web content for eCommerce and a lot of product photography leaves much to be desired.

OriginalMothership Mon 07-Oct-13 14:13:00

I've used a business model canvas approach to start a business and I've found it a great way to make me think about everything I need to. I ended up with a huge one in my study but just print off an A4 one from Wikipedia and stick it on the fridge to start. It's great to just jot down your ideas and it will generate a complete business plan for you.

marcharmon Sun 13-Oct-13 19:19:22

Hi Lollipop,

Congratulations on your new photography business! As a professional photographer for 20 years now, I can tell you that the business can be both challenging and rewarding. One thing I missed when first starting out was the business side of the craft. If you are interested in some free education and tips, please stop by my website sometime. You can listen to some podcast interviews, read some articles, and hopefully leave with a better understanding of the business. I'm always open for questions and comments as well. Good luck and congrats.

Marc Harmon

LollipopViolet Tue 15-Oct-13 16:24:31

Thank you all. Marc, I will definitely stop by your website.

Some exciting news. I have the forms ready to fill in to exhibit at my first wedding fair! grin

Having spoken to a few photographers, I've got enough kit to get started, and earn money to eventually buy another lens, possibly two, that would be useful.

So now I really need to get my rear into gear, as it's on the 17th November. I need to:

Get my albums printed (I can make two full albums from the 2 weddings I've shot so far)
Get my website fully functional
Get new business cards printed
Start getting some idea on my price range and what will be included in that
Get a few bits for the actual stand

Right, best get to it then smile

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Tue 15-Oct-13 16:33:07

Depends where you are in the country but Ray Lowe does a business start up course which is very reasonable He is one of the leading photographers in the country.

LollipopViolet Tue 15-Oct-13 17:27:33

Ah there are some really good courses on there bruffin but I'm in the Midlands (Staffordshire) so a bit far sad

Just doing some reading and feeling very positive about this wedding fair - going to hand the form and payment over tomorrow. If I get the space, it'll be with 2 other people, both promoting wedding cars - I reckon that's a good thing, I'll have a captive audience.

OP’s posts: |
LollipopViolet Wed 16-Oct-13 21:14:56

Yay! I got the space! grin

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Wed 16-Oct-13 23:40:56

Good luck with your business.

LollipopViolet Sat 19-Oct-13 16:45:12

I've been speaking to extended family and friends about my plan over the last few days, and I'm feeling SO positive. They were all wishing me luck, and saying they thought I'd do well, which was nice.

Current jobs list is:
Find a nice funky/alternative tablecloth for my stand - I am an indie/rock/metal girl and love anything alternative, and want this to come across in my image - would LOVE to shoot a gothic wedding, for example.
Find some A3 photo frames that won't break the bank - I want to get 2 images printed at A3 size, to display on the stand.
Get a photobook or 2 made of the two weddings I've photographed - I've found a company to do it, who I think I'll be using as my album printer, just need to get them ordered really.
Get new business cards done
Get website finished - almost there, just need to tweak photo slideshows and add another page or two.
Find a suitcase to transport everything to the wedding fayre, and possibly a new camera bag, that's a backpack style.

Any help on the photo frame and tablecloth fronts would be much appreciated smile

OP’s posts: |
MaryAnn888 Thu 15-Nov-18 10:17:18

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