Starting a Photography Business is Hard

There once was a photographer who started a business. She wrote a business plan to outline her strategy and vision. She identified a target market and created a service that perfectly fit that market. Business took off and she was amazed by the steady growth rate. Thanks to her cash flow plan, she never saw lean times, ever. Taxes were never an issue, because she carefully managed expenses to offset revenues and worked with a great accountant. When mishaps occurred, she was always well insured to cover such surprises. One day, she sat back, looked at the photo empire she created and exclaimed: “I nailed it.” 


Does this sound like a fairy tale to you? It really shouldn’t. These are normal steps to starting a successful business. Ok, the reality is, very few entrepreneurs, photographers and beyond, ever get it 100% right on their first try. When you look at everything required to start a business – the right way – it can seem overwhelming and fairly complicated. There are plenty of critical considerations to starting a photography business – from organizing as a company, to cash flow and tax planning, to insurance, to pricing, to marketing. It is easy enough to miss one or two biggies that stand in the way of true success.    

While getting started may be hard, it doesn’t have to be SO hard, especially with a little guidance on how to avoid major mistakes. We’d like to help out with that, with the launch of a new free e-book Starting a Photography Business. This new 20-page guide is designed to help emerging photographers navigate the challenges of launching a new photography business. (Chances are, some seasoned pros will find nuggets of wisdom inside here too.) Unlike many photo business resources, this new guide shares case studies based on the experiences of the last six College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) winners as well as guidance from leading photography business experts.

Inside the guide, you’ll find key topics covered like:
•    Writing Your Business Plan
•    Creating A Business Entity
•    Buying Gear: Loan or Credit Card?
•    Taxes: Declaring Expenses & Red Flags
•    Cost Of Doing Business
•    Setting Your Rates & Booking Clients
•    Insurance: Health, Liability & Equipment
•    Getting An Agent/Rep

Our research team interviewed several experts and accomplished photographers to compile this guide, including Matt “Tax Ninja” Whatley, John Harrington, author of Best Business Practices for Photographers, photographer Greg Smith from the National Press Photographers Association and Frank Meo of Meo Represents and, and Laura Novak of Strategy Avenue and little nest portraits. The College Photographers of the Year included Casey Templeton (CPOY 2005), Luceo Images’ Matt Eich (CPOY 2006), Travis Dove (CPOY 2007), Tim Hussin (CPOY 2008), Ryan Henriksen (2009), and Rachel Mummey (CPOY 2010). This is not the be all, end all blueprint to starting a business, but rather
a different look at the essential considerations from good people who really
know their stuff.

Get your free copy of Starting a Photography Business now. And please, if you have tips to share, feel free to add them here, especially if you’re the aforementioned photographer who “nailed it.”

Learn more by downloading our free guide “Starting a Photo Business”

Get your free guide now!

The 19-page PDF will be e-mailed to you. We won’t sell or distribute your email. It’s guarded 24/7 by angry gorillas!

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

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  1. Pingback: Don’t freak! running a photography business is a breeze! | EVE Photography

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