Friday, August 12, 2011

Moving From Hobby To Business With Your Photography


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The statistics overwhelmingly show that people love their cameras.
  • 77% of U.S. households own at least one digital camera.
  • Almost 120 million cameras were sold in 2009, with digital SLRs having a 30% growth in sales.
  • The average consumer takes 72 digital photographs at each event they attend.
  • They share 55% of all photos taken by email.
  • And 40% post their images online at sites like Facebook and Snapfish.
So why not take something you love anyway and turn it into a business? Maybe not a full time business, but something you can make money at here and there.

1. What are your goals? My personal photography goals are to go into a full time, successful career in the field. 

2. Choose the right name for your photography businessI chose Amazing Grace Photography for a couple reasons. I am saved by God's amazing grace and want to give him the glory. I want to branch my business out into charitable opportunities like OPLove and providing senior shoots to foster children. And lastly, my middle name is Grace. I'm a hobbyist at this point, looking at turning this into a small  business. I'm not looking at trademarking my name, etc. However, once I start marketing to turn a profitable income, I will need to register my business with the local area/state.

3. Look at it like a business. Find mentors in your specialty or niche. Want to go into weddings? Find a few where you love their work; follow them online, attend their classes, and meet them at tradeshows. Use them as your guidance to grow.

4. Get proper camera equipment. Sure you can show up at a wedding with a consumer grade digital SLR and a lens or two. But what if you drop the body, or the lens freezes? To be a professional, means great equipment and plenty of backup. You don’t always have to buy – why not rent lenses until you find what you want and can afford.

5. Use tools and software to give your photography an edge. There are many things that can help you become better at photography by being better at the business side. Photoshop is a definite must for photographers. Expand from there.

6. Practice your photography. Because most consumers have access to fairly decent camera equipment, you’re competing with a ton of amateur photographers. You have to not only stand out from the crowd, but completely WOW your potential customers. How can you create something beyond what your competitors are doing?

 7. Price your photography like a professional. There is so much more to pricing your photography than choosing a random number. You have to take many things into account. Will you be able to afford better camera equipment? Is the rent of your studio covered?

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