How to Start a Photography Business?

How to Start a Photography Business?

Why You Should Consider Photography Business?

There is no doubt that we like to snap pictures and capture clicks. Photographs are a great way to commemorate special moments in our lives. With over 3 billion smartphones in the world, there is no doubt that a lot of us are taking plenty of pictures every day. According to Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, people uploaded around 1.8 billion digital images every single day back in 2014.

So, if you are wondering how to start a photography business, now is a great time as any to join the fray. A recent study by the BCC Research proclaims that the global digital photography market is projected to reach $48.9 billion by 2021. This is a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.1% from 2016 to 2021.

Furthermore, a report, this time by Technavio states that the boost in the growth of the global photography services market is brought by the use of technologically advanced gadgets and equipment. Moreover, the market is projected to accelerate at a CAGR of 5% from 2019 to 2023 with an incremental increase of $10.24 billion from 2018 to 2023.

Cost of Running a Photography Business

Photography equipment is considered one of the major costs of running your business. This can include:

·         The budgeted start-up cost of $10,000

·         A pair of professional cameras can cost you around from $1,500 to $2,000 each

·         Two flashes around $700

·         Multiple memory cards, $50 each

·         A pair of external hard drives at $120 each

·         Insurance can cost up to $600 per year and can vary

·         Lighting and Photoshop subscription can cost you around $120 per year.

Photography License & Certifications

While the need for a professional license for photography is not mandatory in all the states & jurisdictions, however in some places like the City of Milwaukee requires a proper license. In most cases where you are required to meet licensing needs, you need to contact the state authority and jurisdiction. In most cases a general business permit or license is suitable. However, if you are operating your photography business from your residence, then a Home Occupancy Permit is an obligation.

As far as certification is concerned, to become a professional certified photographer, you need to follow through subsequent steps:

·         Declare your candidacy to the PPA (Professional Photographers of America).

·         Study for and pass the CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) exam.

·         Submit a set of photos and images for professional review.

Marketing & Promoting Your Venture

Digital marketing is by far the cheapest way you can promote your photography business and it offers you an incredible number of impressions as well as the ability to reach out to a huge customer base. 

This is why hiring a custom website development company can help you get your proprietor website up and running in no time. Your website will serve as a virtual real estate for your venture where you can bring in traffic from all corners.

However, before you do that, I highly recommend that you get yourself a terrific logo for your venture and that can be easily accomplished with the help of an affordable logo design service. Your logo represents your business and the value it entails. It is also one of the first few things that prospects will notice about your brand. Plus, with an adequate logo, you get to familiarize people with what you have to offer.

Additionally, you should most definitely consider keeping a dominating online presence with the help of social media profiles and pages. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and even a YouTube channel can spell out a huge success and fan following in the coming years.

Lastly, you should also reach out and get your business registered online with several customer review websites and business listing websites. These can include the likes of Foursquare, Yelp, the Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. However, if you plan to get the local market interested then Google My Business is by far the most prolific. With Google My Business you can own your business page and optimize it to the fullest to get tremendous results.

Some Legal Requirements

To start an official business, you need to realize that there are indeed some formalities that you have to follow through and this means registering your business with your state revenue agency. Furthermore, you need to follow this up by acquiring an EIN (Employer Identification Number) as well as a Federal Tax Identification Number. You can easily achieve this by visiting the IRS website.

Moreover, it is really important that you decide on an official name for your business as well and determine the structure of your venture. Common ownerships included sole-proprietor if you plan to run the business all by yourself, a partnership if you have someone else who can support you, and an LLC (Limited Liability Company) which is best if you plan to grow and expand the strength of your business.

Variety of Specializations to Choose From

Photography in itself offers you a wide range of disciplines and specializations. Hence there is a lot of room and choices available as to what kind of photography you seek to master and become a virtuoso. Some major niche markets include:

·         Wildlife Photography

·         Wedding Photography

·         Still Life Photography

·         Sports Photography

·         Portrait Photography

·         Photojournalism

·         Fashion Photography

·         Event Photography

·         Architectural Photography

According to a study by Forbes magazine, the mean annual wage for photographers in the US is around $42,770 which is, unfortunately, less than last year’s national mean annual wage of $51,960. However, this should not discourage you because not all places pay photographers the same salary. In fact, according to, 50th percentile Photographer salaries are around $66,116 well above the national average and 90th percentile photographers can earn up to $83,367 in a year.

Final Word

The photography industry is growing and with brand new technology being introduced at a progressive pace, anyone with the flair to cash-in on these astounding trends would jump on the bandwagon. I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful insights as to how you can start your own photography business in the US. Do your research and think about the future this industry has to offer. As for now, I can only wish you all the best for your upcoming endeavors. Cheers, and best of luck!


Written by

Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts is a digital marketer. He loves to blog about digital marketing, designing, and business growth. A true lover of Coffee with chocolate cakes!