Starting up a business

This is the 2nd post from my little series or photography posts.

If you missed me last one then you can view it here.

I didn't really start this little venture on the view of going for it full steam. Not very often do I do things slowly but I genuinely thought i'd just plod along doing the odd bit for family and friends and then see where it takes me. Afterall, Joe is the photographer in our family.

Anyway, a couple of months later I was fully booked on the days I was offering and I had enquiries coming out of my ears. It was SO exciting and I couldn't really believe that people I didn't even know willing to PAY ME to take photographs of their family or even still their newborn baby!!

I'm 8 months down the line now and i'm LOVING IT. It honestly is everything I had ever dreamt of and more. I come away from photoshoots buzzing and itching to get home and sort through them. I have learnt an awful lot already but I know I still have stacks more to learn.

 The first photoshoot I ever did using an IKEA lamp and a fleece throw hanging over a door frame.

These are some of my tips and advice on starting up a photography business that I have learnt so far!

  • Have a plan. Think about what type of work you want to do. Mainly families? Just newborns? Or just weddings? Don't set your heart on it though and be ready to explore every avenue. It will take a while to find your niche. (I still haven't found mine....)
  • Don't underestimate yourself. If you have somebody messaging you because they have seen a picture you did for so and so and they liked it and they want you to do some for them, you are obviously good. Don't doubt yourself.
  • When building up your portfolio (which to be fair, when do we ever stop!?) offer discounts and deals. This helps potential clients get a good deal and it means you have another batch of images to put in your portfolio. Don't forget to get permission from them to use them for advertising and your website etc. 
  • Don't be afraid to charge. Yes we want to build up a good portfolio and gain a load of customers but you don't get everything for nothing. You are WORTH charging, so charge! I always just said to people 'Oh you can have the disc for free' or 'Oh don't worry if we go over an hour, i won't charge for extra time'. If you want to make it a business then make sure you are earning a profit. People shouldn't EXPECT freebies so don't offer it if you don't need to.
  • When charging people take into account the time you are photographing and editing time. I didn't realise how long the process would be to start with when editing a picture. I wanted to do it properly and it was taking me a good 20 minutes per picture. A batch of 50 images was taking over 16 hours to process and I was LOSING money.(Don't worry... i soon learnt about actions on PS!)
  • Take a look at all the local photographers around you. Do something different! You want to stand out and be unique. Pinterest has so many awesome ideas that other photographers around you may not have thought of yet, grab the chance and make a good impression! 
  • Advertise, advertise and advertise!! I have to say Facebook has been my main source of advertising. Find your local selling pages, local town pages and every so often remind them of your FB page. Make sure your page is up to date with your latest news and ask people to kindly share it to their friends. The amount of coverage you can recieve from just a few people 'liking', commenting and sharing is amazing! It really does work!!
  • Be confident! When meeting new clients you want to seem bubbley, and want to WANT to photograph their families. Act interested, interact with the children and believe in yourself!
Hopefully this have given you the confidence to go for it, or given you a little help on the way of something you have already started!

I'd love to hear what you think of my tips, be sure to email me or comment! And if you are just starting up then please do leave a link to your page!!

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