Best Photography Business Advice

Recently we asked our Facebook fans the following ...

"What is the best business advice you would give someone just starting out?"

and here is what they said!


  • Get a business license, create client policies, contracts and understand exactly what your costs of doing business are (cost of goods, web hosting, internet service, mileage, insurance, etc). Get all your business stuff together before you start shooting and charging. Not the other way around.
  • Take classes and practice, practice, practice!
  • Your style should be true to yourself.  Be inspired by those around you but keep a style of your own.  It will set you apart from the competition.
  • Everything comes in time, you will grow and develop as an artist.
  • Comparing yourself to others is a dream killer. Especially comparing yourself to photogs who have been in business for years. Be yourself. Develop your own style. Everyone has to start somewhere. "The only photographer you should compare yourself to, is the one you used to be."
  • Trust in your abilities, not everyone is the client for you, and that's ok.
  • Take every opportunity to learn more about your craft. Read, take workshops, watch tutorials - there are a lot of free articles and tutorials out there!
  • "If you rush, you wont reach there". Do not be victim to impatience
  • Don't worry what others are thinking about your work! Keep on striving and you will progress as you go!
  • Don't stress the negative from other professional photographers
  • Learn manual. It isn't as scary as it seems but will change your photography forever.
  • Shoot RAW!
  • Don't just jump in head first! Get your feet wet and learn more before starting. Wish I had done that. I had NO idea how much work and knowledge it would take. So glad I took the leap and stuck it out!!
  • Read a business book. Start out backward. If you want to make 52 thousand a year, that means you have to make 2000 dollars a week.. because you MUST take into consideration how much you have to pay in taxes, travel expenses, and replacing any equipment. Then, build from there. Don't quit your day job until you're booking enough jobs to make enough of a salary.
  • Practice practice practice
  • If you're going to charge, do it the right way! Register your business name, pay your taxes, get insurance! Do not just pick up a camera! If you're going to do newborns pace yourself. Safe posing and composite shots!!!
  • Never attack your work just because you are not getting clients, usually it's because you are advertising to the wrong client. Know your target market and research the best way to advertise to them.
  • Never stop LEARNING!
  • Do not compare yourself to other photographers. Everyone has their own style, which may not be the same as yours. And that we all started don't start out as a pro
  • Run your business in the best way that fits YOU. Don't worry about what other photographers are doing!
  • Make a business plan!
  • Spread the word...tell EVERYone you know!! Word of mouth is your new best friend.
  • Ask for a professional critique of your work, website, blog from a photographer you admire the work of and trust.
  • Don't devalue yourself...aka don't fall into the "hey, I'll do it for free!" pit. DREAM BIG.
  • Learn all about your camera, shoot in manual and shoot in RAW....also don't cut edges on editing programs....invest in a top recommended one as you will never get all the benefits from a cheap program.....and remember it takes practice and time to find your editing style and your shooting style ....
  • Understand that the business components are far more essential than any artistic skills, or photography. If you just love photography, make it a hobby, but if you want to be successful and make money, you must understand and operate the business right, or you will not survive as a business.
  • Treat your clients with love and have a great personality while working. Clients will start talking about your work to others and word of mouth is everything...
  • Don't give up! Perseverance is key! The first year is hard, the second year is harder! Take pictures everyday!
  • Keep on learning your craft. Never stop.
  • Take the time to learn something every day, and don't get discouraged by anything.
  • Be yourself! And let your clients YOUniqueness show in your portraits. And show your artistic ability as well.
  • Read the manuals.
  • You will fail and succeed- but don't let your failures keep you from succeeding.
  • Never forget why you started in the first place. Do not loose your passion! If you are excited, your clients will be too.
  • Don't ever put your camera down. If you have to, take pictures of a stapler.
  • Always keep up on education and challenge yourself. You can't grow if you don't try.
  • It doesn't happen over night. You will want to hang up your camera more often then not when you see how far others are. Just breathe and don't give up. Develop what makes you YOU and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.
  • Always show your customer they are your #1!!

1 comment

  • Amanda Tapley

    Awesome business advice!

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