Whether you went to school for photography or it’s more of a side passion, you may have thought about starting your own photography business. Freelance photography can be a viable career path that gives you the autonomy and flexibility of working for yourself.
Given the ongoing economic and public health crises, you may be wondering whether this is the time to start a business. For many industries, it isn’t. But for photographers, it could actually be the most lucrative option, as the pandemic has forced many companies to downsize and lay off their in-house staff.
Although this is good news for students, recent grads and photographers of all skill levels, starting your own business takes time, effort and a fair amount of perseverance. Here are a few quick tips to help you get your freelance photography business off the ground with minimal startup expenses so you can start earning money sooner rather than later.
- Brand Yourself
One of the great things about starting a freelance business is that the startup costs can be relatively low compared to other types of ventures. Other than your gear and equipment, your biggest investment will likely be in your branding. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep those costs to a minimum.
The first thing you’ll need to do is name your business. This can be as simple as “[Your Name Here] Photography” or a similar variation, or you may choose to go down a more creative or illustrative path (here’s a fun list for inspiration). It’s also a good idea to search for available URLs as part of the naming process, so that you’re not stuck with a bunch of hyphens or something that isn’t intuitive to what you offer.
YAG Artist Philippe Bouclainville(newyorkexposure)
From there, you can build your logo and overall brand identity (the distinguishing characteristics of your brand that will be featured across your website, social media, business cards and other collateral). And of course, every business needs a website—and every photographer needs a digital portfolio. There are low-cost photography website builders designed specifically to do both.
Branding is an exercise best done by a professional. A resource like Fiverr can take care of it all for you, while allowing you to filter by budget, turnaround time and more.
- Market Yourself
No marketing budget? No problem. As a photographer, you already have one of the top skills companies need in order to market themselves. Additionally, there are ways to organically grow your audience and generate leads through social media.
YAG Artist Malike Sidibe
For photographers (you guessed it!) it’s all about Instagram. (However, don’t discount the power of Twitter, LinkedIn and even Facebook in growing your overall network.) While you don’t necessarily need to build an entire social media strategy from scratch, you do need to be strategic in what and how you post. Here are a few best practices to help you get the most out of your platform:-
- Brand your profile. Include your bio, and make sure your link-in-bio leads exactly where you want people to go and that it’s included as a call to action in your posts.
- Research relevant hashtags and leverage them in your posts. Establishing a niche, such as food photography, can help you identify sets of hashtags so that you’re not having to repeat the effort for every single post.
- Don’t neglect the “social” in social media. Engage with your audience by commenting and liking to grow your following and inspire yourself through the work of others.
- Pay attention to the aesthetic of your page. Your photography brand is inherently visual. Being consistent in what you post is integral to your brand identity.
- Sell Yourself
YAG Artist Rick Stephens
As you build your business, Your Art Gallery is an easy tool to showcase your work for sale. In today’s socially distanced world, online galleries offer visual artists like yourself a virtual and profitable alternative to traditional art museums and galleries. At Your Art Gallery, you receive 90% of the royalties on anything you sell (versus the industry-standard 50%).
Your Art Gallery is always looking for new artists to join our growing community. Visit www.yourartgallery.com to learn more and leverage our platform to help grow your photography business.