In a previous post, we kicked off a new series called the Photography Business (re)start – all about the steps to starting a legit photography business.
- Naming your photography business
- Creating your packages and pricing
- Knowing your ideal client + target market
Today we’ll be getting into a few visibility aspects of your photography business. I’ll also be sharing a few legal considerations you will want to be aware of as you grow your business and take on clients.
Steps To Starting Your Photography Business – Part Two
1. Your Website + Blog
Is a website still relevant for photographers starting out today? Is it really needed, or can Instagram suffice?
I do get this question and simply put, I believe a website and blog are very much a necessity for today’s photography business owner for many reasons. Instagram is incredible and photographers can (and should!) be using this free space to get visibility, but it’s completely outside of your control as the user.
Your website is a space you own, you can design to fit YOU and your brand, and where you can always come back to as a sort of “home base” for your content.
When I say website I also lump a blog into that mix because blogging is a fantastic way to be found in search and is a necessary step in building your SEO as a photographer.
My site is built using Showit and I love it. It’s a drag-and-drop builder so you don’t need to be tech savvy or into code. Try Showit HERE.
I also really love the all-in-one software called Book Focal. (link) You can check it out here and read more about what Focal has to offer photographers, but it has you covered from website to booking.
2. Your Portfolio
Your images as a photographer are going to make up a large part of your website and blog. You’ll need to build a portfolio of work that showcases your abilities as a photographer and show clients what is possible at their wedding, session, or event.
Not only will you gain photography experience as you build out your portfolio, but you’ll be able to make connections too.
You’ll have a hard time booking clients for a service you don’t have portfolio for. In fact, theres almost nothing that will make your life harder as a marketer than trying to book what you cannot SHOW.
Let me say that again…because this is really important… you cannot book what you cannot show.
So how do you build your portfolio as a photographer just starting out?
Some of my favorite ways are free shoots for friends (GASP. Yes, Free.) and styled shoots. If you are interested in setting up your own styled shoot you can check out a series of videos I did on that topic here. (link)
Aside from wedding stylized shoots, and photographing friends or family, you can also attend a “shoot out” or educational event for photographers that oftentimes includes a shoot with models.
3. Some Legalities of Starting a Photography Business
This is purely my advice and not legal advice.
I have two major tips for you that will take you FAR as a photographer.
The first is to always use a contract. Always. Free shoot? Use a contract. Styled shoot with other vendors? Use a contract. Photographing family for your portfolio use? Use a contract. Even if it’s just a model release. Many misunderstandings or frustrations (or worse, lawsuits) that you will read about on Photography Facebook group walls could have been avoided with a simple agreement contract.
You can find some solid contracts at The Legal Paige and get 10% off with the code JOY
The second tip I have for you is to get liability insurance. This is especially important for my wedding photographer friends out there, but truly I wouldn’t photograph someone without having it. You can read more about options for liability insurance in the guide that goes along with this series HERE.