Similar to life, photography business mistakes are part of the learning process. You can easily make mistakes when starting out, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you learn from these mistakes! These are five mistakes to avoid when starting your photography business. I hope they help turn your passion into a profitable and successful business.
Not learning how to pose subjects, poor communication, and not setting proper rates are some of the main pitfalls that hinder photographers from managing a photography business. Neglecting marketing plans and lack of long-term goals can also affect your business. Knowing how to avoid these mistakes can save you time, money, and resources.
While posing and lighting are not necessarily business-related, they can heavily impact whether or not someone books you. Elements like the way you pose subjects or use lighting can influence a customer’s impression of you and your work.
Poor posing can make clients feel awkward, causing them to think twice about hiring or working with you. They may even avoid referring your services to their friends and family. Try to practice some natural poses that work well for women and men prior to a shoot in order to gain confidence. Additionally, coming up with prompts to guide clients into various poses can make them feel more comfortable.
Even if you mostly shoot in natural light, it’s important to understand how positioning your clients in the sun can dramatically change an image. While looking for shade can be an immediate go-to for evenly lit photos, be sure that you know what to do in harsh lighting!
As a business owner, clients won’t always come to you freely, which is why you need to learn how to network with potential clients and other creatives. Particularly in a pandemic, clients may have questions about COVID-19 wedding planning or photoshoots, for example.
Ask questions until you can understand what your client is envisioning. When it comes to creating a contract, don’t forget to clearly spell out terms, requirements, and the scope of the project.
Make sure to respond to messages even if it’s not a price inquiry. The more dependable you are, the more customers will see your professionalism.
Undercharging is one of the most significant mistakes that can affect the way you run a photography business. Likewise, saying ‘yes’ to every discount or unrealistic rate a client asks can harm your finances.
When you are first building your portfolio, you might have to accept some jobs for free or at reduced rates. While that is reasonable for a while, you can gradually increase your rate as your skill level improves.
If you don’t consider your skills, expenses, equipment, and taxes when preparing a price list, you’ll end up constantly changing your rates and confusing your clients. Remember, your income must support both your professional fee and the cost of managing a business.
No matter how good your portfolio is, opportunities may not come at first. One of the most common mistakes new photographers make is failing to develop and implement marketing strategies. To start, you can do these things to ensure your business has an effective marketing plan.
It’s easy to fall into the mistake of not setting financial goals when all you want to do is take photos. However, that kind of short-term thinking can hold back your financial growth.
Still, you have to be realistic about your goals. The figure you want must be achievable based on the services you offer, your workflow, and even your commitment.
Disregarding the creative, technical, and logistical aspects of managing a business can prevent you from having a profitable photography business. Learning how to avoid these mistakes can kickstart your business and help you earn money while growing as a photographer.
Wedding & portrait photography rooted in a creative representation of the world and the beauty, truth, and people in it.
ATLANTA • DC • DESTINATIONS
© KIYAH C. PHOTOGRAPHY 2023
Such great advice, Kiyah! Thanks for the insight 💫
At a time of covid uncertainties, this is truly inspiring.