Today’s catch22 in the working world is that you need to have experience to get the job, but you need the job to get experience — which sucks. It’s 2023’s version of the chicken and egg question, and sometimes it does feel like some kind of weird joke. I’m here to tell you the good news though! If you want to learn how to start a photography business with no experience, you CAN.
When it comes to starting out as a photographer, there are ways to start your business with no experience. As an experienced Melbourne wedding photographer, I’ve made a step-by-step guide to show you the most efficient way to ensure your photography business flourishes. Follow this plan to transform your passion for photography into a living!
Let’s be real, one of the barriers to starting a wedding photography business is the cost of the gear. Some of the lens prices can seem astronomical (and they’re not even good enough to take decent star photos).
So you’re faced with a question: do you buy the entry-level gear just to get started, or do you fork out for a proper camera? I’ve thought about this long and hard (and discussed it with other photographers too) and we all agree that the smartest thing to do is get a full frame camera from the beginning.
If you want to take this wonderful line of work seriously, it’s the best option. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting money as you upgrade again and again until you finally buy the full frame you should have bought in the beginning!
Outline your services and what you hope to achieve in a business plan. This is an opportunity to organise your thoughts on paper!
Before setting up a wedding photography business, a business plan is important in providing a roadmap for every step your business needs to succeed and establish a brand identity. When you start a photography business, deciding on your pricing can often be the hardest part. This will require some market research.
You may need to price your services more competitively initially or provide other incentives so clients choose you. Once you’re a bit more established, you can bring pricing in line with market rates.
The next step is to build up your portfolio of work so you can show your prospective clients what you can do. Don’t be shy here — show ‘em what you got!
One of the great things about photography is that people don’t care about your CV or background too much, they just wanna know: can you get the shot? Your online portfolio is a powerful way to show that you can.
Make sure that your portfolio is focused on the type of photography you excel in, and ensure there’s a coherent theme and style to your pics.
There are a variety of ways to share photos with clients but Instagram is still the best option to get the ball rolling. Check out my Instagram course to post like a pro!
A website does something important: it shows your prospective clients that you’re a serious photographer and you’ve put in the time and effort to build a website — so you’ll definitely put in the time and effort with their photos. (Not sure how to start a photography website? Check out my guide).
It’s effectively your online store and should be beautiful to look at, concise and easy to navigate.
Let your photos be the main attraction on the site but also add lots of information, reviews, and personal details that will help your dream clients connect with your brand and your personality. Let the way you play with light and composition dazzle them!
The basics of a website are a portfolio page and a contact page. You can build the rest from there and look into content marketing, a powerful tool for attracting new clients, once you’re up and running.
Now comes the fun part! This is your business now, your livelihood, but it’s also your passion. The great joy of doing this is that you can immerse yourself in photography, refine your style, and become the best photographer you can be.
So, dedicate yourself to the art! It is true for all facets of life — if you’re consistent, it will pay off. Throw yourself into it obsessively, work on your style and editing, and relish in seeing your work and your career evolve.
Remember, every great photographer was once where you are now! Photographers are never truly all-knowing or ‘ready for their field.’ You learn every day as you go and know more about what you should implement in your practice.
Thinking about how to grow a photography business can seem daunting but if you can find people in your circle who are willing to pay you for your photographs, that’s a good starting point. If you’d like more hands-on mentoring and expert tips on how to start a photography business, send me a message! I give one-on-one coaching sessions and would love to help kickstart a career that you (and your mum) would be damn proud of.