Yesterday I did an interview with Seshu from Tiffnbox which I will share the link when the interview goes live. He asked me what trends I saw in photography and I have been wanting to write about this topic.
This is not a post about how “moms with cameras are ruining the industry” because I do not believe that is the case. If you have a passion for photography and WANT to own a business then please do that. You should follow your dreams. If you can consistently produce the images in that are in your portfolio and want to be a business owner, rock on! I just want to let people know you don’t HAVE to start a business.
I get emails every week from people telling me how everyone has told them how great they are and they should go into business.
I get it. You spend a lot of time learning photography, you practice and practice and perfect your editing. It is wonderful to have those around you notice. Many people think the next step in their photography journey is to start a photography business. That may be the next step for you and that is awesome. However, it doesn’t have to be.
Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you need to start a business.
When I first got my DSLR, I too had people tell me that I should start a business. I had no idea what I was doing but I had a fancy DSLR. Luckily, I didn’t listen to those people. I would have been a hot mess because my images were not consistent, I didn’t know a thing about editing and don’t get me started on my lack of knowledge about business.
I have spoken with many photographers who started a business and realized there was so much more to it than taking pictures of clients. Owning a business is a lot of work. You have to get all the legal paperwork – business license, insurances, contracts and more. Then there is the marketing, social media, website, and don’t forget book keeping, client orders, and paying taxes.
As a stay at home mom, I wanted something for me and a way to document my children. Enter photography. I LOVE it. However, after doing a few sessions for friends, I quickly found I didn’t enjoy posing people, editing, and getting them their photos. In fact, one of my sweet friends has been waiting two years for some maternity photos I took for her. Clearly, I shouldn’t own a photography business.
If you have a passion for photography and are thinking you don’t want to start a business that is fine. I want to say, there are plenty of us out there. I’m a hobbyist. I could list hundreds of photographers I admire who are hobbyists as well.
You may be thinking, but I would like to make a little extra money to either pay for my hobby (we all know it isn’t cheap) or to help out my family. I get it. There are different ways you can make money off of photography without owning a business.
– Sell your images to stock companies like Gettyimages.com
– Sell your own images on Etsy
– Sell your images to brands to use in marketing (this is easier if you have a working relationship with a brand if you are blogger)
– Teach local photography classes
– Food photographer? Take photos for a cookbook
The possibilities are out there for you to make money through photography without starting a typical photography business.
Again, I am not trying to discourage you from starting a business because I’m a firm believer in following your dreams. This is not a discussion if you are ready or not because that is a personal decision. I just wanted to offer another option for you.
Tell me in the comments –
Do you feel the only next step is start a business?
If you own a business, do you love it?
What other ways have you found to make money through photography?
Please be respectful of everyone and their responses.