7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Photography Business
7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Photography Business

I was not prepared when I decided to start my business years ago. I ended up getting so burnt out that I actually quit. It took an entire year of careful planning, education, and new business practices before I decided to take clients again. These are the questions I wish I had asked myself before starting a business.

Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.

Steve Jobs
  • No.
    What are the legal and tax requirements?

    Like all other businesses, you need permits, licenses, contracts, insurance, and you need to pay taxes. You’ll also need to consider your business structure for tax purposes.

    Seek a lawyer and CPA who specialize in small businesses to help you navigate starting your business the right way.

    Maria Jung DR

  • No.
    What is my Cost of Doing Business (CODB)?

    There are so many other factors that go into a business besides taking and editing pictures. For example, expenses can include continuing education, websites, insurance, equipment, maintenance, etc. Most new photographers are not charging nearly enough to run a profitable business.

    This is a great calculator to see how much you need to make to run a profitable business.

    Maria Jung AB2

  • No.
    Who is my target client?

    Each niche has its own target client. From there, you’ll need to pinpoint your ideal target client based on your CODB. What are their ages, spending habits, household income, and likes/dislikes?

    Maria Jung KL

  • No.
    What's my a marketing plan?

    Marketing is crucial for a successful business. Now that you have a target client, how do you plan on reaching them?

    Maria Jung VS2

  • No.
    What makes my business different?

    What sets you apart from the sea of other photographers in your area? Is it your editing style? Your playful approach? What kind of products and service you provide? Being unique will make you memorable.

    Maria Jung DR2

  • No.
    What's my schedule?

    Working from home makes it much easier to procrastinate, which leads to working when you shouldn’t be. Why do something now when you can do it before bed, right? Make a schedule and keep it! I also HIGHLY suggest you schedule time for family and fun.

    *Tip* Outsource tasks like editing, cleaning, childcare, and cooking if you feel like you can’t keep up.

    Maria Jung KL2

  • No.
    Am I really ready?

    Charging next to nothing because you think your skills are not where they should be is NOT the way to start a business. It’s the fastest way to burn out.

    Seek a mentor with business experience and ask them to critique your work. Ask how you can improve your posing, lighting, editing, etc. Ask them for their honest opinion on whether you’re ready to open a business or not. Don’t take negative feedback personally, use it to improve your craft.

    Maria Jung VS3

I understand the desire to jump into a photography business right away, but have you asked yourself these questions? I know I didn’t and I struggled, especially with trying to balance work and my personal life. Are you a business owner? What questions do you wish you had asked yourself before taking clients?

  • Kristin
    May 20, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Those are great points of careful consideration, thoughts, and planning! Do you know of any free places to get my work critiqued? Thanks in advance.

    • May 20, 2016 at 6:05 PM

      I’m so glad this post spoke to you! You’d be surprised how many photographers out there have a teacher’s heart. It never hurts to just ask someone in your area that you admire and being upfront about it.

  • Mahesh
    May 22, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Very practical advice. Thank you.

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