From Facebook profile pictures to wedding photos, the demand for a good portrait photographer is at an all time high. Photographers often get paid upwards of $2500 per wedding and can rake in half of that for a modeling portfolio project. Thinking of starting a portrait photography business? Well, if you have a history of taking great photos of friends, then you can turn your passion into a viable business. Assuming you own a DSLR camera and have a talent for people photography, setting up a portrait photography business is not that difficult. This post aims to give you a basic idea about the initial expenses and ways to get a steady flow of work.
DSLR: Even though most professional photographers such as this photographer hampshire use a full frame camera, you can start off with whatever you own. Upgrade to a full frame when you start making money from your photography gigs.
Lenses: If you own a DSLR chances are you already have a 300mm telephoto and a standard 55mm lens. Think about investing in a good prime lens as they are faster and click much sharper images. To give you an idea, a Nikon 50mm prime costs around $299.
Accessories: When it comes to accessories there is an endless list of things you can get to improve photography. However, it makes sense to buy the essentials first and buy the rest when the business picks up. A good tripod should be first on your list as it improves the sharpness of the images in both indoor and outdoor conditions. Apart from that, you need a camera bag, high capacity memory card with great transfer speed, and an external flash. You should also consider buying light stands, reflectors, a flash trigger, an adjustable backdrop frame, and an umbrella kit once you start making some money.
Computer/Laptop: Now, there is a good chance you already have a computer. If it doesn’t already, upgrade your laptop or desktop so that it supports photo editing software.
Photo Editing Software: When it comes to producing professional level photographs for your clients you can’t just rely on a freeware like Picasa. You need to buy and learn to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. Mastering these photo editing software programs will help your transform ordinary RAW images into works of art.
SETTING UP THE STUDIO:
Buying or renting a property to set up your own studio is only possible when you have money to spare. If you’re working on a tight budget, it’s best to start with a home studio. Transform an unused room or corner of your home into a studio and shift to a commercial space only after your business starts generating a substantial amount of money. A lot of successful portrait photographers choose to use their garages as studios, which is a great option for starting off the business.
HOW TO ATTRACT CLIENTS:
Launch Your Website
Every professional photographer needs a website that showcases their work. You can choose to create your own website using one of many online tools available or ask professional to lend a hand.
Blogging is one of the best ways of attracting the attention of potential clients. It’s not a good idea to promote your business directly when blogging. Instead, focus on creating tutorial posts or fun pieces that link to your website.
Build A Solid Portfolio
Ask a few friends to pose for you so that you can build a great portfolio. A great portfolio gives clients the confidence to hire you as a photographer.
Hit The Social Media Platforms
Create a social media business page and show off your skills. You can also seek help from a social media marketing expert to help promote your page.