Aug 27, 2011

What I wish I would have known before starting my business


1. Don't go out and buy a bunch of props at once. Slowly, over time build your prop base as you build your client base.

2. When you are first starting don't spend a lot of money on templates. I made this mistake. It makes me sick to think of how much money was spent on templates that I never use.

3. Business plan. Take the time with your spouse or friend and brain storm a business plan. Where do you want to be by this time next year? Marketing?

4. Know and understand how to use your camera in manual before starting a business. You may end up embarrassing yourself in front of a client if you don't know what you are doing.

5. Learn to say no. I was asked to take photos for a charity event. I did it and I regretted it later. I quickly discovered that I am not an event photographer. I don't like taking pictures of people who didn't ask for it in the first place. (like when a client books a shoot) I felt very uncomfortable and out of place. Never again.

6. If you are a stay at home mom and a photographer you need to create a schedule. Have set times when you are editing, answering emails, and doing all things business related. Otherwise your business will take over your personal time and your family will be the ones suffering for it.

7. Wait to buy the bigger nicer camera until you are at a professional skill level. If you feel a certain lens or camera is inhibiting you from reaching your full potential then it is time to upgrade. Your photos already have to be great, buying an expensive camera will not make your photos any better. It's not the camera that takes great photos, it's the photographer.

8. If you are charging people for service then you are a business. If you are a business then you need to do things the legal way. File a DBA and pay your taxes!!!

What advice you would add to this list?


  1. Great tips. I think a lot of people get caught up on #5. It's difficult to say no but it's important to know your strengths. Taking portraits in a "controlled" setting is very different then taking photos of a bunch of 10 years old at a birthday party.

    Another one I would add is to set up a good workflow plan before you take clients. Decide on editing software, how will you organize images, how and for how long will you store the images, etc.

  2. Nicolette that's a great tip! It took a while for me to get my workflow down. And storing them...that's a whole other conversation. ;)

  3. I couldn't agree more with all of them! LOVE #7. It drives me crazy when someone sees an image that I've shot and says "Wow, you must have a really nice camera." HAH! If only it were that easy...

  4. These are great tips! My 16 year old is working to get into photography and these will be very helpful for her future!


  5. I am so glad you mentioned that it's the person that takes the good photos not the camera, I have heard so many people saying they need a DSLR to be able to take pictures..I suggest people who aren't quite ready for a DSLR take some classes first!

    Love these photography business posts!


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