Starting a Photography Business in Today’s Economy

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Zack Arias is perhaps one of the most well-known photographers because of his web presence. Not only is Zack an amazing photographer, but he is a wealth of knowledge, and he doesn’t shy away from sharing his ideas and experiences online. In a recent podcast, Zack talks about what he would do if he started a photography business today from scratch. As a successful businessman and photographer for almost 10 years now, Zack presents from very helpful and insightful knowledge:

Here are a few of Zack’s main points:

  • Seek Advice/Help from an Accountant – Even before you get into photography, even if you’re going to shoot just on the weekends. Your photography business will be more business than photography, so prepare yourself.
  • Slash Your Expenses – Get rid of everything you can. Drive a cheap car, live in a cheap apartment, don’t go out for drinks every night. Every dollar counts.
  • Know Your Numbers – What is you living costs? How much do you pay for rent, utilities, insurance, food, entertainment, etc? If you want to make enough money, you have to know how much you need to live. (This is where the accountant comes in handy.)
  • Gear – Yes, you need some decent gear, but there’s no need to go overboard when starting out. Buy a nice DSLR, some nice primes (this varies depending on what you’re shooting), a nice computer, some extra cards, batteries, etc, and a nice flash and a way to control it (reflector, lightstand, etc.)
  • Create a Basic Website – So much happens on the web now that this is pretty much a must if you want to successfully promote yourself.
  • Make Basic Business Cards – Don’t expect to get all your business through your website. Business cards are a great and inexpensive way to spread the word about your business.
  • Find Your Niche – Is it sports? Portraiture? Weddings? Fashion? Food? Nature? There are a lot of areas to pick from, but if you try to tackle everything, it’s not going to work well. But if you find a very specific niche and focus on it and become really good at photographing that one particular subject, then you’re more likely be successful.
recommended gear for new photography business

Zack says spend more money on your computer than your camera

For Further Training on Starting a Wedding Photo Business:

Check out Simple Wedding Photography, it covers everything you need to know to photograph a wedding and the business behind it. From diagrams of where you should stand throughout the ceremony to advice on all the final deliverables to the client. This 200 page ebook will be useful to wedding photographers of any experience level. There is also an interesting book of techniques on quickly building your wedding business through relationships and referrals.

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