Most people assume that a photographer spends most of their time behind a camera, but that’s not usually the case. You would never believe how much time goes into corresponding back and forth with clients, booking shoots, planning sessions, location scouting, editing photos, ordering photos, learning how to take better photos, preparing taxes, marketing ideas, budgeting, buying equipment, etc!
When I first started my business I read that what makes a successful photography business isn’t necessarily camera skills, but more business skills . The longer I run my own photography business, the more I realize the truth in that statement. My goal is to master both sets of skills – the camera and the business side.
Here’s an example of what I mean by business side. Many wonder how I come up with a cost of $300 for a session? Is it because I get paid $300 an hour to take photos? Of course not! I’m taking into account so many other aspects I’m putting into that session. I am using expensive equipment, expensive and time-consuming training to give my customers top quality photos, time for scouting out the location and driving there, the MANY hours it takes to edit their photos, the website I purchase to post their photos on, any props that I may use, the internet I need for correspondance and posting pictures, the computer and software I use for editing, and so much more. I could keep thinking of things, but I think you get the general idea.
When I first started my business my pricing hardly covered all the work, time and money I was pouring into my business. After not breaking even after 2 years I decided to increase my pricing. It has been one of the best decisions I have made. I’m not the least expensive photographer in my area anymore, so I’m attracting more clients now that are interested in my work because of the quality, and not just the price. I’m also not the most expensive photographer in my area so I stay very competitive and have a steady flow of business.
Running my own photography business has been a fun experience so far, and I hope to continue growing in my camera and business skills every year.