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A Step-by-Step Guide for Making Your Photography Hobby a Business

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Photography can be a fun and fulfilling hobby, giving you the chance to capture the world through your unique point of view. However, photography can be more than a hobby. With the right preparation and commitment, you can turn it into a money-earning business model. Having the opportunity to exercise your creative passion while making a living is a dream come true. Read on to find out how to make it happen.

Decide what kind of photography you want to do

There are many different styles of photography. You may want to specialize in a niche or two to establish yourself as an expert. Popular examples include photojournalism, fashion photography, portrait photography, and sports photography. Keep your context in mind when picking a specialty. For example, if you live in a place where a lot of weddings happen, like Hawaii, wedding photography could be a smart pick.

Write a business plan

Before you can get to the fun part of actually taking pictures for a living, you've got to jump through some administrative hoops. The first step is to write a business plan, which will outline your business structure and explain how the business is run. There are free online templates you can use to help guide your writing. You can also consult local resources, like your area's Small Business Administration or Chamber of Commerce, for assistance.

Get the funding you need

Once your business plan is ready, you can use it to get funding for your business. As a photographer, you'll need certain things to get started. Small Biz Trends has a full list of items you might want, from lighting equipment to camera lenses. Calculate the total cost of all your materials and equipment and then approach potential lenders. Possibilities include banks, venture capitalists, and crowdfunding platforms.

Set up your online portfolio

You want to showcase your work to the world. Examples of your photographs are your best marketing tool. The easiest way to reach the largest amount of potential customers is to set up an online portfolio. Pick your best pictures and put them online using a platform like Format. This website creator is specially made for visual artists and offers plenty of ready-made templates you can use to show your work in its best light.

Leverage e-commerce platforms for photographers

As a photographer, you can make money passively by selling prints online. This can help fill in the gaps in your pay if bookings are low. Check out ecommerce platforms made for visual artists, like Fine Art America. Etsy is another option. A unified e-commerce platform lets you create a personalized shopping experience for your customers. Look for solutions related to commerce with functions like inventory management, data analytics, and secure payment.

Invest in marketing your services

One of the biggest challenges of being a new photographer is attracting the attention of potential customers. Invest in marketing services to help boost your profile. Possible tools include blogs, social media, and cross-promotion with other artists. You can also showcase your work at art fairs, exhibits, and galleries. It's also worth checking out photography contests, especially those targeting up-and-coming artists. They're a great way to get seen.

If you love photography and want to pursue your passion full-time, starting a business is a great way to realize that vision. Following tips like setting up a stunning online portfolio and leveraging e-commerce tools will set you up for success. Trust the guide above for more.

Get more tips on how to build a thriving photography career from the Talent Beyond Belief Studios blog.

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