What You Need To Know Before Starting Wedding Photography Business!
Before you hand in your resignation at your current job and put up a sign for a new wedding photography business, there are a few things to consider in no particular order of importance (because they’re all important): Money. Passion. Experience. Business Plan. So, let’s go through them individually.
Starting a wedding photography business is neither cheap nor easy. Like with any start-up business, you will need to make an upfront investment of time and treasure. It can cost an average of $15,000 just to launch a photography business, including minimal equipment purchases and business costs. You will also need money in the future to regularly update photography equipment. In addition to these start-up costs, can you afford to go without a regular salary for up to one to two years because that’s how long it might take you to start turning a profit?
Here are some costs to consider:
- A full cadre of professional equipment, ideally two of some pieces
- Advertising and marketing to launch your business
- A website to showcase both your work and your business to potential clients.
- Business expenses such as creating an LLC as well as other legal fees and insurance.
- Business equipment including business/accounting software
- Studio and office space where clients can visit
Once you’ve shelled out the money for starting up your business, you should plan on maintaining 10 to 15-percent saved for unexpected expenses.
Passion sometimes only amounts to a hobby. Other times, passion for something can be the catalyst for a serious business with sustained income. Why do you want to start a wedding photography business? Be honest with yourself about whether your passion for photography is sufficient to carry a business and career. Will you still enjoy photography if your livelihood depends on it entirely? Will you be excited about giving up your weekends doing wedding portraits and having to work according to the schedules of others? Will you be passionate and enthusiastic enough to work on weekends and evenings? You will need to consider these factors before you resign your current job and venture into starting a wedding photography business with dreams of starry-eyed dreams of success.
Sometimes, it can be more prudent to start your business part-time. However, working full-time and running your own business part-time can be quite stressful. You (and maybe your family) should be prepared for that level of stress. If your part-time photography is successful, then you might consider transforming your business into a full-time career.
How good are you - really? How much experience have you had at wedding photography and dealing with potential clients and clients? While it matters almost as much as passion, skills matter more when starting a company. You won't be the first photographer with little experience to open a business, after all, it comes with time, practice, and, of course, clients. But before you create a wedding photography business, you will need sufficient skill to account for lack of experience. You will need to be exceptionally good in an already crowded industry to draw in clients. Besides experience and photography skills, relating well to people translates into happy clients and future referrals in the future.
Not many of us like to think about numbers, but you should consider them especially before you open a business. Creating a business plan is a blueprint - a company road map of sorts - that can be important to your long-term business success. It doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed, and it’s not an ironclad document. But it can help to keep you on task and track. Here’s an example of a photography business plan.
With some careful planning, skill, experience, as well as patience, you can launch a successful wedding photography business. We suggest giving the idea thorough and honest consideration. A wedding photography business could be the best thing you have ever done!