How To Start A Photography Business: A Step By Step Guide

How To Start A Photography Business: A Step By Step Guide

Photography is everywhere. A testament to that is Instagram. The platform, which now hosts a plethora of user-generated videos, is still associated with food and travel photography.


Thanks to technology, almost everyone has become a photographer. But, not everyone has the creative eye and training of a professional one.

You could always ask your cousin with his fancy smartphone to take your wedding photograph, but how often does that happen?

Good photographs can truly speak a thousand words. This is why professional photographers are always in need.

If you’re thinking about how to start a photography business, then look no further – this article highlights some of the most pressing questions associated with starting a photography business.

Let’s dive in!

Do You Even Need Professional Photography Equipment?

A camera, for starters. A DSLRs or Mirrorless camera of choice differs greatly between professionals and everyday consumers. If you have the budget, definitely invest in a top of the line camera. 

While the final product will be decided by your ability to frame, shoot, and edit, top-line cameras allow you to take better pictures faster and also aid in post-processing by giving you better quality images.

Some cameras to consider are:

  • The Canon EOS-1D X Mark 3 (DSLR)
  • Nikon D6 (DSLR)
  • Sony A9 Mark II (Mirrorless)

The kind of photography equipment you choose afterward primarily depends on the types of photography you’re planning to master.

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Your choice of lens, stands, lights and other equipment will differ if you want to start a photography business that produces travel photos, as compared to one that deals with the wedding industry.

However, the type of equipment you should definitely look into are: 

  • Lenses: prime and zoom; wide-angle lenses and telephoto lenses.
  • Tripods and stands: tripods come with weight limits and height options. 
  • Lights: Are you a run and gun street photographer who needs a mobile light that is attached to your camera, or are you a studio photographer who needs large LEDs with stands? 
  • Ancillary equipment: Sandbags, camera bags, flags, scrims, silks, bounce boards, cookies, etc.

Do You Need To Choose A Specific Industry For Your Photography Business?

You definitely need to choose your industry or niche if you plan to start a photography business. Ask yourself,:

  • What kind of photography are you good at?
  • What kind of experience are you looking at from your potential hires?

At the same time, getting into a specific industry will limit your equipment costs. Different types of photography require different equipment. It is also much easier to build a network within a specific industry.

You can eventually grow your photography business to cover several types of photography, but it’s always recommended to put on a horse blinker and target one industry when starting out.

What Other Investments Do You Need To Make For Your Photography Business?

At the very least, you’ll need a lot of hard drives, photo editing software, and a computer that can handle it without any hiccups.

If you plan to start a photography business that isn’t travel related, then go for a desktop and not a laptop. Desktops just perform better. These are some recommended specs if you’re planning on purchasing/ building a PC:

  • RAM: At least 16 GBs
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 10X0 and above or AMD RX 560X and above
  • CPU: Intel i5 (6th Gen and above) or AMD Ryzen 3 and above
  • Storage: Get a Solid State Drive (SSD) for your Operating System and a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for your other storage. Also, get tons of external storage to store and backup your work.

You’ll have to make these choices and purchase accordingly if you plan on building a Windows or Linux PC.

If you get a Mac, most of these decisions are already made for you, though you’ll get the option to upgrade aspects of your computer before purchase.

As for software, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are the world’s most popular photo-editing software.

Lightroom is fantastic for multi-photo color correction and is much easier to learn and use. Photoshop is a lot more complex and requires time. It’s tools, however, can truly elevate the quality of a photograph.

How Should You Market Your Photography Business?

Yes, marketing is very, very important in a seller-crowded market, such as that of photography. Thanks to the advent of social media, you don’t have to go door-to-door to show off your wares.

Instead, when you start a photography business, you should also simultaneously create an Instagram account.

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Instagram’s interface is optimized for photo sharing. Its search feature can allow potential customers to discover your work and can also give you creative inspiration.

For many, Instagram is a primary source of revenue and that can be the case for you, as well. You can either use Instagram to make money via sponsors or use it as a point of contact for consumers to hire you or buy your photographs, maybe even both.

You can also use Instagram to display and sell the color correction presets, vector graphics, and other assets that professional photographers can use on their photos.

Instagram may be a fantastic platform for photographers, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one social media website. Try others, such as Facebook and Twitter. You never know, maybe your next customer is more active on Facebook than they are on Instagram.

Where Should You Set Up Office For Your Photography Business?

Why not everywhere? Social media sets you up for global exposure, why not double down on that formula and build a website for your business?

A website is a headquarters of sorts. Unlike with social media, you can truly customize your website and set up pricing options and products for sale.

You can also truly sell your brand by designing your website the way you want/ the way websites of certain sub-industries look like.

Creating a website has also become as easy as a few clicks with services such as Wix and Squarespace.

101+ Photography Name Ideas For Your Small Business

45+ Photography Businesses To Take Inspiration From

Sr. No. Domain Name Company name Description
1 Rawstarr Communcations Web Designer, Photographer, Graphic Designer, & Video Editor. Web & Graphic Design. Graphics and Professional looking websites for personal, business, and Beyond Identify your brand today. Photography & Video Editing. Helping You Achieve Success. Welcome to the official site for Rawstarr Communications, this site contains the information about Rawstarr Communications and the Personal Portfolio of  Prince Rawstarr.
2 The talented people at Cherry Creek Digital, LLC can perform any type of creative photography task. We have people who enjoy shooting landscape photos, some wildlife photographers, urban photographers who seek more of the gritty elements of the art, portrait photographers who work both in studio, and out in nature or city scape settings. Out videographers create personal portfolios for municipalities, businesses, or individuals.
3 Erin Mayhugh Photography Headshot Photographer,Business head shots, Dating Profile photos, New York   City photographer,fashion testing,model testing,event photographer,modeling   portfolios, dating profile photos, LinkedIn profile photos
4 Enfokus Commercial Advertising and Portrait Photographer with training from Brooks Institute of Photography and 20 years experience. Veteran owned with experience in advertising campaigns, diplomatic fundraisers, celebrity portraits, headshots, modeling portfolios, business portfolios.
5 Joey Hernandez Photography This is a portfolio for Joey Hernandez Photography, a photo, photography, event, design business based in San Diego California. Joey and Rachel   Hernandez, photographers, artists, editors, designers, photo, graphics,   event coverage.
6 Wyman Gallery Wyman Gallery photography overview: Kelowna commercial photographer, Kelowna real estate photographer, Kelowna real estate photography, vernon real estate photographer, vernon real estate photography, penticton real estate photography, penticton real estate photographer, business portraits, real estate, property portfolio.
7 Blomquist Photography Denver, Colorado portrait photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, children and family portraits as well as corporate headshots and small business branding. Offering natural light sessions both on location in one of Colorado’s amazing backdrops or in my contemporary Denver studio.
8 Frankie Pereira Photographer Photographer based in Orlando Florida. Specializing in Architectural and Interiors, Real Estate, Business, Corporate, Fashion, Glamour, Beauty, Fine Art. Take a look at our Portfolios with different styles of photography.
9 Jeff E Photo Known as one of the best LA headshot photographers, Los Angeles based   photographer, Jeff Ellingson (Jeff E Photo) has been working with   Hollywood’s top talent for over 12 years. Specializing in acting headshots,   actress and actor head shots, photography for theatrical and commercial   portraits. Executives come to jeff e photo for real estate headshots,   business portfolio pictures and linkedIn.
10 Dena Robles Photography Photography portfolio for Dena Robles, a Santa Barbara, California-based   film photographer, offering photo sessions for small business branding, as   well as newborn, child and family lifestyle portrait sessions.
11 Jon Lemay Photography Freelance Photographer Jon LeMay of Nashville, Tennessee specializing in Retail Photography, Catalog Photography, Commercial Photography, Advertising Photography,Business Headshot Photography Product Photography, Lifestyle Photography, Corporate Photography and Portrait Photography. View my complete photography portfolio, clients and resume at Clients include ABC, American Broadcasti
12 Katyaphoto Welcome to Katya Productions. Services We are happy to help you with: Professional Photography, Business headshots, Fashion Model Portfolio shots, Acting headshots, Dating photos, Destination photographer, Travel photography, Vacation Photographer, Blog photos, Social Media photos, Lifestyle photography, High End Photography. Studio and Location photo shoots available.
13 Chad Jones Aerial and Drones. Walk Through Videos for Real Estate. Interior Design Photography. How to prepare a home for real estate photography. Premium Property Website Designs. Motion Video Music Options. Book a Session. Schedule now for your Business. View Real Time Schedule. Explore my Portfolio. A Leader in Quality Photography, Video & Marketing. I am a creative, flexible and respected photographer with a goal of offering the highest quality photography alongside highly valuable services.
14 I love to capture moments, authentic smiles and business at its best. As a business photographer, portrait photographer, freelance photographer and landscape photographer I am diverse and can capture many angles. is a great way to check out my portfolio.
15 Bart Massey Photography Bart Massey Photography of Hazard Kentucky and Southeastern KY and primarily based in Lexington and Cincinnati, Ohio is a professional photographer for weddings, engagement portraits, senior photos, commercial, business, baby and child photos, models and modeling, glamour, portfolios.  Bart Massey has 16 years and a member of Professional Photographers of America, PPA & The Knot
16 David A Barss David A. Barss, Photographer specializes in fine art, portraiture and fashion photography.  David also photographs a wide variety of other work that can be seen on his website ranging from modeling portfolios, high school seniors, business, commercial, advertising, editorial, weddings and more.
17 Paul Muirhead Photography Paul Muirhead is a photographer in Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, DC, area who photographs concerts / events, portraits, and pets. Concert photography, band photos, music photography. Portrait photography, portrait photos, head shots, business head shots, model portfolio, model photography, model portfolio, boudoir. Dog photos, pet photos, pet photography, dog portraits, family phot
18 Photograph Harmony Photography Portfolio. Business Head Shots. An Entire Wedding Day. About The Photographer. Harmony Photography Portfolio. Business Head Shots. An Entire Wedding Day. About The Photographer. Insert copy here, which should vary depending on your region.
19 Nabsphotography Hi, I am a certified professional photographer for fashion, portfolio, products, events, weddings from London School of Photography (LSP).
20 George Mixco Welcome To My Portfolio. MLGS Brand Identity Project. Graphic Designer, Photographer, Print Consultant. Customers are changing the way they do business and make purchases. With information quickly available, most customers now research before they buy. When they find you, make that first impression count. Enjoy your experience, and let someone save those moments for you.
21 Liam Crotty Liam Crotty is a Miami photographer who has had private portrait photo shoots with dozens of celebrities, politicians, actors, artists, writers & athletes. Hiking the Smith Peak Trail in Yosemite National Park. Great looking business headshots in Miami. You’re an actor or model who needs quality photography for your portfolio. Tony Succar at Ball & Chain.
22 True View True View Films. Videographer and Photographer in Lakeland Florida. Rates & Services. Video and Photography Portfolio. Lakeland Videographer In Business Since 2009. Reliable, professional post production is also offered so that your message or story is faithfully conveyed to your target audience in an efficient, affordable manner.
23 David Pickering Photography Mexico Missouri Photographer David Pickering.   Portrait, Sports, Maternity, Bridal, Wedding, Birth Story, Family, Event, Baby, Business,  Commercial, Headshot, Pageant and Model Portfolio Photo Shoot, Bridal.  Mid-Missouri Area Photographer David Pickering including the Columbia Missouri area
24 Karen Reuter Photography Leading portrait photographer in Orange County, California, specializing in graduate portraits, family portraits, child photos, newborn photography, and maternity portraits. We also create beautiful and effective business headshots, as well as portfolio building imagery for models and actors.
25 Stillson Studio As a skilled and experienced photographer, I am easy to work with and schedule. My portfolio includes Recreational Vehicles, Commercial Products, and Sports Teams. Good design is good business.
26 Photo Tale Studio Contemporary portrait and headshot photography, family photography, children photography, graduation photography and engagement photography in Gainesville, Florida.
27 Goldwood Studios I am a photographer that specializes in personal branding photography and portraits.
28 Inna Santoso Single Property Website. Market one individual property, rather than entire portfolio. Our service is creating immersive online experiences with 3D virtual tours, Google Street View (trusted photographer), floor plans, dollhouse and areal photography. These services are developed to support marketing, sales and business processes in a countless number of industries (Architecture, Civil Engineer, Commercial, Construction, Hospitality, Insurance, Residential listing, Retail, Restaurants, Rental Properties and
29 Andrew Carter Photography Brisbane commercial photographer producing impactful photo-imagery to assist in marketing and communication, online and in print. Happy clients include Engine Group, Portfolio Creative Services Group, University of QLD, Wesfarmers, RNA, Royal ICC, Brisbane Ekka, Place, Data#3, Honeywill Consulting, Intrec Management and ATG Projects. Andrew is a former member of the ACMP (Australian Commercial and Media Photographers), the peak body regulating professional practice and ethical business within the profession
30 Kohl Photo Nashville commercial photographer Stephen Kohl captures elegant images – dynamic video for business branding. Advertising, architecture, corporate headshots, celebrity, editorial, fashion, lifestyle, music, product, sports, weddings are part of his professional photography portfolio.
31 Lea Wie Photography For Photography Tips and Tricks. FREE BONUS: The 5 Musts Haves Before You Shoot. This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms. Business Head Shots. Capturing life is part of the journey. The memory forever lives in the magic of a photograph. What is important to you when searching for a photographer.
32 Lower Photography We are a full service studio doing photography and photos by  a certified photographer of all kinds of situations including: Aerial, Architectural, Art (Giclee), Baby, Business, Commercial, Copy, Executive, Events, Family, Finishing (even your images), Graphic Design, Group, High School Seniors, Kids, Models, Passport (Visa, Green card), Pets, Portfolios, Portrait, Restoration, Retouching, Weddings -Las Vegas style at studio
33 Jasmine Defoore Jasmine DeFoore is a freelance photo editor, creative business coach, and   photo consultant partnering with photographers, non-profits, PR firms and   corporations to create engaging visual content. Her services include   portfolio reviews, website portfolios, photography marketing (including   email marketing, social media strategy, and print promotions), photo   research, and photo editing.
34 Superstar Memories Corporate headshots, business headshots, professional head shots located in Plano (Dallas) TX, color digital Headshot Photography Headshots Frisco Headshots Irving Headshots Photographer financial services companies, real estate Headshots bankers Great Headshots Best Headshots headshot, lighting, kids, offices, modeling, Beauty, Actor, Acting, actress: Modeling portfolio
35 Brandon K. Tabiolo Freelance Commercial Photographer Brandon Tabiolo based in Honolulu, Oahu   Hawaii. Specializing in Advertising, Lifestyle, Portraits, Model Portfolio,   Corporate Business Headshots, Model & Actor Headshots, Beauty Makeovers,   High School Senior Portrait Photography Hawaii, Family Portraits & Fine Art   Stock Photography.
36 Caprock Studio Corporate headshots, business headshots, professional head shots located in Plano (Dallas) TX, color digital Headshot Photography Headshots Frisco Headshots Irving Headshots Photographer financial services companies, real estate Headshots bankers Great Headshots Best Headshots headshot, lighting, kids, offices, modeling, Beauty, Actor, Acting, actress: Modeling portfolio
37 Robert Bell Photography Includes wedding and engagement photography, senior portraits, family and maternity portraits. Includes business and corporate headshots, actor and musician headshots, modeling / portfolio photography. Orange County – Los Angeles – Riverside County / Inland Empire Portrait and Wedding Photographer.
38 Lenn Long Photography Photographer specializing in contemporary portrait photography, business headshots, social media profile pictures, model portfolios, corporate events, trade shows, conventions, and other various commercial marketing, advertising and public relations needs.
39 Mcarthur25 MAZE – Photography Portfolio Muse Template. its designed for Photographer, photo studio, freelance, agency, business or person who wants to showcase their work, services and professional way. Author by Rometheme
40 Kitty Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist and creative marketer based in Toronto, Ontario. She is a photographer, graphic designer, social media and digital marketing specialist. Kitty provides freelance services to help small businesses and organizations grow. Visit to see portfolio and resume.
41 Mrs Erika L Schoof Both photographers are successful business owners and have a decades’-long portfolio of testimonials and beautiful imagery that speaks to their passion for photography. From fine art weddings to lifestyle and studio portraiture, both Keeley and Erika have flexed each creative muscle to create unique stills of incredible moments in life. Preparing for your experience.
42 Joe Anzalone Photography Commercial Photographer in Jacksonville Florida shoots Product Photography, Food Photography, Business Headshots and Actor Headshots, Model Portfolios, Boudoir Photography,  Beauty Photography, Glamour Photography, and Business Executive Headshots. Joe Anzalone is a professional photographer located in Jacksonville FL.
43 Moyer Photography Business & Industry. Family, Love & Friends. Sports & Fitness. Characters and Product. Fashion & Beauty. Baltimore Portrait Project. Learn More & Connect. Overview of Portfolios. Professional Photographer Baltimore, MD | Washington, DC.
44 Patrick Lentz Patrick Lentz is a photographer and Artist in Boston, specializing in portraits, headshots, fine art photography, modeling portfolios, business portraits, event photography, etc.
45 Lightray Photoimagery Small/medium business, nonprofit, artist, galleries, portfolios, shopping carts. Business portraits, product and process photos, building and landscapes photos. Websites and emails are hosted on a LRPI dedicated high-performance server. Building and Hosting Websites Since 2006.
46 Burwinkel Production Design In addition to traditional theatre productions, BPD has been involved with live business events, industrial video, film, theme park design and community art projects and events. The slideshow to the right is a brief portfolio of design work. As is readily evident by some of the photos–as a photographer, I’m a pretty good set designer.
47 Kristen Weaver Photography Learn our entire system with flow charts and documentation. Our system takes the place of a full in-house marketing assistant. We finish the experience with a gorgeous styled shoot developed by Kristen and her team for your portfolio. Dinner and drinks after-hours, a private Facebook group and connecting with others gives you a unique experience. A 2-day intensive business workshop made especially for photographers that want to love their job, be successful and still have time leftover for ourselves.
48 Karen Sisulak A journalist by training and an entrepreneur at heart, this portfolio explores both passions and my professional journeys between them. A reporter, photographer and editor with business experience. Articles, press releases, earned media and a photo history book. Photos and a unique video. Search for Karen Binder and Karen Sisulak.

In Conclusion

You can definitely convert your creative skills into a bankable profession. With photography, there’s a high demand but also a high supply. Everyone with a camera thinks that they can become pros after taking a few good portraits.

With this kind of competition, you need to be able to stand out. Keep practicing, show off your best photos on social media, and fix any flaws that you have.

Be creative, take risks, and put up experimental photos, and you’ll have your unique photography voice in no time.

This article can assist you in your quest to start a successful photography business, but its actual growth will depend on your hard work, business acumen, and creativity.

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