A Step-By-Step Guide on How To Start Your Own Photography Business

Do you enjoy working from home in your yoga pants, setting your own hours, and living a life of creativity? You’ve come to the right place.

Starting a photography business has become quite an easy task for the average person in this day and age. There’s attractive benefits, no prerequisites, and moderately low investments required to begin.

However, creating your own business as a creative entrepreneur comes with its own time investment that most people don’t take into consideration. Plus there’s lots of legal things we must do to protect ourselves from getting sued or going into debt. It’s not all boring or scary, but it’s all necessary to know as you begin to make some big decisions.

So let’s talk about it!

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Time Investment

First, you need to figure out whether your passion is just a part-time hobby or a full-time business. For instance, are you a mom with three children looking for a creative outlet? Or a full-time employee looking to make a career change?

Part-Time Hobby: If you simply want to take pictures and be done with it… then you you’re ready for a part-time gig selling prints online, second shooting for other photographers, or starting a simple blog educating others.

Full-Time Business: If you have more time to create a brand around your photography, invest in your own gear, create client resources, products, contracts, manage taxes, track mileage, and consistently show up on all marketing platforms… then you’re ready to dive into starting a full-time photography business that I can help you with!


remember- if you charge money for your services and products, you must set your business up legally


20 Steps

Now that you know your level of commitment, here’s my go-to list of 20 Steps to Starting Your Own Photography Business! Rest easy, these can be gradually completed within your first year of business.

  1. Attend a Workshop

  2. Learn Camera Settings, Lighting, & Prompts

  3. Invest in Gear + Insurance (P.S. I know a great guy!)

  4. Choose & Learn Your Editing Program

  5. Choose Backup Storage For Images (I love Dropbox!)

  6. Choose Image Delivery Platform (https://www.pic-time.com)

  7. Join Local Photo Groups

  8. Trade Headshots & Lifestyle Images with a Local Photographer

  9. Create Your Products / Services

  10. Design Your Brand, Business Name, and Logo

  11. Create All Marketing Platforms - Website, FB, Insta, Google My Business

  12. Register for an EIN Number

  13. Register with your State/City

  14. Get Set up to Pay Sales Tax (if selling products)

  15. Open a Business Checking Account

  16. Create a Business Plan - (read my blog on The Ultimate Guide To Creating your Business Plan!)

  17. Choose Client Management System

  18. Create Contracts (The Contract Shop), Scheduling/Invoicing (Acuity, my lifesaver), and Client Guides for Sessions

  19. Offer Free/Discounted Sessions To Test Client Resources, Gather Feedback & Reviews

  20. Participate in Styled Shoots to Grow Your Portfolio


Let’s Do This!

Alright creative entrepreneurs, you’re all set! I cannot wait to see you build your photography businesses from the ground up and will be cheering you on the entire way. Get ready to be a blessing to SO many people, because they will cherish your images forever. I believe we have the best job in the world! Go get em =)


Sarah Ann

Business TipsSarah White