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10 Quick Photography Business Tips to Kickstart The New Year


It’s that time of the year – everywhere you turn, people are talking about new year resolutions, goals and targets. Be it health, relationship, or even business related. If you have a professional photography business or even if you are an serious enthusiast who has thought about becoming a professional photographer, here are some business tips to help kickstart 2015.

Memorable Jaunts Writing Business Goals Article for 2015

A new year is the perfect time to set up new goals for your business.

#1 Legitimize your business

This can mean different things in different parts of the world. But the end result is almost always the same. Take whatever steps needed to ensure you are following the law in setting up your business the right way legally. In most countries, that means registering your business name, getting a tax ID number, and filing the appropriate paperwork with the local government. When you are legitimate, clients will appreciate and respect you even more.

General Photography Business Tips From Memorable Jaunts for DPS

Becoming a legit photography business goes beyond business cards, gear and website.

#2 Create tangible, measurable and achievable goals

I cannot stress enough the importance of creating professional goals. They form the anchor for your business and help you navigate the waters when things are going great, and when the waters turn rough. When you have a clear vision of where you want to go, nothing can stand in your way. When you are having a bad photography day where everything seems to be going wrong, revisit your goals and they will help you correct your course.

Writing Goals for Your Photography Business

Glitter glue and Shinny Stars are a must for any goal writing exercise – puts you in a good mood!

#3 Invest in education

The photography industry, like most industries, is constantly changing and evolving. As professionals we often forget to take the time to update our own skills and knowledge. Luckily there are many different avenues to get an update on what is the latest and greatest in the industry. There is no lack of online classes, articles, or even YouTube videos. Or if you are like me, sign up for a workshop or two – it is a great way to not only polish your skills, but also meet other photographers and make a connection or two.

Memorable Jaunts Photography Education

#4 Showcase your brand

I really believe in the adage that there is only ‘One’ you. What makes your brand unique is you and your personality. There are millions of photographers out there, but there is only one you!  Differentiate yourself by showcasing your unique personality in your brand. You can do that in many different ways in your business – through videos, your interactions with your clients, the content on your website, and your images. My love for nature and the outdoors is very apparent in my images and my website. Travel is my inspiration and has its own page on my website. I love clean and fresh images and my editing style is minimalist – that is who I am, and my clients appreciate that and have come to expect it.

#5 Streamline your workflow

This was a great eye opener for me. Recently I sat down and documented my workflow from start (initial client inquiry) to finish (delivering products and getting paid). There was such an imbalance of time spent across various activities. Documenting the process not only helped me understand where I was wasting precious time, but also where I was spending too little time. I was able to automate some processes and streamline my workflow.

Another personal tip – I turn off the internet and shut off my phone when I am editing a family session or a wedding. This really helps me focus and manage my workflow.

Documenting your photography business workflow process

#6 Differentiate yourself from the crowd

Follow other photographers and gain inspiration from their work. But don’t imitate them – imitation stifles personal growth. Let your individuality shine through your own work. Not only will this help you stand out from the rest of the crowd, but it will also help you find your own voice and give you the confidence to take your art to the next level.

Memorable Jaunts General Photography Business Tips for DPS

My favorite motivational quote sits on my desk reminding me everyday why I do what I do.

#7 Spruce up your blog

We all know that having a blog is like having a voice on the internet. A blog helps clients interact with you. Make a conscious decision to update your blog regularly. Most people believe that updating your blog three times a week is really beneficial for SEO. If that is something that you can commit to, more power to you. Keep content fresh and exciting – don’t just blog about your sessions and post a bunch of images about the session. I categorize my blogposts as ‘Weddings’, ‘Portraits’, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Personal’. Use your blog to showcase other aspects of your business – products you provide, gear that you love and why, or even who are you as a person – the face behind the camera.

#8 Maintain your gear

Check your equipment. This includes your primary camera, backup camera, and flash. Get cameras and lenses cleaned and serviced so that they are in top working order when you need them. I use Canon Professional Services Membership, which is a great service that is quick and efficient. Don’t forget the accessories – check reflectors for tears, missing tripod attachment plates, old batteries, and faulty memory cards. Keep everything ready for your photography season.

Memorable Jaunts General Photography Business Tips for DPS

I use a myriad of digital and film cameras – all my gear gets the same care and maintenance.

#9 Update your website with your latest work

I will be the first to admit this is generally one of the things I put on the back burner many times. However this is a key piece of the puzzle to attracting new clients. Showcase your best work on your website, blog, and other social media channels. Let your pictures speak volumes and keep the content fresh. Often times you are so busy photographing and managing your current clients, you forget about the new potential clients out there. Give those clients something new to look at so they keep coming back for more.

#10 Maintain your health and general well being

Perhaps this should be the first tip on the list. This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Managing a photography business is hard and exhausting – both mentally and physically. I love photographing weddings but after every wedding, I feel like I have been run over by a truck! Set aside time to exercise, eat healthy, and schedule ‘retreat time’. Time away from the computer and camera to enjoy the other finer things in life! After all what good is a great photographic career, numerous awards, and accolades if you are not able, mentally or physically, to enjoy the glory.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Karthika Gupta is a lifestyle, editorial and wedding photographer based in the Chicago area. Her images are fun, fresh and natural and her love for nature makes it way into most of her images.

  • Cam Miller

    Thank you so much for these tips. I actually began the steps for starting a legitimate photography business on January 1, and the most attention so far has been to making it “legal.” I have registered a name, applied for a license, written a letter to my homeowner’s association letting them know of my intention to form a home-based business, worked on a business plan, etc. Your tips will be revisited often. Thanks for a valuable resource!

  • Thank you Cam! I am so glad these helped and good luck on your new photography endeavor!

  • Karen Quist

    Good article, thank you. We can all benefit from revisiting these often.

  • bassey

    am from nigeria and a photography, i need a friend other part of world to work with me on my project, africanstock.2347033791312

  • Eric

    So nice to see more DPS articles that mention film, or acknowledge that film is still a significant aspect of the photography world.

  • Anonymous

    If I just wanted to do photography of portraits and such for friends and family, would I have to do all the other business/tax stuff?

  • Deanna Greenburg

    Only if you want to get paid. All the benefits you get for tax write off’s working out of your home make it well worth it.

  • Another great insightful and EXTREMELY useful article. Loved the advice on Workflow – something i am trying to get more slick!! Thank you.

  • Thank you Karen – so glad you enjoyed the article!

  • Thanks Eric – film is such a different beast all together 🙂 and I love the momentum it is getting of late!

  • Thank you HM Photography – so glad you enjoyed the article!

  • I may document my workflow and see where i am wasting time:-)

  • Gabernasher

    I don’t think I’d ever tell my hoa anything. They are evil people.

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