Facebook Pixel Photographers: The one thing you need before opening for business

Photographers: The one thing you need before opening for business

TPhotographers: The one thing you need before opening for businesshere are lots of obvious things you need before you can start a photography business. And as much as this seems like a hobby that you can make money through as you learn, it’s not really that simple if you want to establish an honest-to-goodness business. I mean, how many people open restaurants before they can actually cook everything on the menu? Would you expect a meal the chef was practicing for the first time?

So before I tell you the number one thing you need before you should start charging for your services, let’s get something out of the way: it’s obvious that you need a camera. And editing software. And all of those other things. But I interact with so many people through my blog and on forums who have these things and think they’re ready to print a business card and start shoving cash in their camera bag. To which I say “wooooah there partner. You need one more thing before you start handing out that business card.” And what is that one thing?


You shouldn’t be calling yourself an in-business photographer, you shouldn’t be trading for money and you certainly shouldn’t be accepting responsibility for someone’s once-in-a-lifetime events {think: wedding} if you don’t have a handle on consistency. That is, you should be able to consistently produce the same caliber of work over and over again. Your work shouldn’t be spray-and-pray. No lucky shots here. Just good, honest blood, sweat and tears to learn your trade so that when you get hired to do a job, you can confidently walk into that job and produce the product your client is hiring you to produce.

A hard truth for some to hear, but I wish I knew this in the beginning.

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Elizabeth Halford
Elizabeth Halford

is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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