What Do I Need to Start a Photography Business?

Photography has become very common, especially now that mobile phone manufacturers have worked to ensure that smartphones have cameras that can take high-quality photos. Nowadays, everyone is a photographer.

Regardless, this does not mean that you turn back on your dream of starting a photography business. There are still a ton of opportunities available in the market for professional full-time photographers as well as part-time freelance photographers (how to make money as a freelance photographer). If you have been thinking of turning your hobby into a business follow through with this article to find out exactly how you can make your dream a reality.

Advantages and disadvantages of starting a photography business


  • You will be making a living out of your hobby/passion
  • You have flexible working hours and can either decide to work part-time or full-time
  • You get to visit so many new and exciting places
  • You get to determine your rates


  • Turning your hobby into a business can easily take out all the fun from it
  • Acquiring and maintaining the right equipment is very costly
  • It can be quite difficult to build a clientele list when starting out
  • Clients can get you frustrated especially during major events like weddings
  • Your work can interfere with your family time since most photography work takes place during weekends and holidays.  
  • Income sometimes tends to be inconsistent

Necessary Equipment when Starting a Photography Business

There is a big difference between doing photography as a hobby and doing it as a job. The latter is more technical and simply having a DSLR camera and filter lenses will not just cut it. Below is a complete list of what you will need as equipment when setting out to start a photography business.


Of course, you need a camera to capture the images. There are many brands of cameras in the market, therefore, before settling on one, you need to do your research. The type of camera you choose should be guided by;

  • Your needs and those of your clients
  • Type of photography you will be shooting
  • Resolution on the camera
  • Type of lenses you will be using: ensure they will be compatible with your camera.


Photography lenses are expensive to purchase, therefore, before buying one you might want to rent out a few and try taking pictures in your niche. This will help you determine which lenses are best suited for the type of photography you will be working on; different lenses bring out different results.  For example, a 70-200 mm lens is best when shooting portraits while a 20-40mm is best when shooting objects at a closer view.  


This is where you will be editing and storing your work; it also allows you to communicate with your clients especially via email. When choosing a computer, pay close attention to its speed of processing, color reproduction as well as storage capacity. However, it is also important that you have backup storage, an external hard drive, or a flash disk.


Editing software allows you to fine-tune your pictures to perfection. There are tons of editing software available both free and paid. They all are capable of doing the job, however, some are more advanced than others, allowing you to have better photo outcomes.

Additional Equipment you Might Need Include;

  • Tripod: provides extra support to the camera while maintaining balance.  
  • Camera bag: to protect your equipment when moving around.
  • Lighting: used when natural lighting is inadequate.
  • Backdrop and props: depends on your niche, you could have a variety to choose from.
  • Printer: some clients might want to have hard copies of their photos, therefore you might want to invest in a good, high-quality photo printer for this.  

Steps to Starting your Photography Business

Getting your equipment is only part of the process of starting your photography business. To be able to start making money from photography as a business, there are a few other steps you need to make sure you follow. They involve;

Decide on a Niche

There is a huge market for photographers; from corporate businesses, events such as weddings, birthdays and graduation parties as well as nature photography. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to choosing a niche.

Write a Business Plan

This includes an outline of every aspect of your business; this includes your target market, business structure,that is, where are you going to promote and sell your services. It could be on social media platforms such as Instagram (how to make money as a photographer on Instagram), by working one on one with individual clients or by selling stock photos pricing and payment options as well as a marketing strategy.

Business Branding

Business branding is all about finding a suitable name for your photography business. Your name is what will help to identify your business with your clients. Therefore, it needs to align with your niche.  After settling on a name, you then need to register it with your local registrar of businesses; See to it that you also obtain the required business permits and licenses that will allow you to run your business legally.  


With potential clients as well as other photographers. This helps you get a sense of the market; who your clients are and what are their preferences. Networking will help you reach many clients who you would otherwise not be able to have access to. Another great advantage of networking is that you can develop trust among potential clients.

 Marketing your Services

This can be done by handing out business cards, brochures and flyers. It is impossible to have a successful photography business if no one knows about it. therefore, you need to make sure you get the word out in the market about the services you offer.  Another great way to market your services in this digital era is through social media marketing. This can be done by creating social media accounts on several platforms where you can showcase your work and interact with your followers.  

In Conclusion

There might be a few bits of starting a photography business that has not been mentioned above. Therefore, before dipping both of your feet into the water, you should carry out extensive research on this venture; you can find someone already in the business and have them guide you.

Starting a photography business can be overwhelming in the beginning; this is mostly because on top of the expensive equipment you will have to purchase, you will most likely be doing all the work yourself.

Like it has always been said, ‘Rome was not built in a day’, therefore, by putting in the hard work and having the determination, you will be able to turn your startup photography business into a worthwhile venture.  

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