10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP
Thank you for this excellent software and all the hard work you put into it! Our photo studio staff mastered the program in a flash, no training was needed. There's plenty of features that are extremely useful for a business like ours, smart layout printing and order statistics among them.
Malcolm Barrows, Salt Lake City, USA
I struggled with some other ID photo makers until I stumbled upon this stunning software. Everything works like a dream, the interface is cute and easy to use. Changing background and clothes are really helpful to make any photo perfect.
Ellie Stonebridge, Bath, Great Britain
How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business
Can’t live without your camera? Often act as the go-to photographer at family events? Professional photography articles are your favorite reading? Maybe you should think about starting a photography business from home! This type of occupation can provide a steady revenue but does not require high start-up or operating costs, which means it is a perfect solution for newbies who still need to gain experience and win their first clients.
Although launching a home-based photography business is less risky than renting a full-fledged photo studio, transforming your hobby into an actual job won’t be an easy task. You’ll have to do your research, learn how to become a legal business entity, create an effective business plan, buy all the necessary equipment... - these assignments are enough to make your head spin! In this guide, we’ve gathered a lot of valuable information that will help you make the right decisions and create a successful home photo studio from the ground up. Read till the end to make sure you haven’t missed any crucial point.
Step 1. Choose the Type of Photography Business
For a start, decide what types of services your home photography studio will offer. While browsing through the list of careers, take into account your skills, interests and budget. If you’re into still-life and aren’t keen on working with people, you can do product photography for brochures, magazines or websites without leaving your home. Otherwise you can stick with non-business photography and take portrait shots of families, kids and their pets in a more friendly atmosphere. Another option is to become a passport and visa photographer since ID pictures are always in demand.
To automate the process of preparing ID photos and spend less time on routine tasks, you should get a powerful passport photo tool. Passport Photo Maker is an absolute must-have for photo studios and freelancers who need to work with a large number of photographs. The program complies with the latest requirements for ID photos set in different countries, and provides presets for passport, visa, driving license etc., to let you create professional quality ID photos in a few minutes.
Regardless of the photography type you choose, you’ll need to learn how to make money as a professional photographer, what are the possible ways to register your home photography business, how to organize your working space and what photo equipment is better to buy. So let’s dig a little deeper.
Step 2. Legally Operate Your Home-Based Photography Business
Once you’ve evaluated home-based photography business ideas and chosen your specialty, it’s time to create a brand name that fits the type of photography you want to do and doesn’t duplicate any title protected by a trademark.
Next, decide on your business structure to get a proper license. The easiest and lowest cost option is a sole proprietorship where you’re a single business owner. In this case, profits are taxed at the sole proprietor’s individual tax rates, unlike corporations with other tax obligations and schedules. However, such business owners are personally liable (with all their property) if a lawsuit occurs.
When you come up with a business name and set up your business structure, you need to obtain a business license or permission as required by your city or county. With an official license in hand, you can open a business bank account. Also, don’t forget to apply for a state ID number from your state's department of revenue to handle all the necessary taxes.
Inviting people into your home comes with a few inherent risks. Firstly, you’re exposing pieces of your personal life to them that can be easily damaged or even stolen. Secondly, your customers can get hurt on something while in your home and bring charges against you. To start a home-based photography business, contact a local insurance agent and ask what products you should have as coverage (for example, liability insurance).
Step 3. Create Your Home-Based Photography Business Plan
Your first step as a newly-made business owner should be to conduct an exhaustive research of the sphere you want to arrive at and the current state of its market. After analyzing this information, develop your home-based photography business plan that outlines the details of your business, including your vision statement, the products and services you offer, competitive advantage, financial projections and marketing strategies.
Estimate your start-up costs: prices for cameras, lights, tripods, background canvasses, light meters and digital photography software. If necessary, apply for a small business micro loan or simply rent the necessary equipment until you purchase your own. Examine other local photographers' rates by visiting their websites, and price your rates competitively. You can also contact newspapers and magazines to ask what the going freelance rate is to help you price your services.
Step 4. Set Up Your Home Photography Studio
If you’ve decided to start your own photography business from home, make sure your photo studio has its own dedicated space. Don’t force your family to trip over your gear and move it around to accommodate daily living. Having this dedicated space is also important because you don't want your clients to feel tension and stress because they invade your personal space.
If you have limited space, buy a wall mount to hang 2 or 3 rolls of paper. When you are done, use the chain and roll the paper back up. If using a wall mount isn't an option, stands for the backdrop works well too. In case you’re tight not only on space but money as well, get portable gear to easily fit it into your working space.
Step 5. Get Photo Equipment
If photography has been your hobby for quite a long time, you may already have much of the equipment and supplies you need. However, you’ll have to assess if the quality is high enough for providing professional services. Along with a decent camera, you’ll also need lenses, flashes, batteries, photography business software, quality photo paper and packaging used to deliver the photos to clients.
Portrait photographers will take great interest in different backdrops ranging from plain white to printed graphics and locations, from paper and muslin to vinyl and polyester. The main idea behind a good background is to remove distractions, enhance professionalism and add to the control you have as a photographer over your photos, so pick your backdrops wisely and don’t waste your money on a background collection when you really need just two or three of them.
Good lighting is no less important for a professional photo studio than a seamless backdrop. Acquire speedlights and flash brackets to have better control over flash, get yourself a versatile umbrella to move light with your gear, don’t forget about stable light stands to hold your additional lighting equipment.
Step 6. Promote Yourself
The key to success in running a home-based photography business is marketing. Along with traditional business cards, brochures and advertisements, use other methods to spread the word about your business. Attend trade shows and events geared toward your market. For example, if you want to do wedding photography, attend wedding shows. If you aim to take pet portraits, attend dog shows. Here’s the list of other steps you should undertake to increase your brand recognition.
- . Use it to publish your existing portfolio and add all new creative works. There you can state your price list for different kinds of shooting, working hours, home studio address, phone number, recommendations and much more that will help you win customers.
- . There cannot be too much advertising. Unlike many online services that charge fees for posting ads, Craigslist gives you the opportunity to advertise your business free. Over 60 million users in the United States visit the Craigslist website every month, so placing an ad there will allow you to advertise your products or services locally and across the country.
- . Set up social media accounts on networks where your target market can be found. For example, if you’re doing wedding photos, you should have a Pinterest page. Send out regular updates and special promotion announcements to your subscribers.
- . Contact friends, acquaintances, former employers (if you left on good terms), nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services. Let them know you’re in business and ask if they can use your services, or if they can give you the names of people who need what you sell.
- . In today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation can have a great impact leading to word of mouth strategies to grasp the opportunity. 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. Even academic research has proven its effectiveness in conversion.
Client Is a King
You can’t successfully operate a home-based photography business and won’t get paid for photos if no one hires you. In case of photography business, customer service isn’t simply delivering a product or service on time or having a website that is easy to navigate around. You need to go the extra mile and make your brand memorable for all the right reasons. To secure repeat customers and encourage word of mouth recommendations, you need to put client experience high up on your list of priorities. Be sure this tactics will win your new customers and your professionalism will serve as the best advertisement you can have.
Opening a home-based photography studio can be a great alternative to renting some office and dealing with other organizational issues. This way of doing business will save you a lot of trouble, and give you a chance to build your customer base without cost-intensive investments.
Equip your home photo studio with Passport Photo Maker!