Your Guide to Starting a Portrait Photography Business

If you’re a photographer and you’ve always dreamed of starting a portrait photography business, you can move forward with your journey once you have a vision and business plan in mind. Whether you have always been an avid lover of photography or you simply appreciate the arts, starting a portrait photography business requires a bit of research and planning ahead of time. The more familiar you are with the process of starting a photography business of your own, the more likely you are to create a brand that will stand out among the rest, regardless of the niche industry or market you are most interested in pursuing.

Find Your Location

When it comes to starting a portrait photography business, you will need to find a location or choose an office spot that is just right for your operation. Finding the right location is key to maximizing your ability to garner new clients and draw attention to the type of photography services you currently have to offer. If you’re interested in comparing different locations near you, it is possible to do so with the help of a commercial realtor or by conducting a search on your own time, online.

How to Find a Location for a Photography Business With a Realtor

Working with a local commercial real estate agency or an independent realtor is a way to quickly learn more about a specific area or region you are interested in working out of, depending on your current location. Commercial real estate agents typically specialize in particular areas or work in locations that are either designed for storefronts or office space. When you are working with a realtor, it is much easier to ask questions about surrounding businesses, real estate for sale, and price ranges that are most appealing to and affordable for you.

How to Research Locations for a Photography Studio Online

If you’re interested in immersing yourself a bit more in the realm of portrait photography, you can do so by researching locations for a photography studio yourself, online. Browsing commercial properties for sale and for lease online is possible with the use of trusted real estate sites and commercial property management companies that are trusted and reputable. You can also compare the locations of different properties and commercial buildings for sale with the use of well-known search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and Bing.

Set Up Your Communication

Anyone who is serious about starting a portrait photography business will quickly discover just how important it is to set up proper communications systems within your business, regardless of how you intend to manage your operations. From investing in phone systems such as Cisco IP phones to integrating chat applications and digital communication servers, there are many different solutions to keep in mind when it comes to setting up the communications of your photography business for the first time. To determine which communication services are best, you will also want to take a bit of time to consider what demographics you are trying to reach with your photography business and the type of clients you intend to attract.

The Importance of Setting Up Communications for a Photography Business

Going into business as a photographer or even as the owner of a studio requires the ability to effortlessly communicate with existing customers and prospective clients. Whether you’re interested in conducting a corporate shoot or attracting new talent for a massive photoshoot opportunity, you will need to know how to go about connecting with those you need to contact in your time of need. Taking some time to research different communication techniques, methods, and equipment will help you determine which solutions are optimal for the type of portrait photography business you are interested in running.

Outsource Your Payroll

If you are in the process of starting a portrait photography business for the very first time, you will still need to focus on managing your finances and accounting properly. Working with local payroll companies is a way for you to outsource your payroll duties so you can pivot to focus on other facets of your photography studio as you move toward your launch date. Keeping up with the payroll expenses and taxes that are required of you is imperative in order for you to keep your doors open and to continue your operations as a portrait photography studio.

Advantages of Outsourcing Your Payroll

While it is beneficial to become familiar with how to go about handling the finances and payroll expenses that are incurred while running your portrait photography studio, this can take significant time away from building the other areas of your business. If you are outsourcing payroll duties and responsibilities, you can ensure that all of your payroll expenses and taxes are paid in a timely manner, which is typically quarterly when you are running a business of your own. Additionally, working with professionals who specialize in the management of payroll taxes and expenses is also a way for you to maintain your own peace of mind knowing that you are minimizing your risk of fees or fines based on not properly filing payroll taxes or paying expenses on time.

Upgrade Your HVAC

If you are investing in a portrait photography business location, you will want to ensure that your HVAC system is in proper working condition at all times. Updating and upgrading your location’s HVAC system is highly recommended if you believe the system will require constant air conditioner repairs or cooling services due to its age or poor condition at the time of your initial inspection. If you believe it may be time to invest in upgrades, repairs, or even in a complete replacement of your HVAC system, working with an HVAC company or contractor near you is best.

Benefits of Upgrading Your Company’s HVAC System

Upgrading your photography studio’s HVAC system will ensure it is working properly and efficiently year-round. This can reduce the strain on the system and the energy you are wasting each day, ultimately helping to cut down on the costs of electricity you are required to pay for on a monthly basis. When you take the time to upgrade your HVAC system, you can also provide your clients with a comfortable and predictable atmosphere year-round, even during the hottest and coldest months of the year.

Advantages of Hiring a Professional HVAC Company

Working with a professional HVAC company to inspect your existing system is a way to learn more about the furnace and air condition units you currently have in place. You can also work with HVAC professionals while resting assured knowing that any work that is conducted is done so under a work warranty or guarantee that is provided to you as a client before they begin working around your place of business. Anytime you hire a professional HVAC company, you can do so with your own peace of mind once you have verified that they are not only licensed, but also insured to provide services to commercial clients such as yourself.

Invest in Signage

If you are in the process of starting a portrait photography business, investing in signage and learning how to market your brand is essential. From sign install services and using custom marquee sign letters, there are many different ways to go about promoting your business once you have found the right location. In addition to investing in different types of signage, you should also pivot to local and online marketing strategies.

The Importance of Marketing Your Photography Studio

Marketing is an integral element of any business, especially if you are entering a competitive industry, such as the photography market. When you want your photography studio to stand out, you will need to create a marketing strategy that is optimal for the audience you intend to reach and the brand image you are attempting to cultivate. Marketing a photography studio can mean the difference between attracting new clients and falling short of your set expectations.

Methods of Marketing a Photography Studio

Once you decide to go into the field of portrait photography with your very own studio, you will want to take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with different methods that are typically used to promote photographers, studios, and brands in the same industry. Research local photographers and studios in your area to become familiar with current services that are offered and the types of styles that are most popular and prominent in your city or region. Promoting your photography studio locally is possible with the use of traditional flyers and mailers or by opting for newspaper, television, or even radio ads, depending on the message you intend to share.

Another way to go about marketing a photography studio today is to do so by creating an online presence and cultivating online followers. To do so, you will want to register an official domain and begin building a website of your own. Your website may include details regarding the location of your studio, information regarding your skills and work experience, and even a complete portfolio to showcase the work you have completed in the past.

Choosing to market your photography studio online is also possible via traditional online listings, search engines, and even with the use of social media. Submitting your website’s URL to top search engines such as Google can help you maximize your online reach while simultaneously appealing to a much wider local audience. Establishing a name for yourself in Google is one of the quickest ways to attract new clients, especially when you are building a name for a brand in the photography world.

Using social media is one of the fastest and most affordable methods of building an audience in photography. Share sneak peeks into photo shoots, display your work, and even engage with followers. Host contests and promotions to give away free photo shoots to garner even more local followers near you.

Offer Services for All Ages

Another option to consider when you are starting a portrait photography business is to offer services for all ages, from kindergartens students to the elderly. Promoting group discounts, family photo shoots, and even unique backdrops and settings for children can help you significantly expand your audience and reach. The more open you are to the types of clients you will serve, the easier it will be for you to establish your new photography studio and a reputable name for your business and brand.

Maintain Your Parking Lot

If you are committed to starting a portrait photography business that succeeds, you will need to take the exterior of your business as seriously as you do the interior. When it comes to attracting prospective clients who may be driving by your business at any time, you will need to maintain your own parking lot. An outdated, crumbling, or pothole-ridden parking lot will be more likely to scare clients away, as the parking lot may be where prospective clients first draw their own conclusions and impressions about your photography establishment.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Photography Studio’s Parking Lot

Whether you are in need of pothole repairs or new parking lot lining, maintaining the parking lot of any photography studio should always remain a top priority. When it comes to establishing a brand and name for yourself as a photography studio, you may only be provided with one opportunity to do so while appealing to locals in your community. If locals believe your parking lot appears outdated or even unsafe, they may not trust any other business decisions you are making for the interior of your business or even the entire operation you are running and managing yourself.

When it comes to starting a portrait photography business, there are a few different areas to focus on to ensure you are making the right decisions each step of the way. Whether you have always had a love and passion for photography or if you’re simply interested in investing in the industry, learning how to go about starting a portrait photography business from all angles is key to maximizing your potential for success. Regardless of the level of experience you have in the world of photography and working with portrait photography, you will have a greater chance of achieving success when you are familiar with the ins and outs of the industry.

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