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How to start a photography business
Don’t worry – it’s not nearly as scary as you think!
Mon 17 Jul 2023
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You’ve been capturing stunning photos and booking photo sessions, but you still don’t feel like a “real” photographer. We’ve all been there. The good news is, this feeling is totally normal! You’re just at the jumping off point of a wonderful adventure.

If you’ve previously considered photography to be your side hustle, it may be time to shift your mindset and start things about it like a legit business! Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Follow the steps below to turn your photography side hustle into your dream business.

Save time and energy with Unscripted App’s business tools

Make it official

The first step to turning your photography side hustle into a legit business: making (and keeping) it real!

Choose a business name, decide if you’re going to register an LLC, get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if needed and separate your business finances from your personal finances. You’ll need to register to pay state sales tax – even if you’re just a sole proprietorship, and look into liability insurance and equipment insurance.

Don’t forget to lock down your contracts and keep them up to date, too. Be sure and check out Unscripted’s lawyer-approved contract templates – they’re total time-savers!

A CRM is your BFF – seriously

As you’re getting your photography business off the ground, you’ll learn that the more you streamline your work, the more time you’ll have to get out there and shoot!

Look into Unscripted App’s CRM (Client Relationship Management) technology – it helps keep track of all of your photo sessions, clients, invoices and contracts. You can even personalize the experience for your clients with branded invoices, appointment notes and more!

Download the Unscripted App ASAP

ICYMI: the Unscripted App offers much more than CRM! There’s an Education section of the app that offers helpful how-tos and interviews with other photographers, along with over 1,400 FREE poses and prompts to get you inspired.

You can also customize a gorgeous client gallery to deliver your photos and join the Unscripted App For Photographers Facebook group to network with other photographers from all over the world.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Spread the word!

Now that you’ve transformed your photography side hustle into a legit business, it’s time to get the word out!

Head to your social media channels and post your recent work, your portfolio, anything and everything! Just be sure to post often and keep your branding consistent with Unscripted’s customizable social media templates.

And be sure to show your face, too – it builds trust in your business and humanizes what you do!

Finally: Get to work!

Whether you’re a beginner photographer or you’ve been shooting for a long time, starting a photography business is a big leap. Set a date to look back on your progress and until then, get cracking!

With the Unscripted App, you’re already set up for success to grow your photography business.

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How much money do you need to start a photography business?

While you don't need to buy every single piece of equipment and subscribe to every service all at once, many professional photographers say to plan on budgeting between $10,000 and $15,000 to launch a photography business.

How profitable is a photography business?

Full-time photographers can typically make anywhere between $30,000 and $75,000 per year, and some make even more than that.

Is photography a stable career?

When considering photography as a whole, the employment of photographers is anticipated to grow by 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is quicker than the average for all jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What contracts should a photographer have?

Generally, photographers should have contracts for Names of Both Parties, Engagement of Photographer (scope of service), Photographer & Client Responsibilities, Payment Details & Other Fees, Ownership of Work & Client Usage Rights, Limitation of Liability & Indemnification, Post-Production & Editing Policy (artistic release) and Releases & Waiver contracts.

Do I need an EIN for my photography business?

Even though you're not required as a Sole Proprietor, DBA or Single-Member LLC to have an EIN, it's always a good idea. This gives your business its own number to use for things like filing taxes. If you want to open a business bank account, they're going to require you to have an EIN.