10 Tips To Tell You How To Start A Photography Business By Finding Your Photography Niche

Sooner or later, most photography enthusiast give some thought to “how to start a photography business.” Unfortunately, there are a ‘few‘ challenges that “doom” us to failure. One of the biggest challenges that we bring is our failure to make the distinctions between our love of photography (re: our enjoyment and passion for photography) and the business of photography (understanding buying and spending habits of people that are photography customers).

For example, many of us think that because our photography work is “so good,” that we shouldn’t have that much trouble selling it. We, sometimes, mistakenly, think that great art and photography “sells itself.” Big mistake! Great photography does not sell itself. In the business world, nothing sells itself – nothing! Knowing this is critical to start a photography business.

Our failure to make the distinction between our passion for photography and our desire to be in the photo business is also evident in how we try to tell people about what we do. For example, photography customers don’t care what type of equipment we use. They don’t care how many mega-pixels we have, nor how much our equipment cost us, nor what brand of camera we use. Photography customers (current and potential) want to know that we can, and will, produce the highest quality photography work for them.

Think about it, the mechanics that repair our cars don’t tell us what tools that they use. The chefs in the restaurants that we patronize don’t tell us what type of pots, pans or stoves that they use. In those businesses, it is already established what customers want and how best to give it to them. In other words, other businesses do a better job of understanding their ‘niche.’ In order to start a photography business that is consistently successful and growing, we must be clear on what niche we are offering and how to sell the benefits of our niche to the customers.

Another mistake that we budding photography business owners repeat is failing to “specialize” (know our photography niche) in what we do. As photography enthusiasts, we enjoy shooting any and everything. As photographers, that’s just fine. However, when we start a photography business, we, mistakenly, try to be ‘all things to all people’ – we take every photography job offered us.

One of the obvious problems with this approach is our failure to recognize how it drastically cheapens the value of what we do as skilled photographers, in the eyes of the customers. Mistakenly, we want our customers (current and potential) to know that we can photograph anything – after all, we’re very versatile photographers! What the customers actually see is that we’re not “versatile photographers,” we’re just someone with a camera that’s available to take pictures when they call us. Serious photography customers (re: those that can afford to spend regularly) want to do business with specialists – photographers that know their photography niche.

Successful wedding photographers are clear on this, as an example of my point. Their ‘primary’ customer (usually the bride) has dreamed about her wedding day for most of her life. She isn’t looking for a vesatile photographer. She wants a “wedding photographer” that can make her ‘look’ as good, happy and beautiful as she has been in all of her lifelong dreams of ‘her day’ – her wedding day. There’s a special skill to this type of photography service. In fact, this niche has more to do with well developed ‘people skills,’ in my opinion. Successful wedding photographers that are clear on these nuances are more successful in business.

Do your research.

  • Inventory Your Photo Collection – Take a look at your photo collections. Determine what it is that you 1.) shoot the most; 2.) shoot consistently well; and 3.) enjoy shooting. Identify your and categorize the photos into various niches, i.e. portraits, sports, glamor, pets, children, landscape, etc.
  • Research The Photography Markets – Do internet searches using the words “photography niche.” Also, use the type of niche that you think your photos fit. For example, “event photography niche,” “wedding photography niche,” etc. Also, a good source to help identify some of the photo markets is “The Photographer’s Market.” This is a book that is published annually and claims to provide photo buying contacts and information. Online searches are the most useful, in my opinion. Books by author and photographer, Dan Heller are good places to get a better understanding of the vast world of photography, without all the ‘artsy-hype,’ in my opinion. He also has a very informative website – DanHeller.com
  • Identify ‘Real’ Markets – Find out what type of photography (of your specialties) your customers currently are purchasing. What type of photography is selling? At some point, you’ll have to ‘balance’ the realities of the different niches. There can be some factors that aren’t consistent across all photography niches. For example, some niches require longer “workflow” (workflow is the post production process of taking photos) periods and tasks than others. Higher quality portraits normally require photo editing – which is time-consuming. Event photography requires the processing, packaging and delivering (presenting) of photos. True story: I went through my large photo collections and found that I had a very large number of outstandingly beautiful flowers. I can’t begin to tell you my disappointment when I found out that there is ‘virtually’ no market of photos of flowers – it seems that everybody has them already, everybody! Lesson learned – identify ‘real’ markets.

Ten Tips To Assist You To Identify Your Niche

  1. Identify specialties that fit your style:
  2. Determine if you have the necessary equipment for the niche
  3. Do you have identifiable and specific skills in this niche area – can you articulate them?
  4. Who is your target audience
  5. What type of photography do they purchase the most
  6. Where are they taking their photography business currently – your competition
  7. What will be different about your services
  8. Does where you live support your preferable niche
  9. Is your niche ‘stock photography’ or ‘assignment photography’ – do you know the difference
  10. What is the future potential and tendencies of your niche

Fortunately, the internet makes this information just a few clicks away. The information isn’t difficult to find and learn. Knowing your niche increases your confidence tremendously. Truly know your niche – and your photography business will follow!

Ways to Get Cool Photo Effects With Your Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera

The majority of people who only take occasional photographs like the ones of family events, tend to leave their Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras on the default or automatic settings. If someone taught you how to use the manual settings to make cool photo effects would you then use the manual settings? If you left the shutter of your camera open for longer than normal and you were taking a picture of a moving cars’ tail lights, the picture you would end up with would have long red streaks of light. Which you may have done before but this time you knew why it happened and that you did it on purpose just to see what it looks like. Here is a major bonus, you don’t need a really expensive DSLR to make cool photo effects only one you can operate manually.

Having the imagination is of more benefit then having the best gear, as long as it’s a DSLR camera you’re good. Once someone shows you a certain thing on your camera you will be able to apply that knowledge to any photographs you take. Like with any skill once you get the fundamentals down pat, your imagination is your only limitation. Going back to the shutter speed, picture this, a moving swing with coloured lights and a shutter open longer than normal, I think that would look really awesome.

Or taking a picture of an object and then while the shutter is open you move a light, (like a flashlight) in a pattern, photographing the light trails, it’s called light painting, now that is a cool photo effect. Going with digital photography has the added benefit of not having expensive processing fees, so if you aren’t happy with something you delete it.

Another thing that you can do with the manual settings on your camera is HDR photography, another cool photo effect. You would use this technique to gain more detail than is possible with only one photo. Put your camera on a tripod and take 3 photo’s of the same space, at normal exposure, under exposed and over exposed to get the shadowed detail, and then you can use software to meld the images together creating a high dynamic range photograph with so much detail in the fore and back grounds and with definition that just pops.

You can use your camera to make cool photo effects such as 3D images. Your camera is capable of creating perspective illusions and even infra red to change the colour of typical photos making them look surreal. Your friends and family will be totally amazed and will want to know when you had the time to take a professional photography course.

There are many photo artists who use these cool photo effects in their art and you can learn to do this as well.

How To Take Advantage Of Photo Effects

Photography is a huge passion for thousands of people who are ready to give it all up just in order to dedicate their time and effort to this field. It is easy to understand the reason why so many people are so addicted to photography: it really is amazing. The feeling you get when you transform an event into a lifetime memory and when you show others what only you saw is fantastic. This is one of the reasons why so many people are ready to make the passing from amateur photographs to professional ones. They know that by getting their passion to the next level, they get the chance to even make a living by doing what they like best.

What is very important to know about the professional photographers is that they always use some tricks in order to transmit their messages without any problems. What do these specialists do? It is easy: they add effects to photos. They take advantage of the fact that there are so many free photo effects that stand at their disposal and that they can use in order to transform a good photo shot into a perfect one. Those who don’t have a formed eye, can’t even tell that the photo shot was actually a little bit modified with the help of some cool photo effects, so there is nothing wrong in taking advantage of the existence of such tools.

However, there are some professional photographers who don’t use the photo effects that stand at their disposal in order to simply better transmit the photo’s message to the viewer. They take everything to the next and last level and use these tools in order to add the personal touches that will transform the perfect photo into a work of art. People have to understand that a photo can’t be called a work of art as long as the personal touches of the photographer are not highlighted. These personal touches represent the personal signature of the photographer and they definitely play a very important role.

A professional photographer has to know how to use cool photo effects, as their role is very important. No matter how much experience or talent you have in the field, there are situations in which errors occur and you are the one responsible for making them disappear if you want to publish that photo shot and to even make a lot of money with it. This is the reason why, as a professional in the field, you need to know how to work with the cool photo effects that stand at your disposal. If you don’t do this, you lose, as you are not taking advantage of them! By using the photo effects, you take advantage of them as tools and this is a great thing! If you are not using photo effects, then you can only call yourself an amateur, not a professional. Make sure that you understand their role and their importance when you enter the field.