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

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

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Practice and Experiment to Improve Technical Photography Skills

Unlike some other areas of expertise, photography is not exactly a discipline — it is an art. And art is constantly evolving. Despite the fact that you may learn certain techniques, photography skills, technical skills, and so on, at the end of the day it is important that you realize that in photography there are no rules that are carved in stone.

All rules can be bent, and all rules can be broken.

So apart from practicing your photography skills constantly, you also need to start to experiment. Only through experimentation will you master some of the more advanced photography techniques and technical skills as it is experimentation that will provide you with a feel for what you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t worry though — experimenting is not going to harm you in any way, so be sure to try as many things as you can think of!

If you’re the kind of person who is willing to experiment and practice to improve your photography skills then you’re going to find that before long you start to really and truly develop a ‘feel’ for photography itself. Some things will gradually become instinctive, and you’ll slowly but surely accustomize yourself to the various details involved in photography.

Sooner or later you’re probably going to find that even things that seemed tremendously complex at first turn out to be quite easy.

When you first start honing your photography skills, you need to be patient. No one becomes an expert photographer overnight or manages to master all the technical skills involved with photography in a matter of hours. It will take time, but it is certainly worth the wait.

Taking Online Photography Courses to Improve Your Photography Skills

If you are interested in photography and you don’t have enough time to study in photography school or institute, online photography courses are presumably one of the best ways to improve your photography skills. There are hundreds of photography courses online that will offer you all types of results. You can learn many kinds of photography skills such as how to master underwater photography, wedding photography, fashion photography, and so forth.Following an online photography course can be affordable and helpful. With this comes the benefit of being able to learn not only so many things about photography but also anything related to it such as the photography equipment. You will be introduced to all kinds of cameras, lenses and other stuffs. Online photography course will encourage your passion confidence to feel like a true professional and receive the admiration and respect of all your friends and family. You can also create an income from it.However, before you start looking at online photography courses, here I give you two of the basic rules of photography from the experts which probably help you before signing a certain online photography courses. The first thing you should know is composition. This is the single most important factor in the creation of any stunning image. Getting the composition right will be the make or break as it was of that perfect shot. The second one is the rule of thirds. This simple method is the same method that has been used by many of the great masters of painting throughout the centuries and is talked about in detail by Leonardo Da Vinci. The idea is to create your image so that you have key elements on or near to any number of these intersection points as possible. Covering three of the four points will make an ‘L’ shape. This is a very popular and widely used composition form. Well, you can also find another basic rule that will help you to get acquainted with your new hobby in photography.I assume that it is well worth considering a photography course online can quickly improve your skills. By following easy to follow guidelines, I believe it can fast track you to make professional looking photographs that will impress your family and friends.Check out my other articles about photography here! http://digital-photography-software.org/

Learn Digital Photography – Is Digital Photography Dead?

Yes, digital photography is dead in the water IF ‘photography’ is taken out of digital photography. As Kodak’s brownie box camera and their Instamatic brought photography to the masses in the 20th century, so the digital camera has done the same in the 21st. But, once the ‘ability to take photos novelty’ wears off, the lack of skills will relegate the digital camera to the hobby drawer.There is a principle in management science that says in business a person is promoted to the level of their own incompetence and no further. It’s called the ‘Peter Principle’ formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his book of the same name. After that they stagnate and can only move sideways. This is true for photography also. Once you reach your level of incompetence or maximum ability, there you sit. It’s at this point the interest wanes and your camera outings become more and more infrequent. In other words, another death of digital photography.There will always be the hardliners in any field who will continue to practise to the level of their incompetence, but, the average Joe who was once excited by digital photography is no more. The enthusiast has lost his enthusiasm.So what’s the answer to the problem? The focus, as in any hobby or pastime, is a continual learning process. In the business world we call it upskilling. Adding competency and qualifications to your existing tool bag will keep you moving up the ladder of promotion. It is the same with photography. Learning is imperative.Most of us are at some stage dissatisfied with our photos. They don’t quite look like those in the glossy magazines and daily newspapers. What is it that they have that rest don’t? They’ve learnt the techniques and disciplines of photography and have applied them on a continual learning journey to great photos.A hobby, as with any plant or animal, has to be nurtured if it is to show any signs of growth. Buying a digital camera with the sole purpose of just snapping away without the high costs of film, will on most occasions result in the death of digital photography. If your digital photography is going to flourish it will need three key ingredients:1. TimeAs with anything of value in life time is a key ingredient to its success. Unless you take the time to invest in any venture you will probably reap an equivalent reward. Garbage in garbage out. No pain no gain as the old adage goes.  There is no instant photography.2. PassionUnless you are enthusiastic about a hobby or pastime it is inevitable that it will gradually diminish with time and eventually fizzle out. I speak from experience. Developing your passion is essential to growth. Passion is the fuel that fires your hobby.3. AbilitySome are born with natural ability but for most of us we have to work at it. Practise makes perfect. If you don’t have ability then acquire it in whatever way you legally can. Acquiring ability is a process and for many of us a journey of discovery. Something we have to work at.Take any of these three points out of digital photography and its demise is well on the way. But, the key point is photography. Learning photography and acquiring creative photography skills will nurture digital photography and keep it alive.Photography is not governed by the medium it uses, digital, film, pinhole or Polaroid. Photography stands alone and independent of the tools or media. As with beauty it’s in the eye of the beholder. It is not contained in a box, a camera or digital sensor. Its results can be seen on a computer, t-shirt or magazine.Digital photography is the answer to photography because of its ease of use, methods of distribution and costs. But take photography out of digital and it will result in the death of digital photography.