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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Photography Business from Home

Start a Photography Business

What you will be doing.  Pictures catalog some of the most memorable occasions of our lives.  They capture feelings we want to share with others.  As a photographer, your business can take many directions.  You may specialize in one area of photography or become a jack-of-all trades. 

How to start.  If you have a knack for picture taking, then photography may be the business for you.  As a general photographer, work can come from local businesses, schools, pet owners, private citizens, magazines, and the like.  Deciding if you want to niche into a market will determine what prices and type of work schedule may be appropriate. 

Do a bit of research.  Talking with local photographers and visiting studios can give you an indication of the market.  If portrait photographers are numerous in the telephone directory, specializing in another area would be prudent. 

Starting costs.  If you have taken on photography as a hobby in the past, some of the basic equipment may be in your possession.  Starting costs can run as high as $5,000 for the equipment needed as a professional photographer.  Setting up a studio includes props, backdrops, and lighting equipment.  Developing your own photographs requires a darkroom setup as well. 

If you specialize in commercial photography, your photographs will sell better online.  You will need a computer with Internet access and a printer to create a website for advertising and selling.  Business software can help with creating invoices when shipping merchandise. 

Skills needed.  The main skill needed is an eye for a great shot.  Photographs capture a moment in time.  Whoever views them can see and feel as the persons in the photograph had.  Raw talent can be managed by taking a few classes in photography. 

Here, instructors can guide budding photographers through setting up a studio photograph and how to use the proper shutter speed and lighting for action shots. 

Marketing.  Creating a portfolio gives prospective customers something to look at to get a taste of your artistic style.  Depending on your niche, advertising in trade magazines tailored to your specialty will get you noticed.  Print your own brochures and distribute them at trade shows, your local church, civic group meetings, and photography stores. 

You do not need a physical storefront for this business.  An online website gives you a place to showcase your work for everyone to see.  Update with fresh photos on a biweekly basis.  Once the business gains momentum, branching out into other photography services will continue to expand your client base. 

Photography is a wide open field.  There are new niches to explore as technology in our age advances.  Chart your own course to stay ahead of the competition.

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