Now that you have a fancy new camera and people are starting to comment on the photos you are taking, does this mean you are ready to start a photography business. Before you start your business there are some things that you need to make sure you understand.
One of the first things you need to understand are the basics of photography, such as lighting, composition, and posing. Lighting; do you know different lighting styles? Do you know how to use light to achieve the look you are going for? Do you know the difference between hard and soft light and how to use each one? Composition; do you know about foreground, middle ground, background and the importance of each one? Do you know how to place the subject of your photograph to emphasize it? Do you understand perspective and how it can affect your photograph? Do you understand color vs. black and white? Do you know what makes a photograph fine art? These are some of the basic of photography every photographer should know.
Most photographers offer portraits as part of their services. With portraits do you know about posing? Do you know the difference between feminine and masculine posing? Do you have a reason you are using the pose you are? Do you know how to light the pose you are using to get the affect you want?
While you are answering all the questions about the basics of photography you also need to keep in mind the next set of questions all about the business basics. Some business questions you should answer are; why are you starting a photography business in the first place? What are your business goals? What are you artistic goals? Do you have a business plan and someone who can help you developer one? How are you going to market your business? What are you going to charge people for your services; what are your prices going to be? What kinds of services are you going to offer; weddings, engagements, portraits, etc.? What is your deadline for delivering finished photos? Do you have a professional portfolio with finished work to show clients? These are just a few of the business questions you should have answers to when you are thinking of starting a photography business, and one of the most important answers you should have is who you can go to for advice; both business advice and artist advice.
Now that you are fully overloaded with some of the questions you should be answering there are somethings you should be answering for yourself as an artist. Do you have a defined style have a style you are working toward? Are you able to critique your own work as well as the work of others (see The how and why of critiquing and Critiquing 102, previous posts)? Critiquing is a skill that most artist don’t understand; it is more than just saying you like or dislike something, it is being able to able to give suggestions on how to fix what you feel is wrong and the ability to not take things personally when the other artist doesn’t take your advice.
I think that there are a lot of people who have started their photography business without being able to answer even some of the questions I have posed here. One thing I have found in trying to build my own photography business and from what I have read online is that one thing most people don’t realize is that as a business owner you are going to be spending most of your time on the business side of things rather than the artist or photography side. There is a lot to consider when you are thinking of starting your own photography business.