You’ve got the knowledge. You’ve got the experience. You’re ready to take your photography business out of the darkroom and into the spot light. There’s one last thing you need, exposure.
Word of mouth is a great way to start but if a picture is worth a thousand words people will have to do a lot of talking to advertise your budding business. For a quick launch you can come up with a company name (i.e. Your Name Photography) and open a Flickr and Facebook account with it. You can advertise on Craigslist but arrange initial meetings in a public place and leave your equipment at home to avoid being a potential victim.
Eventually though you will need a web site and there are an abundant amount of options available. I always advocate employing a web designer but as an amateur turning pro the funds for that sort of thing may seem a little steep. Starting off you might want to check out some DIY options like Wix, a free web building site or any other of dozens of templates for photography sites. Keep in mind that most of the time the free versions of these sites and templates can be very limiting. Only several styles are available, certain functions are disabled, ads from the parent site are posted and the URL is a strange string no one will remember. Upgrading to the paid version can be beneficial.
Recently I was hired to construct a web site for a photographer friend who wants a lot of options. She wants me to set it up, but she wants to edit it on her own, post her own blogs and be able to handle ordering and shipping through her site. After extensive research I decided for her needs the best option would be a pairing of sites. We’re using SmugMug for her homepage, galleries, and ecommerce, but the blogs and other pages will be on Wordpress where she can easily edit text or rearrange elements down the line.
Whatever you decide works for you, website wise, make sure you take advantage of the search engine optimization and add keywords that include your location and the type of photography you shoot. You’ll also need to designate an account to process payments, create a copyright to include on all of your images, and be prepared to pay taxes on any profits over $600 in a year.
It might seem like a lot of work but the reward is in the satisfaction of being paid to do what you love and helping others capture moments in their lives that matter most to them.
If you are interested in a better career in communications, visit CommunicationsJobs.net.
By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a multimedia developer with experience in web, film, photography and animation as well as traditional fine arts like painting and sculpting. In addition to writing for CommunicationsJobs.net, she is co-founder of design and promotion company, Creative Kazoo with fellow Nexxt blogger, Staci Dennis. Heather’s spare time consists of making puppets, teaching Sunday School, building Legos and doing science experiments with her children.