- Is Photography a Good Side Hustle for You?
- How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Legal and Safety
- How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Promoting Yourself
- How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Fulfilling Orders
- How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - 1,2,3… Profit!
- More Photography Business Tips
- Recommended Photography Gear
- Passive Income Photography Ideas
- 4 Newborn Photography Tips
- Custom Artwork Ideas for Your Photography
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It’s a natural progression as we get better at photography that we start thinking about how to start a photography business on the side. These thoughts often start when we share or show our images to people, and they say something like, “Your pics look like a pro did them!”
Another thing that gets us thinking about “going pro” in photography is that we’ve been involved in certain genres of photography for a long time and realize we could make some extra money on the side. Perhaps we’ve even already done a few gigs or photoshoots or sold some prints at an art fair.
I’ve put together a few helpful photography business tips that will hopefully make it a little easier to find some ideas for how to start a photography business on the side.
Table of Contents:
Is Photography a Good Side Hustle for You?
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Your first decision when considering how to start a photography business on the side is to think it through as to whether it will be a good side hustle for you. In my definition, a side hustle isn’t a hit-or-miss occurrence but a regular addition to our income.
Just a few years ago, a good rule of thumb for any type of side business was, “Do I need to make business cards?” The idea still works. Perhaps now it’s more along the lines of do I need a website or a business social media presence.
If the answers to those questions are yes, then we would be engaging in a side hustle or a business on the side that may or may not be related to our primary means of income. I think photography could work as a side business for just about anyone from caterers, plumbers, teachers, service industry workers, lawyers…, well, you get the picture.
How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Legal and Safety
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When you do any photography job for any sort of compensation, there are some important considerations to keep in mind about legality and safety. Yes, even just one lone side gig can open you up to all sorts of issues if something goes wrong.
A basic rule of thumb for any business is that you need to be aware of what could go wrong. A simple favor for a little bit of money or gifts has the potential to cause severe financial harm when accidents happen. Property and people can be damaged, and if your working on the side contributes to the harm, you could bear a large financial burden.
Thankfully, there are easy fixes we can put in place ahead of time, contracts and insurance. Contracts protect us and the client by spelling out what is being provided and how you’re being compensated. You can find pre-made contracts ready for you to personalize for your particular photography business.
Insurance is often misunderstood but is vitally important to have. A common misconception is that your homeowners or car insurance will cover while taking pictures or selling photos. They won’t. Once you receive anything for your work, it doesn’t even have to be cash money, you are considered as working, so the insurance needs to be specifically for that.
Liability insurance for a part-time photography business is easy to obtain and doesn’t cost as much as you might think. When looking at how to start a photography business on the side, simply consider this as part of your start-up costs. For a working photographer, side gig or full-time, it’s as important an investment as the camera and lens.
How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Promoting Yourself
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Remember business cards? They’re still a thing. Few things have the staying power for business promotion as a simple business card. We may be firmly in the digital age, but a physical business card blends in with the online world, too.
Things that should be on your cards should always include a way to contact you or book you or purchase something you made. Phone numbers work for texting as well as voice. In fact, there are some great business promotions that can be made via a text campaign.
Another way to blend the old and new is to list your photography website or social media contact on the business card. A photography website can be made simply and at a low cost and has the advantage of being able to be seen from anywhere at any time or day.
There’s more than the passive approach to business promotion. Actively networking with other businesses related to your photography genre is very helpful for how to start a photography business on the side. All it takes is to work up the nerve to ask and then have something to offer in return.
How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - Fulfilling Orders
You now have some people calling or texting you to have you create some images for them. One of the next steps in how to start a photography business on the side is to find a cost-effective and high-quality method for fulfilling the orders you are receiving.
Basically, you want to find a good printing company that you can use over and over again to provide them with wall art, photo albums or photo books, and other items like greeting cards and calendars made from your photography.
Photo Book Press is a great printing company that you can use to print your work in all of the methods listed above. Once you find a quality printer that does your work justice, stick with them so you know what you can provide for each client.
How to Start a Photography Business on the Side - 1,2,3… Profit!
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All of these steps and ideas covering how to start a photo business on the side won’t mean much to you if your side hustle isn't fruitful. You want some profit for your hard work and good talent.
One of the top photography business tips I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to pay someone else for their work. That could be a printing company, a graphic designer, a makeup artist, an insurance agent, an accountant, or someone else that does or has something your business needs.
Since even a side hustle has business expenses, you will want to charge enough to make this all worthwhile for you. Don’t sell yourself short. Your hard work and good talent should be able to net you a profit, that’s what being in business is all about.
More Photography Business Tips
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We have some more business photography tips all over Photography Talk, plus a set of master courses for improving your photography skills. What other tips for how to start a photography business on the side do you know that you can share with our readers?