Image Credit: SIphotography via iStock
No photographer has ever successfully started their business without making mistakes. It's just the nature of the beast.
But as you embark on developing your business, you can minimize your risk and maximize your opportunities for success.
That means learning from the mistakes of others to eliminate common photography business mistakes.
Let's explore a few things you SHOULD NOT do as you build your photography business.
Photography Business Mistake #1: Not Having a Backup Plan
Image Credit: meatbull via iStock
Photography is a very cyclical business, especially if you work in the wedding or portrait photography space.
Wedding photographers, for example, are supremely busy during the spring, summer, and early fall (hopefully, anyway...). But once the snow starts to fall and the winter slump arrives, there's far less people getting married.
That means you need to establish a plan for dealing with the slower business seasons.
Perhaps you offer engagement shoots, get into the newborn photography space, or offer editing services as a means of earning extra income.
Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of thinking that you'll be busy year-round. Have other options for generating income that aren't calendar specific, and you'll put yourself in a much better place to earn a good income.
Photography Business Mistake #2: Blowing Your Money on Gear
Image Credit: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER via iStock
All professional photographers I know would love to get their hands on a Canon EOS R or a Nikon Z7. After all, they're the hot new cameras on the market right now.
But as awesome as those cameras are, they also have crazy price tags...
When you're starting a photography business, the last thing you need to do is empty your bank account to buy new camera gear.
If you have a six-year-old Canon 5D Mark III that still works as good as the day you got it, then keep on using that camera.
Likewise, if the Nifty Fifty you bought for $50 on Craigslist is still helping you take beautiful photos, there's no need to replace it.
Instead, save your money, or at least spend it wisely on things that you really need (like marketing and insurance) that will help move your photography business forward and protect your investment.
Photography Business Mistake #3: Not Having the Right Insurance
Image Credit: PeopleImages via iStock
One of the biggest mistakes new photographers make is to not review their insurance coverages.
For example, some photographers who work from home assume homeowners insurance will cover things like lost, damaged, or stolen photography gear. That's not necessarily the case because many homeowners policies exclude gear used for professional or commercial use.
That's why having the right equipment insurance policy is a must-have for all photographers.
Certain insurance companies, like Athos Insurance, offer comprehensive equipment insurance policies that will protect you in the event that something goes awry.
For example, if you live in a coastal region that's hit by a hurricane and your home is flooded, damage to your cameras, lenses, and other gear would be covered.
If you travel the world with your gear, the Athos policy covers you worldwide (with the exception of countries with US Sanctions).
Additionally, companies like Athos Insurance provide coverage for a much wider range of eventualities, including coverage for lightning, wind storms, and other weather-related events. That also includes protection in the event of a fire and resulting smoke damage.
Earthquakes and damage from falling objects are covered, as are explosions and acts of terrorism.
But a good insurance policy doesn't just offer you protection against major catastrophes. It also protects you from everyday events that can derail your ability to work.
The right insurance coverage will protect you from things like accidental damages, such as a scratch on your camera lens.
You also want a policy that covers theft and damage in transit or during shipment.
With replacement cost coverage offered, this means the Athos policies can replace your equipment with a brand new or like-kind (if it’s not available) item.
As if that's not enough, Athos Insurance also offers personalized service that so many insurance companies don't seem to have these days.
So, if you have a question or concern, Athos Insurance is just a call or email away. You can even quote and purchase the quotes instantly online so it's quick and easy.
What's not to like about that?!
Photography Business Mistake #4: Not Continuing to Learn
Image Credit: dusanpetkovic via iStock
The thing about starting a photography business is that you might feel like you know a lot, but there's always room to learn more.
Sitting on your laurels is not going to do you any favors as a photographer or as a business person.
By that, I mean that there's always something to learn - new ways to process your images, new tricks for composing your shots, marketing strategies to bring in more clients, and so forth.
This isn't to say that you need to devote half your day to learning more about photography or running a business, but setting aside time each week to sharpen your skills and deepen your knowledge will only help you as you seek to build something successful.
Photography Business Mistake #5: Not Investing in Hosting
You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if it's never up because your host has unreliable service, there's no point, is there?
In today's world, you have to have a website to show off your photography, and that means not only having a rock-solid website that's beautiful and easy to use, but that also means having rock-solid hosting to back it up.
I've had hosting from way too many companies over the years because I could never find anyone that had that elusive combination of affordability, reliable uptime, and good customer service.
Then I found OVH...
Image Credit: anandaBGD via iStock
I switched to OVH three years ago, and in that time, they've proven to be exactly what I need to keep PhotographyTalk on the straight and narrow.
I've invested a ton of time, money, sweat, and tears into this company, so naturally I want a hosting company that will help me achieve my goals, not hurt me by constantly being down.
OVH promises 99.9% uptime, and they've certainly delivered over the last three years!
Though hosting isn't as sexy a topic as website design, it's still a must-have if you have any hope up building a successful business, and for my money, no host can match what OVH brings to the table.
If you can follow these easy guidelines for building your photography business, you'll be a much better position to minimize mistakes and maximize your success!