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If your dream is to be a photographer, there's clearly a lot of decisions that you need to make.
Chief among them is where your business will be housed - at home or in a studio space?
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that most photographers have an office or studio space outside their home.
But there are plenty of virtues of having a home-based business. Naturally, there are some disadvantages as well.
Let's go over a few pros and cons of a home-based photography business.
Advantages of a Home-Based Photography Business
Perhaps the biggest benefit of working from home as a photographer is that you minimize the costs and opportunity costs of having a studio or office elsewhere.
There's no extra rent payment each month and no extra utilities you have to pay for, and with that lower overhead, you can more easily make your income targets.
Additionally, working from home reduces your opportunity costs. With no commute time to eat up your mornings and evenings, you have more time each day to get things done.
Even if your commute would be just 10 or 15 minutes each morning and night, that's still 20-30 minutes every day that you can't be doing something that's making you money. That time adds up!
There's other types of practical conveniences as well. There's more likely to be free parking for your clients in your neighborhood than if you have a studio space downtown.
Another benefit of working from home as a photographer is that you can offer your clients a more personalized experience.
Instead of meeting in a large studio or office space, you're inviting them into your home where they can more easily get to know you as a photographer and as a person.
What often sets photographers apart from the crowd is who they are, what their personality is like, and what makes them unique. What better way to do that than to meet clients in the comfort of your home?
Disadvantages of a Home-Based Photography Business
One of the best photography business tips I ever got was to keep my home life and work life separated.
Obviously, that's not as easy to do if you work from home than if you have a dedicated space elsewhere to do your work.
Another difficulty of being a home-based photographer is that you might not have all the storage space you need for all your gear, props, and other photography essentials.
Without enough storage, you'll perhaps find that you have to stash your things in other areas of your home where they might get lost or damaged.
If you have pets or kids, finding quiet time to get things done can be a challenge, too, especially if you have a smaller home where you can't put much space between your work area and your personal area.
And if you meet with a client later in the evening, they might be treated to all sorts of cooking smells as your family sits down to eat. That's not exactly going to help you create a professional atmosphere!
There's also something to be said for the credibility that comes with having a dedicated office or studio space.
With your company name out front, a storefront to display your work, and a reception area where you meet clients to discuss pricing, shot lists, and so forth with your clients, a studio only lends to the idea that you're a pro's pro. That can be hard to duplicate if you're meeting with clients in your living room.
Making a Home-Based Photography Business Work
There are, of course, many ways that you can be more successful with a home-based business.
First, have a dedicated space to work.
Don't meet clients at the kitchen table, and don't make them walk through your entire house to get to the guest room where you've set up shop.
If you work from home, have an office space, preferably somewhere close to an exterior entrance and as far from the rest of the action in your home as possible.
If you don't have such a space, consider meeting clients at a neutral location - like a coffee shop - that way you can have business discussions without the interruptions of family life. Besides, it would be a nice chance to buy them a cup of coffee and get to know them a little better!
Another important thing you can do to make working from home more feasible is to have a stellar website.
As noted earlier, one of the problems of working from home is that you might not seem as legitimate as someone with a storefront and studio space.
But with a website, that all goes away. That's especially true if you have the right domain name.
Think about it - a beautiful, professional website with a collection of your best work accessed on a domain just for photographers is the ideal way to show the world you mean business.
These domains tell your clients exactly what you do right there in the domain. Plus, they're short and sweet so your clients are more apt to remember them.
Not only that, but since these domains are so short, you can more easily fit your URL in tight spaces like social media profiles and business cards.
And since Uniregistry makes things so simple, you can sign up, get your domains, and get rolling in no time (and without breaking the bank).
So, if you're serious about working from home as a photographer, do yourself a favor and have a dedicated work space and a killer website. It can only help your cause!