How to Start a Photography Studio Business

Are you a passionate photographer? Do you want to start a photo studio business? Find here a photography studio business plan sample checklist.

Photography is actually catching beautiful moments or events for your clients. And people love to get beautiful photos of the memorable incidents of their life. Therefore, photography is a multi-million dollar industry worldwide. Additionally, there are several photography business opportunities you can consider according to your skill and investment capacity.

Basically, photography is a creative work. And one must have the adequate skill and knowledge about photography. However, if you don’t have any photography skills, you can consider attending classes. Apart from the technical knowledge, you must have a clear conception about the different equipment and tools related to photography. The basic list includes different types of camera, lenses, stand, lights and editing solutions.

Photography Studio Market Analysis

The Photography industry encompasses companies and individuals that offer a range of photographic services, including still photography and videography for private events. Also, the industry includes commercial and portrait photography studios. This industry excludes all photography related to movie, TV and video production

In a snapshot, growing per capita disposable income and rising advertising expenditure have driven growth for the Photography industry. Hence, both the commercial and portrait photographers will get the benefits of it. Additionally, improving economic conditions are expected to further drive industry revenue growth. Higher disposable incomes will likely boost consumer spending on professional photography services.

According to the industry experts, demand for photographers who possess artistic talent and creativity will increase. Additionally, providing value-added services, like editing will enhance the overall revenue. Finally, effective quality control, good project management skills and ability to provide goods/services in diverse locations are the most crucial aspects of getting success in the photography studio business.

Photography Studio Business Model

This is one of the most important aspects that you need to decide first. Definitely, it is a highly profitable business if well planned and managed. However, you may face a high rate of competition in the market too. And that is where creating a business model is an absolute necessity.

Broadly, you can start and operate the photography studio business by three ways. Home based, commercial and as retail store operation. And every business models have their own advantages and weaknesses. However, you must go with the model that fits you most.

And when you are starting the business as a proprietorship, you must be ready to work long hours. Additionally, you have the mindset of taking so many responsibilities of your own. As an example, you may have to perform as a good advisor, planner, studio manager, post-production specialist, accountant, and also a photographer.

Also Read: Top 10 Stock Photography Sites to Sell your Photos

Photography Studio Business Plan – 10 Things to Consider

Amateurist photography and photography studio business are two completely different things. And if you are clearly starting the business, you must craft a business plan prior. Otherwise, there is every possibility you may fail to get success in the business. Even, if you a master of photography, you have to create the plan of action first. Here, we have compiled 10 most important aspects you must consider in writing the business plan for your photography studio business.

1. Business Objective

First of all, set a business goal or objective. Clearly, decide what specific services you want to offer your clients. It is always better to concentrate on the niche audience like only wedding photography or portrait photography.

2. Swot Analysis

Perform SWOT analysis. Find out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your business model. And accordingly, plan it out.

3. USP

Find out your unique selling point. Identify the most important and compelling elements of the expertise you’re going to provide to your clients.

4. Target Audience

Define your target market. First of all, identify the target demographic. Who are your ideal customers? Generally, the photography industry is pretty wide. However, to stay focused and pursue the target, you must clearly define the target market. Your list may include young executives, intended couples planning to get married, churches and other religious centers, schools, wedding planners, corporate executives, event planners, and families.

5. Business Overview

Create a company overview. Decide whether you want to start the business as proprietorship or partnership. Define the management board formation and operational procedures.

6. Financial Analysis

Calculate the financial requirements and ROI. First of all, you will need to calculate the upcoming expenses. Broadly, it includes space, procuring tools, equipment, hiring resources, conveyance etc. Additionally, calculate the expected ROI and Break Even. At least, create a financial forecasting for coming 1 to 2 years.

7. Pricing

To prepare the financial calculations, you will need to fix the pricing. Understand your cost of sales. And mark those up 3–4x to arrive at a final price. Price your services and products for profit. And never forget to include your time.

8. Business Policies

Clearly, configure your business policies. Broadly, it includes office hours, website privacy policy, terms of service, and refund policy. As you will going to handle a lot of soft copies, then you must be very careful of the copyright policy too.

9. Portfolio

Before you offer the service to your clients, try to create a portfolio. Basically, a portfolio is a representation of your current and best work that reflects personal style, your niche and the work you want to do. As a startup, you can do some free sessions to create the exact scenes and style you want to showcase in a portfolio.

10. Marketing Plan

Finally, create a comprehensive marketing plan. You must clearly identify, how will you reach your target market. Which channels will you use the most, and how will you measure the success of your marketing? Additionally, prepare a marketing budget too. Also, find out the resources where you will put your efforts. The list may include social media, email marketing, SEO, and other channels.

Photography Studio Business Action Plan

After crafting the photography studio business plan completely, now you have to take actions. Moreover, now you will need to set up the business according to the business model. Here, we have compiled a list of basic necessities.

Business Registration

This is the most important part of your business. However, the form of the business and registration depend on the location where you are starting the business. However, you can consult with a local business registration consultant. Additionally, talk to a tax consultant too to identify the upcoming tax liabilities.

Location

According to the business model, select a location. If you want to start the business home-based fine – otherwise you have to find out a business location. For a commercial operation, you can opt for sharing office also. However, for the retail operation, you have to consider a great location with enough space.

Studio Setup

After finalizing the location, you have to set up the studio. Basically, you will need to concentrate on the interior decoration part. It is advisable to talk with an interior expert. Also, you can ask him or her to prepare a floor plan first.

Photography Studio Equipment

Generally, the list of required equipment depends on the specific services that you want to offer to your clients. However, some of the basic requirements are

  1. spring clamp
  2. backdrop stand
  3. starter stand
  4. LED portrait kit
  5. luminous LED ring light
  6. DSLR camera slider
  7. DSLR shoulder mount support
  8. umbrellas of different colors
  9. different types of camera and lenses

Resources

According to your business model and standing operating procedure, you have to hire the skilled and efficient manpower. Broadly, you can focus on skilled photographers, editing specialists and sales personnel.

Apart from the human resources, you will need to have some software solutions for editing the photographs. Your photography studio must be equipped with a good quality computer, printer and internet connection.

Marketing & Branding

According to your marketing plan, start to promote your photography studio business. However, never mix the word marketing with advertising. Actually, advertising is the act of placing ads in various forms of media to attract new business. Also, it promotes awareness or encourages people to take a specific action. Actually, the advertising is part of an overall marketing plan.

Besides your offline activities concentrate on online too. Currently, the population of internet users is increasing very fast. Don’t forget to use the social media carefully. Additionally, email marketing is always been an effective way of creating awareness of your photography studio business. Moreover, you need an absolute strategic marketing plan to get the long-term success in the business.