Promotion

...Your Northside Numero Uno Blog

HOW TO START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS: THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER’S GUIDE


When you first picked up a camera and began taking pictures, do you remember how you felt? As you snapped photos of your surroundings or your friends and family, you may have thought about how getting into photography would be your dream job (and may have thought about starting a photography business).
Fast forward to today, and here you are, a wedding photography business owner. You did the research necessary to learn how to how to start a photography business, and now you spend your time doing exactly what you love and working with clients who adore you. Getting into photography as a business venture is just the beginning.

START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

When you make the decision to find out how to start your own photography business, one of your top priorities is growth. We’ve created a comprehensive list of things you need to know to prepare, build, and sustain your growth, which we will cover in 4 separate blog posts. In the first post of this series, we will cover 4 ways to prepare your photography business for growth.
*As a note, these tips can help you whether you are in your first year or are an established photography business.

1. GOALS AND METRICS

Some of the first questions you may have when you start a photography business are:
  1. What do I need to start a photography business?
  2. What should I do to set up a photography business that is successful?
  3. Which steps do I take toward building a photography business right now?
With everything you do in business, the key to growth is setting goals as a part of your photography business plan. When you first set out to start a photography business, sit down and write out the goals you needed to achieve to do so.
While working toward an end goal for your business, every decision you make should be aimed at growing your wedding photography business and increasing your profit. If your focus is anywhere else but on your end goal, it will be harder to establish a brand that people recognize.
Your Plan
As a business owner, it’s necessary to think of growth in terms of where you want to be in the future. The first step to this is to figure out where you are today. From where you are now, create a plan using goals and metrics to help you reach your long-term goal. Start by taking a look at the metrics of your photography business. How many weddings did you shoot last year and how much profit did you bring in? These numbers will help you to forecast your metrics for this year.
Tip: Create a photography business plan template that you can adjust each year based on what you achieved the previous year.
Previous Year:
  • # of weddings
  • # of portraits or other events
  • Booking fee
  • # of Associate photographers (if applicable)
  • Average print sale
  • Average album sale
Goals for this Year:
  • # of weddings
  • # of portraits or other events
  • Booking fee
  • # of Associate photographers (if applicable)
  • Average print sale
  • Average album sale
SMART System
Once you’ve taken a look at where you currently are in your wedding photography business and where you want to be, it’s time to create a detailed plan that will help you get there. Any goal you set during this process should be reasonable and should be supported by metrics. Relying on the metrics of your business informs you of whether your goals are realistic and achievable. For example, a goal of making one million dollars in a year sounds like a great goal. But, is it obtainable? To help determine if this goal can be achieved, you could review your income from the previous year to see if it’s within reach of your goal.
By using metrics in conjunction with your goals, you will be able to identify where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Metrics help establish the framework for making your goals obtainable, and without them, goals may sound great but not be in reach. By having a purpose with metrics to support it, you are creating good systems that will help grow your photography business.
Setting goals is the fastest way for you to improve your wedding photography business on a regular basis throughout the year. Once you create your overall goal for the year, break some of your larger tasks down into short-term goals. Short-term goals allow you to stay focused on your long-term goal but require less of your time and energy.
When setting short-term goals, decide what aspects of your photography business you need to work on to grow, and what parts you can outsource to save you time. Outsourcing to specialists frees you up so you can focus on the tasks that only YOU can do.
The SMART System for Goals:
Specific: Create specific goals that are highly detailed (ex: shoot 15 weddings per year)
Measurable: Base attainable goals on the dollar amount and percentage
Action-Oriented: List the actionable items you need to do to reach your goals
Realistic: Avoid setting goals that are out of your reach
Time Specific: Every goal you make needs to have a deadline
Who’s Doing It Right?
ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Vanessa Joy recommends to be specific in the goals you set for your wedding photography business, especially when it comes to booking weddings.
Image by Vanessa Joy Photography
“To reach your goals, you need to know what they are. It’s no use to throw a number out there like ‘15 weddings’ when 5 of those could be $5,000 weddings and the others are $2,000. When making and attempting to reach booking goals, be as specific as possible, breaking down the numbers and doing the math to come up with a concrete target in numbers and dollars.”– Vanessa Joy Photography

No comments