Professional photography is an art form that requires skill, hard work, and dedication. Not everyone can capture the essence of their subject through a photograph. Your goal is to establish a connection with your customers and transform it into soul-moving imagery.
However, running a photography studio is a whole different skill set. You are in the business of operating a small business, and there are plenty of things to learn that will help you enhance your studio.
It pays to know how to improve your photography business to make a name for yourself in the industry.
Here are some bite-sized tips about everything from building a portfolio to promoting your work via social media.
1. Ensure you have a business plan
The foundation for a successful photography studio is a well-crafted plan. This will help you to create a solid foundation that supports your company. While it can be an essential asset to secure loans, a business plan can help you understand your place in the market.
It can be as simple as writing down your vision and then working on it according to your needs. However, a thorough business plan will analyse the business across several areas, including your target audience, competitors, SWOT analysis, budget, and goals. For a more detailed description of what it takes to produce a solid business plan, click here.
2. Create your personal brand
Your personal brand is all about covering all bases and showing the world who you are as a photographer. You want your audience to be able to instantly recognise your creations. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it will take you time to build your brand.
When building your brand as an artist, consistency is crucial. You will be able to create a stronger brand if you are consistent with your photography and editing style, as well as the frequency and volume of posts you make.
Make sure you remain committed to your community and establish your niche early on. You will soon see your photography brand grow and attract new opportunities.
While the photography market is saturated in many places, plenty of tools are at your disposal to help you amplify your brand. Click here for a comprehensive marketing guide[RJ1] that can help you promote your photography business.
3. Establishing your professional standard
While it takes a lot of hard work and determination to grow your photography business, perhaps professionalism is the number one attribute you need to thrive. Professionals are loyal and follow through with their promises, delivering their services and products on time. They are always on time and deliver fantastic customer experiences. They return calls promptly and answer the phone promptly.
While this tip extends to any business that deals with customers, it is especially essential for photography studio owners, given how important building a relationship is to the end product. Professionalism can generate positive reviews and help get future business, so don’t discount the power of it.
4. Get the right equipment and building
While your personal skill is essential, the location of your studio and the tools you use within it will help define your photography business. This is where your previous research in your business plan will come in handy. By now, you will have a good idea about what target audience and the niche you want to establish.
Consider these points carefully when choosing your location and equipment, as it will help you achieve your goals.
5. Ensure you are protected from risks
From tripping over an electrical cord to banging your head on suspended lights, many things could go wrong in a photography studio. Given the proximity of clients and expensive equipment in a tight space, Murphy’s Law predicts that an accident will probably happen at some point. Ensuring you have a plan in place to protect yourself and your business from these risks will help keep you snapping photos for years to come.
Here are some of the things you can do to reduce these risks in your studio:
- Establish a set of rules in your workplace
- Do studio sweeps where you look to mitigate dangers before and after shoots
- Make people aware of any risks that you can’t immediately fix
While you can mitigate some risks yourself, others could occur no matter how much you prioritise safety. This is where photographers insurance can help ensure you are protected. While there are many types of insurance for photographers, Public Liability insurance is an essential form of cover in this line of work.
Given the interactions with clients and potential suppliers and assistants, studios carry the risk of injury to third parties or damage to someone’s property. If this were to happen, you could be liable if a claim were made against you.
Luckily, Public Liability cover* is there to protect you from third-party personal injury or property damage claims resulting from your business activities.
6. Make sure the model is happy
Your relationship with your clients is essential to the success of your business. While they are not right all the time, it’s essential to manage these relationships when you are doing a shoot. Talk to them, encourage them and give directions. Remember that silence can be deadly during portrait sessions. Show the model your photos and ask for their feedback.
Have fun! Personalise your photography studio with what makes you passionate about photography. Put on your favourite music if you want or decorate it with plants. It is your space to do what you want, and the more effort you put in, the greater you will feel. Hopefully, these business tips can give you some ideas about your photography studio that will keep you in business for the long haul.
*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, Public Liability Australia is a business name of BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769)