Starting a business from home is the dream of many, and thanks to the ever-increasing ease of setting up online, and the increased platforms to do so, more and more are able to set this dream in motion. That is not to say that it is an easy feat, it will take lots of planning and dedication. But it is a working lifestyle that many are aiming for, including the photographer. With this in mind, this article will provide seven tips on product photography.
1. Planning Your Business
A good deal of business planning will need to be completed, to ensure your venture has the best chances of success. You need to be clear about the shape you want your business to form, and having a solid plan will greatly help achieve this. Sure, your business will be set around offering customers photography, but what type? Will you be offering product photography for those running e-commerce websites? Are you going to specialise in event photography, such as Birthdays and Weddings? It may be that you are wanting to offer multiple types of photography-this is something you will need to consider as you build your business plan. If you are unsure how to go about creating a business plan, there are some very good business plan templates that can be downloaded, often for free, that will help you include all the important aspects of your business. There is also some very good business planning software available these days along with some great startup guides. Have a search on Google and see what you can find.
2. Build a Great Portfolio
It is important to have plenty of photos to show customers if they are enquiring about your work, it’s almost certain they will want to see the previous material. If your portfolio is lacking, it may be assumed that you have not had much experience, and this might put off some potential customers. It is true that at the start you will not have loads of photos from previous jobs to offer, but you can still build that portfolio up by taking photos of the type of pictures you are offering clients as part of your business. This will still showcase to them that you are capable of producing what they need. And it is not just about the physical portfolio that you can carry around with you and show where there is interest, your website can offer a great online version that will reach a far wider audience.
So let us say you are good at what you do and have no trouble meeting clients photography related needs. That is great, but the harsh reality is there are loads of other people who can do the exact same thing as you. This is why you need to stand out. You need to be active in getting your service out there. You can not just expect your business to promote itself. You need to market your service. This can be done from traditional methods such as leaflets, business cards or word of mouth. But in this tech-savvy age, being well-positioned online can make the world of difference. And it is a convinent way to showcase all of your work in one place, and even allow people to purchase your service from. Your all important contact details will be on your website, and this will be the first connection a customer can make in the run-up to the use of your photography. But again there are loads of other photographers who have a great website, so you need to be active in driving people to your site. This is why not only will it be of great benefit to you to embrace sharing your business on social media, but also fully learn Search Engine Optimisation, and get your site to the top of the search engines, especially Google.
4. Choose Your Equipment Carefully
You may already have all the existing equipment you need for your photography sessions. But if not, you will need to carefully consider what to buy. Consider your budget and the best equipment you can get with that amount of money. It may not always be that you need to purchase the most expensive tools, but you will need to make sure you have all of the equipment needed to serve your business’ purposes. It is not just about the camera itself, although that is something you will likely need to spend the most time on, it is the other equipment such as white/black/green screens, tripods, mirrors and all sorts of other accessories. You may not need them all, so work out which ones you will, as there is no point in wasting money on something you won’t be using. Also, think about software-what will you be using to edit clients photographs in post-production?
5. Know Your Policies
It is very important that you cover yourself and your business from a legal perspective. For example, insurance is a very important matter. You will need to look into areas such as public liability, in case there is an accident with you or anyone else who is present at a shoot and they injure themselves on your equipment. Speaking of equipment, you must get the correct insurance coverage for it, in case it gets damaged or even stolen. Read up on the legal side of things and take out any required policies, as it is not worth the fines, and potential damage to your business if you have not set up your business with the best legal practices.
6. Location Location Location
This one will depend largely on what type of photography you will be doing. But you need to consider where you are going to be shooting your client’s images. Obviously, if you are doing event photography you will need to be at the actual event. But what about product photography? Will you be renting time out in a studio, or will the client have a space to photograph their products? Or maybe you will have set up your own photography space in the comfort of your own home. It is definitely something you will need to think about.
7. Be Careful of Copyright Rules
Something that can be very confusing, and often just generally unclear, is the copyright laws surrounding photography. You will need to familiase yourself of what can and can not be photographed, be it a famous building or another object. You also need to think about people, and making sure that you get appropriate clearance to take a shot of an individual or group before doing so. You may want to get some of your own shots copyrighted to prevent other people from using them in a way you do not which them to, such as trying to pass them off as their own work. It is a very good idea to read up as much as you can on infringement rights and copyright laws.
Of course, this is not a definitive list of tips, there is so much more to be said on the topic of home-based photography. But hopefully these few pointers may have helped you consider some things you may have otherwise overlooked, and perhaps even inspired you’re further to start up your home based photography business.