Starting a photography business is not an easy or light decision. And like most all businesses, you DO have to spend money to start! Thankfully, you don’t need a full out photography studio, a brick and mortar location, or even employees, so comparatively speaking, starting a photography business is a lot cheaper than most!
I waited longer than I wanted to to start my photography business because I was honestly scared of all the complicated unknown things I thought went into it!!
And yes…There were some not-so-fun things I had to do to become legit, (like the LLC, taxes, etc)… But to actually start? I kept it simple. Made people pay in cash. And just served and did my best! So my best advice… just start. Invest in these items below and grow from there!!
So! Here are three things you DO need, in order to start your business and start making money so that you can grow your business and purchase the gear you really want!
Okay, so this is totally obvious- but yes, you actually do need a camera to start a photography business! Thankfully, photographers are CONSTANTLY selling their gear online on multiple different sites so you can easily find a very inexpensive camera and lens on a Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade page! There are so many.. I’ve actually sold a ton of gear on Facebook so you can get a really good deal on a Nikon D3200 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens! (which is what I recommend to start…Canon lovers- I suggest a Canon Rebel!)
You can start shopping for your bargain camera and lens HERE!
2. A MacBook Laptop.
Now, this is big one- its a huge purchase— This was by far the scariest thing to purchase for my business because of the amount of money they cost. But its totally necessary in order for you to load images, edit, and deliver to a client! Thankfully, you can find MacBooks on Buy, Sell, Trade sites too! AND if you decide later down the road that photography isn’t for you- you still have a great laptop for other uses! I don’t recommend using a Microsoft laptop because you will have to constantly calibrate it for color! Macbook’s colors are perfect, and will never steer you wrong! You have enough to stress and worry about when you’re first starting out— wondering if your color looks right shouldn’t be one!
This is the easiest editing software you will ever use! I started with Lightroom at the very beginning and still use it today! There are millions of free Youtube videos teaching you how to use Lightroom.. but if you know how to move sliders on your phone up and down, you are already a pro at Lightroom. And of course, editing your images is definitely a must! Lightroom has presets already installed that you can use, or you can purchase presets that photographers have made themselves! You can sign up for the Lightroom/Photoshop package at adobe.com for just $10/month! Super inexpensive and worth every penny! You read more about Lightroom HERE!
In my first year of business, I spent every single penny I earned on the three items above as well as a flash, camera bag, SD cards, and most importantly EDUCATION. I went to three workshops and bought tons of online education videos! To see my full list of gear I own- you can read about it HERE. But just know, you don’t need it ALL to start. You DO need a decent camera, a good lens, a great computer, and the super inexpensive editing software! You got this friend!!