Photography business can serve as a side hustle business or a full-time business as you deem fit. Although the photography market is competitive, many photographers have been able to find a niche for themselves and have built a sustainable career out of it. Photography business ideas are not far-fetched but to be successful in this creative endeavor, you will need to balance your photography passion with real-time business skills.
Both talent and a good dose of marketing is a requirement if you want to stand tall in the industry. Some people only take photography as a hobby and thus, don’t enjoy the vast opportunities inherent in the business.
In this article, we looked at ten different photography business ideas you can begin now and make millions.
Would you prefer to learn about the ten photography business ideas via video? You can watch it here!
Ten Photography Business Ideas For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
1. Photography School
Have you been in the art of photography for a while and you are persuaded of your ability to pass on the knowledge to others? Then, a photography school is a great idea you can explore. There are different photography niche and you can choose to begin a school in one of the niches.
Alternatively, you can combine different niches to expand your coverage. If you are not well experienced in some of the niches, let’s say, aeriel or wedding photography, you can hire professional photographers in those niches to handle the class while you pay them for their effort.
Before hiring someone as your lecturer, educate yourself on how to hire the best hands for your business. Read related articles that’ll inform your recruitment process. The beautiful thing about starting a school is that you are passing just one knowledge to several people who would pay you for that knowledge. This is why one of the most profitable business ideas ever is school and training business.
It’s no longer news that the world is now online. So, you can have an online or offline school or both. However, an offline presence is quite important in this kind of business. So, choose a good location where your service is in demand. This will help you get students for your school. A lot of small businesses fail because of their business location even though they got other things right. Let your story be different.
2. Stock Photography
At one time or the other, you must have used stock photographs on the internet, so you should be familiar with stock photography. Some of the common stock photography companies are Shutterstock, Gettyimages, and i-stock.
Basically, stock photography involves selling your photographs to a marketplace or platform. To get started, take pictures of different subjects that interest you or are in demand. Thereafter, upload the images on your website for sale or on platforms that accept such.
You can take pictures of people, places, buildings, nature, animals, roads, etc. Most designers/advertising agencies purchase these images to develop their designs. Shutterstock is a key player in this industry and you can supply your photos on the platform and get paid for them.
3. Wedding Photography
There’s hardly a weekend without someone walking down the aisle in Nigeria. Wedding is one of the memorable days in people’s lives and they don’t mind spending millions of naira to make that day a success.
If you are looking for one of the most lucrative photography business ideas to invest in, don’t look too far. This is it. A good wedding photographer doesn’t find it difficult to acquire customers. If you are able to do a good job for one couple and their friends see it, they’ll recommend you when anyone around them wants to get married.
I heard of a couple who sued a photographer for telling them the film he used in taking their wedding pictures got corrupt. Sadly, they couldn’t recover any of the pictures. Imagine that kind of trauma for a newly wedded couple. So, a professional photographer is a gift to any couple and they’ll be willing to pay you for your service.
That said, wedding photography demands creativity and style. So, you need to learn about this niche before you begin. To learn wedding photography, I’ll suggest you follow professionals in that field closely. Watch their works on Instagram and YouTube. But to get faster results, work with them.
Follow these professionals for wedding shoots and practice as much as you can. The fastest way to becoming a professional is to practice as much as you can. In summary, focus on learning first, then the opportunities in the niche will flow to you.
4. Photography Studio
Here is one of the most common photography business ideas. Most photographers dream to own their own standard studio. But before you open a studio, ensure you are well skilled in photography and that you have experience working both from a studio and an outdoor environment.
This experience is needed to help you maintain your own studio. So, what should you take note of when starting a photography studio? It’s simple. Get a perfect location that is proximal to your target audience.
If you are situated where your service is not valued, you may be down priced or not have customers. In addition, you will need to acquire the necessary equipment to set up your studio for success.
Some of these equipment include: Lenses, Cameras, Tripod, Lights, Camera bag, and editing software.
5. Pet/Wild Life Photography
Knowing how to successfully photograph pets is a key skill. Pet photography involves photographing your pets, or any domesticated animal. This business requires a certain set of skills and a good dose of patience. Don’t forget that pets are not human beings you can control to pose in a certain way. They are fast and unpredictable.
Most photographers run away from this niche and focus on taking portraits. That is why the few involved in the niche are highly respected and well paid for their service.
You can start by offering your service to pet lovers who want to have their pets photographed or people who want to keep an art gallery. You can also earn by selling your images to TV channels and other photography sites.
However, before approaching prospective clients, learn all you can about the niche. Get a course if you must. Thereafter, take sample pictures of pets to show your expertise to your target market.
6. Sports Photography
Sports photography is also one of the fast-paced photography business ideas to consider. At first, it may be intimidating especially if you have no experience in the field. But with continuous practice, you can do well-shooting sports.
You can shoot a wide range of sports, from basketball to football, downhill skiing, volleyball, etc. If this niche interests you, apart from learning photography skills, you will need to learn sports photography skills specifically.
For instance, sports photographers shoot a little wider than normal, they use aperture priority mode and focus on their subject’s eyes when shooting. These and more are the essential skills you must learn to function effectively in this niche.
For a start, do some sports shooting for free and ask for genuine feedback and adjust accordingly. Thereafter, you will be confident enough to connect with football clubs, and propose to be their official photographer.
7. Travel Photography
Do you love traveling the world and exploring different countries? Travel Photography might just be the best photography business idea for you. Travel photography is like a time machine, freezing memories from a journey that you can look back on and enjoy for years. Plus, it can help others find new inspiration.
Travel photography involves taking shots of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs, and history. This business is both exciting and financially rewarding.
If you are really keen on starting travel photography, you need to know your camera inside out. However, a camera and a plane ticket are not all you need to become a travel photographer.
In theory, that may be all you need but in practice, you are competing with a world filled with talented creatives all vying for the opportunity to be full-time travel photographers.
To stand out from this competition, you need to be extremely good and combine your skill with good business sense. Build your social media presence, master the art of self-promotion, build a professional portfolio of your best works, create a website, and be strategic about finding your clients.
8. Aeriel Photography
Here is another profitable photography business idea for travel freaks. Basically, Aerial Photography is the taking of photographs from an aircraft or other flying objects. This niche requires a good application of remote sensing and the use of sophisticated range of cameras.
You can take aerial photographs from aircraft, helicopter, balloon, rocket, kite, and skydiver. Apart from the fact that aerial photography is difficult, it also requires extensive experience with aerial photo operations. But, if there are people already in this photography niche, it means that you can also fit in if you put in the required work.
You may ask; does an aerial photographer need formal training? The answer is no. Some start by working as assistants to experienced aerial photographers, who teach them the creative and technical aspects of the profession. Some also go for short-term training such as seminars and workshops focusing on specific facets of aerial photography. Many aerial photographers are self-employed and you can do the same.
Importantly, this business involves hauling heavy photographic equipment, so you must be in good physical shape. In addition, you need good eyesight, and can’t have fear of heights, motion sickness, or other related physical ailments.
9. Real Estate Photography
Real Estate Photography also made it to our list of photography business ideas. A real estate photographer gets hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale.
The real estate industry is very competitive which is why the demand for quality property photos is perpetual. A major success factor for real estate photographers is proper lighting and a good point of view that helps the property stand out above the competition.
Usually, your target market has one thing in common – they are all trying to sell their home or commercial property. They understand the importance of having quality photos and therefore, include that in their budget.
You make money from this business from each shoot and photo delivery. As a matter of fact, most clients pay part payment ahead of the shoot. And the remaining balance will be paid upon delivery of images.
10. Fashion Photography
The last on our list of photography business ideas is fashion photography. Fashion photography focus on taking beautiful shots of clothing, models, and other fashion-related items. It is most common on advertising boards and in fashion magazines.
Usually, fashion photography feature models wearing the displayed items. This niche has been around for a long time and keeps changing with time. Therefore, if you are considering this niche, you must flow with the current and changing trends.
Additionally, you must have a good eye for details and be fashionable. This is because fashion photographers don’t just ensure that beautiful pictures have been taken; they also check the clothing, hair, and make-up of models.
What will set you apart in this industry is your unique style and creativity. The fact that there is stiff competition in the industry should not debar you from making a name for yourself in the industry.
Store owners also hire fashion photographers to take shots of their products, especially those in the e-commerce industry. Moreover, you can also shoot editorial and ad campaigns as a fashion entrepreneur.
How Profitable Is Photography Business?
Just like most start-up businesses, photography business takes one to three years to realize a significant profit. Usually, independent photographers make millions of naira per year if they know their onion. Considering the low overhead costs of running the business, profits stand to climb exponentially for each freelancer/employee you add to your team.
Steps To Take When Starting Photography Business
Step One – Register Your Business With CAC
Registering your business is the first step to structuring your business and the recognised body for business registration in Nigeria is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The interesting thing is that business registration is now easy and can be done online.
First and foremost, run a name availability search on CAC’s portal to be sure your preferred name has not been registered by someone else. After name reservation, you can then continue with the registration proper.
Normally, you can either register as a business name or a limited liability company. The business name is for sole proprietorship business and it has a minimal tax implication. Also, it is cheaper and you can upgrade to a limited liability company as you grow.
Limited liability company, on the other hand, requires at least two directors and a secretary and it’s more expensive than a business name. You can register your business yourself by following the step by step guideline on CAC’s portal, however, you can employ the services of reputable firms to handle your business registration.
A highly recommended expert in this regard is ReDahlia, located ay 43B, Emina Crescent Off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos. One good thing about ReDahlia’s service is that you don’t need to be in Lagos to use their service. You can send all your information via email and your certificate will be delivered to you once it’s ready.
Step Two – Draft A Business Plan For Your Photography Business
Records have it that businesses with a business plan do better than those without a business plan. A business plan specifies the long and short term objectives of your business and how you intend to achieve them. You can begin writing them one day at a time.
Basically, here are the information that should be found in your business plan:
- An overview of your photography business
- Executive Summary
- General company description
- SWOT analysis
- Market Research
- Your Strategy
- The Team
- A marketing plan
- An operational plan
- Financial projection
- An appendix
Aside from drafting a business plan, you also need a sustainable business model. These two documents can be prepared for you by Entrepreneurs.ng.
Step Three – Set Your Business Up For Success
Setting your business up for success entails branding your business and continuously learning what will make your business successful. Additionally, there’s no photography business without equipment.
So, you may need to secure funding from friends and family, angel investors, or commercial banks when starting. Furthermore, success in the photography business requires great creativity and professionalism.
You can only achieve professionalism by constantly practicing the art. Once your offerings are top-notch, you can then move to the next step.
Step Four – Promote Your Business
Selling is the lifeblood of any business. You need to put yourself out there to be seen. Engage in strategic partnership that can bring you closer to achieving your business goals. Actually, a good social media presence and a website will project your to your market. It helps you show your past work to your target audience. And, you can gradually convert them to paying customers.
You can start any of the listed photography business ideas immediately. Let nothing stop you from taking action now. If you don’t have the skill, there are free platforms and tools that will help you acquire the skill. All the best.
As you start the business, remember that you need visibility to get paying clients. At Entrepreneurs.ng we will help you put your business on the world map. Contact us today to get started.
Do you have additional ideas that can help an aspiring photography business owner become successful? Feel free to drop your insights in the comment section. If you found this content useful, please share it with your audience.
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