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5 Things You Must Do Before Starting Your Photography Business

5-things-you-must-do-before-starting-your-photography-business

Are you considering starting a photography business? There are 5 things you must do before making the official jump to make your dream business a reality.

1. Develop Your Photography Skills

Photography is an art that takes practice and finesse. When this skill is at the heart of your business, you need to make sure you are competent and comfortable in this area more than anything.

If you haven’t already – make sure you understand the basics and can master shooting in manual mode. As a professional photographer, you need complete control by shooting in manual.

Learn How to Master Manual Mode:

Shultz Photo School has an amazing course to teach beginners the basics of photography called the Photo Fix. Kyle Shultz takes the complexity of understanding exposure and teaches it in a simple, and easy-to-understand way.

Learn how to master manual mode the Photo Fix Course here.

Learn How to Master Lightroom:

If you have mastered shooting in manual, developing your editing skills is equally important. The Lightroom Fix from Shultz Photo School will teach you everything you need to know for editing your photos in Adobe Lightroom.

Check out the Lightroom Fix Course from Shultz Photo School here.

2. Build Your Portfolio

Portfolio building is a critical step before your start your photography business for many reasons. I encourage you to take on a handful of free or low cost sessions to build your portfolio. Most states will allow you to make up to a certain amount of money without having a real business.

  • You need a portfolio of images to market your photography business. When it’s time to start putting together your business, you will need a portfolio of images for your website, social media and to share with potential clients so they can see your work.

  • Portfolio building gives you the experience with photographing other people. Shooting at a session is different than taking photos of your own family. It takes time to feel comfortable doing so. You want all the experience you can get before starting to charge people.

3. Tell Everyone You Know

During the portfolio building phase, you want to let everyone know you are considering starting a photography business. This will give you a jump start on your marketing when it’s time and give you a handful of clients to take on during this portfolio building phase.

This could be as simple as a post on Facebook telling everyone that you are portfolio building and looking for a few clients. You don’t have to charge for these or you could do something as simple as $100.

4. Join a Photography Group

There is so much growth and learning that happens when you surround yourself with like-minded people. Join a photography group that challenges, inspires and motivates you to continue developing your art.

Shultz Photo School has a wonderful members group with monthly photography lessons and a supportive Facebook group.

Check out Shultz Photo School Members group here.

5. Develop Your Style

When you launch your photography business, you will have to commit to a look or style. Your website, portfolio and social media will have to consistently showcase your unique style. Although your style will change over time and it takes time to perfect, you want to present a consistent look to start. Your clients will book you when they feel confident they know what to expect.

Take this time now during the portfolio building phase to refine your style, build your standard presets and really hone in on the style of photography you love.


Starting a photography business is exciting but you want to make sure you do it right. Invest your time in developing your photography skills, building your portfolio, telling everyone you know, joining a supportive photography group and developing your style. These are 5 things you must do before starting your photography business for the best chance of success.

Ready to start your business and want a step-by-step guide for building your business?

Check out the 12 Week Photography Business Bootcamp here.


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Hi, I’m Danielle Blewitt! I am a photography business consultant and I help professional family photographers market and grow a profitable and sustainable business they can take pride in through a series of simple, easy-to-implement strategies. I will be your biggest cheerleader and most honest coach as we build your dream business together. More about me »

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