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Beginners Guide to Photography and Videography Business



Starting a business most certainly isn’t for everyone. It requires bridging the gap between two fields, as well as your own specialization and entrepreneurship. This task is far from easy, and many aspiring entrepreneurs are faced with failure in the first couple of years down that road.

As difficult as it might seem, it’s not impossible. In fact, there are many exceptional entrepreneurs who were to make this combination work. If you asked them, they’d you about how it requires a lot of planning, constantly enhanced skills, and a clear head that knows how to play the game. By following in their footsteps, you’ll be able to pursue your passion and make a living out of it.

Here’s everything you need to do to start your Photography and Videography business:

Create your business plan
The first mistake that many aspiring entrepreneurs make is to jump right into creating their businesses without having a solid plan. They like to rely on their talent and skills, which are essential; there’s no doubt about that. However, these alone won’t prepare you for the business world. A business plan will act as your guide throughout the journey. It will force you to research the market you’re about to delve into, analyze your competition, and build a better understanding of the kind of business you’ll be operating in the process. You’ll be surprised by the amount of knowledge you’ll gain from creating your business plan, way before you start on your operations.

Once you start researching business plans, you’ll become overwhelmed with all the information you need to add to a comprehensive business plan. However, you don’t really need to create a 100-page plan; you only need to tackle the points you’ll need down the road, and then add more if you need to.

The main points you’ll need in your business plan are the following:

Goals
There can be no business plan without first specifying the goals you want to achieve out of this business. Your goals can cover many aspects. For instance, you can make goals about the kind of customers you want to serve, the size of your team, expanding into new fields, the number of clients you’ll acquire, the profit you’ll make, and the new equipment you’ll get out of the profit.

Your goals should be SMART; meaning they’re:

• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Realistic
• And Time-Bound.
• Your niche

Your business plan should be as specific as possible to act as your guide in your journey. This is why you should specify the target segment you’ll be serving, and this segment will be your niche. If you want to establish yourself as a wedding photographer and videographer, your whole plan will be based on this niche. It will completely change if your focus is on providing B2B services.

Services
What kind of services will you be providing? It’s obvious that you’ll provide photography and videography coverage, but you need to specify it even more. What exactly do your services cover? Will you take on any project, or do you only specialize in certain services? For instance, you may want to specialize in products or live models only. Do your services come in packages? Do you give offers to recurring clients? All of these questions help you in building an accurate image of how your work will be going. In this section, you’ll also breakdown your pricing strategy for every service you provide.

Competitors
This field is quite challenging; you’ll be faced with very strong competition. In order to position yourself and find your competitive edge, you need to study your competition and analyze them. What are their packages and services? What’s their pricing strategy? How do they deal with their customers? Why are they successful?

Key resources
Your key resources are the ones you can’t operate without. For instance, there’s no way you’ll be able to provide your services without a quality camera. If your business is composed of different departments, then you’ll need to build a team of specialized individuals.

Cost structure & revenue stream
A very important key aspect of your business plan is your finances. Your first step will be to calculate your cost structure: everything that will require spending money and the most expensive resources. The second step will be how to make the most profit out of your business, which means looking at all the sources from which you can gain revenue, analyzing them, and choosing the ones that suit you most.

Create an operational plan
A business plan will give you a general idea about all the aspects of your business and how it will be managed, but you’ll need to further break it down into an operational plan. This plan will give a down-to-earth idea about your operations; starting from preparing for the launch of your business and down to the day-to-day operations. Your operational plan should cover the following:

Production
You need to build a clear idea about how your production will be carried out. This will include everything concerning setting up the shooting scene, hiring certain specialists for lighting and audio, getting an extra set of assisting hands, and all the operations included in producing a photoshoot or a film.

Legal environment
There’s an important question you need to ask yourself, and it’s whether or not you want to register your business legally just yet. While it’s important down the road when you want to expand, you don’t have to do that right now. You can continue operating as a freelancer or as a group of freelancers. In case you want a legal entity, you’ll start considering your options of starting an LLC company or having a sole proprietorship. Whatever the course you choose to walk, you’ll sometimes face legal needs to get licenses, permits, or other legal documents for your production. It’s good to be well-aware of the legal needs before you find yourself facing issues that could’ve been avoided from the start.

Your team
Your operations will vary greatly depending on the team you’ll hire. If you’re a one-man team, then you’ll be handling all sorts of operations yourself. In that case, you’ll opt for hiring assistants for one-time jobs. You may need to outsource some tasks every now and then. If you’re starting a media production agency, then you’ll either hire employees working full-time or part-time, or you’ll hire project-based freelancers.

Location
Working on a freelance basis may not require a physical place to operate, but having a full team will definitely require one. In this case, will you need to rent an office? Do you already have a space that you’ll need to fix to be your office?

Action Plan
Understanding your operations is the founding step of creating an action plan. This plan will breakdown all of the operations into clear tasks within a specific time-frame to guide you through your steps.

Manage your finances
You start a business because you want to make money, but you need money to start a business. This much is true for all startups, and yours is no exception. If you already have sufficient capital to start your business based on your business and operational plans, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. However, many aspiring entrepreneurs face a huge financial obstacle in the implementation of their promising ideas. The good thing is that you’ll have many options when it comes to funding your business; one popular source of which is getting a business loan. Your next step in managing your finances should be to minimize your costs and expenditure as much as possible.

Preparing your gear
It’s a common misperception that you’ll need to buy all your gear to start your business. You don’t have to if you’re still financially unstable. You can easily rent the equipment to do the jobs you get and earn a good profit. Once your operations start becoming stable and your revenue stream is profitable, you can then start considering investing in your own equipment.

On your line of work, these are the essential pieces of equipment you’ll need to operate:

Camera
This one is as obvious as the sun, but the real question is what kind of camera will you need. Based on your services and line of operation, you might need different kinds of cameras or opt for one that can cover your needs. For instance, you’ll need to invest in a professional video recording camera if you’ll be producing cinematic films, whether you’ll rent it or buy it. But if you’re creating videos of average consumers, you’ll be better off to look for the best 4k camcorder instead and using it to create videos of supreme quality. While they won’t serve you well in taking photos or shooting cinematic films, they’re much cheaper than professional video cameras, they have longer video time-frames than photographic cameras, and they have superb lens capabilities.

Lighting & Audio setup
You’ll definitely need good lighting and audio setups to ensure the quality of your video. Depending on the camera you’ll be using, your setup will require different equipment, so make sure that all of the connections, wires, and lightning works well with all your equipment.

PC and other hardware
You’ll also need a durable PC or Laptop to transfer your data, backup your work, and edit your photos and videos once you’re done. Other that than, you’ll need storage cards, hard disks, and batteries.

Create a portfolio
Let’s be honest, you can’t expect to get new clients or operate your business as you planned if you don’t have anything to prove your skills. You need to showcase your skills, talents, and quality; which makes creating a portfolio of your work essential. In your field, there are some common practices that your competitors will be using to showcase their work. To make sure you’re not falling behind, you should create your own portfolio on the following channels:



Behance
Behance is the go-to platform for photographers and graphic designers alike. It’s the best platform where you can compile your best work of photographic art, creating a portfolio that enhances everyone who comes across it.

Vimeo & YouTube
While Behance focuses on showcasing your work in photography, Vimeo and YouTube are the platforms when it comes to creating a portfolio of your videography.

Website
Many think that creating a website stops being a priority once you create your portfolio on other channels, but that’s not true. The other platforms provide you the bare minimum portfolio requirements, and you’ll be able to start working without a website. But if you want to take your business to the next level of professionalism, then creating a website is necessary to showcase all of your work in one place, open a portal of communication with interested clients, and present all your packages to the visitors.

Promote yourself
If you fail to promote yourself, you’ll stay confined to your current area of operation. You’ll fail to acquire new clients, which only means that your business isn’t profitable. You should focus on scaling your business and expanding your operation base, which places a huge need on promoting your work yourself.

To market yourself effectively, you’ll need to leverage the following methods to your benefit:

• Social Media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. These platforms allow you to use paid ads that can target your specific niche.

• Website, through implementing effective SEO strategies to target new customers and increase your traffic organically.

• Word of Mouth is the best way to get started and expand in your local area, and that’s where family and friends will provide the biggest support.

• Business Development is the professional practice of actively reaching out to new clients; pitching your business and services to them and finalizing deals.

As excited as you are for turning your passion into a profitable business, you must ensure its success. This requires a lot of research and planning long before you start, after which you document all of into comprehensive business and operational plans. You can never skip on your financial planning and management either. Afterward, you’ll get your gear ready, placing a good focus of your choice of camera, lighting and audio setup, and other hardware you’ll need. You’ll need to create a strong portfolio to showcase your work, and you’ll be able to expand your clientele base through promoting yourself effectively.










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