Shutter Success: Tips for Establishing Yourself in the Photography Business

By Brooke Chaplan

Young Photographer

Shutter Success: Tips for Establishing Yourself in the Photography Business

Breaking into the photography business might seem difficult, but in truth all it really takes is a little bit of finesses and persistence in the right places. There are millions of people in the world who would love to be photographers, but only those who know the right ways to plan and network will make it. The following tips are proven methods any aspiring photographer can use to get a foothold in the industry. An emerging photographer has no shortage of resources for honing their skills, and no matter what specific niche you’re going after in the field, with these tips you can really make a name for yourself.

Name your Niche and Perfect Your Plan
The most crucial part of setting up your prospective photography career is putting together a concrete plan for your market. You need to lock down the exact audience you’d like your photography to appeal to. By crafting a clear and solid plan of just what niche you’d like to take pictures for, you’ll make things easier for both yourself and all of your potential clients. Customers will appreciate being able to have a photographer who is fully committed to the exact kind of content they need. You can put together a portfolio that strongly communicates your willingness and aptitude to work within a certain niche, which will improve your credibility and also make it easier for clients to refer you to others.

Optimize Your Website with More Than Just Images
It’s a fine idea to have your website filled up with professionally-taken photographs to your name, but at the same time you’re going to want your website to be more than a just a portfolio for your work. The best way to ensure your website really stands out is by making a point to optimize it for better standings in search engine results, which can help your clients find you without needing to reach out and appeal to them first. You can do this on your own with some research and marketing skills, or find a third party to help get you started. Make sure you list important details to your site like what locations you are willing to travel to, what cameras you use, and how big or small you can make pictures. If you have many tools like an Infrared Cameras Inc. camera for nighttime and nature work, be sure to list it in a ways that shows customers what you can offer and fellow photographers what you specialize in.

Get Your Portfolio Professionally Reviewed
While it may feel good to have your friends and family give you nice compliments, that alone won’t be nearly enough to assure that you’ve got a prospect-ready portfolio. Before pushing your portfolio out into the ether, its good idea to invest a bit into having it reviewed by established photography experts who are willing to take the time to look it over. Getting a second or third opinion can help you improve it even further. Have these reviews listed prominently to get people interested in what you can offer them.

Getting started in photography takes a lot more than just a camera. You need the technological, editing, and marketing skills to get your business off the ground. Use the tips above to help create a name for yourself and get your brand started.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Brooke was partially compensated by Infrared Cameras Inc. for this article.