Going into business for yourself can be a liberating experience. You may be looking forward to making your own schedule, setting your own prices, and sharing your artistic abilities. Photography is a skill that has not gone out of style, even with recent changes in technology. A lucrative career can be built from capturing moments and memories on film. Here, Isa Battaglin, the owner of LillyK Photography, shares a few important items to consider before starting your own photography business.

Business Matters can be Complicated

It is important to plan the business side of the operation, as well as the artistic. A clear monetary plan can save you a lot of trouble as you carry out your daily responsibilities. Consider opening a separate bank account to house your business finances. You have many options for receiving payments from your clients. Use caution if you decide to accept checks. It is very simple to install a credit card swiping device on your mobile device. If you plan to purchase supplies to enhance your photo shoots, such as props, this should be recorded as a deficit to your business account until you earn enough to pay off the balance. This will help you to see, on paper, how much you are bringing in outside of business expenses. Finally, have your sitting and photo fees in writing for your clients to look at.

Make your Schedule

At first, you may be tempted to take clients at all times of the day. Eventually, you will find yourself exhausted and burnt out if you do not set some boundaries. Depending on the client, you may need to be flexible to accommodate different needs. You can accomplish some flexibility while still maintaining a decent schedule. If you want to allow for some evening appointments, perhaps to catch a sunset or cool weather, decide on a couple of days each week you will work evening hours. Weddings, parties, and graduations often happen on the weekends. It may help your business goals to plan your off days during the week. Consider how many sittings a week you will need to meet your living expenses and work from there on your planning. If you are determined to accept sittings at the client's request, you may need to limit the number of appointments you make each week. It may take a little time to find balance in this area.

Work with your Talents

You probably already know what type of photo opportunities bring you the most joy. Some photographers are best at still portraits, while others are great at capturing live action. Advertise according to your personal gifts. Weddings and parties are action packed and full of fun candid shots. Family portraits are more planned and organized. There will be more business opportunities if you can offer different types of photo opportunities, however, you may become known for a specific type.

Prepare your Portfolio

It will help to secure clients if you can show your work. Your portfolio will grow as you take on more jobs. At first, you can offer free photo shoots to get your portfolio started. This is the time to make use of your friends and family. Take pictures at kids' birthday parties, or gather your family for a portrait. Take your equipment with you everywhere you go. Something as simple as a family barbeque could turn into a photo opp. You can also have people give you feedback on the photos to help you improve your skills.


Advertising can get expensive over time. If your early budget does not allow for professional advertising, you must get creative. Supply your friends and family with business cards to share. These can easily be made on your home computer. Carry a small sample of your portfolio with you while you are out running errands. Opportunities to gather clients can come at any time. Check with local schools to see if you can leave fliers at their front desk. High school parents are often on the lookout for someone to take prom and senior pictures. Many people search on their computer when looking for a certain type of service. A website is your best option if you are going to spend some money on advertising. This can also be used to schedule appointments, take payments, and show your portfolio. All fees and services should be listed on a website, for the ease of the consumer.

Starting a business can be a bit overwhelming at first. Make a comprehensive list of your needs and tackle them one at a time. Make a budget and prioritize. Some items may need to be dealt with after you start earning money. Services can also be limited, at first. Be patient as your business grows. It is better to build slowly than to rush and get in over your head. With some good business skills and talent, your photography adventure can be a success.

About Isa Battaglin and LillyK Photography: Whether she is capturing the faces of children or adults, Mrs. Isa Battaglin uses her camera to echo their spirit for others to see. She is a master of taking headshots in natural light and her artistry in editing beam through her photographs in her clients’ eyes. While her home base is at LillyK Photography in Los Angeles, Isa travels the world taking headshots and fashion photography.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker