How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business

By | October 26, 2019

Learn the basics of earning income from taking pictures using your camera. Follow the steps in this tutorial and start making money as a photographer at events in your family and locality.

Do you go everywhere with your camera? Do you frequently come up with pictures that can be added to your Instagram feed? Are you recognized as the go-to photographer at family occasions and events?
If you have passion for taking pictures, you can turn that hobby, interest or passion into a home-based photography business.
In case you may be good at taking pictures and are planning to venture into such a business, prior to making moves and offering photography services to people for a charge, do some thorough research and devise strategies for optimal success.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons you may have to consider as you make findings on starting up a photography business:


  • You can work part- or full-time and leverage the flexible schedule
  • You can earn money leveraging an expertise you already have
  • You can choose to book appointments with clients at locations you would love to visit
  • You may enjoy attending events and meeting with new categories of people
  • You may assist people with capturing special moments in films


  • The negative side of clients can be experienced at stressful events such as birthdays and weddings
  • Starting up requires expensive photography equipment
  • It may take a while to come up with a strong clientele list and income can be irregular
  • A lot of work engagements frequently occur on weekends at prime family times
  • Running a business out of your hobby may take the fun away from it and lure you into experiencing tedious or boring work.

           Steps to Starting a Home-Based Photography Business

Are you ready to start earning income from taking pictures? Here are a few steps to walk you through:

1. Decide the Types of Photography Services You Want to Offer

Individuals and enterprises need competent photographers for several purposes. Businesses need clear and captivating pictures of their products for advertisements, brochures and other purposes.
Realtors also need pictures of the structures they are selling. Magazines equally need pictures related to their publications. Or alternatively, you may stick with non-entrepreneurial photography and photograph events or take portraits.

2. Scale up Your Business Plan

Your business plan showcases the details of your entrepreneurial business, including how you’ll stand out in the midst of your competitors, the services you offer, marketing tactics, and financial projections.
This is the most ideal time to come up with your pricing structure. For instance, if you want to generate $40,000 per year and draw a plan to book up to 30 weddings for the year, you would have to charge roughly $1,400 per wedding. Your pricing will have to take into account the running costs including supplies, equipment, travel and others.

3. Design a Business Structure

One of the most cost-effective cost options is sole proprietor; but coming up with a limited liability company will bring about protection of your acquired assets in case you may have to experience legal challenges.

4. Come up with a Business Name

Your business name will eventually lead to the brand. Thus, decide a name that matches the type of photography business you’re planning to venture into. If you’re choosing business photography, you’ll surely need to come up with a name that sounds elegant or professional.
If you’re not coming up with a business name with your own name, then you may likely have to file a bogus name statement with your state secretary’s office. You’d also have to find out if the name you’re choosing is not protected by the US Trademark and Patent laws.

5. Set up Your Business Officially

Once you’ve decided a name for your photography business and have established your business structure, you’d have to request a business permit or license as required by your state or city. Though you are taking pictures using a digital camera, in as much as you’re printing for people, you’d have to engage in sales tax collection if you’re residing in a state that collects sales tax.
The tax office or comptroller of your state will request the vital information and forms on collection and payment of sales tax. Once you’ve got your business license, you’re entitled to open a business bank account.

6. Acquire Needed Supplies and Equipment

If taking pictures is your hobby, you may likely have got much of the needed equipment; however, you’ll need to conduct an assessment if the quality of the equipment is sufficient to charge a fee for any service.
In addition to a quality camera, you’ll also need flashes, lenses, photo editing software, quality photo paper, batteries and packaging needed to present pictures to customers. You may equally need screens and lights to control lighting.

7. Set up Marketing Materials

Alongside the business brochures and cards, you may have to create a site for your photography business. While trying to publish stock photos online, it’s necessary to first obtain permissions from your customers before publishing those pictures on the web.
You also need to create social media networks so you can target more audiences. For instance, if you are printing wedding pictures, you’d need to set up a Pinterest network profile.

8. Promote, Promote, and Promote

The key to becoming successful in any business be it a photography business or any other is by promoting it. You cannot take pictures and receive any payment unless people hire you for the service.
And aside from the business brochures, cards, and site, leverage your professional and personal networks to market your business to the world.
Try attending trade events and shows tailored towards your target market. For instance, if you’re into wedding photography, then you’d need to be attending wedding events or shows. You can also be attending dog shows if you are into pet portraits.

Sell Your Photos Online

Alongside making money from taking professional photos, you can as well take some photos yourself and sell them (not necessarily the ones you are hired to take). Several stock photo platforms can buy some of these photos or simply allow you to list them for sale on their sites.
Here are some great places to get started with selling your stock photos and make a lot of money:

  • BigStockPhoto
  • 123RF
  • Corbis
  • CanStockPhoto
  • Dreamstime
  • DepositPhotos
  • ShutterStock
  • ShutterPoint
  • Fotolia
  • iStockPhoto

Here are some needed resources for selling your stock photos for Instagram

  • Candidly Images
  • 500px
  • Foap
  • Clashot
  • Instaprints
  • Twenty20


4 thoughts on “How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business

  1. Michel

    This is a great business to try if you love photography. You have given some great advice in this article. I also think though that you have to stand out from the crowd, as this is a highly competitive profession. A good course on photography will stand you in good stead.

    Selling photos online is another great way to gain followers and earn extra money. If you can learn how to create your own photo website even better.

    Can you recommend any good courses for this?

    1. Eva

      Thanks Michel for visiting my website! I’m so grateful!
      I totally agree with you that people need to stand out from the crowd, but it’s possible to excel in photography with the passion and by developing your skills through learning.
      YouTube has good tutorials available. Udemy is a platform for learning.
      To start a photography business, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate, because you can start your online venture for free and build your website easily.

  2. Travis

    I have a friend that has always wanted to start her own photography business, I need to send her this link! The flexibility sounds good, but I can imagine some people are tough to deal with, especially during those stressful holidays and family events. Thank you for the information, I will send this to her right away!

    1. Eva

      Thanks Travis for passing by. I really appreciate it!
      I recommend Wealthy Affiliate to your friend, because she can start her business at a low-cost and she will meet there a vibrant community with real people who can give their support as they are already excelling in this niche.


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