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Photography business tips: Getting started

Unless you find a way to make money using your camera, photography will forever remain a hobby and a pricey one at that. Getting into the business of photography is not as farfetched an idea as many believe it to be. Here are some basic pointers on how you can make it happen.


Do your homework
You begin your foray with a little bit of research. Find out who the other players are in your probable area of operation. Try and get hold of their work and study their style sheets and quality. Then find out what they’re charging for that kind of work. This will give you a fair idea of what your photography is worth and how you can improve it further to demand a premium. Remember, it’s a changing world out there and people are willing to pay for quality rather than save by accepting shoddy images. And if there are a few which belong to the latter category, those are exactly the kind of clients you want to keep away from. So don’t undercut on your prices and instead focus on delivering high quality.

Account for what goes out
The other important factor to consider when deciding on your prices is the cost involved. From beginning to end, a particular photography assignment involves a number of expenses. There are the obvious expenses like the cost of prints and albums that you will be supplying to the clients, the travel and conveyance and the packaging and shipping charges. But the costs that often get left out of the pricing equation are the equipment costs. Sure you already have all the equipment you may need but all equipment has a fixed life, doesn’t it? So you should take into account costs arising from depreciation of your camera, PC and other equipment.

To come up with a price tag for a particular assignment, you need to calculate the use of equipment for an assignment versus the rated life of the equipment. The number doesn’t have to be accurate to the last decimal but a simple ballpark estimate. The general rule of thumb in the photography business is that your prices should be at least 3.5 times your costs. This isn’t the dictum but a starting point that ensures you always remain profitable. Beyond that, the prices should be dictated by your work.

Other ways of pricing
A lot of budding photography businesses assume a basic unit in terms of print sizes. The unit could consist of a single 8x10 print or two 5x7 prints or three 4x6 prints and so on. Based on this unit, prices are set for the number of units an assignment is going to consume. This makes for a decent short term strategy but doesn’t work well if you thinking long term. Photographers with more experience price their work differently based on a number of other individual factors involved mentioned earlier. One thing to remember is that with rising inflation each year your prices must also vary, even if only marginally.

Talk like you mean business
Finally, what can really clinch a deal for you is confidence. Many beginner photographers appear nervous and almost apologetic for the prices they demand. This gives the clients an impression that there is plenty of room for negotiation and that is exactly what will happen. Instead, when quoting your price, maintain a calm and composed appearance. After all, you are asking to be paid for the hard work that you are putting in and the professional service you intend to render. The reason a client is willing to pay you is because he acknowledges your talent, your prowess and the superior equipment you bring to the table. So bear that in mind and quote your price confidently to maximize your profits and keep more business coming your way!


  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is a super-zoom camera that features a powerful 24x optical zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout its entire focal range.
  • The 25-600mm lens is doubled up with a 1/ 2.3-inch high sensitivity MOS sensor. The camera sensor has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels.
  • The camera is equipped with the Panasonic Venus Engine technology, which features intelligent noise reduction and a multi-process noise reduction.
  • At the back of the camera is a 3 inch, 460k dot vari-angle LCD screen. The side hinge rotates up to 270 degree, which makes it possible to view images from high and low angles for easy shooting.