How To Start a Photography Business With No Experience

Photography has played a crucial role in art and communication, giving the power to capture meaningful moments and express creative visions. With the introduction of modern photography, the industry has only grown and diversified, making it an appealing career option for many.

According to a report by IBISWorld, the Photography industry in the US has increased by 1.3% to reach a revenue of $12.9 billion in 2023, showcasing this field’s vitality and potential profitability. However, diving into the photography business, especially with no prior experience, requires a solid understanding of the basics to navigate the competitive landscape successfully. Following these steps, you’re on your way to becoming a successful photographer and entrepreneur.

Interesting Facts About Photography Business

The photography business is a fascinating blend of artistry and entrepreneurship. Here are some intriguing facts and statistics that highlight its growth and potential:

  1. Industry Growth: The global photography services market is projected to reach $56 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 5.7%, according to Allied Market Research. This growth is propelled by increasing demand for professional photography services in various sectors like advertising, events, and fashion.
  2. Rise of Freelancers: Many photographers opt for a freelance model, which provides flexibility. A recent report from Upwork states that 35% of the US workforce were freelancers, and a good portion of these are engaged in photography.
  3. Digital Dominance: The advent of digital photography has significantly reduced the entry barriers. Digital cameras and smartphones with high-resolution lenses have made professional-quality photography accessible to a broader range of aspiring photographers.
  4. Social Media Impact: Platforms like Instagram have become a significant market for photographers to showcase their work and build a clientele. As of 2021, over 500 million people use Instagram daily, offering an enormous potential customer base for photography businesses.
  5. Diverse Revenue Streams: Photography businesses now have diversified revenue streams including selling prints, licensing photos, conducting workshops, and providing photo editing services. This diversification has allowed photographers to build more resilient and lucrative businesses.
  6. Technology Integration: The integration of technology like drones and VR has opened up new avenues in photography. Drone photography, in particular, has become a prominent sector, offering breathtaking aerial shots for various purposes.
  7. Online Platforms: The emergence of online platforms like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock has provided photographers with new avenues to sell their work on a global scale.

These facts underscore the dynamic nature of the photography business, reflecting its evolving landscape filled with opportunities for both seasoned professionals and newcomers alike.

Top View Of A Table With Man Holding A Cup Of Latte With A Magazine, Camera, Cellphone And Other Personal Effects

How to Start a Photography Business with No Experience

Embarking on a journey to start a photography business with no prior experience may seem daunting. However, it can be a rewarding pursuit with the right blend of passion, preparation, and perseverance. Below are detailed steps and considerations to guide aspiring photographers toward building a successful photography business from scratch.

The Importance of Passion and Determination in Pursuing a Photography Business

Passion is the driving force behind the success of many photographers. It fuels the long hours of learning, practicing, and overcoming the hurdles of starting a business. Determination, on the other hand, is the quality that will keep you going through challenging times and help you evolve into a professional photographer.

So, before diving into the business aspect, evaluating your passion for photography is essential and determining if you can push through any obstacles. You can consider your motivations, strengths, and weaknesses and assess if your desire to start a photography business outweighs the challenges.

Explore the Types of Photography Niches and Practice Photography

There’s a vast array of photography niches, including portrait, wedding, commercial, landscape, and fashion photography, among others. Each niche requires a unique skill set and style. Experimenting with different niches and practicing diligently is crucial to finding what resonates with you and honing your skills.

Many websites offer insights to perform practice photography, such as taking pictures of everyday objects, different lighting conditions, and various compositions. These exercises will help you develop your eye for photography and the technical aspects involved.

Significance of Acquiring the Necessary Photography Equipment

Investing in the right equipment is fundamental. Start with a good camera, lenses suited to your niche, and essential accessories like tripods and flash units. As you progress, upgrading your gear to meet professional standards will be imperative.

You can look for second-hand equipment to keep costs low, but ensure you buy quality gear. Alternatively, renting equipment is also an option, particularly for niche-specific tools that may not be frequently used.

Building a Photography Portfolio

A well-curated portfolio is your visual resume. Initially, offer free shoots to friends or local businesses, or consider doing styled shoots to showcase your skills. Ensure your portfolio reflects your style and the quality of work you can deliver.

Websites like Squarespace and Wix offer affordable options to showcase your portfolio, making it more accessible to potential clients. Regularly updating your portfolio with high-quality work will keep it relevant and help attract the right clientele.

Brown Framed Eyeglasses

Online Presence and Marketing in Establishing a Photography Business

In the digital age, having an online presence is crucial. Create a professional website displaying your portfolio, and utilize social media platforms for marketing and connecting with potential clients. Effective online marketing strategies like SEO and social media advertising are invaluable in attracting clientele.

If you’re unsure about marketing, consider taking a course or seeking guidance from successful photographers in your niche. This way, you can tailor your marketing plan to reach your target audience effectively.

Networking and Collaborating with Other Professionals

Networking can open doors to opportunities and collaborations that significantly boost your business. Join photography communities, attend workshops, and collaborate with other photographers or related professionals like makeup artists and event planners.

Especially with no prior experience, building connections and learning from others in the industry can be invaluable to your growth as a photographer and entrepreneur.

Pricing Strategies and Setting Rates for Your Services

Determining your pricing is a delicate balance between covering your costs, earning a profit, and providing value to your clients. Research the market rates in your niche and region, and consider your experience and the quality of your services when setting your prices.

By understanding your costs and the value you bring to clients, you can confidently justify your rates and negotiate if necessary. Remember, pricing is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so constantly evaluate and adjust as needed.

Legal Considerations, Permits, and Licenses

Understanding the legal aspects, including registering your business, obtaining necessary permits and insurance, and being aware of tax obligations, is crucial for running a legitimate and protected business.

You can seek guidance from legal professionals or online resources to ensure you comply with all regulations and protect your business’s longevity.

Studio Setting

Continuous Learning and Improving Your Photography Skills

The photography industry is ever-evolving. Engage in continuous learning through workshops, online courses, and following industry trends to improve your skills and stay relevant in the market.

You may also consider joining professional photography associations like the Professional Photographers of America or local chapters to gain exposure and access to resources.

Resources and Platforms for Selling Your Photography Services

Platforms like Etsy, Shutterstock, and Adobe Stock are great for selling photos, while websites like Thumbtack and Fiverr can connect you with clients. Additionally, participating in local art and craft fairs or networking events can also provide opportunities for selling your services. These resources and platforms will enable you to reach a broader audience, build your brand, and generate income.


Starting a photography business with no experience may seem intimidating, but with passion, determination, practice, and a solid understanding of the basics outlined above, anyone can turn their love for photography into a successful career. The constantly evolving industry offers many opportunities for growth and success, making it an exciting and fulfilling endeavor for any aspiring photographer. So, whether you’re interested in wedding photography or aerial shots with a drone, take the first step toward your dream and start building your photography business today. Remember, success comes with hard work and dedication, so never stop learning and improving your craft.

About the Author

Scroll to Top