Making Money from Home as a Self-Taught Photographer

by WorkFromHome on November 25, 2011

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of increasingly advanced technology is that it allows people to do from home what was once done only by professionals. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of photography. Once a mainstay of extensively trained artisans and professionals, a new slate of tools and options exist that allows the home photographer to turn a profit and run a successful and competitive photography business.

Viable either for primary or secondary income, professional photography services are a leading way to generate income. So, what do these services require?

  1. Studio Space
    When most people think about studio space, they naturally assume that they’ll need to rent an old warehouse or a business storefront in order to operate their photograph business. This is simply not the case, however; most people overlook the fact that they’ve got a perfectly functional basement, or a spare bedroom that can easily be setup as a studio workspace for professional indoor photo shoots. The key is to find a medium-to-large-sized space in your home and equip it with everything you’ll need for great-lookig, professional still images: tripods, backdrops, stools, chairs, and props for the younger customers.
  2. The Proper Equipment
    Though it’s much easier to begin a self-run, professional photography business from home than ever before, doing so will require an up-front investment so that all of the proper equipment is on-hand. Customers can tell the difference between a cheaply-done shoot and one that was executed with the proper tools; and they’ll be likely to become repeat customers if their photos look like they’ve been professionally taken.

    Much of this equipment, such as tripods and bipods, digital SLR cameras, extra lenses, and basic backdrops, can be found online. Many photographers sell their used equipment on classified and auction sites, like Craigslist and eBay. Still other companies sell discount products through major online retailers like Amazon or Overstock. These pieces of equipment will certainly have a cost, but there’s no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on equipping your new way to make an income from home.

  3. The Proper Software for Retouching
    Professional equipment can turn out some really great photographs, but it’s important to remember that the camera can’t always do the job exactly how you want it to. Your home photography business will require a piece of retouching software — such as Adobe’s Photoshop CS5 — in order to retouch photos. A great software solution for retouching will allow you to desaturate or oversaturate images, modify and eliminate things like red eye in pictures, and add the right amount of polish to pictures that makes them look professional rather than amateur.
  4. Promotional Materials are the Key to Success
    Because the photography world has changed so dramatically over the course of the past decade, it’s important to have the proper promotional materials on hand so that you can easily attract new business to your startup venture. It’s easy to make money from home when you’ve equipped your photography business with a stunning website that lists your services, your prices, and shows off your best photographs; and you’ll find it easier to draw new clients in if you print business cards, promotional flyers, and other marketing materials. Work on displaying these materials near high schools — where almost everyone will need senior pictures and graduation shots — as well as near things like daycares, which are full of young children that parents are eager to have photographed.

    Each promotional material should list your prices — as compared to the competition — and a few reasons why choosing your home-based business makes more sense than going to a professional studio. Emphasize flexibility, professionalism, and the inherent cost savings of choosing an independent photographer.

  5. Good Turnaround Speed
    Finally, your photography business is only a good way to make money from home if you can produce the product quickly and collect your fees efficiently. Professional studios can take many weeks — or even months — to produce the final product for clients. Focus on speed and efficiency, and have your pictures ready for clients in just a few days’ time. You’ll get paid faster, and people will be likely to come back for future photographs if you’ve produced a professional product in record time. Americans like instant gratification, and they’ll pay for the convenience of getting it from your home-based photography business.

Get Started as Soon as Possible

The key to success in this increasingly popular and competitive industry is to get started sooner rather than later. As more people realize they can make money from home by opening a photography business in their basement or a spare room, the competition only gets tougher and the prices only go down. Getting in early — and establishing a reputation before the other guys — is the key to turning this business into a reliable source of either primary or secondary income.

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