How much does it cost to start a photography business? My teenage son asked me this the other day. I was not totally shocked to hear this question come out of his mouth. Even as a young kid he loved taking photos, and has played with cameras for years, taking every class he could, finding workshops, and following magazines and blogs about the subject. He’s actually really good with a camera.
So, I’m pretty happy he’s thinking about monetizing his skills, because he’ll need to start making an income in the years right around the corner.
Before I answered his question though, I asked him what kind of photography business to start. He wasn’t sure, so I told him that the nature of the business would determine how much the starting costs would be for any photography business he does.
For instance, if he is just going to be a wedding and event photographer, then all he really needs is a camera, a laptop, a website and phone for communication, and transportation to the events. That photography business model is very low overhead and cheap to get off the ground.
On the other hand, if he is thinking about a professional studio, he has to rent a space, put up sets, and possibly even hire staff, as it’s unlikely he can do everything himself. He seemed a little blown away by this whole idea, as it wasn’t what he was really thinking.
Apparently, he wants to start up a photography business where he takes pictures of scenic vistas and natural landmarks, weather, and the like, and then sell postcards, prints, and posters of them online. I was proud of him for saying this, as it’s far more profitable to sell one image a thousand times than sell a hundred images just once each.