Image by the SC Stockshop
For today’s Meet Marissa Monday post I’m going to be sharing what I wish I would have known when I was just starting out with my photography business. I got the idea for this post from Justin & Mary and I’m excited to be sharing it with you! If you’re a photographer in the beginning stages of your business or if you’re thinking about starting a photography business hopefully this will help you in some way. 🙂
Use Your Name as Your Business Name
When I was first starting out I seriously considered going with a cheesy name for my business like “Moments by Marissa.” I honestly had no idea what I was doing! I’m glad that I ended up using my name instead. It’s usually best as a photographer to use your first and last name or first and middle name for your business. Think about all of the most successful photographers you know, they likely go by their names. People want to know the person behind the business. Photography is personal and using your name will help others to relate to you and feel like they know you. This also makes it easier for people when they’re talking about you to their friends and for referrals. Otherwise people have to remember two names such as “Susie Smith” of “Snapshots Photography.”
You Don’t Need a Logo
I also wasted a lot of time with my logo. I met with a logo/website designer at the start of my business but I didn’t end up using his services. I’m so happy I made that decision. Your logo is not important when you’re first starting out. So you don’t need to waste your time or money on a cutesy logo. Instead choose a simple legible font (it can be pretty too!) and that can be your logo. A different fancy logo isn’t going to change your business. For now you need to focus on marketing and obtaining clients. When you’re further along in your business then you can worry more about your logo and branding.
You Don’t Need a Fancy Website
Like I said above, at the start of my business I actually met with a website designer but didn’t end up having him design my site. Website designers are amazing and I definitely respect their work but I didn’t have a clear vision for my business let alone my website at that time. You also change and progress so much in the first months and years of your business. So even if your happy with the design initially it will likely soon no longer fit your needs. Instead choose a clean, simple, and modern design template for your website. I recommend going with WordPress and using a Prophoto design. Prophoto offers several free templates and they have a bunch of additional templates for purchase as well. You can read all about why I think you should have a Prophoto website here.
Don’t Discount But Be Flexible
When you’re just starting out you’re desperate to photograph anything and everything! Be smart with setting up your pricing so that you can be profitable and don’t discount right away. But also be flexible because you’re new and you need experience and portfolio work. I missed out on some weddings at the start because I was actually too firm on my pricing. In reality I should have probably taken them on because they would have been my first weddings on my own!
Educate Your Clients
From the start you need to educate your clients. You won’t have many sessions or weddings so you need to make the most of every single one that you do have. So educate your clients and help them with things like what to wear for their shoot. That way you know that you will end up with photos that will look good in your portfolio. Educate your clients in every way that you can so that things go smoothly and that you are able to create beautiful photos. Going above and beyond will also be greatly appreciated and you’ll be more likely to get referrals from those clients.
I wish I had known in the start of my business to start creating workflows. A workflow allows you to give each of your inquiries and clients the same experience. Setting up workflows lets you know what you should be doing each step of the way. Take the time to set up workflows at the beginning so that when you do have a ton of inquiries and clients that you don’t end up overwhelmed and lost!
Done is Better Than Perfect
I wasted so much time at the beginning of my business because I always wanted things to be perfect or the very best. “Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” You will never be perfect. You will always make mistakes. There’s always something you can improve. So just start because if you’re not making action you will stay stagnant and never move forward.
What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out with your photography business?
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