Identify the services you plan to offer in the photography business. A photographer can build a business around taking photos of people, animals, landscapes or objects and can specialize in weddings, baby photos or stock images of products for websites. Equipment needs vary depending on which route you choose for your business. Object photography requires a light box to capture an image with no background, whereas traditional studio photography of people requires lighting, backdrops and props.
Build your portfolio. Before you can sell your photography, you must have something to show potential clients. Start taking pictures of people and objects in the areas of photography you have chosen for your business. Challenge yourself to take at least one portfolio-worthy photo daily. Offer your friends and family free photo sessions for images to add to your portfolio. Put your photos together in a book and build a website to display your portfolio to the public.
Create a photography business plan. Document the purpose of your business and set milestones for achieving business goals. Present your plan to potential investors to request financial backing for the start-up costs for your company.
Purchase photography equipment and supplies. If you don’t already own a professional-quality camera, buy one, along with additional coordinating lenses for a variety of shots. Set up a studio for portrait close-ups and indoor shots with props. Create your studio in an area of your home, or rent space in a building for your business. Select and buy photo-editing computer software to enhance your photos before they are sent to the printer.
Market your business. Attend trade shows and fairs to display your work to others. Advertise your business through local media, such as radio, television and print advertising. Offer discounts to your current clients for referring people that they know, or offer discounts to them based upon the type of photography you are doing. For example, if a couple wants you to take their wedding photos, offer them an engagement sitting for free. Alternatively, if a parent wants you to take pictures of their newborn child, offer a package to take newborn, three-month, six-month, nine-month and one-year photos at a discounted rate.