I cannot believe that 2019 is already over.It was an amazing year for myself and I hope it was for you all as well.but it’s 2020 now. And it’s that lovely time of year that everyone is setting new goals.I wanted to help you all out with one in particular which is starting a photography business.It may seem overwhelming to get started and you might think that you don’t have the funds to invest in yourself to start your photography business.But honestly it’s really not that expensive and it’s something you could get started at today.While you’re still at your day job and build yourself a portfolio.So let’s talk about the seven essentials to get you started with your photography business.
Choose the best Digital camera in 2020
Starting out with the most obvious one, a camera.Now there are a lot of options out there for camera systems.You have Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm.But super biased towards Fujifilm.I’ve been using the Fujifilm
system for three years now and one of the best things about it,is that the system is cheap.If you need amazing quality for cheap to start out with a new camera or to upgrade your camera.definitely check out Fujifilm.The camera I would recommend to anyone starting out,is the Fujifilm X-T30.This thing currently on B&H is only 1099 with the 18 to 55 millimeter lens.That is an amazing price to get started and something you could pay off quickly with just a couple of sessions or even just save up some money over time and have it before you know it.The X-T30 has an APS-C sensor, 26 megapixels and uses the exact same technology as the X-T3 which is the main camera that I use for wedding photography.It’s tiny, it’s powerful,
it shoots video at 4K 30 frames a second.So the quality is really, really awesome..So that would be my opinion for a camera to start out with.I know Sony has an equivalent. I think it’s the A600 .These mirrorless systems are super small.They’re super light, they’re cheap, but they look amazing.So if you’re always scared of the price of a camera and you’re like, “Oh, I’m not gonna buy a camera,”’cause they cost too much,”definitely check out these new small mirrorless cameras like the XT-30.cause you will be surprised at the quality, and the price.So for our starting investment, we’re talking around $1,000.maybe even cheaper if you pick up your camera used.As you can see here on B&H, the X-T30 is only 799,when you get it used, which is super awesome.
Install Editing Softwares
The next essential you’re gonna need,is Lightroom and Photoshop.Now obviously this comes into play because you’re gonna be editing your photos.Adobe has a really awesome photography plan which gives you Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and also Photoshop for only 9.99 a month.You may be thinking that getting a program to edit your photos is gonna be super expensive.but it really isn’t with these monthly subscriptions.Lightroom Classic gives you the full power of Lightroom enabling you to edit your photos and get them ready for print quality.You also have Lightroom CC which you can use on your iPad or your iPhone.so you can quickly edit stuff on the go.I absolutely love it.And it’s really amazing how you now can use an iPad to do serious work.So even if you don’t have a computer and you need something cheaper you can use an iPad and Lightroom CC to get you started.And then having Photoshop is always a great option.It helps you with removing objects from the background any epic healing stuff you have to do on the skin or your photo or just if you wanna do a lot of photo manipulation.I don’t personally use Photoshop too much .but it’s great to have in my back pocket when I need to remove
something from a photo.So all of that for only 9.99. It makes it really easy to get in take your photos with the camera we just talked about and then edit them with the Adobe photography package. let’s go ahead and add that to the list of how much it’s gonna cost you to get started with your photography business.
Make your own portfolio
Essential number three is gonna be a website.Think of your website as your storefront, your portfolio.The thing that everyone’s gonna wanna see before they hire you.This is probably one of the most important parts alongside, obviously having a camera.For websites, I highly recommend Squarespace.I used to work there. so I am a little biased.but I also have been using them for about six years now.My website is built on Squarespace and it is super, super easy to use.,With Squarespace, not only do they have a lot of templates for photographers.but you can also build stuff from scratch very easily and you don’t need to know how to code or anything of that sort.There’s also all kinds of resources for Squarespace.like different templates you can buy outside of Squarespace themselves.One of my most favorite is Squarespace.They make really awesome templates for Squarespace specifically for photographers.So definitely check them out.Squarespace is coming in at only $16 a month which isn’t bad, or you
can go up from there if you wanna use their business plan.Now with the business plan you’re able to actually sell products and them not take a commission from it as well.And selling products opens up the ability for you to sell prints.So if you’re not doing something like wedding photography like myself and you’re doing landscape photography or street photography, and you wanna sell your prints you can do that right through your Squarespace site and not even have to deal with another website like Etsy or something of that sort.It’s definitely something you should check out.So that’s $16 a month to get started with your website which is really not a lot, it’s not a lot.We’re gonna add that to our list as well and now we have our camera, our editing software ,Lightroom, Photoshop, and also our website.If you want to build a website for free and have little knowledge about internet you can use wordpress. There are several youtube tutorials about that.So please check those too.
Build a client management system
So here it is .not too shabby.Next up in my opinion is the most important essential which is a client management system.Client management systems will help you communicate with your clients,receive your payments, sign contracts,and keep everything in one place.I know it’s tempting to go ahead and just use all of Google’s services like Sheets, and the email, and all that stuff.but if you really, really wanna have everything in one place and be able to handle lots and lots of clients .like I was doing 40 weddings in 2019 then you need a client management system.My preferred client management
system is HoneyBook.And if you haven’t heard about it you can automate your payments,communicate with your clients,have them sign your contracts,and receive your money super quickly.It’s how I was able to book six figures worth of weddings in 2019, and have all the payments smoothly get to me have all the contracts signed easily and not have to pull out my hair going through Google Sheets and all of the Google emails, and all that craziness.HoneyBook comes in at about $40 a month,which is not too shabby,for a service that really gets you all of your payments,quickly and easily, and makes you look more legit by having contracts, and e-signing all in one place.
Buy online photo delivery system
So now we’re up to our camera, our editing system,our website, and a way to manage our clients and receive our payments.For the next essential we need a way to get our photos to our clients after we’ve shot our sessions.And for that I would suggest Pic-Time.Pic-Time is an online photo delivery service that’s fairly new. so not a lot of people know about it.You’ll usually hear people talking about ShootProof and Pixieset. but I’ve recently switched over to Pic-Time and absolutely love it.Pic-Time gives you beautiful galleries where you can load all of the photos from your sessions and deliver them to your clients easily.They’re able to download their photos.they’re able to buy prints from the photos and it’s just quick and easy to get the photos to them .and looks way more professional than just throwing it in a Dropbox folder and sending them a random link.Also the greatest part about Pic-Time is that they want you to sell prints.So their business is highly focused,on making sure that they help you sell prints and physical products.They have really awesome automations,built right into Pic-Time to help you sell prints.and you don’t even have to do anything. Literally you go in there, turn on the automation,select which sessions you want the automations to work on,and they’re basically gonna work it out for you,and help your clients buy their prints.And the really great thing about this,you get most all of those features for free.So Pic-Time’s starting plan is free, for 20 gigs of storage,which is not bad. especially if you’re starting out.That’s a great place to do a couple of sessions,load ’em up there.If you have something like JPEGmini,20 gigabytes is more than enough,’cause you can shrinkate the size of your JPEGs,while you upload them.Also their next plan up is only $20 a month and that gives you 100 gigabytes of storage.So Pic-Time is definitely a must-have.So we’ll go ahead and add this one to our list as free.So now we have our camera, our editing system,our website, our CRM,to talk to our clients and receive our payments,and a gallery to deliver our images to our clients.
Buy unlimited storage cloud
Essential number six is gonna be a way for us to back up and protect those photos,that we’ve taken for our clients. which would be Backblaze.I’m a huge fan of Backblaze and have been using them for a couple years now.And I have a video here where I talk about my backup process and Backblaze is a huge part of how I back up my photos.Now I do have a whole bunch of different hard drives and I shoot on a dual-card camera, which is a huge deal.but after I have all of those backups made being able to back it up to the cloud at unlimited storage is a huge plus.Backblaze comes in at only $5 a month, per computer and it allows you to be able to back up everything on your computer.So if you’re like me, and have a desktop computer with like 50 hard drives in it.you can back up every single one of those hard drives as well as your external hard drives for $5 a month, unlimited data.I mean terabytes of just all this information, right there for $5 a month in the cloud.It is super awesome.And if you have a large amount of data and let’s say you lose all of it all you have to do is purchase a hard drive from them.they’ll ship you your data and if you don’t need that hard drive, you return it and you get your money back super quickly.If you don’t have some kind of cloud storage,you really, really need to get on this.It has saved me so many times from deleting a full wedding by accident.but at least having it up in the cloud.So that’s only gonna add $5 a month to our price of how much it’s gonna cost us to start our photography business.
Business cards are still in the game
So let’s talk about the last essential.which is one that a lot of people don’t think is important.but I honestly think you should always have them on you,which is business cards.So I know what you’re thinking. You’re like, ” it’s 2019, I’m all digital.,”Who uses business cards anymore?,”It’s so old school.”.But let me tell you, business cards are super important.So the first way to think about business cards,is it’s actually advertising?I know we’re in a digital world now and everyone wants to do things digitally and I know you can share from your phone and send stuff like that.but tell me a company that has not put a billboard up or put new advertising on the side of a bus or put new advertising just somewhere in the city that is physical to see while you’re out and about.You wanna advertise 24×7 at all times and places.And when someone comes up to you and sees you doing photography while you’re out doing an engagement session or something of that sort and they go “Oh man, you’re a photographer? “You got any business cards?” And you go, “Oh, no sorry, “,No, just no.You wanna have business cards and you wanna have them on you all the time. Make sure that on your business cards you put your Instagram account ’cause yet again, going back to the digital age it’s cool that you have something physical.but still let it be easy for people to find you.Your website, your Instagram, your number whatever you wanna have on there.I can actually personally say,I’ve booked a couple of weddings,just by having business cards on me where I’m at the reception and people see me dancing on the floor with everyone while taking pictures and they go, “Man, that photographer is great.”,Come up to me real quick, “Hey,do you have business cards?”,Boom, hand ’em a card and guess who hits me up six months later?”Hey, we’re getting married.”Trust me, you want business cards and you want them on you 24×7.You can get a pack of 50 cards for only 20 bucks.which is not a bad deal.And you don’t need a whole bunch of cards.,Just run through what you have and then go ahead and buy some more when you need them.
So those are your seven essentials to get your photography business started.So let’s go ahead and add up how much this would cost you to get started.Starting out with your camera at 1099 an editing software like Lightroom for about 9.99 a month,a website for $16 a month,a client management system like HoneyBook for $40 a month,gallery delivery for free,online cloud storage like Backblaze for $5 a month and business cards for 20 bucks. That brings us to a grand total of around $1200 give or take.That’s not so bad to start.I’m sure you could save that amount in about a month or so and go ahead and purchase everything you need and get started.So go ahead and get out there get what you need to start and don’t skimp on the little things.I know you might be thinking, ” $1200 is mad money.”,Save it up because yet again, like I said I made six figures in 2019.$1200 compared to six figures is nothing.Also compared to having my own time running my own business and having the time that I want to spend with my family and travel whenever I want to .I think $1200 is totally worth having all of that freedom.So I hope these seven essentials helped you out.Please don’t feel discouraged if you do wanna start a photography business. Make 2020 amazing. I’ll check you all next time, all right, peace.