Tips from the Pros

8 Tips for Starting a Successful Photography Business


Guest post from Featured Pro Kate Marie Warch of Kate Marie Photography:


When launching your own photography business, there is so much to consider. It can be quite overwhelming, but here are some tips that I have learned that may help you along the way!


8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business // Kate Marie Warch Photography // Artsy Couture


1. Be patient.

It took awhile to develop your photography skills to where they are now, and it can take a significant amount of time to grow your business to where you want it to be.


Successful businesses do not happen overnight. It takes a ton of time and dedication, but it’s worth it to keep pushing towards your goal.


2. Be friendly and kind to everyone you meet.

You never know where your next clients will come from! Don’t be afraid to let people know what you do, and how you want to work with them. I am constantly networking with everyone I meet.


Whether it’s at a social gathering, at the gym, or random conversations with people you meet, I always make sure to mention that I’m a photographer who specializes in Maternity, Newborns, and (occasionally) weddings.


You’d be surprised how many people will usually say, “Oh, my friend just had a baby, I should give her your info,” etc. I ALWAYS have business cards on me!


Drop them at your local deli, post them on any bulletin boards around town, and (if you’re a portrait photographer like I am), leave them any place where families and kids hang out.


8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business // Kate Marie Photography // Artsy Couture


3. Be your brand.

I’ve often been told by people that when they look at my website, business cards, or photo packaging, that it looks “just like Kate.” Over the years, I have figured out the style I like (neutral colors, light & airy, timeless, and cute!).


It’s great to be inspired by other photographers, but I truly feel that to be successful, you have to be yourself.


Kate Marie Photography - Website // 8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business


4. Be curious.

The more you shoot, the more you learn! You have to practice to improve. Are you curious about how to achieve a certain effect? Look it up! Youtube can be your best friend. For instance, if you want to try to improve on wrapping your babies for newborn photography, practice on a doll!


Kate Marie Photography - newborn photography // 8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business


5. Be generous.


At least twice a year, I hold a totally free session. It’s a great way to gain exposure among future repeat clients, not to mention it’s a great way to get your name out there a bit more.


One of my freebie shoot families in the past have become my most loyal clients, and have booked me numerous times since! I also always add a couple extra prints to all my client packages as a thank you for booking with me. It doesn’t cost me too much, and it’s always greatly appreciated by my clients.


6. Back up your files.


Just trust me on this one!


7. Be more confident.


You are passionate about your job, let that show! If you show clients that you are in control and confident in your abilities, they’ll trust you completely during and after the session. 


You’ve got this! You are amazing!


Kate Marie Photography - wedding photography // Tips for Starting a Photography Business


8. Check your camera settings and your photos as you go.


You’d hate to find out, as you’re loading your photos onto a computer, that you had a big smudge on your lens, or that you were shooting with the wrong settings.


Save yourself a ton of editing time, and get it right in-camera!


Kate Marie Photography - newborn photography // Tips for Starting a Photography Business


Although I have been in business for over 7 years, every shoot is a different experience. It’s great to have a game plan to feel prepared, but most of the time, my plan goes out the window. I now have confidence to shoot on the fly because of all my experience.


It’s hard to master every aspect of photography. There is always room to learn about something more and improve. I still research how to take my photos to the next level constantly. Work hard, and with time and a little luck, you will reach your artistic and business goals! Happy photographing!


Family photography - Kate Marie Photography // 8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business


See more of Kate’s work by visiting her website,


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2 thoughts on “8 Tips for Starting a Successful Photography Business

  1. Kate, Good advise you did miss one of the most important one’s, on my list for teaching Photographers is the ( Thank you and action note within every order ) The action would be asking for more business – Example- here is a coupon for a family Portrait session.(worded much nicer of course)
    One of the things I like to ask Photographers – What do you have that the new guy doesn’t have, and why are you not using it to your advantage?
    Did a two hour talk on this a couple years ago.

  2. Many times an important fact that many aspiring photographers do not entirely understand is the challenges they’ll have to face trying to break into the business. Not only it is tough to gain brand recognition and land your first few professional gigs, but it also takes a fair amount of money in order to purchase all of the gear you’ll need to be able to ensure you get quality images. Having a high-end camera is not going to be enough going to cut it: you need to shop for an assortment of lenses, flashes, a backup camera, and plenty of extra batteries and storage devices to be prepared for pretty much any emergency. Also, expect to wind up coughing up for external storage devices to store your images on. This can be a good deal of cash to spend prior to actually getting your business up and functional. Of course you can always rent supplies at first, and this can help when you’re just getting started, but if you’re really serious about being a photographer – especially if you’ll be shooting weddings and other important events – you’re going to need to make a sizable investment at some point.

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