A great deal of the most successful freelancers only knew how to dial their camera settings when they were launching their photography businesses. You are probably in a similar situation, trying to wade through the murky waters towards a fruitful photography business. By the time you discover other requirements, such as a business license and contracts, everything might seem overwhelming.
Starting a photography business can take a significant toll on you, especially when you don’t have a solid plan. For you to succeed as a freelance photographer in Dubai, keep things simple by creating a checklist. Here’s what you need to get your photography business off the ground, including the tools and resources to help you do it.
Step One: Define Your Why
Why are you starting a photography business? Take a moment to write down every reason you can think of. We recommend that you find a strategic place to hang the list for self-motivation. You will be using the list for brand positioning, marketing, and storytelling going forward.
Step Two: Assemble Your Gear
What camera should you get? Doesn’t the camera come together with the lens? Even though you can get a camera and lens along with the kit, it may not be the best option. Many times, the packages come with items you do not need, and lenses you are unlikely to put to use. Consider purchasing the camera body separately before going for its accompanying lens.
Step Three: Identify Your Ideal Storage Option For Images
You have two storage options to keep your images, besides the computer. Consider investing in the cloud and external hard drive.
If you are fully engaged in the freelance photography business, get a new external drive every year to cut down on the wear and tear of the hard drive. It is easier to organize and maintain the external drive.
There are various cloud storage options like Pass Plus, from which you can choose. Even though it is a monthly subscription, you can upgrade to different storage plans as your needs dictate. Create a new gallery to start uploading your images. Once all mages are in the gallery, you can send the complete gallery to your client or keep the collection as a virtual backup.
Step Four: Secure A Business License
A business license should not be as intimidating as most people put it. While getting one is super easy, it might also fit in your too much category, depending on the approach. The permit is a crucial step in making your business legal and official. You can find more information on FAQs About Obtaining A Freelance License In Dubai, should you be uncertain of the process.
Step Five: Get Your Contracts Ready
What if there was an easy hack for securing contracts? All you have to do is fill in your correct details because the documents are available online as readymade templates.
You will need the following contracts at the beginning of your freelance photography business;
- Wedding Photography Contract: You need to have this in place from the start. The wedding photography agreement will seal any deal on your bookings, regardless of the person for whom you are working.
- Mini Sessions Contract: When doing photo-shoots for mini sessions, a solid contract is your insurance plan.
- Portrait Photography Agreement: Most portrait jobs involve photographing families, newborns, and seniors. The contract covers you, along with taking care of your clients’ interests.
- Print Release Agreement: You need the print release if you will be handing over the digital files, whether there is a compensation fee or shooting for free.
Although you are launching a photography business, you cannot run away from plenty of freelance contributor deals in your line of work. Receiving publishing offers for your creations can be a great achievement. Do not be too fast to jump to get your photos published. Make sure you have a written and signed freelance contributor’s agreement with the publisher.
Step Six: Get Insurance
You are purchasing all new gear to get off your photography business. The rule of thumb is to protect your equipment with insurance.
Step Seven: Start Your Blog
Although some believe that blogging is dead, the truth is that it is transforming into a reliable marketing tool for the new digital environment. You will need a blog to help market the photography business.
How do you improve your SEO? Can people find you with a Google search? You will want to keep a well-managed blog and ensure people can see all your images. The trick is to make sure that your blog loads pretty fast. To do that, you must resize any image that goes to your block to 900 pixels wide.
To run a blog that will generate enough traffic and convert to earnings, you must be ready to learn from other successful bloggers in the freelance world. You can start with these ten incredible blogs photographers must follow for useful industry-related blogging insights.
Step Eight: Open A Bank Account For Your Photography Work
Bring the business license with you to the bank to open a separate account for your freelancing work. You will also want to limit your business card for business expenses. The two most important rules for business vs. personal expenditure are;
- Never purchase personal items on your business card
- Never purchase business items on your personal card
Step Nine: Store All Business Receipts
Getting a business up and running costs so much. Therefore, you will want to save all your business receipts. If you are running a home office, store the receipts in your email folder. Doing this makes it easier wherever you need to refer since the receipts can add up to become tax deductions.
Keeping business receipts in one place will help you monitor your business progress, on top of using the same for financial statements. You can accurately pinpoint your sources of income, while keeping track of expenditure items.
Step Ten: Choose When To Start Charging Clients
When starting your freelance business, asking for payment might feel a little odd. Once you own the fact that you are running a business, and you sign service contracts with clients, things will start getting less weird. A practical approach is to get your clients paying half the total amount when signing the contract, and the remaining half when completing the shoot.
The Wrap Up
Launching a freelance business can be a daunting task. With a clear checklist to guide you through the steps, things start looking bright. You are only a legal business through obtaining official accreditation from relevant authorities. Additionally, having the right equipment to pursue photography work, along with securing the investments with an insurance policy, are vital considerations.
With everything in place, build your portfolio fast and get it on as many channels as possible, including your website and social media platforms. Here at Bawabba, we make it easy to connect with people that want to pay for a session with you. Sign up on our free online platform to join the most extensive, most reliable network of freelance photographers in Dubai.