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The Financial Side of Starting a Photography Business

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While many people share the desire to be hired as a photographer, others have come to realize that the best way to follow their passion is to open their own studio.

Starting a photography business could be the best decision you ever make. Not only does this give you the opportunity to do what you love, but you can make quite a bit of money along the way.

Just the same as any business, regardless of industry, there are several key steps you must take during the startup process.

As excited as you may be about providing your services to clients, you can't do so until you have your finances in order.

Here are five finance related details to focus on as you start your photography business:

1. Create a Business Plan

There are many reasons to create a business plan, including the fact that this will keep you on track from day one.

From a financial perspective, your business plan will include a variety of information. From your business structure to your marketing budget, this document gives you a high level overview of what the future will bring.

2. Set a Budget

Opening a photography studio doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, but there are sure to be many expenses as you get up and running. Consider the following:

  • Space for your studio.
  • Marketing your services.
  • Equipment.

Even though you may be faced with some or all of these expenses, there are things you can do to curb the cost. For example, you may already have the equipment you need to provide a high level of service.

3. Business Structure

Which type of business entity is best for you? Here are your choices:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Since there are pros and cons of each business entity, don't jump into anything until you know how it will impact you now and in the future.

4. Payroll

This may or may not be something you have to concern yourself with in the early days of your photography business.

For example, if you are running your business as a sole proprietor, it may not be necessary to dabble in details related to payroll.

However, if you setup a corporation and have employees, you will absolutely need toset up a payroll system on day one.

5. Bookkeeping

How will you keep track of your income? What about your expenses? How about your taxes?

A good bookkeeping system is essential to your long term success. Once you have a streamlined and efficient system in place, you can rely on this to keep your books in order as your business grows.


Starting a photography business can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. As long as you have a firm grasp on the financial side of your business, you are in position to achieve success for many years to come.