In my last blog I left you to consider the following questions when you are thinking about starting your own photography business:
- What types of activities will you be performing?
- When do you plan to start your business?
- Where will your business be located?
- What business structure will you have?
- What do you plan to call your business?
In this post I wanted to focus on the first element which begins with defining your photography focus or the style in which you want to shoot. Determining what you will specialize in will help establish some of your goals as well as define who your market is – you can begin to look at how and where to market to your clients. Also, having a specialization will help to refine your skills in that area. Your interactions with your clients and potential clients will build your business into a strong brand. Defining your style will also determine the equipment that you need, where you will need to be located, and will help you discover competition in your area bringing into question the feasibility of your business.
There are many different styles in photography such as fashion, beauty, nature, landscape, wildlife, travel, wedding, and maternity – just to name a few. If you are not new to photography then you may have found a style you are comfortable with and enjoy doing. Some of you may have decided you want to open a business without a substantial background or specialization; this is the time narrow your focus to help decide where you want to be. Think about the styles you enjoy and the marketability of those styles in the area you live or plan to do business. Being an event photographer in Las Vegas, or a fashion photographer in San Francisco may be of higher demand than if you were located in a small town lacking the clients needed to be viable. When you’ve decided on a focus you can practice techniques within that style – improving your skills in a specialized area will only help your business. However, don’t think that you have to restrict yourself to just one style or that you can only practice one style. Although it may be difficult to change styles between something like wedding and wildlife, that doesn’t mean that the skills you learn in one style will not assist with the other. Just keep in mind to not spread yourself too thin – potential clients may find it distracting if a photographer specializes in too many styles and they may look elsewhere where they can find a photographer specialized in the specific area they are interested in. You should find a style that you’re comfortable with and that you enjoy – don’t hesitate to try a few if you are beginning the process of deciding your focus.
What are your tips for defining a photography focus?