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5 Tips for Organising Your Photography Business

Marianne Stenger
10th March 2017

Photographers are usually artists first and foremost, so even if you feel confident in your ability to produce high quality images, it’ll still take some time for you to wrap your head around all the other things that are necessary in order to run a successful photography business.

Aside from the usual aspects of running a business such as budgeting and marketing, photographers must also deal with everything from identifying a niche to managing their workflow and building a strong portfolio. So if you’re preparing to make the switch from hobbyist to professional photographer, here are a few tips for getting organised. 

1. Choose a specialty

Although there are probably numerous types of photography you enjoy and are good at, it’s important to choose a niche. Focusing on one specialty will help you brand yourself and become more visible to potential clients in that market, whereas dabbling in everything from wedding to architectural photography may prevent you from really standing out in any one area.

With this in mind, rather than accepting every photography job that comes your way, decide what you’d like to specialise in and then work on developing your style and finding jobs in that area, whether it’s food photography, portraiture or fashion. 

2. Create a dedicated work space

When you’re just starting out, you may not have the budget to rent your own studio, but it’s still important to have a dedicated workspace. Even if it’s just a spare room in your home, having a defined workspace that’s free of clutter and away from the bustle of your home will help you draw a clear line between your personal and professional life.

Make sure you have a functional desk and enough space to keep your gear organised together in one place, but keep it streamlined by avoiding too much clutter and unnecessary furniture. 

3. Automate your communication

Once things really get going, you’ll be sharing information and photos on social media, responding to client emails and possibly even writing up blog posts, so if you can find ways to automate some of this it will make your life a lot easier.

For starters, make sure you set up an email signature so that every email you send out from your work address will, at the very least, include your name, website and phone number. Another thing you can do is create a few standardized email responses for various situations such as pricing info and payment reminders. Of course, you’ll have to adjust these slightly for each person you’re contacting, but having all the important information written down and ready to send can save you a lot of time in the long run.

You can also use apps like Buffer.com or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts days or even weeks in advance and share them simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.  

4. Create a client database

In the early days of your photography business it’s usually easy to remember your clients by name as well as what was agreed upon with each one, but once you’re working for numerous different clients this will become more difficult. One way to keep track of all this information and have more meaningful and personal interactions with each client is to create a client database.

There are lots of programs that can help you do this, including Salesforce, Insightly and even Google Contacts. In addition to the client’s name and contact information, you can add helpful details about when and where you worked with them, their likes and dislikes or what products they ordered. 

5. Look for ways to add value

In addition to offering your clients photo prints, you can add value by providing them with the option of ordering additional products such as wall art, photo books, calendars and photo cards.

For instance, if you’ve photographed someone’s wedding, they might be interested in ordering a photo book from you with some of the best shots, or if a client has done a family photo shoot with you, they might like to turn one of the photos into a poster or photo card.

It's an opportunity to increase revenue from your shoot, plus there is also a good chance that your clients will end up showing these products to their friends and family, so it’s great publicity for your photography business.

And don't forget to enquire about an industry discount with your supplier. Bob Books offers professional photographers 15% off. You can apply for your pro discount here.