How to Start a Photography & Videography Business

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If you are a creative individual, having a good deal of business sense can help you become an entrepreneur. Owning a photography and videography business gives you creative control over your work. You don't need to answer to anyone else; you are in charge of finding and keeping clients. Talent is important to starting a photography and videography business. All the business sense in the world cannot improve the innate talent and technical skills that you have. Knowing that your skills are on a professional level is a hint that you are ready to begin your photography and videography business.

Things You'll Need

  • Photography equipment
  • Videography equipment
  • Website
  • Buy or rent professional equipment that provides quality results. The videography equipment you need might include an external microphone and lighting equipment. You should also look into buying editing software, including Final Cut Pro, Avid or Adobe Premiere. While any high definition camera might be OK, major productions may call for familiarity using a Red One camera. The Red One is a 10-pound camera with a 35mm lens mount that provides 4K, which means quality resolution. Major productions have been shot on the Red One, including director Peter Jackson's film "The Lovely Bones." Another camera that might be a good deal includes the Canon 5D, which has clear definition for photos and movies. It has 1080p recording abilities. Your photography equipment should include a professional camera and lighting equipment. You also need photo-editing software such as Photoshop. Using the lens that comes with the camera is not acceptable for professional shoots. You do not have to buy a $1,000 lens; you can typically rent them as needed.

  • Build a portfolio of the work that you and your company have completed. If you have a partner, use his videography work with yours to edit together a company reel. Do a few photo and video shoots for cheap if you are starting out. Getting your name out there is important; people hire you if you seem experienced. A bigger, higher quality portfolio typically correlates to a higher demand for your work.

  • Market your business. Having a website and business e-mail address is important. It allows people to see that you are a professional contact. Put links to your reel and Internet Movie Database account on it. Also, getting an advertisement in a local magazine might bring in clients who otherwise would not have found you. Keep a record of people who contact you and are seriously interested in hiring you. E-mail them and update them occasionally about major awards you win or large jobs you complete.

  • Network with ad agencies and any small business that might need a professional photo or video shoot. Perhaps offer to do entry level work for them as a photo assistant or production assistant. If they like you, show them your portfolio. You can also join The Ad Club to socialize with advertising professionals. Getting your name out there to professional clients is important. Individuals might hire you for single-day projects, including weddings and births. They may hire you again, although work from individuals may be scarce. Connecting with professional clients may bring in regular work if an ad agency or a small business needs commercials or print ads. Make sure that what they expect and need is clear before beginning any work. You want to keep a good reputation by delivering what people want.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only keep your best quality work in your portfolio. One bad photo or video can make someone not hire you.
  • Don't go into debt on equipment if you have no leads to get work. Getting your name out there can take a few years; you need to survive financially during that time.

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References

  • Photo Credit Camera man image by Imagenatural from Fotolia.com
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