The picturesque state of Florida is home to a highly competitive field for professional photographers. And if you hope to make it in this business, you need to have a sound plan that’s based on your realistic capabilities, resources, and goals. If you are looking to start a photography business here in Florida we can help. This brings us to our first big tip.
Start Developing a Long-Term Business Strategy
The heart of this business strategy is what you want to achieve as a private photography studio or practice. As the The Balance details in its photography business guide, the first thing you need to figure out is what type of services you’re willing to offer. Weddings, bat and bar mitzvahs, real estate or product brochures, and fashion spreads are just some of the most common and in-demand jobs you can expect to shoot here in Florida.
While you might want to take on every job that lands your way, your ability to deliver will also depend on the cameras and auxiliary equipment you have – and your budget for acquiring new equipment. Apart from those costs, you’ll also need to factor in the costs of renting your studio or workspace, traveling, supplies, wages, and other business expenses. And from there, you can start figuring out how much you need to charge for certain jobs in order to have a significant profit at the end of the fiscal year.
Register as a Limited Liability Company
While there are advantages to the simplicity of being a sole proprietor, registering as an official company gives your business a certain level of legitimacy in the eyes of potential clients. And in terms of the legal business structure that arguably best suits the needs of photographers, often the best choice is to form a limited liability company (LLC). In a guide to starting a photography business by ZenBusiness, it explains how an LLC formation is a relatively affordable way of gaining liability protection, which sole proprietorship doesn’t provide. This protects your personal assets from being seized for any debts or liabilities your business may incur. The guidelines for creating this type of company differs from state-to-state. So note that if you are forming an LLC in Florida it is required to maintain an active status with the Department of State. This costs $138.75.
Develop Your Professional Network
No photographer is an island, especially not in Florida where many veteran photographers live and make their careers. And although you should rightly consider other photographers as part of the local competition, this doesn’t mean that you should keep them away. Developing professional relationships with other photographers and studios can help you scale your business in different ways.
Apart from sharing possible job leads and connecting each other with clients, simply being around photographers who know what they’re doing is a good way to constantly pick up practical photography as well as business lessons. Most veterans are more than willing to show the ropes to any new and budding photographers in the game. For instance, this Wedding Photography Timeline Guide by us details everything you need to know about efficiently shooting wedding events throughout the big day. Resources like this will come especially in handy when you’re venturing into jobs that you have little to zero experience with. Networking will also help you in terms of pricing for jobs and acquiring secondhand gear.
Starting any kind of business can be difficult. But if you know how to network, choose your business structure carefully, and develop a realistic long-term photography business plan, you’re on the way to success here in Florida.