How to Start a Photography Business in Nigeria
Start a Photography Business – With the introduction of digital photography, the photography business in Nigeria has become one of the most lucrative businesses today and is relatively easy to start.
Though it is easier than ever to get your hands on a camera and start taking pictures, but becoming a successful photographer requires time and effort. There are many different aspects to the photography industry, from portraits photography to weddings and commercial and stock photography. Some parts of the industry are relatively easy to enter while others take experience and training.
The photography business can be extremely demanding in terms of work hours but very rewarding. So if you are passionate about taking photos and you are okay with a bit of unpredictability, it may be the perfect industry for you. Here are 15 Things you should know to help you start a Photography Business:
- Find the best photography course or workshops that work for you.
If you are going to invest in a photography course/workshop do some serious research first.
- Find out who the teachers are. Are they industry professionals that are going to be teaching you relevant styles and techniques that will suit your personality and photography?
- Who are their ex-students? What do they say about their teachers? Do they have successful careers?
- There are free photography courses and tutorial on the internet. Use them!
- Get as much experience in the industry as you can
Volunteer to work for as many different photography businesses as you can, both big and small – commercial product photographers, car photographers, and fashion, wedding photographers, etc. This way, you will learn valuable skills that will help set you up and faster too.
When you are looking to volunteer, it’s often easier to offer your services on a daily basis or weekends or even nights rather than trying to find someone who will commit to a long-term apprenticeship.
- Practice Practice Practice!
Do you know that it takes 10,000 hours of practice or work to become a master in any skill of your choice? So if you spend about 3 hours a day practicing and editing photos you will become a professional at it in 10 years. Am not saying you should wait another 10 years before going out there to get jobs oh. All am saying is you should practice the art as often as you can. Practice makes perfect. There are no magic formulas or short cuts, just good old plain hard work. Do not be afraid to make mistakes as you will learn from them. Seek constructive criticism and learn from it
- Work and Study if you have to
Having a full time or part time job while learning and building your photography business is a great idea. It gives you something positive to do and earn money while you are waiting for your first big break and it also removes the “desperate feeling around you. Nobody wants to hire someone that gives the impression of being desperate. It makes them wonder if you are credible.
- Startup Capital
N150, 000 will get you started. A good SLR Camera (N80, 000 +) and laptop with a high RAM (N70, 000) is all you need for a start. The idea is that you take photographs in occasions, edit them on your laptop and process at a digital lab operator. Do not be discouraged if you don’t have enough funds to set up a studio yet. Through hard work and diligence, you will get there in no time.
- The Market Target
The market is HUGE! People want to keep in touch with those good old memories; weddings, naming ceremonies, burials, political campaigns, conferences/seminars, parties, religious activities etc. I advise that you should do all and every occasion that you can lay your hands on, in time you can specialize in a niche or two.
- Dress to impress
If you want people to take you seriously then you should take your appearance seriously. Gone are the days photographers look like they were chased by a pack of dogs. You are a part of the fashion industry friend, look your part!
- Ensure that your customers are always satisfied. Even if it means taking several pictures in order to get one perfect photo.
- Be funny and friendlier. Customers expect their photographers to be able to make them smile.
- Learn photo editing and Makeup. If you make your customers look better in their pictures through photo editing, they will always come back to you. Buy photo editing softwares and learn.
- Advertise your business. Make sure you give your business card to a client after you have delivered a good job. Brochures, flyers, word of mouth and the internet are good ways of advertising your business. You will be surprised where people will say they got your number from.
- Be ready to attend occasions uninvited. That is one of the major ways to get new clients. Get an identification card for yourself. An identity card makes you look official but it does not guarantee you won’t get thrown out.
- Deliver before deadlines.
- Keep your hard drives safe.
- Be up to date. Be in tune with what is happening in the photography industry and change with the times. Make friends with other photographers!
You will never be 100% ready. There will always be something missing. Just start and things will begin to fall into place. Start Today!