From Hobby to Jobby: 3 Steps to Making Photography Your Full-Time Gig

Making Photography Your Full-Time Gig


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Answer this: Would love to take your side gig doing photography to the next level and turn it into your full-time job?

But maybe you can’t yet make that leap—for a variety of reasons. You’re not bringing in enough money from it to support yourself. You’re worried about the business aspects of legalities and paying taxes. You don’t know what products to sell.

There are plenty of questions that keep photographers like you in part-time limbo.

That’s why I want to help you take your hobby and turn it into a thriving business that helps you live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Now, making this transition is no small feat. It takes some serious dedication. But if you can complete these initial three steps, you’re on the right track to become a full time photographer.

Step one: Study the Numbers.

You need to know if you can financially swing it for the long term before jumping in with both feet—and that means crunching some numbers and setting aside some savings.

Why? You have to have a certain amount of security that will help you pay your bills and put gas in your car when you’re just getting started.

Business builds over time when you become a full time photographer, so those first six months might be a little tight—you want to be sure you have at least enough saved up to cover your living expenses for that long.

Step two: Create a Business Plan.

If you want to be successful, you’ll need to do the legwork required of any business owner who’s just starting out: You’ll need to create a business plan.

This means:

  • Defining your competitive edge
  • Conducting market research
  • Building out a marketing strategy
  • Creating an annual budget

And really, this is just the beginning.

Why? Without these core elements, you’ll constantly be stressed out and running around with no direction. Your business plan will be your guiding light throughout the course of the year when you become a full time photographer.

Step 3: Build your Brand Identity.

Taking the time to establish a clear brand identity is also extremely important.

Your brand is so much more than a business card—it’s the representation of you and your work. You should take the time to strategically plan your:

  • Portfolio
  • Style
  • Identity
  • Website

Why? Because all of these work together to build your brand, establish trust and professionalism with your clients, and ensure consistency across all aspects of your business.

Expert Guidance on How to Become a Full Time Photographer

Sure, these three steps are a great starting place that will get your mental wheels turning. But don’t you want something a little more specific? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone who’s done it and built a profitable photography business who could help you through the process and all the details, step-by-step?

Well you’re in luck.  I wrote a book all about the business model I follow to run one of America’s most profitable portrait photography businesses. Over 21,000 photographers have read it and it was even featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. For a limited time, you can snag a free copy here.

What are you waiting for?

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