The Business of Photography

By Folake Cole
A number of people see photography as just taking pictures and keeping them for archival purposes, but it’s more than that – it definitely goes beyond just taking pictures. My own definition of photography is simple, I believe it is the art of capturing priceless moments – moments that cannot be caught twice but once in a lifetime, therefore it is expensive! Many Nigerians see photography as a mediocre kind of job, but it’s surprising now that photography is the “In Thing” and people make thousands of naira and even millions taking pictures.
Although, there’s one major thing you should have if you want to start a photography business – Passion! It is very important to have a passion for the art of photography. A photographer is not just someone who takes pictures; a photographer is an artist because he or she has to tell a story from every picture he or she takes.  Every work of art has a story behind it and should not be underestimated.
There are things one should know when starting up a photography business:
1. Explore Your Options: When I say this, I don’t mean to look for another other than photography; what I meant to say is, choose a specialisation. Choosing an area of specialisation in photography is one of the best ways to distinguish “yourself” from other photographers. You have to find an area of specialisation that you love and at the same time, are better in. You can start by learning about and also trying various types of photography like: Landscape photography, wedding photography, baby/child photography,  travel photography, portrait photography, fashion photography, food photography, commercial photography, and the list is endless. Once you get an area of specialisation, you can start working on giving yourself a brand.
2. Equip yourself, but don’t clutter yourself with equipment you don’t need: The problem some photographers have is that they just buy what they see someone else using or what they see online. They don’t carry out enough research on what kind of equipment they need for their particular area of specialisation. For example, a nature or landscape photographer doesn’t necessarily need a beauty dish for his pictures but he or she goes on to purchase it rather than investing money on a better range of wide-angled lens.
3. Get Professional Experience: Working alongside a professional photographer is a great way to show your prospective clients what you can do, and also to get some experience and start to build a portfolio of your own. You can work as a photographer’s assistant while starting your own business.
4. Choose a Business Name and Logo: You need to get a name for your business as well as creating a cool, unique logo that depicts you. If you can’t create a logo on your own, you can get professional help from a graphic designer.
“A brand is not just a logo, it’s the overall impression and experience you give to your audience and customers. Your brand expresses the value you provide. It’s YOU!” – Amy Locurto

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