The average annual salary for a freelance photographer in the U.S. is in the region of $57,000.
That’s not at all bad, especially when you consider that photographers often have the chance to see the world while doing what they love best.
Many photographers work on a freelance basis, because they often do contract work on specific projects. If you are ambitious and willing to work to build a good client base, you can earn considerably more than average – all while enjoying the freedom of dancing to the beat of your own drum.
Determining The Market for your Home Photography Business
Specializing in one market is key if you are to establish a reputation in the photography industry and fill up your client booking sheet.
If you live in an area with a thriving fashion industry, for instance, and have an interest in that world, you could attend networking events and fairs focusing on fashion. Or, if your city or town is the kind of place with a luxury real estate sector, you could hone your home photography skills by attending showhouse openings, and try to land meetings with directors of local real estate agencies.
The boom in real estate digital marketing and direct online buys means that there’s a huge market for crisp, well lit, professional looking photos. Perhaps you could be the one to bring out the beauty and create the required ambience to help homes sell?
Sub-Categorizing Your Speciality
Let’s say, for example, that you do decide to specialize in real estate. It’s worth thinking of other needs that buyers or agencies may have. In addition to contacting real estate agents, you could consider visiting interior design firms as well. As noted by CanvasPop, large-scale wall photographs can really enhance a specific ambience, be it modern or classic in spirit.
You could think about working alongside designers on the interior design of the homes you are photographing. This would give you a supplementary service (or “upsell”) to offer, in addition to simply photographing completed homes.
Investing In A Home Studio
Even if you mainly conduct your work outdoors, having a home studio or office for your home photography business is beneficial. This allows you to attend to clients and show off your work in a professional environment.
A simple yet ample space for photography sessions also ensures that if clients need still photographs, you won’t need to hire out studio space for this purpose.
Having a dedicated studio fulfils an additional purpose too: it allows you to show off your work on a large scale. You can print out a few of your most lauded works and frame them, so that visiting clients immediately recognise your skill and capabilities. Make sure your interiors are neat and modern. Your business premises are an important part of making a first impression, and studies show you only have a few seconds to do so. The design of your studio should reflect your style – right down to the furniture, décor pieces and the lighting.
If you are selling work to high end clients, you need to attend to them in a space that matches their expectations.
Don’t Forget Your Digital Branding and Marketing
All businesses need a sound digital marketing strategy if they are to survive in online-dominated markets. A home photography business is no different.
Marketing yourself as a quality photographer should begin with branding. You may decide to rely on a qualified marketing professional. Many offer to provide a ‘starter package,’ including things like logo creation, website design, and social media profile setup. Another thing you may well wish to consider is buying in some assistance with online advertising, such as Google Adwords.
Obviously you can do these kind of things yourself, for example by using WordPress to build a portfolio website, and DesignEvo for your logo. However, it could prove a better decision to spend the time creating photographs that let your camera skills shine. It will depend a lot on your individual budget and expertise in the other areas.
Don’t forget the local media either, when it comes to marketing. Strong connections with local publications and radio stations could potentially gain you some free coverage of your business – especially if you have an interesting story to tell or are happy to cover an event for free.
To recap, make sure you do the following if you plan to establish a home photography business:
- Decide on a speciality,
- Think of some additional services you could offer to make your business truly unique.
- Ensure you have a dedicated space to show off your work, and that this space reflects the kind of target client you aim to pick up.
- Consider whether to create your own branding or to outsource this to a professional.
- Develop a plan for online marketing, but don’t dismiss local opportunities in the process.
If you aim high with a home photography business, it could just be a matter of time before you’re adding a prestige real estate firm or a fashion house to your client roster!
If you’re a photographer looking for other income streams, this article discusses selling photos online.