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Starting a Photography Business – How Much Does It Cost?

Do you want to know exactly how much it cost to start a photography business? If YES, here is a detailed cost analysis for starting a photography studio and raising finance.

If you read through this article, you will be able to get a clearer picture of the amount needed to start your own photography business in your country. The total cost of starting a photography business is not restricted to just the amount required to purchase the needed cameras and other photography accessories; but also the amount needed to register the business, and setup a studio, amongst other things.

Now let us consider the things / area that you would need to spend money on when you want to start your own photography business and the estimated amount you are likely going to spend on them;

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Photography Business?

The cost of starting a photography business depends on the kind of equipment to be used in starting the business, and If you intend starting from home or a rented facility. The prices for the equipment to be used are both fixed and varied depending on your taste.

This means that if you are going for big brand names, you might probably spend more than one who goes for equipment with a lesser know brand. Also, if you are buying your equipment new, the price would be different from one who is buying equipment off a retiring photographer or fairly used equipment.

The detailed cost analysis for anyone intending to launch their own photography business in the United States is listed below:

A Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting a Photography Business

1. The Fee for Registering a Business and Obtaining the Necessary Insurance

It is advisable to follow due process if you want to start and build a world class photography business. Following due process means that you should choose a name for the business, and get the business legally registered with the corporate affairs commission of your country.

In the US, the amount required for registering a new business varies from state to state. but on the average you should prepare to pay about 125 USD. You are also required to purchase insurance and that should cost you about 600 USD annually. Which brings the total cost at 725 USD.

2. The Amount Needed to Rent a Facility and To Setup a Studio

When planning and budgeting for your photography business, one of the areas that you are likely going to spend a large chunk of your startup capital on is in renting or leasing a facility for your studio. This cost also varies from city to city, as well as from country to country. However on the average; you should budget about 1,500 USD per year for rent and also 500 USD or more for setting up the studio. Total cost should come to about 2,000 USD.

3. The Cost of 2 or more Standard Cameras

Your major working tool as a photographer is a camera. You should look at purchasing two or more standard cameras. If you intend purchasing just two cameras to start with, then it is advisable to buy one Nikon D7100 for 1,200 USD and one Nikon D610 for 2,000 USD.

The Nikon D7100 is highly suitable for portrait, whilst the Nikon D610 is the perfect camera for covering events like weddings, parties, amongst others. In total, the cost of 2 cameras comes to 1,200 USD + 2,000 USD = 3,200 USD.

4. The Cost of Good Camera Lenses

Normally, the lenses that come with new cameras are not pro – level lenses. That is the reason why you should make plans to purchase at least 2 different lenses for 2 different cameras. It is recommended that you purchase Nikon 35mm f/2.0 for 350USD, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 for 300 USD (for portrait cameras) and Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens for 500 USD. The total amount you should budget for camera lenses in all is 1,150 USD.

5. The Cost of Computer, Software and Computer Accessories

Of course, you would need a durable computer for your photography business; you can visit online stores to sample the prices of computers and its accessories. I will recommend that you purchase a 21 Inches iMac computer and this will cost you about 1,300 USD.

You would also need a backup hard drive whose price is 85USD. There is also the need for a Photoshop software for treating pictures (119 USD annually). The total cost for computer, software and hard drive will be 1,300 USD + 85 USD + 119 USD = 1,504 USD.

6. The Cost of Launching a Website

Without a shadow of doubt; it is important to have a strong online presence if indeed you intend building a world class photography business. In view of that, you should budget about 500 USD for your official website. Please note that you would be required to pay an annual fee of 72 USD for the yearly hosting of your domain name.

7. Additional Expenditure

It is important to make provision for promoting your new photography business. You would be required to print your business card, print handbills / fliers and book advert placements in both print and electronic media. The amount you are expected to spend on this is dependent on how big you anticipate to launch out. On the average, you should budget about 500 USD for promoting your photography business.

A Brief Summary of What It Cost to Start a Photography Business

  • Business Registration would cost $500
  • Camera would cost at least $500
  • Lens would cost at least $250
  • Backdrops and Lighting would cost at least $250
  • Other gear would cost at least $100
  • Computer System would cost at least $1500
  • Software would cost $200
  • Professional Photography Business Website would cost at least $500
  • Insurance, permits and licenses would cost $1,500
  • Leasing an office facility with space for studio will cost $15,000
  • Business Cards, Signage and Miscellaneous will cost $500

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies, you will need an average of $10,000 to $28,000USD to start a small scale photography business in the United States of America. Do bear in mind that the location you chose to start your photography business also influences the total cost of starting the business. Therefore, it could be more or less.

If you want to start a medium scale photography business in the United States, you would need nothing less than $50,000USD. And if your intention is to start a large scale photography business in the United States of America, then you should look towards raising well over $100,000USD as your start – up capital.

Financing Your Photography Business

Financing a business refers to the money one needs to create a situation that will produce revenue. This is where terms like ‘seed money’ and ‘venture capital’ have a meaning – startup capital – for any entrepreneur photographer that intends to start out. However, before beginning to spend or look for money, it is essential that you write out a business plan.

A business plan is a document that covers all aspects of a business owner’s needs and intentions. Investors will always want to see a business plan. However, unless you are looking towards revolutionizing the photography industry, you probably would not need angel investors or investment capitalists because they would most likely require huge returns than you as an individual photographer might be capable of offering.

There are several financing options available to an entrepreneur photographer, and they include:

  • Crowdfunding
  • American Express Small Business Credit Card
  • Grants
  • Borrowing from friends and family
  • Raising money from personal savings
  • Small Business Loans
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