Just because you own camera doesn’t mean you are a photographer. If you want to become a professional photographer there are several things you need to do to stand out and above the rest of the photography crowd.

photography business startup tips
"Happy World Photography Day" - image by Steve Evans / Flickr

Before you start your photography business, go over some steps before you begin:

Decide what kind of photographer: Before you get started you need to have clear direction on what you want from your photography business. Do you want to make money or make people happy? There are tons of questions you need to ask yourself. Will you be strictly an artist or photograph corporate events or weddings?

Define your style: Once you have decided what kind of photographer you want to be, making sure you define your style. Anyone can shoot a pretty picture. Are you going to be creative in your angles, shoot in film, and have a vintage style? Decide your style that will define you and your business.

Get the equipment: Here comes the expensive part. Cameras are not cheap. Decide what camera is best for your business and buy two. Always carry a backup camera when you are on shoots. You never know when you may need it. Consider camera bags, lighting equipment, different lenses and cleaners.

Make a brand and presence: Now you need to get your photos and name out there. Create a brand that is unforgettable and reliable and get online. Build a blog, Twitter account and Facebook fan page. Update often and interact with your fans. The more you blog, tweet and update, the more people will see your name.

Build a portfolio: Here comes the fun part. Put all of your great work into one place online and in a book. You want those interested in your work to be able to find your masterpiece’s in one place. Get together about 30 of your best shots into a portfolio. Make sure you have put in several different pieces so that people can see that you have variation. This is a good time to shoot family and friends for free to build your portfolio.

Go places: Any time there is an open exhibit or chance to exhibit your things, do it. If you are interested in wedding photography, sign up for Bridal Shows. You will be surprised at how many weddings you can book in one day. This part takes time, you need to research your local city for any shows going on and get out there.

Get the proper paperwork: You are planning on this being your full time job and money maker be sure all your paperwork is in order. When photographing you need to have your models sign a form stating they are okay with the images being posted and used for different purposes, on websites and etc. Get insurance! There are many different national photography organizations that you can join that will help you through this paperwork process and getting you up to date on things.

Now get out there and start shooting! There are many photographers out there and in order to make it you need to stick to your talent and be true to yourself. Good luck, have fun and say cheese!

About the Author: This blog post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger, editor & an experience holder of nanny housekeeper. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @ gmail.com.