Starting a Photography Business While in School
I currently am a full-time student at University of Central Florida and also running a photography business. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I have to admit, it is stressful sometimes. I decided I would write some important tips for those who wish to do the same
First, let me tell you a little about what I am doing in school. I am majoring in photography and minoring in Journalism. My schedule load looks a little like 4-5 classes a semester. This means constantly turning in and working on assignments, projects, papers, and helping classmates out because we are all a community. Most of us are in the same boat.
My first tip would be
PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN
I not only have a booking planner online, but also physical planner. I also have an ongoing document on the desktop on my laptop of the things I need to get done that week. This helps me not over book with clients and stay on top of my schoolwork load.
So, if you are in school and thinking about starting your photography business, learn to organize. It will save you and reduce stress!
When school is in session, I plan sessions on certain days during certain hours. Learn to treat it as if it was a job where you have a schedule every week. You won’t get as overwhelmed doing this and you can keep your delivery time to clients at a reasonable time. During breaks and holidays, book on up!!
Something that is becoming more and more important is social media. When you keep up posting you can definitely tell the difference in your booking and your following. I found that putting a few minutes aside during the beginning of the week to draft a post, it saves so much time!
2.. Find your people
I mentioned earlier about helping other people out, and this is so important. Surrounding yourself with people that will help you, will take so much stress off of you, even if it’s just an encouraging word. Have people that can help you when you take on too much stuff.
Photography can be a competitive field and it is easy to get frustrated. You have to remember that this is a community. Help other photographers out! Not every client has the same vision as you and that is okay. Having a community around you can take that competitive feeling and reduce it.
3. Find a mentor
Another thing that kind of goes along with what I just said, is find a mentor, someone that has been where you were and can give you great advice. I have a few mentors I can call up or have coffee with when I'm overwhelmed or need advice.
Mentors are out there you just have to network!
4. Take a moment for yourself
School can drain you no matter what you’re studying. When studying photography, you can be overwhelmed with so many photography projects that it feels like you do not have time to work on your own stuff, or even want to. One thing that helps, is to take some time for yourself. Whether that’s reading one chapter of a book you’ve been wanting to get to or having a cup of tea.
If you have been wanting to start your business, you just have to take the first step and do it. If you do the research on starting a business correctly, schedule, build a community, find a mentor, and take time to rest, stress will be reduced.
You’ve got this!