The 5 Most Important Things You Need for a Successful Photography Business

By Caitlinn Ramsden (The Ramsdens), Wedding Photographer

1. A kick-ass portfolio  

There is no working around this.  There is no secret sauce or short cut.  You MUST have a portfolio that speaks for itself.  Something so amazing, it cannot be ignored.

2. Charging the right amount

Making sure you are charging the right amount to be truly profitable.  Many people think they have it made in the shade, but they have not looked at their real numbers.  There are a few factors that go into this. 

Time: (You must think about the amount of time you spend on each client between correspondence, shooting, cull, editing, etc)

Expenses: (Equipment, software, hosting, travel, etc)

Taxes: (Since I live in NY, literally ⅓ of my income goes straight to the state and the federal government.)  

I could go on and on about charging, etc.

3. Discipline

Owning a photography business is NOT easy.  It takes grit, guts, determination, and a LOT of hard work.  It will not happen on its own.  Be prepared to work hard, and work a lot.  You need the self-discipline to get your work done in a timely manner.  Clients don’t want to wait 6+ months to receive their images, and they shouldn’t have to.

4. Confidence  

It is important as the professional, to own the shoot.  You must be confident in your abilities from start to finish.  This does not mean you need to be able to fire off amazing poses endlessly, it is okay to settle and let your mind work.  The difference is having confidence in your methods, techniques, and abilities.

5. Kindness and positivity

I am a huge believer in the universe and putting out the energy you want to receive.  Having a positive outlook and treating people with kindness can truly go such a long way.  This does not mean let people walk all over you, but treat others as you want to be treated.  With that being said...onto a bonus suggestion…

Bonus tip: Knowing when to say no

Saying “Yes” to people when they ask you to discount your services, sends a message to the universe to send more discount seekers your way.  Saying “no” to a shoot you don’t want to do, is not being rude.  Sometimes saying “NO” is the best thing you can do to value and protect yourself.  Valuing yourself is one of THE most important things you can do for your business.

Caitlinn Ramsden is a successful wedding photographer and educator based in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Visit her website to see her work and information on her workshops.