A professional photographer was the only person who would do photography a few years back. To have a studio with some pictures demonstrated was inevitable. However, over some time, the scenario has changed. Today, to be in the photography business, it’s not necessary to be a full-time photographer or invest in a studio. Anyone with a deep interest and knack for photography can become a successful photographer.
Change in the role of Photographer
In the past when you talk of photographers or photography, what comes to mind first, is wedding photography. Yes, most of us saw professional photographers only during weddings. Two men, one of them is carrying a camera and the other holding flashlights and managing wires. They were generally people from very simple backgrounds, shabbily dressed, and used to be guided by the client on which moments to capture. After a month of the event, a huge wedding album would follow. The unedited pictures become part of lifetime memories over which family and friends laugh, every time they see it.
Today when you talk about photography, what comes to mind is – a team of men, who guide you through an event and make it as fancy and special as possible. Photographers take over the whole event, be it a baby shower, birthday, wedding or a funeral. A couple of days after the event, soft copies of the beautifully edited pictures will be sent across to you. You would find it difficult to believe that you looked so remarkably perfect on the day of the event.
As the role of the photographer has changed, so have the costs of the photography business. In this article, I would take you through some of the basic costs associated with the photography business.
Investment in high-end cameras and accessories
Technological advancements and innovation have resulted in an array of high-end cameras and accessories to choose from. In India, you get a DSLR camera starting from a range of Rs 34000/-. A professional photographer should go for a high configuration camera for better clarity and lighting options. Along with the camera, one needs to invest in essential photographic equipment like lenses, flashlights, backdrops, etc. A budget of Rs 200000 – Rs 300000 is fair enough for the photography camera and the accessories.
Professional Photography Courses
There is a range of photography courses available for budding and professional photographers. The course durations range from 3 months to 3 years. Depending upon your time and willingness to invest, you can choose a course and pursue it. This gives a professional touch to your photography. In the field of photography, the competition is quite tough. By taking up such courses and specializing in some aspects of photography, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Cost of the courses ranges from Rs 15000 – Rs 400000.
After clicking the pictures, it becomes important to edit them to get the best output. This requires investment in a good computer system, backup hard drives, screen calibrators, and software. It requires maximum 10000 to 150000 Rs,
Registering the Business
Many people pursue photography as a side income earning business or as a hobby. Such people may not find it necessary to register their business. But if you are looking at grabbing real good opportunities, it is advisable to register your photography business and go by all the necessary legal formalities. Such businesses will look more trustworthy and professional from the client’s point of view. Initially, you can start with a Limited Liability Partnership. This can be continued till the time the annual revenue crosses Rs 40 lakhs. Registration and related expenses can be managed within Rs 15000.
In today’s world where digital marketing is on a high, the best way to market your photography business is to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Some good samples of different categories of photography like – maternity photography, newborn photography, fashion photography, wedding photography, real estate photography, etc., can be displayed and that would help in attracting clients. It would also be worthy of investing in a good, professionally developed website. The investment is social media pages, and the website will help you to do away with the cost of setting up a photo studio.
Depending upon the level of photography services offered by the photographer, the person can decide the investment in each of the above costs. One interesting thing about all the above costs is that most of these are one-time costs. Only marketing costs will be an ongoing cost. In a way, you can say that the ‘Cost of photography business’ is what attracts a lot of people towards the photography business.