Starting a Business

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mammarazzi, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. mammarazzi

    mammarazzi TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone know of any sites that could help me with starting my own photography business. It's just somthing I'm thinking about. I need help with finding out what type of equipment I would need and also all the legal stuff that may go along with it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    I'm not going to be mean. But I can tell you now, that EVERYONE is going to flame you lol.

    I would suggest starting by figuring out what camera you want to buy. You can look up reviews all over the internet.

    Then you would need to buy lighting and glass.

    Stick around here for a while and you will figure it out.
     
  3. mammarazzi

    mammarazzi TPF Noob!

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    I already have the basics I am just curious mostly about the legal end of it such as copyrights and such.
     
  4. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Get a solicitor to draw up your contracts, they charge a small fee for that sort of thing. They will pay for themselves many times over
     
  5. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Contact a local Small Business Association, they can be invaluable!
    You will need to register as an LLC, S-Corp, or Inc.
    You will also need insurance, both for your gear, and your protection.

    There is more invovled than you may think. I am going through it right now.
    My shop should be open in a week and a half if everything continues to go as planned. It is exciting and frustrating, and I wish you luck.
     
  6. Tee_bird

    Tee_bird TPF Noob!

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    Congratulations!


    I'm sure it's a lot of work, but as Bitter Jeweler mentioned, it would be a great idea to contact your local Small Business Association.

    I think the equipment you need would depend on what type of shooting you'll be doing.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are many resourses to help small businesses get started. Many of them will be local to you. You may want to call your local city/county government to find out the process for starting a business in that jurisdiction.

    As for equipment, you will need to give us more info before we can offer any useful suggestions. Although, this is one of those things where typically, if you have to ask...you're not ready.
     
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Running a business and being proficient at photography are two completely different things.

    An excellent photographer may not necessarily know how to start up or operate a business... So this could certainly be a legitimate question. However, you're asking what equipment you would need to buy, this indicates that you don't have the photography part nailed down yet. You'd be better off to get that part taken care of before you dive into running your own business. I'm a business owner(non-photography related) and I can tell you that it's quite a bit of work... You really don't want to be doing that AND learning how to take proper photos at the same time.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Bitter Jewler left out the simplest type of business to set-up, a Sole Proprietorship.

    Another good free business guidance resource beyond the SBA www.sba.gov is SCORE www.score.org . California may well have a comparable state agency.

    Start with your city and county web sites to discover what their requirements for business licensing are. Then check the state web site to find out how to get set up for collecting sales tax. You might be able to cover all the bases with a visit to the city or county clerks office.

    Copyright law is Federal law, so visit www.copyright.org and read thru their FAQ's.

    As mentioned you'll need business liability insurance. Once you start a business a homeowners policy will no longer cover your photography gear against theft or damage. You may need to get the business liability insurance before you can get the busines license. You're in CA after all.

    You'll need all the legal paperwork necessary for providing a service to the public, like contracts, model releases (requirements vary by state), property releases (requirements vary by state), invoices, etc.

    You'll also need a way to do accounting and producing the accounting documentation the IRS requires you always maintain in case they want to discuss your business expenses and income tax deductions.

    As mentioned, running a phototgaphy business is way more about having business skills than photographic skills.
     
  10. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Look into how to run a small business as well, if you haven't already. There are many things that need to be done to be successful. One, as mentionned, is maintaining proper books. You also have to have business plans, not just gear and legal stuff covered. Marketing and promotions is huge for a photographer. Just sitting there waiting for someone usually doesn't work.
     
  11. mammarazzi

    mammarazzi TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! I'm deffinately new to photography and this isn't somthing I want to rush into. I plan on taking my time. I was just curious as to what it took to do it. Ya'll have been a big help!
     
  12. thenikonguy

    thenikonguy TPF Noob!

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    if your still new to photography, I would focus on learning photography first.. then, once you've got it well under your belt, you can look at the business side.. with things like photography, I've always been a believer, that when it comes to gear, if you don't know what you need to buy to run a business, your probably not ready...

    its 1 thing for an amateur to ask "what kind of light should I get" or "what kind of camera should I get" but, when someone who is running a business, says to me "I'm wondering what camera i should buy" it makes me think they don't know what they are doing.. so learn your gear, learn the ins and outs of how to take quality photos.. THEN once you have this, dive in, and get going

    thats my thought.. but, I'm the bastard who created this thread:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...gallery/173871-buy-camera-start-business.html
     

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