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How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business

by Owen E. Richason IV

1. Estimate start-up costs. Price cameras, lights, tripods, props, background canvasses, light meters and digital photography software. If necessary, apply for a loan — you can get a small business micro loan through an approved Small Business Administration lender. Micro loans are under $35,000 and repayable over six years. As an alternative, borrow the money from your retirement account or a friend.

2. Structure your home-based photography business. Form a sole proprietorship, registering your business' fictitious name, if you use one, with the state or county clerk. Also, apply for a state ID number from your state's department of revenue.

3. Purchase insurance for your home-based photography business. Contact a local licensed insurance agent and ask what

products you should have as coverage; he will likely recommend liability insurance because clients will be visiting your home.

4. Determine your pricing. Examine other local photographers' rates by visiting their websites, and price your rates competitively. You can also contact newspapers and magazines to ask what the going freelance rate is to help you price your services.

5. Market your home-based photography business. Create and publish a website and distribute flyers to local schools, churches and clubs. Also, distribute literature to local professional offices, as many businesses hang photos of owners and managers in their offices. In addition, create social networking profiles and send out updates and special promotion announcements. Use your website to publish your portfolio and link any new work to your social network profiles.

Category: Home business

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