A guide to the right photography business to set up

Surely after having spent some time combining your current job and your love of photography, you may have reached a point where you are considering taking the plunge and becoming a professional photographer and for this the first thing you have to think about is which photography business to set up? Because yes, after thinking about it a lot, you have it clear and you want to create a photography business and leave that job that doesn’t suit you to dedicate yourself completely to your great vocation.

Congratulations! At Arcadina we know that the beginnings can be a bit dizzying. That is why we have created for you this small 6-step guide to know which photography business to set up that will help you take your first steps as a professional photographer. Because at Arcadina we want you to advance in your career as a photographer with determination and a firm step.


Find out once and for all which photography business to set up thanks to this Arcadina guide.

Why is it important for you to think about which photography business to set up?


Although you have already taken the most important step, and that is to take the bull by the horns and start this new journey as a photographer, it is also important that you stop for a minute and think carefully about which photography business to set up. Because it’s all very well that you want to take the plunge but before you jump into the void, it is important that you think and study in depth a series of questions that will make your new photography business a success or a real failure.

Bear in mind that 20% of the businesses that open close in the first year, and around 50% of those that survive, do not make it to 5 years. These devastating figures are due, among other things, to the lack of planning on the part of entrepreneurs. And since we at Arcadina want your photography business to last for many, many years, we are going to share with you a small guide that will help you to correctly define what you want to set up and where you want to direct your new photography business.

Steps to find out what kind of photography business you want to set up


If you are reading this article it is clear that you want to take the plunge and find out which photography business to set up in order to make a living from what you really like. This is a very important decision in your life that you have to meditate and study before taking it, but with enthusiasm and good planning you can achieve it.

When it comes to defining how to change jobs, let’s start from the assumption that you already have a good education and some experience. Without these 2 points well established, we recommend that you don’t rush into changing jobs too quickly, but once you have sufficient knowledge in the field and with the help of these 6 steps, becoming a professional photographer will be easier than you think. Let’s take a quick look at what steps you can take:

  • Study and assess what kind of speciality you want to work in and what the clients in that sector are like.
  • Depending on the type of photographer you want to be, you will need to have specific equipment and tools to work with. This will be the next step in your career to become a great professional photographer.
  • Start creating your brand identity (logos, fonts, colours, style of photography, etc.) that will eventually make you recognisable as soon as they see one of your publications.
  • Before you start reporting, research how you can get clients and what kind of rates will be most appropriate for your type of client.
  • Create a professional photography page where you can show how you work, what your style is, sell photo shoots, images, etc.
  • Offer your services. Promote yourself in all possible media and look for recurring clients.

1# Define your speciality and type of customer

To take the plunge and become a professional photographer, you may start by trying out several different specialties, our recommendation is that you stop for a second, study each of them separately and, at first, focus on just one. With time and experience you can gradually expand your photography business and add new services, but in the beginning it is much better to focus all your efforts on one type of photography.

When deciding on the type of reportage you want to do, it is also important that you take into account the clients, because it is not the same to work with a wedding couple as with a businessman who is organising an event. This type of aspect is also important to take into account.

And to help you make this decision, we are going to share with you some recommendations from different specialisations.

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2# Get the right photographic equipment for your specialisation

In order to become a professional photographer, you will have to invest a good amount of money in getting all the professional equipment that is necessary to do this kind of work. But regardless of the type of photography you want to do, there will be a series of materials that will be common to all specialisations, let’s look at some of them.


It is recommended that you have at least one or two professional SLR cameras in your possession for photo shoots.


At first you may choose to buy a more versatile lens, such as a prime lens or a standard zoom lens that allows you to capture different types of photographs. But over time, depending on your specialisation, you will have to expand the type of lenses.


If you’re shooting studio or outdoor photography with long waits, such as sports, night, or wildlife photography, having a tripod among your gear will help you keep your camera steady and get much sharper, more professional images.


In many of the specialisations, such as studio photography, real estate reports, books, etc., you will also have to use the help of a flash or external lighting at certain times if you are in the studio, so this material will be essential to take good photographs.

Memory cards

It is recommended that you have several high-capacity, good quality memory cards in use so that you don’t get stuck in the middle of a photo session. And before you buy them, make sure they are compatible with your camera.

Batteries and chargers

This is another essential when working on a photo shoot, especially on location where you won’t have the rest of your equipment at hand. Having a number of extra batteries already charged during a shoot is the number 1 rule of every professional photographer.

Computer and editing software

This part of your business is also important to take care of. You need to have a powerful, high quality computer that can handle the editing programs you will need to install, and it also needs to be responsive to the backlog of queued tasks.

Equipment rucksack

If you are going to be shooting on location, such as wedding, sports or nature photography, you will need to carry some of this equipment safely. Make sure your bag or backpack is padded and designed to carry this type of equipment.

This would be the basic material for almost any type of reportage, but when acquiring all the equipment, bear in mind that you will also have to have a series of extra material, props, sets, etc. that will be specific to each type of photographic session.

At this point, it may also be interesting for you to consider whether you want to open a photography studio or not. Here is a very interesting article on the subject.

>> Keys to creating a profitable photo studio

3# Start creating your brand and visual identity

When setting up your photography business it is important that you begin to shape your personal brand and there are a number of decisions you will need to make:

  • Brand name: choose a name that is easy to remember, unique and representative of your specialisation. And before you get attached to it, make sure it is available on your domain and on social media.
  • Logo: create a logo that reflects the personality of your brand and what you want to be remembered for. Here are some ideas to inspire you.
  • Typeface and colour palette: depending on your target audience, you can choose a more classic or modern typeface, as well as the colour palette that you want to represent your photography business.
  • Visual style: in addition to the typeface and colours, your photography style has to convey your own brand, so it is important that you pay attention to the type of photos you publish on your website. Make sure they all follow the same style.
  • Written language: the same applies when expressing yourself in any medium, whether it is your website, a blog post, a video, email or social media. Always strive for clear and professional communication that reinforces your brand and appeals to your target audience.

Below we are going to share with you a couple of very interesting articles that will help you shape your personal brand.

>> Creative naming: discover the best names for photography studios

>> How to create the perfect logo for a photographer?

4# Create a business plan and a dossier with information about your photo shoots

When setting up a photography business, it is important that you have some financial control, especially at the beginning where expenses will be higher and income much lower. Therefore, it is important to define very well the number of expenses you are going to have in the first months until your photography business starts running. This can be a small guide to follow:

  • Purchase of photographic material.
  • Rental of the photo studio and supplies.
  • Creation of a photography website.
  • Business advertising expenses.
  • Hiring an accountant to keep your accounts.
  • Etc.

Another very important point to take into account at this point is to define your prices very well. To do this, make a survey of your competition, both what they charge photographers who are already benchmarks and those who are at a similar point to yours. Here our recommendation is that you do not lower your prices too much, we know that the beginnings are hard but offering your services below the minimum rates does not benefit anyone, not even you.

Nor is it advisable that at the beginning, especially when you don’t have the experience of the big names, you match your rates to the photographers who are already benchmarks in your sector. Look for a middle ground and little by little, as you take on more work, you will see how you can gradually raise your rates.

And for the business to start working, it is important that you also establish a marketing and advertising plan, that is, that you plan all the actions that you will have to carry out in the coming months to get customers. Here are some ideas.

>> Boost your business with digital marketing for photographers

5# Create a professional photography website

Once you have established your speciality, prepared your equipment, started to create your personal brand and have all your packs well defined, the next step to take is to create a digital business where you can showcase everything you can do, i.e. a professional photography website.

Moreover, with Arcadina, you will be able to turn this website into a powerful digital business where you will be able to carry out a series of very interesting actions, such as, for example:

  • Create private galleries for your customers to: view, select, download and purchase their images.
  • Set up an online shop where you can sell photographs, professional prints and photography products.
  • Have an online booking page (Booking) so that clients can book and pay for any of the photo shoots you have for sale.
  • Include Artificial Intelligence in your galleries so that customers can search for your images more quickly.
  • Activate Arcadina Labs’ special formats so that customers can place their own orders for professional prints.
  • And many more options.

These are just some of the possibilities you can have with us. In the following video tutorial Felix Mezcua (CEO of Arcadina) explains how to take those first steps with us, because, in case you didn’t know, with Arcadina you can create a website and see our system from the inside totally free for 14 days.

6# Create synergies and a strong customer base

Once you know what photography business to set up, you have everything ready and your business is up and running, you can add to your marketing strategy a series of extra actions that will help you to promote yourself and get more clients. To do this, attending events related to your speciality or organised especially for the photographers’ sector will help you open more doors than you might think.

At these events, always take advertising flyers to hand out to attendees where it is clear who you are, what you do, what your website is and how they can contact you. You can also attract customers by running special promotions, such as, for example:

  • Give 1 free photograph if they come to your studio.
  • Create sweepstakes on Instagram to get people to share your posts.
  • Look for partnerships with other professionals, e.g. a wedding dress atelier, a baby clothes shop, a toy shop, etc.
  • Etc.

The important thing here is to move around a lot so that you can make yourself known as much as possible and always have your camera ready to shoot.

At Arcadina we help you create your digital photography studio


Once you have the foundations of your photography business well established, your website has to become, not only an advertising poster of your services on the Internet, but also another working tool that allows you to save time with your clients, offers the necessary information so that any future client can solve their doubts and, in short, makes life easier for you and your client.

As we told you just a moment ago, at Arcadina we have a series of business solutions that have been designed exclusively to benefit photography businesses and today we would like to present them to you in a little more detail.

Professional photography website with integrated blog

Thanks to Arcadina’s websites you will be able to show your photography portfolio in a professional and practical way, you will have a space where you will be able to explain your services, introduce yourself and collect information and questions from your potential customers. In addition, thanks to the blog fully integrated into your website, you will have the possibility of improving your positioning on the Internet as you write articles.

Booking calendar for clients to book their photo shoots

Once interested people have had a look at all your information, if they like what they have seen, they will want to make a booking. Thanks to the Booking service, forget about having to make several communications with the client to arrange a date that suits you both. With this booking system, the client enters the photo session that most interests him/her, chooses the day and time that best suits him/her and makes the payment for the booking.

You will be notified of this operation and the session will be added to the calendar in your management panel.

Private customer galleries to submit your images and do further business

Client galleries are a very powerful tool that will not only allow you to send images to your clients in a professional way, but also to do more business with them thanks to the multiple options they offer you. Here are some of them:

  • Multimedia galleries so that clients can view the photos of their session through a photo slideshow.
  • Selection of images to be able to make the photo album or simply retouch only those photographs.
  • Download customer images directly from your website.
  • Sale of photographs through a private gallery.
  • Option to create a multiple gallery so that the customer can perform several actions, such as select, download and buy.
  • Etc.

Online shop to sell your photos 24/7

If you take photos, for example: of your latest trips, urban or even sports competitions, with the online shop you will have the possibility to offer them for sale to anyone who wants to publicly. This option of selling your photos directly through your website can provide you with a very interesting extra income.

In addition, following the example of sporting competitions, for this type of mass events, offering attendees a system in which they can buy their photos easily through your website will be a great success.

Arcadina integrations that will make your life easier

At Arcadina we not only offer you these services but we also launch and improve from time to time a series of complementary services or integrations. Some of the most interesting ones are:

  • Possibility of activating Artificial Intelligence in your sales galleries so that customers can search your images through face and text recognition (for example, a participant’s bib number).
  • Instant messaging service on the web with WhatsApp Business.
  • Direct connection to Lightroom.
  • Galleries directly connected to Instagram posts.
  • Sale of professional prints with more exclusive formats (Arcadina Labs).
  • Etc.

If you still don’t know all the possibilities that our exclusive business solutions for photographers give you, we encourage you to try them for free for 14 days.

Now you have all the steps to know which photography business to set up

When deciding which photography business to set up, it is important that you create a plan of action and stick to it little by little.

  • First of all, get some training and experience to strengthen your decision to become a professional photographer.
  • Study the different specialisations you can pursue and choose the one you like best. And don’t forget to look at the profile of your ideal client and check that you will be comfortable working with them.
  • Create a list of all the material you will need depending on the speciality you choose and get everything you need to start working.
  • Define your personal brand and make a list of all the visual elements you will need.
  • Research in order to establish your rates and packs within your dossiers.
  • Create a photography website with business opportunities to turn your dream into a reality.
  • Go to the market, offer your services and gradually build up a solid and long-lasting client portfolio.

At Arcadina we do everything we can to help you create the digital photography business you’ve always dreamed of. Try it free for 14 days.

On this occasion we would like to share with you the origins and extensive experience of one of our ambassadors, Joan Vendrell.

>> Meet Joan Vendrell, the new ambassador of Arcadina

And to say goodbye for today we would like to ask you a question about which photography business to set up. Which of these 6 steps are you currently in? We’ll read you in the comments.


Arcadina goes with you

Fulfil your dreams and develop your career with us. We offer you to try our web service free for 14 days. And with no commitment of permanence.

Arcadina is much more than a website, it is business solutions for photographers.

If you have any queries, our Customer Service Team is always ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We listen to you.

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