Photography as a Hobby and How to Set Up a Photography Business
In most cases, photographers start off without knowing that they were performing an act that would later become their career. There is always a certain excitement that associates having a camera around or constantly being behind one. Being a shutter bug has for some time been seen as an artistic persuasion and men, hey, ladies love it. But that is neither here nor there.
Trust me, the art of photography is a wide and lucrative business if traded with caution.
In every business or any job, it doesn’t matter if it is your hobby or a job you just picked up, you must have passion for what you are doing. Photography is quite a demanding one; you have to present to the viewer an image that will impress. And, this goes without saying, it has to impress you too. You have to make photography your hobby whether you are in it for the paycheck or just for fun.
Most mistakes photographers do is venturing into the photography business without researching and enquiring about ways to start and grow their business. You can grow your photography hobby into a business that will pay your monthly bills and other expenses or even grow to a multi-million dollar company.
Here are some of the tips that might help you make your photography hobby into a profitable business.
Find your niche: A Jack of all trade is usually a master of none. In photography it is always advisable to be clear on what you are offering, whether it is wedding photography, landscape photography, portrait specialist, or newborn photography. Having a specialty gives the clients the confidentiality they need from you. It is always advisable to even include your photography niche into your brand name such as Antonio Newborn Photographs.
Build a portfolio: Your portfolio will be your selling point. Display the best images, the ones that you really love or ask for second opinions if you are not sure. Without the best in your portfolio, there will be nothing to show to your potential clients.
Set out your prices: Price listing is very important for your business, it’s where clients first land after getting impressed by your portfolio. While trying to set up your prices, try and be at par with other photographers in your niche or locality.
Brand and market yourself: Marketing yourself is very vital in the growth of your business. There are many ways that you can market yourself from advertising to referrals. While branding you need a name and marketing materials like business cards and a logo. It is always advisable that you set up your own website to make it easier for clients to access your portfolio and services.
Best Web Host for Photography Websites and Services to Look Out For
If you need to create a website for your photography business, it is always wise to first seek information that will help you choose efficiently. The web hosting service provider you choose is very essential in the running of your business. As of late, websites are making more money than actual physical offices. The website is your bridge to the rest of the world, this is the place you will showcase your photographs, meet new clients, and even transact on it. While setting up your website you will have to choose from different web hosting companies and various forms of web hosting. The various forms of web hosting are managed word press hosting, VPS, dedicated, and shared hosting.
Managed word press hosting: Although it may be expensive, it is one of the most renowned web hosts in the world and it caters to more than 32% of all the websites. In this option, you are only left with the work of site administration, as the web host has experts who take care of the technicality issues. You do not need to know the HTML coding to set up your website on these platforms.
Dedicated hosting: In Dedicated hosting, you pay the whole server for yourself. In this option, you will be left to do all that is required of the site by yourself. It is somehow good for you since you’ll have all the themes of your choice and space.
VPS: The virtual private server hosting is where you control your website from a shared server. It is cheaper compared to others.
Shared hosting: This is the most suitable option for beginners. This option is usually easy to use and affordable. And, as the name suggests, you will be using a shared server with other websites.
Photography Market and How to Generate Money through Online Photography
The internet is a wide global market with access to anything from any place in the world. When you go online, be sure that you are in the right market for your photography business. The internet as it is, is one of the easiest and ultimate ways to sell your photos. It gives you the required flexibility you require compared to an office layout. You can trade your photos while in Asia to a client who is in North America for instance. Therefore, an online transaction is a thing to adopt if you venture into website photography.
You may be wondering just how possible it is to sell photography online and cash in. Yes, there are many ways to earn through your photography website. Here are some of the examples:
Stock Photography Website:
This is ideal for any photographer whether you are a beginner or an expert. All you need to have is a collection of great images that you have taken and post them on your web site. Let the pictures do the work, the client who will be impressed will surely get back to you, then you earn. Stock photography works better if you have a good portfolio on your website, it speaks volumes about your work.
Blogging is one of the safest and easiest ways of making money through website photography. All you need to create is a website with great blog posts, mostly your photos or articles about photography. The more traffic you have on your website the more you will earn with the advertisement. Google ads are always there at around $ 300 per month if they advertise on your site.
These might not be familiar with many people, but there are many photography competitions online. Participating in them should be a priority, they give you the exposure needed as to what your fellow photographers are into. Winning a contest or just being in the runners up is a giver you’re the right avenue to create the reputation of a skilled photographer. The most commonly known competition is International photography awards, National Geographic photo contest and the Format picks monthly art contest.
7 Best Web Hosting For Photographers.
Bluehost: Overall Best Hosting for Photographers
Bluehost is an all-round best hosting site for photographers. Its basic account category provides you with a 50 GB storage for your site and photos. For a very reasonable price, you can automatically set up your website with less hustle. If you want to get your portfolio quickly on the internet and you do not want the WordPress services, Bluehost offers you a browser-based website that is easy for you and you can build faster. They also give you the opportunity for an upgrade in your account, you can upgrade to a plus plan which comes with extra special features. In the plus plan account, they call you to set up a business email using your domain name, and manage them through Microsoft office 365.
* Beginner friendly.
* An automatic WordPress set up.
* Reasonable pricing per plan.
HostGator Hosting for Photographers
HostGator is one of the hosting servers that offers you a great deal and the most reliable basic plan in the market called the ‘ Hatchling plan’. It is the second best hosting provider for photographers in this 2020 list.
This plan is very good for you as a starter. There is an instant WordPress installation, unlimited storage, comes with a free domain name for one year, and unmetered bandwidth. They also include e-commerce tools that will help you in selling. Although HostGator prices rise after the introductory period has expired, they offer you a 45-day money refund if you are not impressed by their services.
* Unlimited storage.
* Unmetered bandwidth.
* The ‘Hatchling’ plan.
* Ecommerce tools.
Inmotion is one of the most security-conscious web hoster in the market for photographers and third on our list. The company does not only boost its reliable servers but also incorporates an advanced security system, which includes malware protection and backups. These tools are very essential in keeping your website safe. However, its launch account plan does not offer you unlimited bandwidth unless you upgrade to a power plan. But all in all Inmotion hosting gives you the privilege of knowing how many visitors it can handle thus giving you the responsibility of choosing a plan that suits you. Inmotion also comes with a Bald Grid, which is a WYSIWYG editor that helps one in creating his own themes. And guess what, you get a 90-day money refund if you are not impressed by their services.
* Advanced security tools.
* Comes with a BaldGrid editor.
* A metered bandwidth.
GoDaddy is one of the best and easiest web hosts to use if you are a beginner for photographers and photo gallery web hosting. It has its own browser-based website building tools that will help you set up easily. There is also the one-click button for WordPress set up if you need their services.
GoDaddy Economy plan provides you with a 100GB storage, which can be increased if upgraded to their deluxe plan. Although they still give you the alternative of buying an extra drive space through their control panel. Its features also contain Microsoft Office 365 email and free domain name, which is free for the first year.
* One-click WordPress hosting.
* 100GB for starters.
* Customized plans.
* Free Microsoft 365 email.
Wix web hosting
Wix web hosting is one of the most straight forward platforms in the market designed specifically for photographers in mind. The company has many features customized to help you operate your site easily. Do you know that with only an email or a Facebook account, you can freely sign up for Wix? Thank me later.
Wix has made sure that your operations in your website are run from a hassle free environment. They offer you with thousands of templates which are broken down into categories, so as to fit every one of your desires. They also help you in choosing a domain name, at the same time helping you with SEO reporting. You also get to access Google ads which have a monthly payment of $ 300 if you let them advertise on your site.
- Availability of marketing tools.
- Over a thousand templates.
- Great speed.
Siteground Hosting for Photographers
Siteground is one of the few platforms that offer multiple hosting plans and you’ll find among the most appropriate for photography hosting. They include WordPress hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated servers. The company is said to host over two million domains. And, they even give clients their domain names and emails.
- Free email and a domain name.
- Cloud hosting.
- 10GB storage.
- Unmetered bandwidth.
Squarespace for Photography
Squarespace is the most ideal site for photographers. It is trusted by most photographers due to its graphics and customer service. Squarespace comes with plenty of customization options; more than any in the market. Unlike most platforms, Squarespace needs you to purchase a domain name and its storage and bandwidth are always determined by whatever plan you are in. They also require one to start and set up their website with them before hosting begins.
- Cool graphics
- Customized options
Examples of successful photography sites
The internet holds a wide selection of photography sites. If you are a starter or an expert you need to visit different platforms so as to learn and improve your skills. But for the beginners you have to be careful on what you see and learn. Too much uncontrolled information can cause confusion. We will be taking a look at some of the best performing photography websites.
Cambridge in color is a platform that offers learning lessons and tools to photographers online. They usually run online tutorials that give people the privilege of asking questions.
Digital camera world helps photographers find the best photography gear and gives tutorials on how to use them. They are also renowned for covering many aspects of image making ranging from photo editing to DSLRs.
Started in the 1854s this is definitely one of the oldest photography businesses. It is one of the sites that everyone should visit, there is much to learn from them.
Image Size to Upload On a Photography Websites
The size of an image determines the loading speed of your website. While selecting the image you want to post for your viewers, always put in mind your fan base. In recent days, most of the traffic for most websites is brought about by mobile phone users. This is the class of viewers that you should be really considering, they amount to over 70% of internet users. The recommended size of an image is between 1500 and 2500 pixels.
Free Image Hosting Websites
There are numerous sites that offer free image hosting. With an internet space that is growing daily, free image hosting is a must have for most people. If you are an aspiring upcoming photographer with no money or any income these free image hosts will help you in growing and getting exposure. These free image hosting sites are designed with special features that help you in photo editing or stock-piling to uploading your images. Here is a list of well-known free image hosting sites:
Photo Bucket (https://photobucket.com).
Best WordPress Themes for Photography Websites
There are two types of WordPress platforms, there is the WordPress.org and WordPress.com. While WordPress.com is a hosted platform with very limited options, WordPress.org is a hosting server with limitless customization features, with thousands of themes to offer. Some of the best themes are:
This theme allows you to set up a professional photography site using its special features. You do not need a developer for your site if you have this theme. Its special features include 9 thumbnail hover effects, over 70 designed galleries and portfolio templates and a 2 light box plugins.
DIVI is the most widely used Word press theme in the world. With it, you can create any type of website, it has a DIVI builder -features that allow one to create anything you can imagine off, by a simple drag and drop interface. It also offers you limitless customization, with other features such as custom CSS control, True visual Editing, Inline Text Editing, and Design options.