Today’s post is inspired by my road so far being a self-employed photographer and some conversations with others, who consider transitioning from their day job to be a full-time photographer.
I have to say this is not easy. It took me some years to learn from all my possible mistakes and work out a system that actually works for me and not the other way around. And on top of everything, last year I completely re-launched my business as a result of realizing what I really want to do with photography and taking a whole different direction. This relaunch was however a lot better than the actual starting of my business, with all the uncertainties, researching, building up a best practice. With all my experience the first few years as a self-employed gave me made this process more focused and enjoyable.
For those who are wondering whether or not to change careers and start their own business, here are my 5 most important learnings.
1. Know your options
Possibly where you live there are several forms of business you can consider. Find out all the pros and cons of all and pick what suits you best! Also be informed about your country’s laws and tax system. If you have these basics covered, everything will be more easy!
2. Get a good accountant
Sure, in Finland if you have the most basic form of business, in theory doing your own accounting is not too complicated, but a good accountant will keep you on track, and know about all the related laws and regulations. Possibly they will also do your accounting much better, and on the long term a good accountant will save you money.
3. Have your own work flow
There is a funny pie chart how a photographer’s life is only filled with taking photos, partying like a rockstar and traveling to exotic locations. I wish! Unfortunately there is a lot more to it, so make sure you have a workflow established of setting up the sessions, editing, delivering, blogging, everything! Just do it, trust me.
4. Have a good contract and use it
This should go without saying. There are too many horror stories about client relationships gone bad because of missing and faulty contracts. Just check out the LawTog for more.
5. Back up your work
This should be each photographer’s religion. Get that external hard drive today! Sticking to this practice saved my skin more than once.
If you liked this post, just leave me a comment below and let me know what you want to hear about more!