The Essential Costs of Starting & Running a Photography Business

photography business startup cost

Starting a photography business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the costs involved in order to make your business as successful as possible. This article will explore the essential costs of starting and running a photography business. We will also provide tips on how to keep these costs as low as possible. So, whether you’re just getting started in the photography business or you’ve been shooting professionally for a while, this article will give you the information you need to keep your business running smoothly and cost-effectively.


What Are Some of the Essential Costs of Starting and Running a Photography Business?

There are a few essential costs that are necessary for starting and running a photography business. These include:

A camera: This is an obvious cost, but it’s important to remember that not all cameras are created equal. If you’re serious about starting a photography business, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality camera that will produce professional-grade photos. Here are some popular examples:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens – $500-$600.
  • Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR – $650-$750.
  • Sony a6000 Mirrorless Digitial Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD – $850-$950.

A computer and editing software: In addition to a camera, you’ll also need a computer and editing software in your photography business to edit your photos and create a professional-looking portfolio. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are two popular choices among professional photographers.

  • Adobe Photoshop – $9.99/month
  • Adobe Lightroom – $9.99/month
  • Pixlr (best for beginners) – $15/month

Business cards and marketing materials: Once you have your camera and editing software set up, you’ll need to start thinking about marketing your business. Business cards and other marketing materials are a great way to get your name and contact information out there. You can usually have these printed at a local print shop or online.

  • Vistaprint – 500 Standard Business Cards for $9.99 + shipping
  • MOO – 50 Luxe Business Cards for $37.00 + shipping

A website: In today’s digital world, your photography business must have an online presence. A website is a great way to showcase your work, list your services, and attract new clients. You can create a professional website yourself using a platform like WordPress or Wix, or you can hire a web designer to do it for you.

  • WordPress – $5-15/month
  • Wix – $10-11/month

Web hosting: In order to have a website, you may need to purchase web hosting. This is a monthly fee that allows your website to be accessible online.

  • Bluehost – $2.95/month
  • HostGator – $9.99/month

These are just a few of the essential costs of starting and running a photography business. Of course, there are other costs that you may incur as well, such as renting studio space or hiring assistants. However, these are the essential costs that you’ll need to include in your budget when starting your photography business.


How Can You Keep These Costs as Low as Possible?

If you’re worried about the cost of starting and running a photography business, there are a few ways that you can keep these costs to a minimum. Here are a few tips:

Start with the basics: When you’re first getting started, it’s important to resist the urge to buy all the latest and greatest gear. Stick to the basics until you have a better idea of what you need and what you can live without. You can always upgrade later as your business grows.

Shop around: Don’t just buy the first camera or computer that you see. Shop around and compare prices to get the best deal.

Borrow or rent gear: If you’re not ready to invest in your own gear, see if you can borrow or rent gear from a friend or family member. This can be a great way to get started without breaking the bank.

Look for discounts: Many businesses offer discounts to students or professional photographers. Be sure to ask about any promotions that may be available to you.


What Are Some Other Cost-Saving Tips?

In addition to the cost-saving tips already mentioned, here are a few more ideas for saving money when starting and running your photography business:

Barter your services: If you’re just starting, you may not have much money to invest in your business. One way to get around this is to offer your services in exchange for goods or services that you need. For example, you could trade your photography services for free rent at a studio space.

Work with other vendors: If you’re just starting out, partnering with other vendors in the wedding industry can be a great way to save money. Many vendors are happy to recommend photographers to their clients, and you may be able to get discounts on services or products that you need.

Join a professional organization: Joining a professional organization like the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) can help save money on insurance, education, and other business expenses.



Starting a photography business can be expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down. By shopping around, borrowing or renting gear, and taking advantage of discounts, you can start your business without breaking the bank. 

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