3 Money Mistakes Every Photography Business Must Avoid

Do you run a photography business? Do you want to run a photography business? Do you make a tiny amount of money on the side from your photography interests? Do you want to? If you answered yes to any of those questions then this is for you: three big money mistakes people make when it comes to photography and the business side of things.

When I first started out with photography, I had absolutely no intention of turning it into a money-making venture. It was all for the love and the adventure. Then a few of my images started getting noticed here and there and some friends asked me to do some shoots for them. All good because it was friends, until it came time for the cash transactions. All of my friends ran legitimate businesses, and as such, wanted to formally ratify our cash/service exchange in the form of official receipts and the like. I didn't have anything set up at the time and went on to lose a lot of potential work because I seemed like an amateur. In fact, I was, but it taught me that I needed to take my work more seriously, as well as the business side of things. But how can you?

That question brings us to this great video by Evan Ranft, in which he runs you through three big mistakes photography businesses — or potential businesses — make. I like the first one most because it discusses legitimizing your work and saving you money. How? By setting yourself up as a registered business with an LLC (different in other countries like Australia, which has an ABN). This brings a lot of opportunities to claim expenses like travel, gear, and driving, as long as you can relate them to photography in any way. There's a lot of other great advice so give the video a look and let me know your thoughts.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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