3 Steps To Transition From Hobby To Business

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Switching from hobby to business as a photographer can be daunting, especially if all you’ve done is treat this path as a hobby. This is one of the few reasons hobbyists do not make money in this craft. The photography business is valued at billions. There is still a market for photography. I do agree that video is taking over, but it’s definitely not taking photography out of the equation. They all have their purposes and photography will stand the test of time.

This article is for photographers who are struggling to switch from hobbyist to business. By the time you finish reading this piece, you will understand and know how to make the transition from hobbyist to a business.

A hobby is what you do when you’re free, anything you enjoy doing, and in this article, we’re looking at photography being your hobby. You only do photography when you’re free. There are some, a few who have their hobbies as their businesses, though I find this quite impossible, because once that hobby-business begins to pay the bills or brings in money, the hobby side of it is going to diminish, and what happens next is that you find another hobby and treat your hobby-business as a business.

A business is a profession or trade that makes you money, whilst a hobby is what you do when you’re free. That is the big difference. When we are in the hobby phase, wanting to transition to a business, we find it difficult to make the move. Maybe it’s the most difficult thing you’ll ever face in your career; putting a price on what you love.

I have been here, just like you are now. I loved photography so much that I thought putting a price on my work was making it feel unholy. It felt like I was making my pure work dirty. Charging a fee felt like a dirty thing to do, and it held me back for months.

  1. Be Present: What I mean is, you should choose a platform where you can share your work. A platform which agrees with the kind of photos you make. If the platform doesn’t agree with what you make, you’ll hardly make any money. This is like selling toffees in a neighborhood which has 90% of its population is diabetic. You say yes; you are present on the internet and social media, then this brings me to point number two. To be present is to be available. We can’t purchase what we cannot see.
  2. Sell Your Work: Many photographers are not good when it comes to selling. I say this all the time, selling is 50% confidence. The rest will follow. Cold Emailing, cold calls, approach people/businesses. You want to tell them what your photography can do for them and how your niche will support their profile, or business or their event. A business is not a business if nobody is buying. You’re always thinking about the customer. What’s in it for them?
  3. Understand how to price your product. I have a simple formula and this is what most businesses use without much thought because it’s a default. Revenue — Cost = Profit. It’s a simple formula.

What is revenue? It is the overall amount of money you charge a client for your service. Let’s say you charge a client GHS5000.00, as revenue. Keep this in mind.

What is cost? This is the money you had to spend to produce photos for a client. So, let’s say your cost is GHS2,500.00. I’m just making these numbers up.

What is profit? Profit is what you get after you subtract cost from revenue. And in this instance, your profit will be GHS2,500.00.

Understanding money and pricing is essential to the growth of a business. If you do not, you will not make money and you’ll be back to ground zero, and fail to transition from hobby to business. You’ll get paid, but you’ll not have enough to run a business.

In the end, transitioning from hobby to business is about confidence.

It was confidence that made me make the transition and it will be what will help you make that transition. Have some confidence, and make the transition. Don’t overthink the future. Do what needs to be done today. Make the switch.

I hope this helped. I’m Clement Eastwood, a photographer and an author who has made it his mission to educate photographers. Tap on this link to have access to my books on photography. And here’s a link to my podcast.



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