25 Things You Need to Start a Photography Business

Equipment You Need to Start a Photography Business

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Looking to start a photography business? With so many outlets available for photographers these days, there won’t be a shortage of platforms where you can sell your images. First however, there’s some equipment you need to start a photography business.

Starting a photography business requires a wide set of skills and talent to make it work. If you are a photographer it means acquiring the skills for the operational side of the business and vice versa if you’re not a photographer.

Starting a Photography Business

It is important to note this is not a tutorial on how to start a photography business, instead it focuses on the equipment you need to start a photography business. But some of the tools also include the license, insurance, financial software and more required for establishing and running your photography business.

There are plenty of potential photography niches out there for small business owner. But no matter what you plan to actually photograph, there’s some essential equipment you need to start a photography business. Here a list to get your started.

Equipment You Need to Start a Photography Business

A Good Camera

The first piece of equipment you need to start a photography business is a good camera. There are plenty of options out there to consider. Some work better in certain situations than others, so you’ll want to do a lot of research on what models will work best for your particular niche.


A tripod is also an essential piece of equipment, since it can help you keep your camera steady and allow you to take many pictures of each subject without moving the camera around.

Camera Bag

When you’re transporting your camera from place to place, you need to make sure it’s protected. So invest in a good camera bag that you can use to keep your camera from getting broken or damaged.


Lighting is an essential element of any good photograph. And while natural lighting is usually preferred, you’ll also likely want to invest in some studio lighting for when there isn’t sufficient sunlight.


There are plenty of different lenses you can use to get different types of images on your camera. So it can be a good idea to invest in some different lenses to improve the quality of your photos.


Depending on what types of photos you plan on taking, you might find it necessary to purchase or create some backdrops that you can use for studio or portrait photographs.


It can also be a good idea to have a variety of different props on hand. The types of props you choose can depend on your niche. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you probably won’t want the same props that a pet photographer uses. But having a few different options can be a good idea.

Studio Space

You might also find it necessary to rent or purchase some studio space for your photography business, especially if you plan on having clients travel to you for photos.

Reliable Transportation

Alternatively, you might be more interested in starting a photography business where you travel to clients. In that case, you’ll need some reliable transportation in order to get to and from your shoots.

Smartphone with a Good Camera

While you aren’t likely to use a smartphone or mobile device as your main camera for your photography business, it can still be a good tool. Since social media can be a great tool for sharing photos and behind the scenes shots, it can be useful to have a smartphone that can take decent photos for those purposes.

Editing Software

Once you’ve taken your photos, you’ll also need a software program that lets you edit and fine-tune those images. Programs like Photoshop and Lightroom can be good investments for photographers.


That also means that you need a computer you can use to actually edit and store those digital photos.

Mobile Photography Apps

In addition, when you take photos on your mobile device, it can be helpful to download some photography apps that you can use to improve your mobile photos.

Social Media Channels

You should also sign up for some social media accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram so that you can share your photos and updates with potential customers.

Domain Name

A professional website can also be a helpful tool for a photography business. So purchase a domain name that fits with your business and branding.

Online Portfolio

It can also be beneficial to showcase your photography work on your website or in other locations online. So you’ll need to work to build up a portfolio of images over time.

Business Cards

When you go to jobs or interact with clients, business cards can be a great way to showcase your brand and give potential clients an easy way to get in touch.

Accounting Program

You’ll also need a way to manage and keep track of your finances. So you can invest in a professional accountant or accounting program.

Payment Platform

And you also need a way to collect payments from clients. So you can set up a payment system online or have a mobile payment platform to offer clients.

External Hard Drive

Digital photos can take up a lot of space on your computer. So it can be a good idea to invest in an external hard drive you can use to store all of those large files when not in use.

Business License

It may also be necessary to register your business with your local or state government. Look into any business licenses that might be required for photography businesses in your area.


In addition, you might consider purchasing some business insurance or a policy that protects your equipment in case it gets lost or damaged.

Client Contracts

When you get new clients, you’ll likely want to get them to sign a contract so both sides understand what is expected. You can create or find contract templates to use with each new client.

PPA Membership

The Professional Photographers of America is a group that provides resources to professional photographers like contract samples and industry data. You can pay to join in order to take advantage of those resources.

Photo Printer

When printing out proofs or marketing materials, you’ll want to make sure that your photos are high quality. So invest in a good photo printer that will make your images really stand out.

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

28 Reactions
  1. wrong, completely worthless advice. i built a six studio operation. you need marketing skills, and lots of shooting experience. you need tech skills, photoshop/lr and a work ethic were a 60 hour work week is your average. 1 day off each week. you need to spend less than you make. if you make money, then buy some insurance,

    • ^Joe chill out that’s not what they’re talking about here. They are talking about what material things you will need. Not necessarily experience and skills. I found this article extremely helpful, thank you.

  2. Well, i think this is the simplest guideline for a newbie to start business of photography. Although, along this he/she must have some experience of professional photography and ideas to capture different types of pictures which is also a mandatory requirement.

    But, to the extent of equipment it is great post and one can easily understand the requirements for starting this business. Thanks.

  3. Thank you very much, I found this helpful, much appreciated….


    Great advice for basic equipment needs. Thank you!

  5. Great list of tools, Annie!
    However not just an online website, but working on its SEO can be one of the best things for you photography business. Instead of depending on referral or word-of-mouth clients, you should leverage the power of SEO to get more clients to view and hire you for work.
    I’ve built my website on Pixpa, and they have separate SEO properties for each content item. It is a monotonous and time-consuming part, but the extensive growth in clients is worth every minute spent on it.

  6. I didn’t know that as a photographer you may need to purchase insurance. Photography would be an amazing thing for me to learn and I think I may want to try it. I have heard about beginner photography tours and I was thinking of finding one. Hopefully, I can do my research and find one that I will love and that will teach me so many valuable techniques.

  7. Thanks
    It’s really helpful

  8. Dankluvi Andrews Korsi

    Am very grateful because I thought photography was just a free work to do without any business license and insurance. I will like to learn more about photography and improve to get to the top, please help me out

  9. I think d advice is okay, your personality and drive you need to evolve, can’t purchase them.
    I want to do something extra and I feel photography is doable, minimal risk, limitless possibilities, thanks again.

  10. This is very true for starting a photography business. I also agree with you about this instrument. Whose that much important for beginner businessmen.

  11. nice article, trying to focus more than 60% on business finally.

  12. I think this is many effective tips to start a photography business properly. It is much helpful for beginners. Thank you very much to share with us.

  13. Without any doubt, equipment is an important issue for starting a photography business. First of all, you should need to select a good camera. Your one thing is being very effective near me. Like you’ll want to do a lot of research on what models will work best for your particular niche. I didn’t mention that another guide was valueless. But I think a good camera is much important to starting a photography business.

  14. Stephen H. Afakorzi

    One thing that makes a good photo is a good camera. Without it there’s no photography. Thanks a lot for this info. Im greatly helped. Im putting up a Photoshop and this is helpful to me

  15. Really informative and helpful tips! These tips have been of great benefit to my work. I would like to get something more modern from this site. Thanks For Sharing and Keep Up the Good Work.

  16. Am still in high school and I’m very serious about bing a good photographer and a good business man thanks for the courage and advise

  17. I think there are very effective tips for starting a professional photography business properly. Lighting is most important, cause lighting is the proper way to get attractive photography.

  18. Emmanuel Adzaklu

    Thank you very much for these information!

  19. Absolutely it is very informative content. If you want to be a good quality photographer, you must know these things. But skilled photographers don’t just have to have an idea about photography. They should also have a clear idea about photo retouching.
    Finally thanks for sharing this content.

  20. I’m a beginner photographer. So, it’s a very useful information for me. Thank you so much.

  21. I remembered when I was just starting, I only have my camera, tripod, and laptop. But when my business bloom, I start to buy the equipment one by one. Now, I have the needed equipment and it’s fulfilling.

  22. Thank you very much for the advice.

  23. Michelle Catapang

    Nice content! Very informative and well written. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  24. “This was very well written. I enjoyed reading it.
    Btw if you are ever looking for a photography studio for hire in Croydon, select LDN Creates. Our studio has all the equipment and amenities you need to you ensure a great session. Whether you’re shooting alone or with a group of people, we’ve got you covered.

  25. Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us. It’s really helpful and informative article.

No, Thank You