Capturing the best moments of somebody’s life is an incredibly satisfying feeling. As a photographer, you’re helping somebody create moments that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
However, the business side can be a struggle at times.
Finding the best books on starting a photography business can help you on your quest in going solo as a photographer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a portrait specialist, event photographer, or anything else in-between.
If you’re looking for a quick book to read, Fast Track Photographer is a good place to start.
Our picks for the best books on starting a photography business
Along with the book mentioned before, below are our book suggestions.
Fast Track Photographer (by Dane Sanders)
The author of this book, Dane Sanders, is a professional wedding photographer. In his book ‘Fast Track Photographer’ he talks about life as a photographer and starting your own studio.
The book also guides you through the outline of the process for a successful startup.
Dane brings up an interesting term, which is ‘digi-flat world,’ stating that the world is becoming more ‘flat’ with the advancement of technology.
He thinks this holds true with photography as well, meaning that nowadays almost anyone can enter and have a shot at starting a photography business.
You’ll also find a test called pDNA in his book, which explains your photographer personality trait and gives you practical insights based on your results.
The book mainly targets photographers who are just starting out. But practically it can benefit a much larger audience.
Make sure to check out ‘The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan’ which is like a companion book offered by Dane that focuses on the ‘execution’ of the business plan that will generate your success.
You can find Fast Track Photographer here
The Photographer’s Market Guide to Building Your Photography Business (by Vik Orenstein)
This guide is amazing for amateurs seeking a friendly overview of the photography business.
It’s particularly useful if you’re in the early stages of deciding whether or not to become a professional photographer.
Vik shows us the ups and downs of beginning our own business and what to expect throughout the whole process, providing helpful tips and techniques.
However, there’s one thing I wanted to be different in the book and that’s the colors of the photographs, which are all in black and white.
A splash of color wouldn’t have hurt.
Anyway, Vik often focuses a lot on opening a studio as the best business plan, which is very useful if someone is interested in that field. But for those who are not, this might be annoying at times.
Turns out that there’s more to a photography business than just shooting photos!
Check this book here
Best Business Practices for Photographers 1st and 2nd Editions (by John Harrington)
The 1st edition of this book is for any photographer who wants to learn about getting into business in photography. Usually, photographers going pro make their biggest mistakes in the business and legal aspects and not in photography skills.
Harrington starts off his book with the idea that you’re a business and you better start acting like one.
He teaches you everything from planning, logistics of a shoot, financial and recruits considerations to pricing your work and understanding copyright issues.
One of the greatest things about this book is that there are several chapters that discuss contracts.
Note: Harrington offers actual contracts and things he uses in his own business. They are great tangible real-life examples of how things work.
The 2nd edition of this book is the foundation of all the things you need to know as a photographer.
The book highlights how to handle your contracts, how to approach licensing, and how to deal with the modern electronic copyright filing system.
Which, is all crazy important these days.
Anyone interested in licensing their photos and starting a business and photography should take a look at this book and make the most out of it.
You can find the 1st edition here, and the 2nd edition here.
Legal Handbook for Photographers (by Bert Krages)
If you don’t like reading about law and all the legal do’s and don’ts, this book might sound like watching paint dry.
But honestly, this book by Bert Krages might actually be your life-saver. It’s just great!
And it’s definitely targeted at the photographers who are about to enter the business domain.
Krages gives you the basic legal information you need to know. He does this in a simple, explanatory and helpful way, all collected in one place.
He talks about the precautions you need to take and the legal issues you need to take care of.
This book provides guidance and clears out some misconceptions that you might have regarding your rights, your privacy, and how to protect both.
Krages also warns against the things that you share. You need to ensure that your work will be safe from any copyright infringement. All these topics have examples attached to them to give a thorough dose of information.
Note: As with any legal advice in a book, it is general, so make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Get your copy of Legal Handbook for Photographers right here
Photographer’s Guide for Marketing and Self-Promotion (by Maria Piscopo)
The 4th edition of Maria Piscopo’s ‘Photographer’s Guide for Marketing and Self-Promotion’ is the updated version of Piscopo’s great book about the photographer’s business marketing strategies.
Since we’re living in the social media era, Piscopo leveled-up her game by including contemporary marketing platforms and practices like online marketing to increase clients and income.
In this edition, Piscopo advises young photographers to be active in the business industry. Along with tips to promote and market their work and make the best use of their passion for photography.
This book will teach you how to:
- Create an effective portfolio
- Formulate a smart business plan
- Identify the customer market
- Plan a budget
- Deal with legal and ethical issues
- Much more…
You’ll find some answers on how to know what your clients want and how to manage your time to achieve your goals in the photography business.
The book consists of six sections, covering topics like the internet and social media marketing, sales and selling, preparation and planning in advance, portfolio and self-promotion, and actual writing of your business marketing plan.
Finally, Piscopo offers 22 case studies in various genres of photography. These case studies increase this book valuable for all types of photographers.
In addition, the book has good quality images available for clear illustrations.
Check out Piscopo’s book right here
There are plenty of things to learn when starting a photography business. Finding the right information is key to your success.
I’m sure you’ll find a lot of great info in the mentioned books.