How to Start a Successful Photography Business with No Prior Experience: A Step-by-Step Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


Define Your Photography Niche

Invest in Quality Equipment

Build a Professional Website

Master the Art of Marketing

Develop a Strong Portfolio

Create a Business Plan

Network with Industry Professionals

Starting a photography business with no prior experience might seem daunting, but it's entirely possible. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of building your photography business from the ground up. Even if you're new to the game, following these steps will help you create a successful business that stands out from the competition. So, let's jump right into how to start a photography business with no experience!

Define Your Photography Niche

Before you can start your photography business, you need to decide on the specific niche that you want to focus on. Choosing a niche will help you stand out and target a specific audience. Here are some popular niches to consider:

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is all about capturing the special moments of couples on their big day. This niche can be quite rewarding, both financially and emotionally. However, it also requires excellent people skills, as you'll be working closely with clients during a highly emotional time. To succeed in wedding photography, you should:

  • Develop a unique style that sets you apart from other photographers.
  • Be comfortable working under pressure and tight deadlines.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest wedding trends and photography techniques.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography focuses on capturing the essence of individuals, families, or groups. This niche allows you to be more creative and experiment with different styles, lighting, and posing techniques. To excel in portrait photography, you should:

  • Have a solid understanding of lighting and composition.
  • Be skilled at directing and posing subjects to create flattering images.
  • Invest in high-quality backdrops and props to enhance your photos.

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography involves taking photographs for businesses to use in marketing materials, such as websites, social media, and print advertisements. This niche offers a wide variety of opportunities, from product photography to architectural photography. To thrive in commercial photography, you should:

  • Be well-versed in various photography styles to cater to different clients' needs.
  • Understand the importance of branding and how to create images that align with a company's vision.
  • Network with industry professionals and attend industry events to stay informed about trends and opportunities.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different niches, you can choose the one that best aligns with your interests and skills. With a clear focus, you're one step closer to starting a photography business with no experience.

Invest in Quality Equipment

Having the right equipment is crucial for creating high-quality images that will impress your clients. While you don't need to start with the most expensive gear, investing in quality equipment is essential for building a successful photography business. Here are some highly regarded camera options to consider:

Canon EOS R6

The Canon EOS R6 is a versatile, full-frame mirrorless camera that offers excellent image quality and performance. Its features include:

  • 20.1-megapixel sensor for crisp, detailed images.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system for fast and accurate autofocus.
  • Up to 12 fps continuous shooting with mechanical shutter, or 20 fps with the electronic shutter.

With its advanced capabilities, the Canon EOS R6 is a solid choice for photographers looking to start a photography business with no experience.

Nikon Z6 II

The Nikon Z6 II is another excellent full-frame mirrorless camera that delivers stunning image quality and reliable performance. Its key features include:

  • 24.5-megapixel sensor for high-resolution images.
  • Fast and precise autofocus system with 273 focus points.
  • Up to 14 fps continuous shooting for capturing fast-paced action.

The Nikon Z6 II's impressive specs make it a great option for photographers looking to start a photography business with no experience.

Sony A7 III

The Sony A7 III is a popular full-frame mirrorless camera known for its exceptional image quality and advanced features. Some of its notable features are:

  • 24.2-megapixel sensor for stunning image quality.
  • 693-point autofocus system for quick and accurate focusing.
  • Up to 10 fps continuous shooting for capturing fast-moving subjects.

With its impressive performance, the Sony A7 III is an excellent choice for those starting a photography business with no experience.

Remember, investing in quality equipment doesn't just mean purchasing a good camera. You'll also need lenses, a tripod, lighting equipment, and accessories such as memory cards and camera bags. As your skills and business grow, you can continue to upgrade and expand your gear collection.

Build a Professional Website

Having a professional website is a must for showcasing your work and attracting clients. A well-designed website not only displays your portfolio but also demonstrates your professionalism and dedication to your craft. Here are some popular platforms to help you create a stunning website:


Squarespace is a user-friendly website builder that offers beautiful, customizable templates specifically designed for photographers. Some of its key features include:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality for easy website creation.
  • Responsive designs that look great on any device.
  • Built-in SEO tools to help your site rank higher in search results.

With its intuitive interface and visually appealing templates, Squarespace is a great option for photographers starting a business with no experience.


Wix is another popular website builder that provides a wide range of design options and features for photographers. Its main features include:

  • Customizable templates tailored for photography websites.
  • Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) for creating a unique site with minimal effort.
  • Integrated marketing tools to help promote your business.

Wix's versatility and ease of use make it an excellent choice for those looking to start a photography business with no experience.


WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform that powers millions of websites, including many photography sites. Some of its key features are:

  • Thousands of themes and plugins for endless customization options.
  • SEO-friendly structure to help your site rank well in search engines.
  • Large community support for troubleshooting and advice.

While WordPress may have a steeper learning curve compared to other website builders, its extensive features and customization options make it a popular choice for photographers starting a business with no experience.

Regardless of the platform you choose, make sure your website is easy to navigate, contains high-quality images, and provides clear information about your services and contact details. A professional website is essential for showcasing your talent and convincing potential clients to hire you for their photography needs.

Master the Art of Marketing

Once you have a professional website up and running, it's time to promote your photography business. Since you're starting with no experience, effective marketing strategies are crucial for getting your name out there and attracting clients. Let's explore some popular marketing methods:

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are perfect for showcasing your photography work and connecting with potential clients. Here's how to make the most of social media marketing:

  • Post high-quality, eye-catching images regularly to engage your audience.
  • Use relevant hashtags and location tags to increase your visibility.
  • Interact with your followers by responding to comments and messages.

By actively maintaining your social media presence, you can build a strong online following and attract clients who are interested in your photography services.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another effective way to promote your photography business and stay in touch with potential clients. Consider implementing these email marketing strategies:

  • Create a newsletter to share updates, promotions, and recent work with your subscribers.
  • Offer exclusive discounts or special offers to encourage new clients to book your services.
  • Segment your email list based on client interests, location, or past bookings to send targeted messages.

Email marketing helps you build a relationship with your audience and can lead to repeat business and referrals from satisfied clients.

Local Marketing

Don't forget the power of local marketing when starting a photography business with no experience. Here are some tips for promoting your business in your community:

  • Connect with local businesses and offer your photography services for their events, promotions, or advertising needs.
  • Participate in community events, such as art shows or fairs, to showcase your work and network with potential clients.
  • Collaborate with other local creatives, like makeup artists or stylists, to create unique content and cross-promote each other's services.

By focusing on local marketing, you can establish yourself as a trusted photographer within your community and generate a steady stream of clients.

Mastering the art of marketing is essential for starting a successful photography business with no experience. By utilizing social media, email, and local marketing strategies, you can effectively promote your services and attract the clients you need to grow your business.

Develop a Strong Portfolio

Having a strong portfolio is vital when starting a photography business with no experience, as it demonstrates your skills and helps potential clients envision what you can do for them. Here are some tips on building an impressive portfolio that showcases your unique style and talents:

Collaborate with Other Creatives

Working with other creative professionals can lead to exciting projects that will enhance your portfolio. Consider partnering with:

  • Models who need professional photos for their own portfolios
  • Makeup artists and hairstylists looking to showcase their work
  • Local businesses or non-profits in need of promotional images

Collaborating with others not only helps you create diverse and interesting content, but it also expands your network and can lead to future opportunities.

Offer Free Sessions

When you're just starting out, offering free or discounted sessions can be a great way to gain experience and build your portfolio. Here are some ideas for free sessions:

  • Family portraits for friends or neighbors
  • Headshots for local actors or entrepreneurs
  • Event photography for a charity fundraiser

As you gain more experience and confidence in your skills, you can gradually increase your rates and transition to paid work.

Participate in Photography Contests

Entering photography contests can help you challenge yourself, improve your skills, and gain exposure for your work. Look for contests in your preferred niche, such as:

  • Nature or wildlife photography
  • Portrait or fashion photography
  • Travel or landscape photography

Winning or being recognized in a photography contest can boost your credibility and attract potential clients who appreciate your unique style and skills.

Developing a strong portfolio is essential for starting a successful photography business with no experience. By collaborating with other creatives, offering free sessions, and participating in photography contests, you can showcase your talents and attract the clients you need to grow your business.

Create a Business Plan

Creating a solid business plan is crucial when starting a photography business with no experience. A well-thought-out plan provides a roadmap for success and helps you stay focused on your goals. Here are some key elements to include in your photography business plan:

Mission Statement

Your mission statement should clearly define the purpose and values of your photography business. Consider questions like:

  • What types of photography services do you want to offer?
  • What sets you apart from competitors?
  • What do you want your clients to experience when working with you?

A strong mission statement can guide your decision-making and help you communicate your unique vision to potential clients.

Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is an essential part of building a successful photography business. Think about who would benefit most from your services and be most likely to hire you, such as:

  • Couples planning a wedding
  • New parents seeking newborn portraits
  • Local businesses in need of product photography

By understanding your target audience, you can create marketing strategies that effectively reach and engage potential clients.

Financial Projections

Developing financial projections helps you plan for the future and set realistic goals for your photography business. Consider factors like:

  • Startup costs, including equipment and website development
  • Operating expenses, such as insurance and marketing
  • Income projections based on your pricing and anticipated workload

Regularly reviewing and updating your financial projections can help you make informed decisions and track your progress toward achieving your business goals.

In conclusion, creating a detailed business plan is a vital step in starting a photography business with no experience. By defining your mission statement, identifying your target audience, and developing financial projections, you'll lay the foundation for a successful and sustainable photography business.

Network with Industry Professionals

Networking with industry professionals can play a significant role in the success of your photography business, even if you're just starting with no experience. Building connections with experienced photographers, vendors, and other creative professionals can help you learn valuable skills, find potential clients, and gain credibility in the industry. Here are some networking opportunities to consider:

Photography Workshops

Photography workshops offer a chance to learn new techniques, improve your skills, and connect with other photographers. Look for workshops focused on your photography niche or areas you'd like to develop, such as lighting, editing, or posing. Attending these events can help you grow as a photographer while expanding your professional network.

Local Photography Groups

Joining a local photography group can provide you with a supportive community and opportunities to network with other photographers in your area. These groups often organize events like photo walks, critique sessions, and educational presentations. Participating in local photography groups can help you stay motivated, gain feedback on your work, and develop lasting connections with fellow photographers.

Industry Conferences

Industry conferences bring together photographers, vendors, and other professionals from various niches, offering an excellent opportunity for networking. Attend seminars, panel discussions, and workshops to learn from experts and engage in conversations with others in the field. Conferences can also be a great place to discover new trends, tools, and resources to help grow your photography business.

In summary, networking with industry professionals is a vital part of starting a photography business with no experience. By attending workshops, joining local photography groups, and participating in industry conferences, you'll gain valuable knowledge, connections, and support to help you succeed in your photography journey.

If you're looking to dive into the world of fashion photography, don't miss the workshop 'Starting Out In Fashion Photography' by Tiffany Mumford. This workshop offers valuable insights and tips on breaking into the industry and establishing yourself as a successful fashion photographer.

Investing in the right photography equipment can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it if you want to get the best results from your photography. For more information, be sure to check out the 'Establishing Yourself as a Photographer in 2023' workshop by Cyn Lagos.