How do I start a photography business from home?
By Andrew Hudson Published: September 27, 2011 Updated: February 10, 2016
Yeh! Home! Cameras!! Money!!! $$$ Let’s start your home photography business now and have fun making money (or at least paying off the cameras). Here are some tips.
How to make money
The easiest way to cash in with photography is microstock. You can sign-up online with one or more microstock agencies and upload your photos. Then wait for people to license your work and watch the funds get deposited into your bank account. Ooh, that sounds nice.
Learn more with PhotoSecrets Sell Photos Online.
By law, your photos automatically get copyright protection when you take them. But, for extra coverage, you can register your copyright online. You can submit a group of photos (any number, as long as they are copyrighted by the same person in the same year) for one fee of $35 (subject to change).
Learn more with PhotoSecrets Register.
Learn more with Do I need a business license?.
If you’re naming your business with your own name — such as Jane Smith Photography — then you probably do not need to do anything. For a name which isn’t your own name — such as Creative Style Photos — you will probably need to file a “Doing Business As” (DBA, also known as Fictitious Business Name). This is a local law to confirm that no one else locally is using the same name, and can often be done online for a nominal fee.
With a fictitious business name certificate, you can open a business bank account and get paid under your business name.
Keep a record of all business-related income and expenses. Having a separate business bank account helps. Come tax time, you can file (in the U.S.) as an individual (or married couple) running a ”sole proprietorship” by listing your business figures on a separate sheet, the “Schedule C.”
You can make a loss (to offset against other earnings) and write off reasonable business expenses.
For more information see business tax forms.