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023. Start Your Photography Business | Tracy Lynn Coaching

Start Your Photography Business // Sustainable Freedom with Photography Podcast hosted by Tracy Lynn of Tracy Lynn Coaching and Boudoir by Tracy Lynn

Q4 has begun, my friends! Are you on track with the goals for your photography business? Or, if you haven’t started one…are you ready to start now? 

It can be tough knowing when to launch your business, but I’m here to help with this blog. If you’re considering waiting until 2023 or can’t wait to move forward, keep on reading!

Why you might want to start your photography biz now

On average, people get more work accomplished during autumn than any other season. Specifically, October is the most productive month. In comparison, January is the least productive. Thanks, post-holiday fog.

It may be because we’re in that back-to-school mindset — do we ever grow out of that? — or we want to buckle down and get things done before the holidays arrive.

You’ll get a head start

Whatever the reason, now is a great time to start your photography business. Start now, and you’ll have a better handle on your business when the New Year arrives. 

If you’ve ever made a bunch of resolutions at the start of the New Year and kicked yourself for dropping them, then you know how much pressure we tend to put on ourselves around the time. Why add to it by starting a business and making a ton of resolutions?

You don’t need to wait like you might with a different career

On a related note, there will always be people who will pay for photography, even if we’re living in a recession or a pandemic. My highest grossing year was 2020, even though I took 2 months off to follow stay-at-home orders and everything was up in the year.

I brought in the most money I’d ever made. Photography is a luxury, but people will still want your services. So why not put yourself out there now?

Why you may want to wait until the New Year

There are benefits to starting your photography business now, but there are different benefits if you choose to wait until the New Year.

Taxes are easier

If, like me, you don’t like doing your taxes and important paperwork, you might want to wait until January 1st. Bookkeeping and taking care of your taxes is a lot easier for a new business when you start at the beginning of the year.

Whenever you start a new business, you have to file a tax return for any year it is in existence. So if you launch your business now, you’d have to pay taxes, pay fees, and file a return. Even if you only do business for one month out of 2022.

You can beat the rush on paperwork

On a similar note, starting a new business involves a lot of paperwork with state or federal agencies. Registering an LLC, registering with the state, setting up business bank accounts…the list goes on. Some of these processes take a long time to file and complete.

You can beat the rush by filing as much as you can on January 2nd, since New Year’s Day is a federal holiday.

You may need more time

Last but not least, you may want to wait until 2023 for personal reasons. 

You might need more time to figure out the ultimate goal for your business, what niche you want to specialize in, or who your ideal photography clients are.

Or, you might need more time to work out the logistics of leaving a current job, or turning your photography side hustle into a full-time career. You might even want to take it easy during the holidays! That’s totally valid.

Another reason to start now? The COVID-19 pandemic changed the rules. 

You don’t need a physical office or a team of employees for your photography business. Your actual services are still a face-to-face service of course, but everything else business-wise doesn’t have to be…so you don’t need to “get your biz up and running” the way you would with a traditional office.

Things can change fast

Speaking of the pandemic, it reminded us all that our circumstances have changed in an instant. If you want to start now, start now! No need to wait until conditions are perfect to get started. If you do, you’ll be waiting forever.

Tips for starting your photography business now or later

To run a successful photography business, heavy on the “business” part, you’ll need to do some work. Whether you decide that now is the best time to start your business, or you’d like to wait until the New Year, here are a few things I’d like you to consider.

Getting legal

Every state is different when it comes to getting your business set up legally. I recommend finding a CPA near you to help you understand what your legal requirements are.

Some states require sales tax on everything, even digital files and sessions fees! Others only require sales tax on tangible products. Also, some cities have sales tax in the city limits, while others don’t. 

As a photographer, you have to know your state laws. When I moved to St. Louis, I didn’t. And I ended up getting called to court to pay back taxes that I didn’t know I owed! I hired a CPA who helped me sort it all out, but boy, was I nervous wreck through that experience! I want you to avoid making that same mistake.

Get clear on your goals

Once you take care of the legal stuff, I encourage you to think about what you want to accomplish with your photography business and why.

Consider questions like:

  • How much money do I want to make?
  • How many hours do I want to work?
  • What will I specialize in?
  • What clients do I want to serve?
  • What’s my overall goal for my photography business?

Uncovering your unique version of success will help you structure your business to meet your goals. You’ll build a business that you truly love.

When will you start your photography business?

To recap, you might want to start your biz now if you want to get a head start on being a business owner. You may have also been waiting for the right moment and needed that little push to take the next step.

Or, you might want to wait until 2023 for tax and paperwork purposes. You may also need more time to figure out what you really want from your photography business.

Whatever you choose, I suggest taking care of the legal side of your business first with the help of a CPA. And reflect on your goals, your “why:” what do you want to achieve with your business? What does success look like to you?

I hope these tips helped you figure out your next move! If you need more direction, however, I have something that can help you out.

My FREE 5-day challenge for photographers begins today, the 17th! 5 Secrets to Your Profitable Boudoir Biz will help you lay the groundwork for your dream photography business.

Every day this week, for one hour or so per day, we’ll focus on a core area of your business. At the end of the week, you’ll finish the challenge with a definitive plan for your biz.

There’s still some time to sign up, so save your spot right now! I’d love to see you there!


Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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