Stop thinking of yourself as an artist who makes money from your art and start believing you’re a business owner whose business is art. So says Taylor Brumfield, a Virginia-based photographer specializing in commercial beauty and product photography. Brumfield, who will deliver the educational session “Launching a Commercial Photography Business” at Imaging USA 2023 in January, offers business tips for people transitioning into commercial photography.
Pricing: In wedding and portrait photography, it’s common to offer event or session packages. Commercial work is more nuanced; the assets you provide and the time you spend on a project, not to mention the complexity of work, differ from project to project. Brumfield recommends custom rates based on the client’s specific needs, with a minimum compensation to ensure you’re turning a profit for the work.
Niching: It’s great to niche into a specific type of commercial photography. But don’t define your niche until you’ve done two things: know for certain there’s a market for what you want to offer and built a robust network—not only of clients but also photographers who can provide advice when you’re in a bind.
Marketing: Learn the art of funneling interested parties through various touchpoints that seamlessly lead to bookings. Since Brumfield attracts a majority of her clients via Instagram, she keeps direct messaging open and includes a bio link to her site, where potential clients are funneled straight to her portfolio and a booking app.
Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.