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A mobile photography business is an excellent alternative to studio photography. Portraits or shoots that are done on location can put the subject at ease and yield a more candid photograph, since they are likely to be in their own element. It is often not only more convenient to have a photographer come to a site, but many times the only option, such as when photographing a wedding, a soccer game or a newborn in a maternity ward. A mobile service also greatly reduces operating costs for the photographer, as studio rent and utilities are eliminated.
Research your target audience to help you choose what area of specialization would be both lucrative for you and a needed or desired service for your market. If you live in a very pet-centric city, you might consider choosing a mobile pet photography business to cater to pet owners in park or home settings. If you live in a town that has a large seniors demographic, consider offering in-home portrait photography. If you are close to a hospital, on-site newborn photography might be a niche you can fill.
Invest in high-quality, professional cameras and lenses. Choose a high-quality computer with professional software to edit images if you are shooting digitally. Purchase portable backdrops, lights, light stands, flash equipment and stools or step ladders.
Use an SUV type of transportation or an automobile with a very large trunk to transport all of your equipment. Keep track of the miles and maintenance of the car you use for income tax purposes.
Select a custom, professional photo lab to process your film and prints if you are shooting negative print film, or a professional printer who can print digital products, including large format prints, prints on canvas or photobooks.
Check with your local city hall to determine business licenses or fees that are required to operate a business in your city. Pay for a license and register a trade name, or "doing business as" (DBA), if necessary. Purchase insurance for your equipment and also for specific sites if needed, such as a hospital setting.
Create and maintain a website that features your photographic portfolio. Update it frequently to keep your information fresh. Create a presence on social media websites that link back to your portfolio.
Design an attractive business card or brochure with easy to read contact information, including your website address.
Promote your mobile photography business by networking. Contact businesses that might spread the word about your services, such as hospitals, veterinarian's offices or framing shops.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.