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How would I get a business started when im only 16 and can’t go out to do what I need to do ?

Like I want to do a photography business but I want to get it started up

+25 Karma if successful
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Subject: Career question for you

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david’s Answer

Hi, Kali,
Gaurav's response is excellent, and I will try to build on his reply.
- create a large number of photos to display, using different environments, such as a group setting at a party, individual head shots, beauty shots, etc., to display your talents
- consider learning a graphics software program (such as the free GIMP program) to allow you to modify or enhance photos for special effects
- build a free website on blogspot.com where you can post your business and photos
- create a free business email address, such as kaliphotos at one of various free sites, such as gmail or outlook.
- attend craft shows where you can offer simple photos on the spot to build a customer base.
- work with a trusted adult to create a simple contract to use when doing special photos, such as a wedding or other special event

I wish you well. And do have fun. You will learn a lot about yourself, your skills, people, and the experience of stretching your world into a bigger one. All the best to you.
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Gaurav’s Answer

Nowadays, thanks to the internet, the world is at our fingertips, allowing us to accomplish much from the comfort of our homes. It seems that you're passionate about photography and want to build a business around it. I recommend starting right at home. Consider taking photos at family events and collaborating with relatives and friends to identify areas where you might need to improve. Enroll in one or two online courses to address any weaknesses. Next, use social media to showcase your work, posting your photos and gauging the response. When you have the opportunity, team up with skilled photographers for joint projects, which can help broaden your network and reach. Soon enough, you'll find success coming your way.
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Danielle’s Answer

Hey Kali,
All of the answers provided are a great place to start. As mentioned, the internet has the power to help you gain exposure and build your overall photography portfolio. I have several friends that have found success in photography that all got started by using Instagram. They would go out and take pictures in nature and of their family or friends and post them with different hashtags to gain more exposure. Your resources are at your fingertips, and definitely ask your friends for support by reposting your pictures or photography page on their social media accounts too.
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Ashlee’s Answer

Gaurav and David have provided good advice. I just wanted to add that reaching out to your neighbors could also help. You could put up flyers or advertise on a neighborhood forum. You can share links to your portfolio of photos there. I'm not sure if you want to sell photos that you take or get paid to take photos of other people. But if your business is the latter, then you could offer discounted prices at first to build up your resume, and then raise your price as you get more experience.
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Matthew’s Answer

Hi Kali,

All of the responses here are great.

Here are some of my ideas to help get your photography business off the ground:

-Create a portfolio of your previous work on a website (Squarespace or another easy website builder) or Instagram/Pinterest/social media page
-If you've done any work in the past, ask those clients for testimonials that you can promote on your website or social media pages. You can also ask previous clients for referrals if they have anyone they know that might need a photographer
-Offer your services for free to friends, family, or others in your network. Do a great job on the project and show off your skills, and then see if your client has any events in the future that they might need a photographer for. From there, you can start to charge. It's important to prove your skills at the beginning!
-Network within town Facebook community groups. My town had a big group with hundreds of people asking questions & looking for advice. I think it would be great idea to ask in these community groups whether anyone needs a photographer
-Go to local businesses and offer your services (maybe for free at first if they don't seem interested)
-Offer to photograph at your school - for sports teams, the yearbook, or anything else

Best of luck, I believe in you!
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Charise’s Answer

Hi Kali,
I think the above answers are great and would like to build upon them. My hair stylist in Chicago has a 16-year-old who loves photography. She's created a website of photos she's taken around the city. When my stylist isn't working, they go to different locations to help her portfolio. I've even requested pictures from certain locations. Her daughter also offers her services to their church and has become the go to photographer for events they have or during service. If you have a place you frequent, feel free to ask them if they need photos taken. If not, don't worry! You'll still be able to take pictures where you are and build upon it. Creating your free website and using social media to showcase your work is a great start! I hope this helps. You've got this!!!
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Kali,

It's fantastic that you're eager to launch your own photography venture!

Considering you're 16 and your chances to venture out and capture photos are limited at the moment, I recommend making the most of your indoor space! Many photographers unleash their imagination to create stunning backdrops and scenes right in the comfort of their bedrooms. Take advantage of this time to hone your skills in snapping pictures, arranging captivating scenes, and refining your photo editing techniques. By the time you're free to explore a broader range of opportunities, your photography skills will be top-notch!

Wishing you the best of luck!
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Stephen’s Answer

Specific to photography: What KIND of photography do you like to do? That will drive what kind of business you will be in. Do you want to create artwork that people will see and buy over the internet or elsewhere? That's more like creating a product and then marketing it... and there are good suggestions for doing that in other answers here. I also like Flickr.com as a web site for posting and sharing photographic artwork. Shutterstock is also another highly used site where you can sell your "product." On the other hand, if you like taking pictures of people... let's say at events, like a wedding... then you're building more of a services business (a business where YOU / your service of taking pictures is the "product"). In that case you want to start building a portfolio of those kinds of pictures. The best way to do that is to start by giving your services away... for free! Offer to take pictures at an event for free. It's a win/win - your customer will get some of your great pictures, and YOU will get learnings and experience in how to provide this kind of service to your next customer. On top of that, you will now have the beginnings of a portfolio of exactly the right kinds of pictures that you can show to your next prospective customer... and maybe even a great reference, if your first customer is happy with your work!

Specific to starting a business: Whether it's a photography business or any other kind of business, decide who your CORE customer is, and get to know them intimately. Start by defining a small, very specific type of customer. Talk to them. Understand what it is they NEED... BEFORE you start creating or even defining your "product" (or service). Spend a lot of time with them. Then, when you think you understand what they need... start SMALL. Start by creating something very simple that addresses an important PART of their need. Don't try to address their whole problem at once! Often you can do this without having to make a big investment of your time or money (yet). Create something small and basic and give it your customer to react to. Then listen to them carefully. Do they find it useful? Would they actually use it? What is the 1 or 2 most important things they would ask you to change or improve upon? They will tell you exactly what you need to do differently or to improve upon.

And there it is... THAT is basically the whole process. You just keep doing it over and over and over again: listening to your core customer, giving them a piece of a solution for them to react to, getting their direct feedback, making changes or improvements based on their feedback, and then starting with another cycle of the same process. The reason it's good to start with a small, "core" audience is that it allows you to focus on solving one or two parts of a bigger problem - a small audience that all share the same problem will most likely give you consistent feedback you can easily build into the next pass of your solution. A large audience will give you TOO MUCH... and too different... feedback. It won't be so clear what's most important for you to improve next. In that case it's more likely you'll try to do a little bit to please everyone, and end up with a solution that doesn't really excite anyone. So start with a small, core audience and work through several passes to give them better-and-better versions of your solution that they can ultimately get really excited about. If you do that, they'll start paying you for it - and THAT is the point at which you have really started your business! Then you have a core set of passionate customers. From that strong base it is much easier to broaden your market, and expand your solution.
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