How to Start a Photo Editing Business | The Complete Guide for Beginners

Filed in Business by on February 8, 2020 0 Comments

This is one of the lucrative jobs that are trending all over the world today. Being creative is what will make you a photo editor.

You don’t need to spend much money before you can become a photo editor, all that you need is to have your camera, laptop, and a creative mind.

How to Start a Photo Editing Business

It’s very simple as that. Your next plan now is to put the necessary things in place and make a move, and then you will see that everything will just work out so easily for you.

How to Start a Photo Editing Business

1. Make Appropriate Plan for Your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • What will you name your business?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What Are The Costs Involved In Opening A Photo Editing Business?

The cost of opening your photo editing business is directly commensurate with its scale and location. The most efficient way to start the business is as a photo editing business that you run from your own home.

This drastically reduces overhead and ensures you can open your business for $5,000 or less of that money, $2,500 should go towards buying a computer to help edit photos, and $500 should go towards buying any additional photo editing software that you don’t already have.

The remaining $2,000 should go towards advertising, with $500 going towards a professional-looking website and the rest going towards a mixture of traditional advertising (radio, newspaper, etc.) and social media advertising.

What Are The Ongoing Expenses For A Photo Editing Business?

If you are running your business from home, then your ongoing expenses are truly minimal. You will pay less than $100 a year to maintain your website, and you may pay the postage to email CDs or DVDs of photos to customers that prefer using some form of physical media.

Likewise, you may periodically pay more to run more advertisements. However, you should not have to pay any additional upkeep for hardware, software, or anything else related to your business.

Who Is The Target Market?

While younger demographers may desire your services for things like social media profiles and yearbook photo edits, your primary demographic remains young families: they are likeliest to have the most professional photos taken and to therefore require editing services most often.

How Does A Photo Editing Business Make Money?

At the most basic level, a photo editing business makes money by selling edited photos. Your business may choose to charge by the photo, by the album, or to offer a mixture of the two.

How Much Can You Charge Customers?

How much you charge is usually dependent on your level of experience, how extensive the edit is, your local economy, and whether they are purchasing multiple photos or not.

For single-photo edits, you may charge anywhere between five and fifty dollars. One good pricing trick is to offer lower prices for simple edits (such as removing a single blemish) and higher prices for more extensive editing.

How Much Profit Can A Photo Editing Business Make?

Gauging how much profit your business will make can be difficult. There are photo editing startups that are worth millions, and there are major corporations offering online editing that dominate much of the industry.

However, almost all of the money you make is profit due to the low upkeep, so developing a steady stream of diverse clients can eventually turn this into a high five-figure or low six-figure job.

How Can You Make Your Business More Profitable?

Make sure you are intimately familiar with any editing software you’ll use before you start. Also, try to use software like Skype to personally communicate with clients.

This gives the appearance of a personal touch and makes sure that you are both on the same page regarding any edits.

Be sure to network with local photography groups in order to pick up business and further build your brand and reputation.

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Finally, as your business grows, don’t be afraid to raise prices and/or expand your service area to attain greater profits!

What Will You Name Your Business?

Choosing the right name for your business is very important. That alone needs thorough planning because you need to relax your mind before you can get the right name for your business.

2. Form A Legal Entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your Photo Editing Business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including Corporations, LLCs, and DBAs.

You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

3. Register For Taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business. In order to register for taxes, you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!

4. Open A Business Bank Account & Credit Card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open A Business Bank Account

  • This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Get A Business Credit Card

  • This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business’ expenses all in one place.
  • It also builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

5. Set Up Business Accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits And Licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a photo editing business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

For information about local licenses and permits:

  • Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
  • Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in the US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.

Services Contract

Photo editing businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize the risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership.

7. Get Business Insurance

Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, worker’s compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.

8. Define Your Brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

How To Promote & Market A Photo Editing Business

As mentioned before, you should do some traditional advertising in order to raise awareness of your business within your local community. However, online advertising should ultimately be your primary way of advertising your business.

Your website is a truly cost-efficient way of providing your contact information and prices, and both social media and your website provide an easy way to use things like “before and after” photos to highlight what a difference your editing can make.

How To Keep Customers Coming Back

In addition to the advertising methods above, consider using “free samples.” It’s possible to bring a laptop with photo editing software to a local event, coffee shop, or even local park and have interested parties sent you a single photo to edit. This builds great publicity and word of mouth and costs you nothing but time.

To retain customers, make sure you offer seasonal specials and capitalize on events where people may want photo edits (yearbook photos, school photos, holiday photos, etc.), so your business appears to have value year-round.

9. Establish Your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.


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