How Much It Cost to Open a Photography Studio Business

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones with sophisticated cameras (i.e. for mobile devices) everyone seems to want to try their luck as a photographer, but not everyone has what it takes to start a business.

There’s a big difference between those who can take the perfect selfie and those who capture the perfect moment and call themselves professional photographers. If you’re wondering how to start a photography business, you know there’s a lot more to it when you align your iPhone and hit a filter.

As with any job, starting a photography business requires a significant investment of time and money to secure equipment, register your business, and develop your portfolio. Fortunately, the photo industry’s start-up costs are relatively lower than other industries. Following are the factors that determine how much it costs to open a photography business:

7 Factors That Determine How Much It Cost to Open a Photography Business:

The cost of starting a photography business depends on the type of equipment used to start the business and whether you intend to start from your home or in a rented facility. The prices for the equipment to be used are fixed and vary according to your tastes.

This means that if you go for big brands, you will likely spend more than one to go for equipment from a lesser-known brand. Even if you were to buy your new equipment, the price would be different from what you are buying. Equipment from a retired photographer or fairly used equipment.

The detailed cost analysis for anyone looking to start their own photography business is given below:

A Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting a Photography Business

1. The Fee for Registering a Business and Obtaining the Necessary Insurance – $725:

It is advisable to follow due process if you are looking to start and grow a top notch photography business. There is a due process in which you must choose a name for the company and have it legally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in your country.

In the United States, the amount required to register a new business varies from state to state. but on average, be prepared to pay around $ 125. You’ll also need to get insurance, and that should cost you around $ 600 a year, bringing the total cost to $ 725.

2. The Amount Needed to Rent a Facility and To Setup a Studio – $2,000:

When planning and budgeting your photography business, one of the areas where you are likely to spend a large chunk of your startup capital is renting or leasing equipment for your studio. These costs also vary from city to city like from one country to another.

On average, however you’ll need to budget around $ 1,500 a year to rent it out and also $ 500 or more to set up the studio. The total cost should be approximately $ 2,000.

3. The Cost of 2 or more Standard Cameras – $3,200:

His most important work tool as a photographer is a camera. You should consider buying two or more standard cameras. If you’re only looking to buy two cameras initially, consider buying a Nikon D7100 for $ 1,200 and a Nikon D610 for $ 2,000.

The Nikon D7100 is very good for portraits, while the Nikon D610 is the perfect camera to cover events like weddings, parties, etc. In total, the cost of 2 cameras is $ 1,200 + $ 2,000 = $ 3,200.

4. The Cost of Good Camera Lenses – $1,150:

Usually the lenses that come with new cameras are not professional lenses. For this reason, you should plan to buy at least 2 different lenses for 2 different cameras. We recommend buying a Nikon 35mm f / 2.0 for $ 350, a Nikon 50mm f / 1.8 for $ 300 (for portrait cameras), and a Nikon 85mm f / 1.8 for $ 500. The total amount you need to budget for camera lenses is $ 1,150 in total.

5. The Cost of Computer, Software and Computer Accessories – $1,504:

Of course, you need a rugged computer to run your photography business; You can visit online stores to test the prices of computers and their accessories. I recommend buying a 21-inch iMac computer, and it will cost you around $ 1,300.

You also need a backup hard drive priced at $ 85. There is also a need for Photoshop photo editing software ($ 119 per year). The total cost per computer, software, and hard drive is $ 1,300 + $ 85 + $ 119 = $ 1,504.

6. The Cost of Launching a Website – $572:

Without doubt; Having a strong online presence is essential if you really want to build a world-class photography business. With that in mind, you need to budget around $ 500 for your official website. Note that you have to pay for this an annual fee of $ 72 for hosting your domain name annually.

7. Additional Expenditure – $500:

It is important to take precautions to promote your new photography business. You will be asked to print out your business card, print out brochures / flyers and reserve advertisements in print and electronic media. How much you will spend on it depends on how much you expect with the introduction. On average, budget around $ 500 to grow your photography business.

Estimated Cost Breakdown to Open a Photography Studio:

  • Business Registration would cost $500
  • Camera would cost at least $500
  • Lens would cost at least $250
  • Backdrops and Lighting would cost at least $250
  • Other gear would cost at least $100
  • Computer System would cost at least $1500
  • Software would cost $200
  • Professional Photography Business Website would cost at least $500
  • Insurance, permits and licenses would cost $1,500
  • Leasing an office facility with space for studio will cost $15,000
  • Business Cards, Signage and Miscellaneous will cost $500

Total Cost of Small Scale Photography Studio: $10,000 to $28,000:

After the detailed research and feasibility studies, it would take an average of $ 10,000 to $ 28,000 to start a small photography business in the United States. Remember that the location you have chosen to start your photography business also affects the total cost of starting the business, so it can be more or less.

Total Cost of Small Scale Photography Studio – $50,000:

If you are looking to start a midsize photography business in the United States, it will cost you no less than $ 50,000.

Total Cost of Small Scale Photography Studio – $100,000:

And if you intend to start a large photography business in the United States, you should raise more than $ 100,000 in seed money.

Financing Your Photography Business:

Financing a business refers to the money it takes to create an income situation. Here, terms like “seed capital” and “venture capital” have meaning – seed capital – for any entrepreneur photographer who wants to get started. Before you start spending or looking for money, it is essential to create a business plan.

A business plan is a document that covers all aspects of a business owner’s needs and intentions. Investors will always want to see a business plan. However, unless you want to revolutionize the photography industry, you probably won’t need an angel investor or investment capitalist because they are most likely asking for higher returns than you as an individual photographer could offer.

There are several funding options for an entrepreneur photographer, including:

  • Crowdfunding
  • American Express Small Business Credit Card
  • Grants
  • Borrowing from friends and family
  • Raising money from personal savings
  • Small Business Loans

To Sum Up:

Photography is not just a popular hobby; It can be a legitimate business as long as you are passionate about capturing eternal memories. Starting a photography business takes just as much dedication as any other business.
So stop messing around with the photo apps on your smartphone. If you’re looking to learn how to start a photography business and convert it into a full-time income, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and get started.


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