Tips on Starting a Photography Business

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert. But, I am a believer that sharing is caring!
Really, I am not an expert by any means … Honestly, I have such a long way to go and sometimes feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. But, when I look back on my old blog posts then I do see just how far I have come — though, I may not be where I want to be today. That’s okay, we all have to start somewhere! I write these tips mainly for myself not because I think I know everything… When I first got started, I was ignored by so many professionals who didn’t make time to help me with some questions I had. I’ve since found those answers and I share them with you here, just in case you are at a place where I once was and have some questions of your own.

Bunn Salarzon - sexy woman lying on shower floor

 

Register Your Business & Open a Business Bank Account.

It was important for me to be legit, though, I would not feel comfortable charging anyone for a long time … Register your business name with the Secretary of State ($50). For Oregon: www.filinginoregon.com/business. For Washington: www.sos.wa.gov/corps. When you receive your official document, then you can open a business bank account and get a credit/debit card with your business name on it. It gives you pimp status. Trust me. haha!

Get a Legit Domain. Set Up a Nice Website. Start Blogging.

I’ve heard many times of newcomers who are waiting to start a blog or website. I’m not exactly sure what the wait is for, but there are many options out there to start a blog/website for free. When I first started my blog, I used Blogspot that was linked to my Gmail account. Yes, free. It did its job, helped me get my name out there— again, for free. But, don’t leave your blog static. UPDATE IT. POST OFTEN. SHARE YOUR WORK. SHARE YOUR LIFE. There are prospective clients out there!

Network & Share with Local Vendors.

Along with my blog, I used social networking to introduce my new business: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace. There are so many more networks out there, but I’m quite selective of which I use because of my target market. Hence, why I no longer use MySpace. It was not the right fit for me. I also participated in local events and organizations to meet other professionals who I got to work with even after the party. And if it wasn’t for meeting local photographers who were just like me: either starting out, 1-3 years already in business, or 5+ years successful, I wouldn’t have come as far as I have. Us women formed a fabulous group where we share everything we’ve learned; we teach and inspire each other. If you haven’t found one, maybe blog about starting one. They will come. (That’s how us girls got started.)

Get Good Business Cards.

There are so many marketing materials that I still need but, again, baby steps! However, the first thing you should get is a business card that will help get you into the right hands. Literally. Oh, if you’ve seen any of my earlier card designs, please don’t hold them against me. Yes, they were so bad! Hey, at least they weren’t templates or those really cheap paper materials that falls apart when it rains. My new cards are a-comin’ and I can’t wait to show them off! Like, BAM! Check out PremiumCards.net (there are many other sites, too); they are affordable and there are options for better quality above the cheap templates. I would suggest that you avoid those at all cost. Yes, pun intended.

Find Your Value— and charge!

Figure out what your base price is (what it costs you to do a photo shoot, including gas to and from shoot location plus any meeting with clients that require usage of your vehicle, electricity you use to start and finish processing images, cost of Internet usage to upload images to clients and corresponding emails, land line and/or cellular phone usage with clients, daycare fee for your children when you have to meet clients, etc.) … NOTE: Never step out of your home to work a photo shoot if you’re not getting a minimum of your base price. This is very important or else you’ll always go out of pocket. Add value for your time and talent, if you don’t then no one else will.

 


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What You Need to Know About Boudoir Marathon Events

Really, I am no expert on this topic by any means, but I am writing this down — yes, publicly — to share my first-ever boudoir marathon experience (aka Boudoir Par-tay!) to remind myself what I can do better the next time around. I had so much fun this past weekend with all the girls and cannot wait to do another marathon! HOLLA Back! //To inquire about my Boudoir Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228. Follow me on Instagram for daily posts (#bunnsboudoir).

Bunn Salarzon - woman taking off bra

Here are some things I learned to do better next time:

  • Pamper your clients. Because a marathon can be hectic, make it a great experience for them to remember.
  • Get awesome helpers: on-location hair/makeup stylist and creative assistant. Make it a par-tay and have fun!
  • Offer three packages: (1.) session fee only, (2.) session plus hair/makeup, and (3.) session plus hair/makeup and prints.
  • Book hotel suite for two nights; ideally, Fri-Sun when most people already have time off work.
  • Check hotel suite in person before booking: make sure there is ambient lighting (SW corner usually has the best light) and decor is part of your brand.
  • Be aware of lighting during different seasons, ie. good lighting in October is less than during the month of July when there is more daylight.
  • Collect total session fees at least two weeks before event date. Remember to have all contracts and waivers signed, too!
  • Provide your clients as much information as early as possible: available parking, wardrobe suggestions, makeup tips, print fees, etc.
  • Make sure to have all your clients’ current mobile numbers in your address book. Things do and will come up!
  • Back it up. Back it up. Back it up. Um, I meant backing up your images every day no matter what. (Get a backup camera, too!)
  • Get help with post-production by outsourcing the workload: check out Essential Edit.

One thing that is important to also remember is that most respectful hotels do not condone this type of activity on their property. You can work around it by informing everyone to not talk about the photo shoot— like, at all. What I tell my clients is: Take the elevator straight up to the suite as if you already know where you’re going. NOTE: It’s a good idea to have lots of small bills for tipping bellhop, parking valet, room service, maid service, etc. You will need everyone’s help. (I’m not kidding.)

 


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Bunn Salarzon - bali engagement photos

Bucket List: Shoot Bali Engagement Photos (Check!)

I was in Manila, Philippines when Bonny & Derrick flew me over to Jakarta, Indonesia to meet them. Then, we flew out to Bali where I was finally able to live out a life-long dream of seeing this magical land with my own eyes. Seriously, no words … No words. I cannot wait to bring my husband to Bali to help him check it off his list, too! //To inquire about my Destination Wedding Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228. Follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

Bunn Salarzon - guy and girl walking along beach shoreBunn Salarzon - guy and girl flirting sitting on rock at beachBunn Salarzon - guy and girl leaning on rock at beachBunn Salarzon - girl and guy dancing on the beachBunn Salarzon - guy hugs girl sitting on rock at beachBunn Salarzon - guy and girl hugging against rock at beachBunn Salarzon - guy kissing girl in caveBunn Salarzon - guy kissing girl leaning on himBunn Salarzon - bali engagement photosBunn Salarzon - guy and girl kiss sitting on stairsBunn Salarzon - girl piggybacks guy and kiss his cheekBunn Salarzon - girl and guy flirting on the beachBunn Salarzon - bali engagement photosBunn Salarzon - girl piggyback guy on beachBunn Salarzon - girl leans on guy sitting on stairs

  • Indonesian Wedding Photography in Bali | Bunn Salarzon - […] year after they flew me overseas for their Bali Engagement Photos, Bonny made her way down the long narrow tunnel at Kayumanis Nusa Dua Private Villas & Spa, […]12/22/2014 – 7:32 PMReplyCancel

  • Carla - Gorgeous images! Bonny is especially ever so pretty and fresh. I live in Bali and have visited Padang-Padang. How’s the name funny?04/11/2010 – 4:12 PMReplyCancel

    • Bunn Salarzon - @Carla: You’ll have to forgive my sense of humor. But, whenever I hear/say the word Padang-Padang I think of ba-donka-donk. :D05/19/2010 – 11:28 PMReplyCancel

  • Shannon Sewell - Oh my gosh- what a cute couple!!! Love how fun & playful these are… beautiful job. :) ~S03/22/2010 – 9:17 PMReplyCancel

  • Bonnny - Bunn, I’m in love with your work all over again. You truly show how our love is… Thank you. <303/21/2010 – 9:20 PMReplyCancel

  • Leah Orefice - Bunn, I love these pictures! How gorgeous they look, how happy they look. You are the ISH as D would say!03/21/2010 – 8:33 PMReplyCancel

  • Amy Isabella - You have such an incredible gift for capturing people’s true love for one another, something that we do not see often enough in this world. Thank you for sharing these!! You and your work are brilliant, my dear!! :D03/21/2010 – 8:41 AMReplyCancel

  • Anna Kim - Oooh, I really do love all of these. They look so happy and in love, it makes me giddy.03/19/2010 – 7:12 AMReplyCancel

  • Derrick - Awww snap! Thanks, Bunn. Sorry we can’t hold a straight face, but I love the pics! You my friend, are the ish and being a sport to the shoot that almost never happened. You’re the best.03/19/2010 – 6:40 AMReplyCancel

  • Jen-Jen - Aww, our little, older bro found himself a gem. ;) Love it!03/19/2010 – 6:08 AMReplyCancel

  • Deyla Huss Photography - These are super cute! And what a fun story, I love it!03/19/2010 – 6:44 AMReplyCancel

  • Apresh Chavda - Gorgeous set of images, Bunn!03/19/2010 – 2:10 AMReplyCancel

  • Kim O'Neil Photography - Bunn, these images are beautiful! So playful…and you really captured emotion in them….and what a sweet little story.03/19/2010 – 1:53 AMReplyCancel

How I Got the Cover of the #1 Magazine for Plus Size Women…

When the publisher of SKORCH, the #1 magazine for plus size women fashion, contacted me to shoot for them I was surprised and kind of confused, really. Like, huh?? But, I was too excited for the opportunity that Jessica Kane offered me to cheat myself out of it so I just did it— and we got the cover!!

//Photographer: Bunn Salarzon //Cover Model: Jamieya Sicotte //Hair+Styling: Thuy Pham //Makeup: MUA by MySa //Venue Location: Qube Lounge //To inquire about my Portrait Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228 (PST). Follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

Bunn Salarzon - plus size women magazine cover

  • Julie - AWESOME cover!!! That is a beautiful image and so exciting!!!!!12/07/2009 – 9:30 AMReplyCancel

  • Jenni Carmon - Congrats, Bunn! You go, girl!! Holla. :)10/12/2009 – 9:43 PMReplyCancel

  • Erica Ann - So awesome! I want to see more!10/08/2009 – 3:29 PMReplyCancel

  • Lorna - Wow, Bunn, this is awesome–good for you. That cover picture is awesome. Congrats!10/03/2009 – 8:06 PMReplyCancel

  • Deyla Huss Photography - Woot woot!!! You go, girl!! Congrats!10/03/2009 – 2:14 PMReplyCancel

  • Kristie - Your first mag cover! Swwweeeeeeet! Nice work, Bunn. That is exciting stuff. Great job, girl. :)10/03/2009 – 12:01 PMReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - AWESOMEEEE!!!! I am so excited for you!10/03/2009 – 8:50 AMReplyCancel

  • Tara - Such great pics, Bunn. :) Really. You’ve come so far since we first “re”connected. I’m SOOO excited for you…and of course, JKane. :) XOXOOX10/02/2009 – 9:15 AMReplyCancel

  • Jessica Kane - I Love You. Period. I have a knack for spotting greatness, and you, my girlfriend…have IT. Much more to come. :) Love you!!!!!!!! -JKane Baby10/02/2009 – 8:36 AMReplyCancel

  • Derrick - Great job, Bunn!10/02/2009 – 9:11 AMReplyCancel

  • Mounty - Congratulations, ladies! Yay! Cover! Jamieya looks smokin’! Bunn & Thuy, awesome work! The artists behind the scenes. =0) Love you, girls!10/02/2009 – 6:59 AMReplyCancel