Getting Started in Professional Photography for Beginners

Meta Explains How To Get Started as a Professional Photographer

Meta’s Business Tips On How To Start a Home Based Photography Business

Joke – What’s the difference between a Professional Photographer and a Frozen Pizza?
A Frozen Pizza can feed a Family of Four!

Photography Business Plan and Budget

• Create a Photography Business Plan! This is required for any Business Loan.
• Create a Budget! Reinvest your profits back into your Photography Business!

Photography Business Name Registration

• Register your Photography Business Name as a Doing Business As (DBA).
• A DBA Protects prevents anyone in your State from using your Business Name.
• A DBA lets you Cash Checks and Open a Business PO Box in your Business Name.
Photos By Meta is a Registered DBA in the State of North Carolina.

Check Local Home Business Regulations

• Check with City Hall to see if you need a Home Business License.
• Verify that you can run a Home Based Photography Business in your area.
• Check Local Zoning Regulations for Operating a Home Based Business.

Photography Business Space

• Start as a Home Based Business. That $2,000/month Photography Studio / Office in town will put you under!
• Rent a PO Box if you don’t want customers coming to your home at all hours of the day and night.
• Start off with used Office Equipment and quality used Photography Equipment (See List Below).
• Buy Last Year’s Computer Model or one that is Factory Reconditioned, rather than Brand New.
• Use a Business Phone – Turn it off at 5 PM! After hours calls go to voicemail!
• Run Your Photography Business... Don’t Let Your Photography Business Run You!

Home Based Photography Business Office / Studio

• Create a Separate Home Office / Studio. This Business Space doesn’t have to be a separate room.
• Measure the Square Footage of the Home Office Area as a Percentage of your Total Living Area.
• Use this Percentage to write off the Home Business Percentage of Utilities, Rent, Taxes, Interest, Repairs, etc.

Photography Business Income

• Payments – Decide if you are going to take Paypal, Cash, Checks, Credit Cards, Bartering, etc.
• Setup an Invoicing System and a Customer Database. You won’t get paid until you invoice.
• Attach Bank Deposit Slips to Paid Invoices to Keep a Clean Income Paper Trail.
• Setup a Yearly File Folder for Paid Invoices.

Photography Business Expenses

• Keep a Separate Business Ledger on Quicken of all your Business Income and Business Expenses.
• Keep on Top of Business Expenses and Record them as they occur. Don’t put everything into a shoe box.
• Setup a Yearly File Folder for Paper Receipts.

Car and Truck Expenses

• Keep a Written Record of your Business Mileage for each vehicle used for Business Travel.
• It’s easier to use the Flat Mileage Rate, rather than tracking gas and maintenance receipts.


• Most Service Based Industries such as Photographers, are not required to Collect State Sales Tax.
• Remember to Pay Your Estimated Local, State and Federal Income Taxes on any Business Profits Quarterly.
• Year End Quicken Reporting can be used to transfer your Business Accounting into TurboTax Deluxe on Schedule C.

Bank Account

• If your Photography Business consists of just you or you and your spouse, you don’t need to register as a LLC or keep a separate business bank account. As long as you don’t have any employees, you and your spouse can run all of your Business Income and Expenses through your Joint Personal Checking Account and file your Business Income and Expenses on your Joint 1040 Schedule C!

Small Business Information

• Contact your CPA, the IRS or the Small Business Administration.

Photography Business Tip for Success

• Do What You Love... The Money Will Follow!

Create Your Brand and Promote Your Image

• Design a Logo, Design Business Cards, Register a Domain Name, Get a Website Designed, Sell Your Photography Online, Promote your Photography Business on Social Media. Put Your Business Logo on your Vehicle!

• Join your Local Chamber of Commerce. Attend their meetings. Donate Photos as Door Prizes. Get well known in your community!

Fine Art America lets you sell your Photography Online as Framed Prints, Prints on Canvas, T-Shirts, Face Masks, iPhone Cases, etc. You can even attach a Domain Name to your Fine Art America Account. The account is free for the first 30 Photos!

Where To Get A Small Business Website Designed

Meta Explains Where To Buy Used Cameras and Equipment

Meta’s Professional Photography Gear for Under $1000

How To Get Started as a Professional Photographer for Under $1000 – Yes, You Can Get Started Today in Professional Photography – For Under $1000, with a Sony a77 II Digital Camera (Photo: Left), Three High Quality Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses and a Fast Sony 128GB SD Card.

Where To Buy The Best Used Sony Digital Cameras

Used Lenses – Where To Buy Used Sony and Minolta AF Lenses

Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses
Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera with Some of her 1985 Heavy Metal Body Vintage Minolta AF Maxxum Lenses
Photo Left to Right: 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm mounted on Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera.

Buying Used Sony and Minolta AF Lenses

Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Camera Lenses are the bulk of most Photographer’s Expenses! $700 for a Brand New Sony Digital Camera Lens is about the average price!

Many Beginner Photographers don’t know that you can use Inexpensive Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses on all Sony Digital Cameras, including the latest Full Frame Sony a99 II Camera, and all Sony E-Mount Cameras (with New LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter) for about 10% of the cost of Brand New Sony Lenses. That’s a 90% Cost Savings Advantage over new Canon, Nikon and Sony Lenses!

Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Camera Lenses are a huge investment for any Professional Photographer, which will last many years to come! Camera Bodies, like iPhones and Computers, don’t last as nearly as long as Camera Lenses do! Meta still uses her 12 1985 Minolta Lenses (35 Year Old Film Camera Lenses) on her modern Sony a77 II Digital Cameras. Yes, they still Auto Focus!

Meta’s Professional Digital Photography Tips

Buy a used 2017 Sony a77 II Digital Camera with Sturdy Tripod.
• 3 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses listed below
Sony a77 II Digital Camera
Slik Pro 700DX Tripod
Sony 128GB SD Card

Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens (Small – Great for Interiors)
Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Prime Lens (Super Sharp Lens – Great for Landscapes)
Minolta AF 28–85mm f/3.5–4.5 Zoom Lens (Small Walk Around Lens)
Minolta AF 35–105 f/3.5–4.5 Zoom Lens (Small Walk Around Lens)
Minolta AF 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 Zoom Lens (Good Wide Zoom Range Lens)

How To Check Your Sony Digital Camera’s Shutter Count

When buying a used Sony a77 II Digital Camera, you’ll want to Check the Current Shutter Count (Total Number of Photos Ever Taken). The Sony a77 II Digital Camera is rated at around 150,000 Mechanical Shutter Actuations.

This easy to use online tool will provide the number of shutter actuations of your Sony Digital Camera. Drag and Drop the last photo from the Camera’s SD Card to the Sony Alpha Shutter Image Counter. This works on many Sony Digital Camera Models.

Where To Buy The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

Meta Explains The Five Beginner Photography Mistakes To Easily Avoid

1) Shooting Only in JPEG – Always Shoot in RAW!

Sure, shooting in JPEG is Quick and Easy, but you’re missing out on a lot of depth, color and details that RAW images capture, plus you’ll never really have a real Digital Negative. Meta has a lot of older digital photographs that she wished she’d shot in RAW, instead of JPEG, so don’t make that mistake too. Start by Shooting in RAW on Day 1. Shooting in RAW does involve learning some Post Production Software, but the software is getting a lot easier to use and the end results will be well worth your effort!

2) Shooting Only in Automatic Mode – Learn The Camera Modes

You just bought a SLT Camera, but you are still using it as a Point and Shoot Camera? Shooting in Automatic Mode is too easy, but you are not learning what your SLT Camera can really do. Master The Exposure Triangle, then try shooting in Aperture Priority Mode, Shutter Priority Mode and Manual Mode. You’ll quickly become a Better Photographer when you understand how your Camera works!

3) Buying New and Expensive Camera Gear

Your major investment in Photography Gear will be in your Lenses, not your Camera Body. Camera Bodies come out about once a year or so, much like iPhones, but your Lens Collection should last you a very long time. Meta still uses 1985 Minolta AF Lenses, which will still auto focus on her 2017 Sony A-Mount Cameras. Meta’s Vintage Minolta AF Lenses were purchased for about 10% of the cost of brand new Sony Lenses. If you’re a beginner photographer, consider buying good used Camera Equipment and good Used Camera Lenses from Amazon!

4) Not Learning Enough About Digital Photography Tips

These days, there’s no excuse not to learn Digital Photography and Practicing them. There are many inexpensive ways to learn Photography, through Free YouTube Videos and Photography Books. Take advantage of these inexpensive and often free Photography Training Resources and Classes, and you’ll quickly become a much Better Photographer! Follow the Photographers that you admire, and learn their Digital Photography Tips. Try to reproduce their photos!

5) Not Challenging For Yourself Enough Every Day

Always be expanding your Photography Knowledge Base Daily. Don’t be afraid to Experiment – Remember, Film is Cheap! Set realistic goals for yourself when you go out shooting. Each Photography Adventure should have a clear purpose, but also be a learning experience. Try to master as many different types of Photography as you can, such as: Food Photography, Hummingbird Photography, Landscape Photography, Astrophotography, Waterfall Photography and HDR Photography and Macro Photography. Each type of Photography uses different Photography Methods, Photography Accessories, Camera Settings and Camera Lenses.

Where To Buy The Best Digital Photography Books

Contact Us

Boone NC Commercial Photographers
Boone NC Commercial Photographers

Photos By Meta

Boone NC Commercial Photographers
PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Onsite Commercial Photography: Tuesday – Thursday

Contact Meta

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Photos By Meta

Western North Carolina Nature Photography was shot by Western North Carolina Nature Photographer Meta Gätschenberger.
Purchase Framed Prints Online.

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