The African Corporate Excellence Award 2015

True Photos Photography has been nominated in the African Corporate Excellence Awards 2015!

What a fantastic opportunity we received. We received this Award in the Best Wedding Photography – Gauteng category.

These type of awards are dedicated to the people and firms on the African Continent that has gone the extra mile in providing above average services to their clients and are the most exciting in the world. Over 170,000 subscribers and 104,000 industry professionals has been voted for and nominations received.

The 2015 African Excellence Awards are dedicated to recognizing the changing fortunes of businesses across Africa and to rewarding the people and firms that have done such tremendous work to carve out a place for themselves among the most thrilling and vibrant anywhere in the world.

The awards focus on all aspects of business, from the top level decision makers to the often unheralded but no less vital support and behind the scenes staff and will reward outstanding achievement in all areas pertaining to twenty-first century business, from customer care and marketing to innovation, implementation and performance.

In order to determine and reward those African businesses doing truly remarkable things, dedicated awards teams undertake months of rigorous and in-depth research, carefully evaluating each nomination, examining every nominee, their performance over the past year, their market, their methods and even their competition.

True Photos Photography (Pty) Ltd are delighted to accept this Award

Cost To Start A Photography Business From Home

Cost To Start A Photography Business From Home

Many times over and over have I seen a lot of people out there “pretending” to be professional photographers without even starting an actual and legal photography business.
The first thing they do is buy a camera, prepare a Facebook Page and then start to shoot friends and family for little to nothing. In this process hoping that they might call photography their new loved career, before actually starting a legal photography business.

They are simply putting themselves at a great financial and legal risk by doing this and it’s not a good idea to test waters to see if they would succeed. Most of them will not. Why would this happen?

This will happen, because these people would think that clients are not going to take their business seriously. You will have to make the decision to take your own business seriously. What do you need and how do you start a photography business the right way? How much does it actually cost to start a photography business? How would you be able to get real paying clients the right way? In this article, I will be discussing these questions…

What Equipment Do You Need To Be A Photographer?

photo-equipCamera malfunctions do happen. You are going to need a least 2 professional cameras as a professional photographers which will be your backup in case something goes wrong. Both cameras must be professional-level cameras. Non-professional cameras are not okay; remember that we are doing this the right way.  There are many different types of photography and your gear must meet the needs of the type of photography you are going to choose as a career. Wedding photographers for instance have to prepare to shoot in conditions that does not require flash and also need equipment to handle those difficult situations better.

I have prepared the following list that I would recommend buying if I was starting out as a professional photographer.  (And for full disclosure, since I’m all about doing things right, almost all the links in this article pays me a commission if you use them, so please use my links and thanks for helping support this site by using them to make your purchases!)

My recommendations will be based on Portrait Photography and Wedding Photography.


Portrait Photographers: 2 x Nikon D7100 cameras, the camera body is only ($1200 each) The kit comes with lenses that are not pro-level lenses. Void buying a Kit.
Total cost: $2400

Wedding Photographers: 2 x Nikon D610 cameras, the camera body is only ($2000 each) The kit comes with lenses that are not worth it. Void buying a Kit.
Total cost: $4000



When it comes to lenses, I recommend the following lenses for both professional portrait and wedding photography. These lenses work on all cameras that are full and cropped frame. The reason for these more expensive over the less expensive lenses is that when you upgrade your camera you would not need to buy new lenses:


Nikon 35mm f/2.0 Lens: $360
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Lens: $299
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 Lens: $499

An all important lens for wedding photographers: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 Lens: This will help you in very dark situations where I found myself many times over and you aren’t allowed to be close to the couple. An example such as; working under a tent or in a very dark church. From time to time you will not be allowed to go anywhere except to be at the very back of the church. Total Cost: $2400

Camera GearOther Gear

At least 2 flashes are required for Wedding photographers. I recommend the Nikon SB-700 ($329 each).
Total Cost: $658

For other gear you’ll also need to purchase flash triggers, memory cards, camera bags, reflectors, light stands, etc. Most of these gear vary based on your photography style.
Total Cost: $500-$1500


Business Essentials

In this important section I will cover the things that you will need to pay for to get your business legal as a professional photographer and the essentials that you need to do the right way. Costs do vary based on the different locations, business type and marketplace. These cost indicated below is my best attempt to estimate that you can expect to pay.
Incorporating your business: $125
Yearly Accounting Services: For the year-end tax filing and those occasional questions. $300
Easy Client & Money Manager: A spreadsheet system that tracks business finances. $129
Yearly Business Insurance: $600
Product Samples: I recommend product samples so that you can encourage your clients to buy them. Clients will most likely buy what they can see. Invest in samples. $200-$1000

Legal Fees & Photography Contracts

Legal fees vary from attorney to attorney and can cost approximately $400 an hour. If an attorney writes up a contract, it can take 3-4 hours starting from scratch or 1 hour to review an existing drafted contract.

Due to these high rates, I personally feel that it would be better to purchase photography contracts from Tad Crawford. His software contains 34 forms for photographers, each accompanied by step-by-step instructions, advice on standard contractual provisions, and unique negotiation checklists to guide professionals to the best deal. Photography Contracts: $18

Apple_iMac_27in_2012_800Computer & Software

For Design and Photography, iMac is the best in the world.
21″ iMac Computer: $1299
2 x Backup Hard Drives: $85 each: Total cost: $170
Screen Calibrator: $299
Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom 5: $119

Your Very Own Website

As a photographer it is essential to display your work online. If you plan to get clients that don’t know you, buying easy web design software will get you there. Please stay away from those free websites. With WordPress, you can create an unlimited number of sites and pages, design bespoke web graphics and banners and add interactive gadgets, photos and videos – all with simple drag and drop tools. When Hosting your website, HostGator has been a world-leading provider of web hosting services. They offer packages for both beginners and professionals alike. Each Hosting plan includes 24/7/365 support, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Website yearly hosting & domain name cost: $70
Website Design Software: FREE

Other Business Necessities

I would like to walk the extra mile by saying that many photographers that want to start a business does not have any idea on how to actually run a business. Getting new client might be a challenge, do they know how to attract clients they want, or how to encourage them to buy their products. Most of them have no idea how to set prices or how to deal with client workflow.

Months are spent (even years) trying things that do not work. They will then end up feeling exhausted and frustrated seeing that their business isn’t growing.
To avoid wasting time and money, the following courses and tools should be included in your start-up costs as training. This can be used so that you can actually do things right and get the clients and profit you need.

How 2 Price Photography Workbook: Have confidence that your pricing is actually making you the money you expect it to be making. $97

Modern Photography Course: This school is what you have been looking for. As a photography hobbyist you should be on the lookout for educational information. It delivers fantastic tips. By training with them you will learn how to see the world differently through a lens and take some exceptional photographs. I tell every photographer I know about these courses. There are short videos packed with information but short enough that a busy mom of kids can squeeze in a lesson here and there. You will be excited to practice what was learned.

The information presented by the Modern Photography Course is clear and professional, but is accessible to a wide range of skill levels. You will be very happy to join with them. You will start to see a difference between the photographs you take and the ones other people take. It would be difficult to actually be IN photographs as people ask will ask you to take them more and more. If you want consistently great results, this course is a must! $297 one year plan

The Costs of Starting a Photography Business

Costs may vary. My list of start up costs is absolutely necessary to get your photography business started. There might be many extra things you WANT to buy, such as fancy packets, props and gear, office and studio space. This list was created to indicate the absolute essentials you need to purchase if you were starting out and wanted to do things right from the beginning of your photography career.

Total Costs of starting a Portrait Photography Business: $9,323 – $13,118
Total Costs of starting a Wedding Photography Business: $13,981 – $17,776
So, for less than $10,000 you can start a portrait photography business and for less than $14,000 you can start a wedding photography business.


How to Start a Photography Business

Learn The Basics On How To Start A Photography Business

I love and enjoy photography and making money from it, is a huge bonus. There are so many ways that you can sell your photography images, but first you need to learn how to start a photography business the right way. To use an example for the different types of photography, you can become a professional wedding photographer, take wildlife photos, become part of the action in sports photography or even open your very own portrait studio.

The first thing that you need to consider before you start a photography business is to choose what type of photography you want to specialise in. If you focus on a smaller niche market photography, it would be much easier to attract potential clients. The next step is to make an informed choice on what location you want to work from. Are you thinking about operating a home-based photography business or leasing a retail space? Think about what will be working best with your work style and schedule. Knowing how to start a photography business is not just an approach, it is a proper decision that you need to make in your market area.

Do you need specialized photography training or certification to run a business? If you would like to impress your customers and dominate your competition, I highly recommend that you go for professional training that you can use to improve your specialised skills. This is not required though. Bottom line, getting guidance from expert photographers with years and years of experience in the industry, will be the corner building blocks of your business. You do not have to pay expensive amounts of money to learn professional photography as there are plenty of places on the Internet to learn at a fraction of the cost.

No matter what you choose on how to start a photography business, all the same business principles apply. Marketing your photography business is another topic that you need to think about. There are many home-based photographers that are making up to two hundred dollars per day, without being equipped with expensive equipment or having years of experience. You can sell your photographs online by using the Internet as a promoting tool. You can also sell stock photos online. To create an online website or to use a marketplace to advertise your images would cost much lower than leasing an office space. This would be the ideal way to launch your photography business if you are a budget-conscious entrepreneur.

There are websites where you can sell your photographs online for free or at a lower cost. For me, an online marketplace would be the simplest way to sell photographs on the Internet as they are targeting buyers that are looking for specific images. You can use this to your advantage and create images that you know would sell in the market. These marketplaces are already attracting huge amounts of online traffic that are generally ready to buy. Learning how to start a photography business isn’t that simple if you aren’t willing put in effort from your side.

Another way to market your professional services is to print brochures that illustrate your expertise in photography. Show people what you can do with your images, as they are worth a thousand words. Always use quality marketing material in brochures, but it doesn’t always have to be expensive. If you use design software to create your own brochures, it will cost you less to just print them, by getting a discounted price.

I have prepared the following list of resources that I would recommend buying if I was starting out as a photographer and would like to learn how to start a photography business.
(And for full disclosure, since I’m all about doing things right, almost all the links in this article pays me a commission if you use them, so please use my links and thanks for helping support this site by using them to make your purchases!)


Photography Business Secrets

Give your photography business an edge with these professional insights. There are already more than 150,000 professional photographers in the U.S., according to Department of Labor statistics, and thousands of serious amateurs are continually seeking to become established. Whether yours is a new or long-standing photography business, you have plenty of competition. Lara White has collected the best advice from her popular photography business website,, into this guide for your reference. She covers establishing your brand, defining policies, setting prices, creating a marketing plan and networking.

Total cost: $21

Start a Successful Photography Business in 34 Days

Start a Successful Photography Business in 34 Days

This book was created to help you get your portrait or wedding photography business started or totally revitalized and allow you to start earning a real income with photography. It is written for the photographer who is new to the photography business or the photographer who has recently started a business and is struggling with booking clients or running their business successfully. Unlike other books on the business of photography, in this book you will learn while you take action. This book will not teach you about lighting, posing or equipment; it will guide you in building a successful photography business and earning income with your camera.

Total cost: $15

2014 Photographer’s Market

2014 Photographer’s Market

Thousands of successful photographers have trusted Photographer’s Market as a resource for growing their businesses. This edition contains the most comprehensive and up-to-date market contacts for working photographers today: magazines, book publishers, greeting card companies, stock agencies, advertising firms, contests and more.

Total cost: $22

How To Become A Professional Photographer

Inspirational Tips On How To Become A Professional Photographer

There are so many people around us that would love to learn how to become a professional photographer and they will have many questions that need to be answered. The most common questions are what type of camera would be best for photography and how much money can be made. Friends, there are many choices and topics to think about, before just jumping into photography and making it your career. By the end of this article, you will have a rough idea on the basic challenges that will come your way in starting a photography business.

Photography is not just about taking photos and selling your services to everyone you come across, it’s a passion you should have and something you want to do for the rest of your life. Photography is an art and most people will tell you that they started photography, because they just love it and it makes them happy. Are you after the money in photography or are you doing professional photography with a passionate heart?

Before you just make a choice to become a professional photographer, first sit down and think if it really is what you want to do. By actually thinking and making a proper and informed decision, it will save you from buying a three thousand dollar camera and wasting money on gear that you will not be using soon.

My best advice is to learn photography by taking a class or workshop. Increasing your knowledge would be your ideal power tool and the key on learning how to become a professional photographer. You also need to consider learning the basic fundamentals of running a business. It would not help you to understand your camera and knowing how to take great images, but knows nothing about marketing your work and running your business. There are many resources available online that you can use to your advantage to learn photography. You do not have to pay for every class you come across.

Practice makes perfect. By using your camera and going out and practicing with it, you will start to understand how your camera works and what all the functions will do. Test everything on your camera and complete the exercises you come across when learning photography. After you have perfected your camera and you understand it, start to think about what type of photography you want to specialise in.

If you specialise in a specific type of photography career, it will be much easier for you to obtain clients in the photography market. The world around us are changing so fast and it becomes harder and harder to dominate your competitors. Build a strong portfolio, by offering your services to friend and family for free at first. Once you have done this and you have images that compliment all your hard work and effort, build a website to display them. If you do not have enough knowledge on building a website, you can always use social marketing websites to display your images.

You can start out part-time as you are still busy building a portfolio and when you feel confident and comfortable enough, you can charge for your services by creating packages. Many new and professional photographers do not know how to charge photography. I do not blame them as each photographer’s price would depend on what the total amount is they want to make at the end of each year. Never compare prices and just charge what you think the market would pay for your services. You will always find people charging cheap prices to undercut you, but that is a reality that you need to live with.

I have prepared the following list of resources that I would recommend buying if I was starting out as a photographer and would like to learn how to become a professional photographer.

(And for full disclosure, since I’m all about doing things right, almost all the links in this article pays me a commission if you use them, so please use my links and thanks for helping support this site by using them to make your purchases!)

Going ProGoing Pro

You’ve got the gear, the training, and the technology. You’re ready to make the leap from aspiring to be a professional photographer. Now what? With today’s affordable, high-quality cameras, Internet technology, and training, any weekend warrior can hang a shingle and open a photography business. But what then? While anyone can buy a professional quality camera, few have the skills to turn their dreams into a profitable business. Going Pro is the essential guide to leaping successfully into any genre of professional photography.
Total cost: $22


Digital PhotographyScott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set

With over 800 of the most closely guarded photographic “tricks of the trade,” this boxed set–consisting of all four parts of Scott Kelby’s best-selling series, The Digital Photography Book–is the ultimate resource for any one who wants to shoot dramatically better-looking, sharper, more colorful, more professional-looking photos every time.
Total cost: $55