How To Start A Photo Studio Business in Nigeria
The need for a photo studio to cover events such as these is never an issue of argument. A photo studio business thus fits itself perfectly into the life of the modern Nigerian person. And as it thrives here, so does it thrive anywhere else.
Today, it has unofficially become a norm to post photos of events on the different social media platforms. This is to create a public awareness of the happenings or proposed happenings of such events. Aside from creating awareness, people go to the photo studio to take pictures for the sake of memory and remembrance.
How Profitable is Photo Studio Business?
The profitability of running a photo studio business cannot be overstretched. Owning a photo studio automatically makes you a boss of yourself. Employing people to work in your studio makes you a job creator in the society. Photography services are demanded almost hourly by almost everyone. The business of Photographing, though a bit stressful, is without mincing words, a money spinner.
Market Structure Of Photo Studio Business, Demand Analysis, Competition And Opportunities
Being a profitable but less stressful business, a photo studio business is one business that puts to test your creativity and love for art. Your creativity and passion for art come to play in terms of choosing the right color of clothes to fit your client.
The demand for photographers is on the increase these days due to the number of events that happen here and there. However, the proliferation of quack photographers in the trade has not out the profession in good light lately.
Be that as it may, your capacity to act positively different and add value to your clients will give you an edge in the industry. The Nigerian photo studio market is, however, competitive. You must do more than average to have a major breakthrough in present-day Nigeria photo studio business environment.
Steps Involves in Starting A Profitable Photo Studio Business.
(1) Learn The Skills First
You cannot just begin practicing photography business or photo studio business when you next-to-nothing about the business. So, getting the required skills comes first.
This you can do by enrolling for at least six (6) months apprenticeship with a good photo studio in town. To understand the business fully, I suggest you stay there up to two (2) years and learn the nitty-gritty of the business.
Alternatively, you can enroll in a photography school where you can equally learn this business. At the end of your programme (whether under apprenticeship or from a photography school), obtain a good certificate.
This will attest to your proficiency in the photography business and photo studio management generally.
(2) Get The Required Technology and Equipment
Whether you want to be a studio-studio photographer or a mobile photographer, there are a few things you must need to keep in place.
- A Good “Nixon” Camera
- A Personal Computer like laptop where you can do your photo editing and production.
- Consumables (Photograph cards, films, battery/cells etc.)
- Black & White/Coloured clothes
- Background shade
- Lighting equipment
- Makeup materials
(3) Choose A Suitable Business Location
In every business, your location matters a lot. Where you locate your business can attract more customers, or make you lose customers.
In photo studio business, your location should be easily accessible, perhaps along a major road in town or walkway. It must not be hidden from passersby.
Remember, it is a business for everybody and not for few people. Do not be a sit-tight photo studio businessman or businesswoman. Go out there and scout for jobs at events also. You could direct your clients to your photo studio thereafter.
(4) Get Necessary Finance
The finance for photo studio business covers equipment purchases, cost of renting a shop or business center, cost of lighting, cost of tools (i.e., camera) etc. These things are costly and are not things that cannot (or should not) be gotten as fairly-used.
Also, some of these costs are fixed costs (i.e., rent, power supply) and must be paid up-front. So, on a rough estimate, about N1,000,000 should be enough to cover both the fixed and variable costs.
(5) Get Affiliated And Certified
The first thing is to register this business with the Corporate Affair Commission of Nigeria, CAC. Proceed from thee and join necessary bodies regulating corporate photography business in Nigeria. These can be at national, state or local government levels. Trade unionism is sine-qua-non to success in any business, including, of course, Photo studio business.
Joining these bodies will make you an accredited photographer in Nigeria. It will not only boost your popularity, but it might get you the chance of attending special governmental functions under the auspices of your union or organization. It might also get you contracts which you may not have gotten if you were alone. So, take this point very seriously.
Basic Professional Photography Skills You Must Have
People basically go to the Photo studio so that they could get a professionally produced picture/video. So, one of the basic skills in Photo studio business which you must get is graphics editing skills (video and audio).
You can get these skills on your own via self-study and practice. Else, pay to learn and get perfected in the use of Photoshop, Corel Draw, Adobe Premier, etc.
That aside you need to undergo at least six (6) months apprenticeship in Photo studio business management. This will help you to run this business professionally and successfully.
Poor management is the bane of business success, and Photo studio business is not excused from this. Ineffective and inefficient business management shows itself in poor administration, staffing, promotion/advertisement, networking, forecasting etc. Where you are weak in this area, please, consider hiring a Manager to handle it. You will still be the CEO of the business.
Basic Sustainability & Productivity Tips
Photo studio business needs trained staff who can stand in your absence. On marketing, try to create a long-lasting brand. It should be simple, but attractive. That is where “packaging” comes in. Customers care matters very much in this business. Your reception determines if they would stay long in the business or not. Give bonuses from time to time, slash prices, do editing for free. Go extra miles to add value to your business.