How Should I Invest into My Business?

how to invest in your photogrphy

I have such a passion for photography and  really want to go into this photography thing full swing, but don’t have a lot of gear. Should i invest in my photography biz? (ie credit cards and buy everything right at the beginning)

What another great question! This is a very important question and if you don’t make a wise choice you could end out “up a creek” without camera! (That expression might not be the best but you get the jist.) Let’s read what some of our Protogs are saying!


Obviously, you need good quality gear to create the best possible quality but debt is not the answer. It’s always better to work hard and work up to saving the amount need for the next upgrade. Usually, when you work, save, and pay cash for something you take better care of and really appreciate it more. If you just use a credit card, what if the novelty of photography wears off and you don’t pursue the hobby or profession? Just something to think about.

Chris Hsieh

of La Brissa Photography -Dallas/Fort Worth, TX and Manhattan, KS

Never go into debt to start your photography business. In this industry, there is no guarantee that you will ever make enough money to pay back your debts. Rent/borrow gear until you can afford to purchase what you NEED instead of what you want.

Erin Fisher

of Erin Fisher Photography -Twenytnine Palms, CA

There is no doubt that good gear makes a world of difference in the quality of work and the range of possibilities we have as photographers!  That said, you can do a whole lot with one nice camera and one fabulous lens.  I have 4 lenses in my bag, and I use the same one for almost every shot at almost every session!!!   You can add lenses or other equipment to your collection as you start making a decent profit…  But if you are just starting out, a great camera and a smoking lens will do the trick!!

Megan Vaughan

of Megan Vaughan Photography -Forest, VA

My advice would be to rent a couple pieces of equipment at a time, and see what works best for you and the style of imagery you want to create. What works for some may not work for you. It’s better to rent than pay thousands of dollars and not like your equipment! Once you do find gear you love, learn every single thing about it and master it completely. After that, save up and buy another piece of equipment. Master that as well, and so on.

Photography is an expensive hobby, but I wouldn’t recommend getting a credit card! You don’t want to go into debt. Take your time, save your pennies and pay for everything in cash. It’ll take time to learn who you are an as artist and who you want your target clientele to be. Be patient, soak up as much knowledge as you can and slowly build yourself up to be the photographer and artist you want to be. That’s the best way you can invest in your business. 🙂

Elaine Garland

of James & Elaine Photography – Tampa, FL

Being young and foolish at the start, we wanted to feel more “legit” and went into a good amount of debt purchasing all new gear. Double at that because there’s two of us. We naively thought we’d make that money back in no time. Unfortunately, the debt became a never-ending hole.

My advice? Use what you have and ROCK IT. Secondly, don’t make a purchase until you’re able to buy it out right by budgeting to save money from each session or wedding. Bookings can fluctuate and being in debt is not worth the risk. Aim to run a debt free business. In the mean time, to achieve the branding and style you’re aiming for, price yourself accordingly to rent until you can purchase.

Peggy Farren

of Avant-Garde Images – Naples, FL

Your first step should be to develop a business plan – include marketing and a plan to purchase equipment. Start part-time and invest in equipment as you go – starting with good lenses. Assist every photographer and take every class you can to learn more about photography and the business of photography. You can make decent money as a second shooter or subcontractor.  You’ll also be making good connections who can refer business to you.  You can rent equipment if needed.  You need connections, skill and business acumen when starting out. 

*This is meant to be an interactive series, so, what do you think? Was this helpful or do you have a different perspective? Comment below and share your thoughts with us. It’s always neat to read other opinions. Or, maybe reading this, sparked a question of your own. Head on over to the “Ask A Protog” page and ask away!

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JoN McClure

Started FEATUREDphotog with his wife for one reason: To help the aspiring photographer get their first feature! Plus, site has resources, articles, products, and even a podcast devoted to the aspiring photographer that is beginning and wants a long term pursuits of becoming a professional photographer. Subscribe today and contact us to see if we can help in any way.