by Gavin Stoker Published 01/12/2011
'Tax doesn't need to be taxing' runs the old adage, and neither does the process of getting yourself set up in business as a photographer - as long as you know the resources to turn to says Gavin Stoker
Looking to turn your passion for photography into a business, or ramp up your status from semi-pro to fulltime pro? Starting anything new can be daunting - but not if you have a helping hand to guide you. Fortunately that's where we come in, this article being aimed at providing a quick overview of the aspects you need to consider to get set up and trading as a professional photographer.
Filling your shop window
First things first: any photographer worth their salt needs a website; it's your shop window to the world. With the need to impress from the get go and make your photography stand out in a competitive marketplace, it makes sense to go to experts who are well versed in what pro photographers need and clients demand from an online presence.
Amazinginternet.com is one such outfit, based in Teddington, Middlesex. Among its recent successes is the addition of a new Pro Series to fill the gap between its template 'Portfolio' service for £25+ VAT per month - build your site quickly and easily from pre-designed templates - and its full custom design service. The Pro Series is designed to look like a custom built professional site, but at a third of the price, which is bound to appeal to any business start-up.
The idea is that the photographer chooses an existing design, which is then branded with your own logo and colour scheme. Features including a blog and e-commerce section (the company's 'Amazing Photostore' service) can also be added; in short the site can be tailored to your needs and is expandable and updatable.
While a figure of £999 + VAT may look daunting in the current climate,bear in mind that such an expense can be set against your tax bill. Like any site it's an investment in your business, and hopefully one that will bring in business of its own, repaying you several fold. On going hosting charge is £100 + VAT per annum, while MD Tom Hardy makes the point that even photographers opting for top price custom website design service have often made back their expense within weeks or months.
Alternatively a free 30-day trial of the Portfolio website series is offered by Amazinginternet upon registration, so you can get a feel of what's on offer without paying out upfront. "We still have hundreds of clients using our Portfolio service quite happily and this template service gives the person on no budget a chance of something that can be made to look not like a template for a low monthly cost," adds Tom.
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