So, you want to start a photography side hustle but are unsure where to begin?

First of all, it takes a lot of courage to even think about starting your own business so the fact you've made it this far says a lot about you already! 

Now, I'm still learning too and will be for quite some time but wanted to share a few things that helped me kick-start my photography journey and hopefully inspire a few of you to do the same.

Snap my snaps

This Facebook page - Snap by Snaps, would have to be the holy grail for beginner photographers in New Zealand. It helps connect new businesses with budding photographers so they get a few snaps to share on social media and you get a few snaps for your portfolio - it's a win-win really. 

This page is a great starting point but be mindful to value your work and be sure the product or payment you receive is reflecting the time and effort you are putting into the shoot. 

Start a gram page

This may be pretty straightforward but the power of social media should not be underestimated. You can connect and build relationships with some epic brands and it helps to have a platform where you can just let your creativity run wild. 

Don't get too caught up on followers and engagement as these metrics do not mean your image is good or bad. Just share work you are proud of and you may be surprised by the posts that do well. 

Challenge yourself

A great way to start is to create your own little photo challenge - this could be a 10-day challenge where you share a new image demonstrating your skills or you could choose a topic and showcase different elements of the process. 

A top tip here is to learn how to create Reels. I know, I know, you want to start a photography business but the Instagram platform is changing every month and if you want to gain exposure Reels are the way to go. A Reel can be as simple as behind the scenes or set up vs final image. 

Grab a camera and just snapping

Honestly, there is no better way to learn than to just pick up your camera and start shooting. A great way to kickstart those creative juices is to look in your fridge, bathroom, bedroom or garage for different products and then play with different camera settings and lighting around your house. A good starting point is to set up a makeshift 'studio' by a big window and take a photo of the product using every pre-loaded setting on your camera. It sounds hectic but a great way to compare each image and it's settings.

Reach out respectfully

Now that you've got a few images under your belt you can reach out to brands that you've taken photos of their products and just say that you were teaching yourself how to use your camera and wanted to share these images with them. It's all about relationship building and you'd be surprised at how willing brands are to help out new creatives.  

Support local 

New Zealand has an excellent culture of supporting local.

Reach out to small businesses that you can see are in the need of fresh imagery. Offer your services for free or at a discounted rate. 

You could start by offering five photos free so it's nothing too major but a great way to build a relationship. 

Most companies will offer products in exchange for snaps which is fine for a couple of shots but at the end of the day, product doesn't pay the bills so be reasonable with yourself. If you feel like you are not at the point to charge for images yet, perhaps you could ask for a testimonial or if they could leave a review on your website.

So there you have it, a few tips and tricks to kickstart your photography journey. If you can even just take one thing away from this post I know you'll do fab out there!

Keep snapping, 

G x