If you’d like to become a photographer, but you don’t like the sound of all the risks and responsibilities that come with going it alone, starting a franchise could be a game-changing option for you, offering you the best of both worlds. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a photographer in the world of franchising.
This article pulls together all the tips and tricks you’ll need to know and the steps you’ll need to take in order to become a successful photographer, and dives into exactly what the job entails. If you’re creative, but still looking to make a profit, the photography sector is a solid choice, with a market revenue of £1.2 billion [IBIS World].
What does a photographer do?
Photographers are responsible for taking pictures of people, landscapes and much more. They’re often a part of special events and important moments in the lives of other people, and might specialise in a number of different sectors, including:
- Portrait photography
- Fashion photography
- Sports photography
- Wedding and event photography
- Architecture photography
- Fine art photography
- Product photography
As a photographer with a franchise business, you often won’t need any previous industry experience, as your franchisor will provide you with comprehensive training and support to get you up and running. Still, you’ll be best placed to succeed if you have certain transferable soft skills, such as:
- Customer service
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of the fine arts
- Tech savviness and computer competence
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How do you become a photographer?
1. Get qualified
Though not necessary, getting qualified ahead of entering the industry could give you a competitive edge and make the work easier to complete. If you love to learn, and you’re willing to take the extra, time, consider qualifications such as:
- A degree/Foundation degree/Higher National Diploma in Photography, Visual Art, Commercial Photography or Art and Design
- An NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography
- An A-Level in Photography
- A Level 3 Diploma in Photography
- A Level 3 Photographic Assistant Qualification
2. Do your research
Before you sign a legally binding document with your franchisor and tie yourself into a contract of several years, you need to know exactly what you’re signing. Complete a thorough course of research, asking all the important questions, before deciding on a photography franchise to make an investment with. When researching, consider all of the following:
- Initial and ongoing costs
- Training and support provided
- Reputation of the franchisor/business
- Success of current franchisees with the business
- Customer demand for (and market position of) the business
3. Create a business plan
Whether you’re creating the business plan to present to your franchisor, or to present to UK banks in search of funding, or for your own reference as you go about getting your business off the grounds, you’ll need to include the following crucial elements, applicable regardless of your sector of operation:
- An executive summary
- A business description
- Product/service descriptions
- A management summary
- Market analysis
- Operational details
- Sales and marketing plans
- Business premises plans
- Financial projections and needs
Franchise opportunities in the photography sector
If you’d like to start your own photography business, an investment in an established franchise is one of the safest, least risky ways to get it done. Here are just a couple examples of available opportunities in the sector:
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1. Venture Studios
Venture Studios was founded in 2000, and has since become the UK’s leading family portrait photographer, offering customers a personal and bespoke experience. It’s grown a substantial amount since starting, and now has franchise models across three continents, with 16 studios in the UK, as well as studios in Asia and the USA.
- Becoming a Venture Studios franchisee: No previous experience is required to become a Venture Studios franchisee, but the company is looking for partners with the ability, passion and determination to lead a business. Venture Studios is also hoping for a customer-focused franchisee with a hands-on approach to marketing and leadership.
- How much you need to invest: To become a Venture Studios franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of £35,000, with a total investment cost of £70,000. Your expected revenue after two years is £444,000.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your investment, you’ll be entitled to a comprehensive training programme accredited by the British Institute of Professional Photography. On top of this, you’ll receive a mixture of classroom and studio placement training.
2. Opus Media
Opus Media was created by Paul Furlong. Paul believes that quality video and photography production can bring a brand to life, helping the audience to connect with the work and helping organisations to tell their own stories.
- Becoming an Opus Media franchisee: No previous experience is required to become an Opus Media franchisee, but the business is looking for partners who can demonstrate drive, motivation and passion for photography or video content creation.
- How much you need to invest: To become an Opus Media franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £15,000. Government support is available to cover up to 100% of the funding fee.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your investment, you’ll be entitled to head office and regional support, marketing assistance, equipment and stationary, an initial training programme and an exclusive area of operation.
Run a photography franchise and turn your passion into profit
After reading this article, you should have a clear sense of whether you’re interested in becoming a photographer or not. It’s a lucrative, rewarding and creative job, but it can also be stressful and unpredictable. Only you can say if it’s right for you. Just know that franchising is a lower risk alternative to going it alone, and worthy of consideration if financial worries are holding you back.
If you’re still weighing things up, check out some other Point Franchise articles on the subject, including a deep dive into how to make a career change with a photography franchise and some tips on building a successful business plan for a photography franchise.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©