Photography Business in Nigeria
Starting a photography business In Nigeria is kidda risky but it is a very profitable venture. However, it is very important to understand some of the key things before deciding what you want or how you want the business to be structured.
Like any business, the practitioner must have a deep interest for the profession. An inherent interest in the creative process of taking photographs will help in the overall success of the business.
In this part of the world, photography is mostly learned through apprenticeship by gaining experience from an established professional to know the rudiments of the game. After completion of the informal training, the next step is always to set up a studio, which involves capital.
Capital is the money used to start the business. In this case, the funds to get the necessary equipment would be put into consideration when planning to establish a photo studio.
Other fixed costs to consider would include rent (if the photographer chooses to get a studio) and other miscellaneous items. According to some practitioners who spoke with Business Post during a research into this topic, a new photographer who wants a standard studio can start with a budget of N3.5 million. However, you can start with a lower budget of about N500,000 to N1 million, depending on the tools and cost of rent to start your photography business in Nigeria.
Equipment and Estimated Costs
Photography is an expensive business because it involves a lot of technological hardware and software which are costly. Equipment comes in two varieties; hardware (physical) and software. Some of the major hardware components need in photography are:
- Two cameras: From N150,000 to N1.5 million or more.
- Multiple lenses: Prices range from N40,000 to N350,000.
- Two flashes: N15,000 to N100,000 each.
- Multiple memory cards: From N2,000 to N15,000 each
- Two external hard drives: From N10,000 to N45,000 or more, depending on the size (it is advisable to keep one backup off-site)
- Computer or laptop with sufficient memory: From N75,000 to N720,000, depending on the type, size, quality and make.
- A studio: The cost of renting a place for studio solely depends on location and the size. The studio has to be painted to make it attractive to customers. Also, the necessary lightening tools have to be put in place like the LED lights & Strobes, tripod stand, wireless triggers, props, prime lenses, zoom lenses, Photoflex reflector.
For the Software: This includes Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paintshop, PortraitPro, GIMP amongst others.
Note: These are not all software for photography and are subject to the preference and versatility of the photographer. They can be purchased from computer stores.
Business Opportunities in Photography Business in Nigeria
Photographers can find employment in a number of places. Either as a self-employed individual or an organisation attachment. The creative outlet is needed mostly in every human endeavour, including at
- Ceremonies: weddings, anniversaries, and celebrations.
- Stock photography.
- Contract photography.
- Commercial photography.
- Media photography.
- Celebrity photography/Paparazzi.
Common Challenges in photography business in Nigeria:
Like a host of other businesses, here are likely challenges that a would-be photographer could face:
Funds – This is regarded as the biggest challenge to the business of photography, new models of equipment are released regularly and with this comes a high cost. With a constant supply of income, a photography business will thrive.
Clients – Photography is a competitive business. Finding clients to patronise the establishment may be a challenge. Even when the photographer finds one, some are likely not to pay for services offered.
Competition – There are a lot of photographers. It is then crucial to build a network of people which services are rendered effectively and efficiently.
Infrastructure Deficiency – Electricity, among other basic infrastructural necessities, is sometimes lacking and this poses a great challenged to a digitally driven business such as photography.
Types/Branches of Photography
- Landscape Photography: Landscape photography is one of the most popular branches of photography. It is used to depict an environment or surrounding and can even portray environmental changes. Environmental conversationalists otherwise known as environmentalists have seriously taken to landscape photography, as it is able to give illustrations of changes that occur in an environment. Landscape photography is one that helps you capture what nature is at that moment or time. It doesn’t have to be the beautiful side of nature or the environment always. Deforestation and land degradation can be uniquely captured by a landscape photographer. Most landscapes pictures aims at depicting natures existence alone.
- Portrait Photography or Portraiture: This type of photography captures the personality of a person or a group of people by using poses, backdrops and effective lighting. Capturing people, their moods and expressions can be a huge excitement for photographers. Portraiture goes beyond capturing the face or physical appearance of a person or group of people. Portraiture captures a person in such a manner that the individual can almost be seen through from the picture. This is one of the most common types of photography in Nigeria. In order to excel in this photography branch, you need more than the required skills, you have to see through your clients and be able to place yourself in their world.
- Fashion Photography: Typically, a fashion photography is used to sell fashion designs and products to customers. This type of photography lures customers by displaying elegance and attractiveness of the fashion. It is a promising photography branch because it pays and the fashion world is ever expanding, creating room for more business for photographers. Apart from knowing how to tweak and make changes to your camera, you need to understand fashion yourself to be able to produce outstanding pictures. There will be different types of fashion shoots, sometimes you may shoot models on wedding gowns in the studio, or you may shoot gymnasts doing workouts to advertise work out kits or any other type of shoot. So, you have to understand fashion to get this work done right. You can learn from the internet, which is always a good place to start, read magazines for fashion photoshoots. You can also attach yourself to a professional and good fashion photographer. Get attached as a volunteer which a lot of people like, and learn the skills needed for this niche of photography.
- Night Photography: This is one of the most challenging branches of photography. Photography itself depends largely on presence of light, making a photograph in the absence of light will take a lot of skill, technique, creativity and image processing knowledge. Not everyone is cut out for this type of photography, but it is lucrative, fun and exciting. Photographers that have mastered this type of photography did not do so overnight. It requires patience and constant practice to get to the point of getting it right. These shots are best taken in manual mode of your camera, which allows you adjust the settings.
- Street Photography: Street photography is capturing the moments in public places in everyday life. In this type of photography, there is no perfect moment to take the perfect shot, as the opportunity arises, you take it. If you have to get your equipments to take a perfect shot, you may miss the opportunity, so you have to make do with what you have at the moment. Street photography goes beyond skills ; it is underpinned on your level of insight and the right timing. Your focus shouldn’t be just around busy spots or tourists spots, but try to capture real live scenes and image behind the scenes. Be perceptive in your approach.
- Glamour Photography: Though glamour photography stems from fashion photography, however, it goes a step ahead of it. Glamour photography is all about the glitz and extravagance. Such shoots are usually for magazines, billboards, prints or online or sometimes just for the screens. You have to be creative to do well in this branch of photography, because you may need to develop ideas for props or poses that will bring out the magic in a photo.
- Candid Photography: This is another popular branch of photography. It is the unplanned capturing of moments as they happen. Subjects are usually relaxed in this type of photography because they are usually unaware they are being photographed in the first place. One way to help you achieve this is to use a long zoom to enable you take that shot without making your presence known or felt, which keeps your subject relaxed and all natural.
- Conceptual/Fine Art Photography: This branch of photography is different from the others. Other photography captures what the photographer sees and every other person may see, but fine art photography captures and tries to interpret what the photographer himself/herself sees that no one else sees. This kind of photography carries messages. It brings out the artistic part of the photographer. Fiction plays a huge role in this branch of photography. Only someone with a good sense of art, combined with a creative mind can be a fine art photographer.
- Wedding Photography: This is one of the most popular branches of photography in Nigeria. The photographer captures the people and events of a wedding and tries to do so magnificently to the admiration of all. A good knowledge about candid photography is very useful here as sometimes, shots may be taken that captures natural moments of subjects unawares.
How to start your Photography Business in Nigeria
Choose your photography Niche
One of the mistakes most Photographers make is failing to choose the right photography niche,there are lots of photography competition every day, one of the best business decisions you can make is to specialize in a particular type of photography, we made a list of Photography niches above already, you can choose from the category to start your photography business in Nigeria.
Get your Photography Equipments
as mentioned earlier, your photography equipment is very important especially for your long-term investment in your new photography business. For beginners, you’ll need to get the best equipment in the market that is pocket friendly. we have given a list of photography equipments needed to start a photography business in Nigeria.
Improve your Shooting Skills
before you start a photography business in Nigeria it is very important that you understand light by shooting in manual mode. This may seem very intimidating at first, but once you really grasp the way light is captured in your camera, you are ready to take full creative control over each frame also improve in your capturing skills and be very unique so that your clients will always recommend you to others.
Choose your Location
When starting a photography business in Nigeria, Choosing the right location for your photography business is not to be joked with, although weddings can be done anywhere in Nigeria however you need to choose a location where ceremories are done often with less competitions, do your location survey and study the destined area before finalizing if it is suitable for your taste.
Get your business name, logo and unique brand
Getting a business name for your photography business in Nigeria, logo and brand gives it a unique and professional look in the eyes of clients. So take time to choose a catchy and professional name, a unique and attractive logo and then go ahead to brand.
Register your business
your photography business in Nigeria may not be regarded if not registered with the CAC and One way to keep your brand and business uniqueness away from theft is by registering it. You will need to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and any other association affiliated to your business in your area of operation. Registering your business also gives it a professional look and can boosts the confidence of your clients in your business, because it is a serious business that will go ahead to be registered, and who doesn’t like to do business with serious minded people(read how you can register your busines here with CAC)
Market and Advertise
This is essential for your business growth. Yes, new customers will come through referrals from existing customers, but a faster way to grow your business is to market and advertise your work.
In addition to Marketing your photography business in Nigeria via Online you may need to work on your Social media Presence and your Website/Blog.
to take your photography business in Nigeria to the Next level, you need to Advertise on social media consistently platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook e.t.c will take your social presence a long way start by Uploading a lot of quality photos. Do not make the mistake of copying photos from the internet and taking credits, you will be caught and the results will be disastrous.
Website and Blog
to start your photography business in Nigeria You may need a professional to design a website for your business(Optional), however, you could design a blog by yourself. Your website or blog should contain every single detail about your business, not the private details though. Your line of work should be clearly stated. Your contact information and charges should be there as well and any other information that is needed to advertise your business. Also, there should be high graded and quality pictures to show your work. You should have a lot of them there.
Be ready to attend events uninvited
for you to get more connections in your photography business in Nigeria as a beginner, Once you in a while attend uninvited events, while you do so, remember your aim is to get customers, for you to achieve that make sure you do the following:
- Create an attractive background that will lure those that pass by your studio.
- Encourage referrals and offer bonus to existing customers that refer new customers. For instance, you could offer one free shot to those that refer a new customer.
- You should have a nice waiting area, and a photo album of your best photos taken for first timers to see. Some people may just want to check out your studio, but once they become convinced of the quality of your work, they make up their minds right away.
Sponsor programmes and make this well known
You can put a sign to let people know the kind of programme you are sponsoring. For instance, you can tag your programme “the most photogenic kid in the neighborhood”. There should be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, to encourage participation. This will require some funds, but it will give you the desired popularity. Once you are able to deliver perfectly, even just in one occasion, it may be all the advert you need to make, because you will carve out a space in the minds and memories of the people around there.
FAQ on Photography Start up
How much does it cost to start a photography business in Nigeria?
Who is the Richest Photographer in Nigeria?
photography business in Nigeria is a tough business but very profitable however for you to have a successful and profitable photography business in Nigeria you need alot of capital to set it up, however, it has doubtless attractive return on investment (ROI). Let us make some analysis here. you don’t need to be told that wedding ceremonies happen all year round irrespective of rainy or dry season in Nigeria even during Epidemic and Pandemic Period you still find people getting married, even though most marriages takes place during the dry season. Hiring the services of a wedding photographer is very important as a marriage without photos is not yet a success. The least charged is #70,000 and if you are very good at what you do, your charge could be as high as #200,000 per wedding. So, if you charge an average of #150,000 per wedding, and you cover at leas least 3 wedding ceremonies in a month that will give you #450,000. This is huge because unlike other business, where you need to keep buying a lot of raw materials, it is not so with photography business, though you may need to buy certain things like printer ink, sensor gel stick or any other thing, they are not frequently bought items and could carry for months before they need to be replaced.
Hence you’d making a lot of income from the photography business in no time.