Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Get a jump start on the impending tax season! If you are considering taking your photography/videography to the next level and becoming a business, you will need to know a few things about taxes. Below is a brief list of things to consider, followed by some links to more in-depth guides.

• Determine if your photography/videography officially counts as a hobby or a for-profit endeavor. Here is a guide from the IRS to help you.

• If your work is more than a hobby, determine if you should be a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), an S Corp, or a Corporation.

• Get your EIN number. You can apply for one here.

• Find a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with existing clients who are photographers/videographers.

• Have ready a tally of income, expenses (travel, equipment, props, software, domain costs, and advertising). Even rentals are potentially tax deductible so save your BorrowLenses receipts!

• For any independent contractor you hire for more than $600 in one year, you’ll need to fill out a 1099 form for both that person and the government.


For more information, check out the following articles:

Also check out 5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this post is provided for reference purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional tax planner or financial planner.

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Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. See her lighting tutorials here. She is a Marketing Associate Manager at She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. Before focusing on studio portraiture, she shot motorsports for X-Games, World Rally Cross, and Formula Drift. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.

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