Feb 2022 1st edition

Capturing moments a viable business

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

Self-taught photographer Mlungisi Busakwe (29) runs a successful photography business in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

In 2015, Busakwe started his company,  Book of Ben, and his work got a significant boost when he received R50 000 in funding from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). 

“The funding came during the 2020 lockdown. I bought the latest equipment and this ensured better quality of the work and allowed me to charge premium prices for my services,” he says.

Busakwe worked hard to master his craft. When he started, he would take pictures of any interesting objects, such as: people and nature. Self taught photographer, Mlungisi Busakwe, gives advice on running a profitable photography business.

Busakwe says being a photographer in the digital era creates a lot of opportunities. His business specialises in capturing special moments such as baby showers, weddings, maternity shoots and parties. 
“These celebrations take place very often and the demand for photography has increased. Most people now store photos online,” he says.

Busakwe believes photography has endless opportunities for those with creativity and passion. He advises aspirant photographers to get proper planning and equipment to get started.

Where to start

  • Get a good quality camera and learn how to use it;
  • Learn how to take pictures of people;
  • Learn how to communicate and market yourself;
  • Learn what type of photographer you would like to be. 

Busakwe says, while social media and websites are primary platforms to market a business, word of mouth still brings in many clients, which requires a photographer to be professional at all times.

“People take you seriously when you take yourself and your business seriously. That will market your business in ways you never imagined,” he says.
Busakwe advises aspirant photographers to research prices of competitors and then use that as their benchmark for their own prices.

NYDA has funding opportunities for people below the age of 35. For more information about the NYDA’s, visit www.nyda.gov.za  or call 087 158 6345.

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