Photography Business Loans

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Photography business loans

How to Get Financing for a Photography Business

Photography businesses are one of the most popular forms of creative entrepreneurship thanks to the accessibility of good photography equipment. With cameras attached to our phones that blow the everyday cameras of 20 years ago out of the water, it’s much easier to start honing your photography skills and get hooked on capturing moments in time.

Of course, being a hobbyist and running a photography business are two very different things and the costs of running a photography business can be high - and to cover the growth of your business you may need a photography business loan.

Applying for photography business financing is fast and easy:

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Can you get a loan for a photography business?

While launching a photography business can be thrilling, securing funding as a brand new venture can be challenging. Many traditional business lenders require established companies with at least one or two years of operating history before offering loans.

For aspiring photographers with limited business experience, utilizing a personal loan while still employed can be a strategic pathway to initial funding. This approach leverages your current income and creditworthiness to access capital, which can then be dedicated to business expenses like equipment purchase, marketing, or setting up a studio.

Remember, securing any loan requires responsible planning and financial discipline. Be sure to thoroughly compare personal loan options, considering factors like interest rates, repayment terms, and origination fees. Additionally, ensure your business plan is well-defined, outlining how the loan will be used to generate sustainable income and repay the debt.

What can a photography business loan be used for?

You can use a photography business loan for:

  • Renting or purchasing a studio or business premises
  • Equipment (cameras, lenses, lighting, computers, props, backgrounds, etc.)
  • Software
  • Outsourcing branding, website design
  • Taxes and fees
  • Hiring temporary or permanent employees

Best photography business loans

We recommend:

Best for Short Term Loans: OnDeck

OnDeck Business Loan Review


Funding: Borrow $5,000 - $250,000
Minimum Credit Score: 600
Loan term: up to 36 months
Funding turnaround: as soon as same business day

OnDeck offers fast business loan options such as term loans, business lines of credit, and SBA PPP loans and funding as fast as 24 hours. Minimum requirements include: at least 1 year in business, 600 credit score, $100,000 in gross annual revenue and a business checking account.

OnDeck offers fast funding of short-term loans (6-12 months on average) and accepts those with lower credit scores.

  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
  • Interest rate: 9-99%
  • At least 2 years must have passed since a bankruptcy
  • Requires personal guarantee and business lien

Best for Business Line of Credit: BlueVine



Funding: Borrow $5,000 - $250,000
Minimum Credit Score: 600
Loan term: 6-12 months
Funding turnaround: 24-48 hours

With BlueVine, borrowers can get approval as fast as 24 hours and obtain a business line of credit for short term capital needs while only paying interest on the funds you borrow.

BlueVine offers flexible borrowing with a line of credit. Interest rates start at 15% and customers can access their line of credit in as little as 12 hours.

  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000
  • Interest rate: starts at 15%
  • Requires personal guarantee and business lien
  • Weekly repayments
  • Not available in the Dakotas or Vermont

Best for Equipment Loans: Triton Capital

Triton Capital

Triton Capital

Funding: Borrow up to $250,000
Minimum Credit Score: 600
Best For: Equipment Financing in various industries
Funding turnaround: 1-2 business days

Borrowers seeking equipment financing can obtain a loan up to $250K with Triton Capital and obtain fast funding without prepayment penalties. Personal guarantee is required along with a $250,000 annual income to qualify. Repayment options are flexible and the minimum time in business must be 2 years.

Triton Capital offers equipment loans with rates starting at just 5%, flexible repayment options, and fast funding.

  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years (however startups can get funding in some situations)
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000
  • Interest rate: starts at 5%
  • Requires personal guarantee and business lien

Types of photography business financing options

  • SBA Loans: SBA loans are secured by the Small Business Administration and offered by a wide range of lenders. These loans are some of the most attractive business loans for businesses, as they offer long terms and low-interest rates. They offer 3 main loan programs: the 7(a) program (great for growing businesses with relatively high revenue), the 504 loan program (for large assets such as real estate), and the microloan program, which will be the best choice for most photography businesses.
  • Microloans: Besides the SBA microloan program we touched on above, there are other local organizations that support small businesses with microloans. These microloans often have good terms, small loan amounts ($6,000 - $15,000 on average), and may offer (or require) business mentorship.
  • Term Loans: Business term loans are essentially the personal loan of the business world, offered by banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders with a wide range of terms and rates. Short-term loans are usually offered by alternative lenders with high-interest rates (36% is common) for 3-12 months. Medium and long-term loans usually have better rates, but more stringent qualification requirements. These loans are generally for 2-5 years (with long-term loans being 5-10 years) with rates around 5-15%.
  • Business Credit Cards: If you only need to cover small purchases for a short time, a business credit card can be a valuable tool. If you can, qualifying for a rewards credit card can help you earn back rewards on everyday expenditure. The key with credit cards is to not hold a balance at all, or at least not for more than 3-6 months at a time to avoid paying high interest. Credit cards are often more accessible for new businesses.
  • Business Line of Credit: A business line of credit works like a credit card, giving you access to a line of credit up to a specified limit, and only charging you interest on the money you’ve borrowed. The difference here is it acts more like a bank account, and you aren’t limited to spending only on things that accept card payments. Most lenders offering lines of credit will only offer to businesses that have been active for 2 years or more.
  • Equipment Loans: Equipment loans are term loans where the equipment itself acts as collateral. This makes securing them easier, often with lower rates, but it can make purchasing expensive (especially if what you buy quickly depreciates), and if you default the equipment will be taken from you. If that happens and the value of the equipment will not cover your remaining balance, you’ll still be liable for that debt. That said, used well, they are one of the best ways to finance equipment.
  • Merchant Cash Advance: If you charge your customers via card or an online service like PayPal, you may be able to use a merchant cash advance. This is where your payment processor offers you a loan based on your transactions. This is a good option for newer businesses or business owners with a poor credit score, as they only care about how much money you’re turning over. They then take a percentage of every transaction until the loan is paid off.
  • Invoice Financing: Invoice financing and invoice factoring are good options for photographers working with big brands and have to wait to be paid. Invoice factoring is where you sell the invoice to another company (a good option if you have poor credit, but not good if you want to keep control of the customer journey), and invoice financing is where you borrow around 80% of the value of your invoice and repay it when your customer pays you.

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Can I start a photography business with no money? How much does it cost to start a photography business?

Whether or not you can start a photography business with no money will depend on the equipment you have. While a new top iPhone has a fantastic camera, you may not find your clients are impressed when you pull out your phone to take their pictures. If you already have a good camera, lens, and access to some basic photo software, you may be able to avoid additional costs for the first few months of your business.

That said, it’s certainly easier to have some money to cover the costs of starting a photography business. While costs vary, you may expect to pay:

  • $2,000 - $8,000 for a camera and lens
  • $200 - $800 on lighting and backgrounds
  • $100 on your website
  • Rent for a studio
  • Computer and software $1,500 - $3,000

Don’t be afraid to look for quality secondhand items when you’re first starting your business. You can upgrade to the best later, once you’ve found your ideal niche and have started generating revenue.

What are the pros and cons of photography business loans?


  • Affordable interest rates if you have good credit and business history
  • Spread the cost of business growth
  • Improve business and personal credit


  • Difficult to qualify for if you haven’t been in business for 1-2 years
  • Some lenders require comprehensive documentation
  • Interest rates are typically high

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How to apply for a photography business loan

Requirements vary from lender to lender, but they’ll generally be looking for:

  • 1-2 years in business (some may accept 6 months, but opportunities for startups are very limited)
  • A personal credit score of 600 or more
  • Annual revenue of $100,000 is usually required, though some accept $50,000 or have no minimum revenue requirements

Once you’ve decided that a business loan is the best way to grow your photography business, it’s time to compare rates and apply. Browse through the best business lenders in our tables and when you find the one that best suits your needs, click apply. Most of the lenders here offer funding in as little as 2 days.

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