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Best Photography Business Loans

Let’s face it - camera equipment is expensive. And while you may be able to start your photography business with just a camera or two, you’ll soon need to invest in more equipment if you want to grow your business and provide better service.

Photography Business Loans
Christi Gorbett
Written by:Christi Gorbett
Freelance Content Marketing Writer

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, Content Writer and Editor

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may affect which companies we write about and where the company appears on a page. However, any analyses, or reviews expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been approved or endorsed by any partner.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult for professional photographers to find funding through traditional banks and credit unions. Like other small business owners, many professional photographers net relatively small monthly revenue. So where do you turn when you need to purchase new photography equipment, build a studio, or pay for unexpected expenses?

The good news is there are plenty of alternative small business lenders with more lenient requirements to help you finance your photography business.

Our Top Picks for Photography Business Loans

kabbage
  • No prepayment penalties and no origination fees
  • Easy application process
  • Monthly fee : 2-9% for 6 month loans, 4.5-18% for 12-month loans, 6.75-27% for 18-month loans
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 640
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $2K-$250K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment Up to 18 months
biz2credit review
  • Multiple loan types available
  • Funding in 48h
  • Soft credit pull
credit score
Min. Credit Score 600+
loan amount
Loan Amount $25K - $6M
loan repayment
Loan Repayment 12-36 months
fundera
  • Connections to multiple lenders
  • Competitive rates
  • Soft credit check
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 550+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K-$5M
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment Up to 30 years

How to Choose the Best Photography Businesses Loan

Here are the factors you should take into consideration when comparing loans; these are also the criteria our experts have used when providing recommendations in this guide.

  • Loan Features: The most important factor to consider is the loan features including loan amounts, how long you have to repay the loan, and repayment options (monthly, weekly, daily).
  • Application Process: Take into account the invasiveness of the application, how difficult it is to complete, and how quickly you receive the funds. Check whether the lender conducts a hard credit pull that will reduce your credit score or a soft credit pull that has no effect.
  • Interest Rates and Fees: Shop around to find the most competitive APRs. Also check whether the lender charges loan origination, maintenance, or prepayment fees, as these can add up quickly.
  • Qualification Process: Each lender has its own set of qualifications. Check to make sure that you meet the minimum credit score, annual revenue, and business history requirements.
  • Customer Support: Check to make sure they offer multi-channel customer service support with access to a live representative to help with photography financing.
  • Online User Reviews: You can also find vital information about the lender through independent review sites like Trustpilot.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Lenders may also offer additional bonuses such as payment flexibility, advanced technology, and transparency about rates and fees.

Best Photography Business Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

Below is an overview of some of the best lenders for photography business loans and the financial products they provide.

1. Kabbage - Best for Fair Monthly Revenue

Kabbage offers a business line of credit ranging from $2,000 to $250,000. Because Kabbage is an unsecured loan, it can be an ideal choice for a photographer who’s just getting started. Kabbage also has fair credit score requirement of 640. Just be aware that borrowers with lower credit scores typically face higher monthly fees.

Pros
Fair minimum credit score requirement (640)
Straightforward application process
Fair monthly revenue requirement ($3,000)
Cons
Borrowers with low credit scores typically pay higher monthly fees
Fee system can seem complicated

Once approved, you can make multiple draws against your credit line. Each draw is a separate 6-,12-, or 18- month installment loan. 

Kabbage charges a monthly fee instead of an APR. Fees are as follows:

  • 2-9% for 6-month loans 
  • 4.5-18% for 12-month loans 
  • 6.75-27% for 18-month loans

The Bottom Line

Kabbage’s fast processing time and reasonable qualification requirements make their line of credit an excellent choice for photographers facing an unexpected business expense. Just consider the fee structure when calculating your total costs.

Try Kabbage

2. Biz2Credit - Best for Term Loans

Term loans through Biz2Credit are a great option for photography business financing because they offer a wide range of loan amounts with repayment terms up to three years. This means no matter what you’re financing - whether it’s camera and lighting equipment, new studio space, or hiring an assistant - term loans can provide the funds you need.

Pros
Easy, straightforward application process
Loan disbursed quickly, often within 72 hours
Lender offers various loan types
High borrowing limits
Cons
Rigorous loan eligibility requirements
Few repayment options
Origination fees assessed on loans


Biz2Credit offers term loans in amounts ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. APRs start at 7.99% for well-qualified borrowers with repayment terms between 1 to 3 years. Biz2Credit does charge an underwriting fee, which can range between $250-$400. Repayment can be made either weekly or bi-monthly; monthly payments are not permitted.

Qualifying for these photography loans may be challenging for some, especially if you’ve just started your business; you must be in operation for at least 18 months with $250,000 in annual revenue to qualify. It’s also recommended that you have a credit score of at least 660 to get the best loan terms.

The Bottom Line

Biz2Credit’s term loans are the perfect option for a successful photographer with good credit who’s been in business for more than 18 months. With their high loan limits and lengthy repayment terms, these photography business loans can be used for practically any expense you may incur.

Try Biz2Credit

3. Credibly – Best for Business Expansion Loans

If you need a loan for your photography business, one of the best options is the business expansion loan available through Credibly. With these loans, you can borrow up to $250,000 to finance your growing business. Loans can be used for practically any purpose including building an in-home studio, paying for a professional website, hiring an assistant, and buying new equipment. You have up to ten years to pay back the loans, which makes these an affordable option for expanding your business.

Pros
Simple and straightforward application process
Works with many different lenders
Offers a variety of loan types
Borrowing limits are higher than average
Loans made available to borrowers with poor credit
Cons
APR may be high for borrowers with poor credit
Business expansion loan requirements not divulged
Most associated lenders charge an origination fee


Credibly offers a wide range of financial products including working capital loans, a business line of credit, equipment financing, and SBA loans. One of their most attractive options is the business expansion loan, which allows photographers to borrow up to $250,000 and take up to 24 months to pay it back.

Business expansion loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including building a new photography studio, purchasing equipment, and hiring more help. APRs for these photography loans range between 8% and 25%; on top of that, you’ll also likely pay a loan origination fee that equals 2.5% of the loan amount. Unfortunately, the requirements for approval aren’t publicly available, so check with the provider for more information.

The Bottom Line

Business expansion loans through Credibly are an excellent choice if you’re ready to grow your business but you don’t have the necessary funds. Loans can be used for practically any purpose, and paid back over 24 months, which makes this an easy, affordable way to build your photography business.

4. Bluevine – Best for Business Line of Credit

Bluevine offers photography business loans in the form of a business line of credit. A line of credit is a flexible borrowing option for photographers who need fast cash to cover unexpected expenses, like a broken lens or camera. Loan amounts range from $6,000 to $250,000 but these are a short-term option with repayment expected within six to 12 months.

Pros
An easy application process
Fast disbursement of funds
Low credit score requirements
Fair interest rates
Cons
Repayment required within 6 to 12 months
Borrowers with poor credit may incur high APRs
Not available in Nevada, North and South Dakota


Bluevine offers a business line of credit to photographers who need quick access to a flexible line of spending. Borrowers are approved for an amount between $6,000 and $250,000 and can make draws any time they need funds. APRs start at 4.8% with repayment required within 6 to 12 months.

To qualify for a business line of credit through Bluevine, you need to have a credit score of at least 625. Also, your photography business should be at least 6 months old and earn a minimum of $10,000 per month. There are no maintenance fees on this account.

The Bottom Line

Bluevine’s business line of credit is an excellent finance option for photographers who need money to cover the cost of doing business; it’s especially helpful when you need to pay for unexpected expenses. For example, if you’re hired for a big event and need help carrying equipment and setting up shots, you have access to funds to pay for additional personnel.

Try BlueVine

5. Fora Financial - Best for Short-Term Loans with Bad Credit

Fora Financial’s short-term loans are an excellent finance option for photographers with poor credit, limited income, or little time in business. To qualify, you only need to be in business for 6 months. Fora Financial also requires $12,000 minimum in gross sales. The lender does not specify a minimum credit score, but says that it will evaluate your business model and plans.  These short-term loans are especially helpful if you need to pay for emergency expenses, like replacing broken lighting equipment. 

Pros
Easy application with little documentation needed
Quick disbursement, as fast as 24 hours
Low annual revenue requirement
Cons
Assesses borrowing and origination fees
Interest rates vary
Higher APRs for poor credit borrowers
Repayment required in four to 15 months


Fora Financial offers short-term loans for photography business owners with bad credit. Loans can be taken out in any amount between $5,000 and $750,000 but must be repaid within 4 to 15 months. APRs vary but are typically charged at a 1.1 to 1.9 factor rate. That means if you borrow $10,000 at a factor rate of 1.2, you’ll have to repay $12,000.

The qualification requirements for these photography business loans are very accessible. You only need to be in business for 6 months with a $12,000 minimum in gross sales to qualify. Fora Financial does assess several additional fees, including a 10% to 30% borrowing fee, a loan origination fee up to 2.5% plus late payment fees of $35.

The Bottom Line

If you need cash quickly but have bad credit, little revenue, or limited business history, then Fora Financial’s short-term loans are the perfect solution. These are an excellent choice if you encounter unexpected costs like replacing a damaged lens or fixing a broken camera.

6. OnDeck - Best for Short-Term Loans

OnDeck’s short-term loans are an excellent financing option for thriving photography businesses that need a quick infusion of cash. Loans can be taken out in any amount between $5,000 to $250,000 but must be repaid within 3 to 24 months, making these a great choice for paying unforeseen expenses like replacing broken equipment.

Pros
The application process is simple
Approval decisions are made quickly
You may receive funding in as little as 24 hours
The credit score requirement is relatively low
Cons
Only two lending options available
Broad range of interest rates
Limited options for repayment terms
Origination and maintenance fees may apply


OnDeck offers short-term photography business loans in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. APRs for these loans vary with well-qualified borrowers earning the best interest rates. As a short-term financing option, these loans must be repaid within 3 to 24 months.

Requirements for OnDeck’s loans are relatively strict. To qualify, you must have a credit score of at least 600 and be in business for one year. The annual revenue requirement is $100,000. Repayment can be made either daily, weekly, or monthly with no penalty for early pay off.

The Bottom Line

OnDeck’s term loans are a great option for photographers whose businesses are temporarily short on cash. For example, this would be the ideal solution for a successful wedding photographer who needs an influx of cash to cover costs during winter when few bookings are available.

Try OnDeck

Best Photography Business Loans - Main Features

Below is a summary of the features offered by each of our recommended lenders; use this to compare your options and find the one that best meets your needs.

Company Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
Kabbage 640 12 months $3,000 monthly $2,000 - $250,000 See above.
Biz2Credit 660 18 months $250,000 $25,000 - $500,000 Starting at 7.99%
Fundera 600 2 years $130,000 Up to 100% of the cost of the equipment From 4% to 40%
Credibly Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed Up to $250,000 Between 8% - 25%
Bluevine 625 6 months $120,000 $6,000 to $250,000 Starting at 4.8%
Fora Financial Undisclosed 6 months $12,000 $5,000-$750,000 Varies
OnDeck 600 12 months $100,000 $5,000 - $250,000 Not disclosed

What Are the Costs of Running a Photography Business?

As you make plans to open your photography business, there are several expenses you need to keep in mind. Some of the most common include:

  • Cameras: Of course, you’ll need a variety of camera equipment to get your business started. While you may have a camera or two already on hand, you should assess how many cameras you’ll need to run a successful photography business. Purchasing cameras can run you anywhere from $1,250 to $8,000.
  • Lenses: To take the best pictures, you’ll also need access to a variety of lenses, which can cost around $950 or more per lens.
  • Lighting: To make sure your subjects are well-lit, you’ll need camera flashes, reflectors, and other lighting accessories; these will likely cost you approximately $300 or more.
  • Backdrops: If you plan on taking studio portraits, backdrops are a must. These can cost you anywhere from $40 to $750 depending on the material, manufacturer, and type you choose.
  • Computers and Software: You’ll need access to at least one work computer plus software to edit the photos you take. A computer will likely run you $1,300 with software costing at least $250 per year.
  • Transportation: Though its often overlooked when calculating expenses, you shouldn’t forget to add in how much it costs for you to drive to and from events and photoshoot locations, which will vary depending on mileage.
  • Rent: Another expense to include is rent for your studio or office, which can cost anywhere from $850 to $5,000 per month based on the size of the space and your location.

You’ll also need to factor in occasional costs, like when you need to replace or repair equipment. It’s recommended that you draw up a business plan detailing each of these costs, so you know what expenses to expect as your company grows.


Types of Loans Available to Photography Business Owners

Professional photographers have access to various types of loans. Some of the most common include:

Term Loans: These are a standard financial product offered by many banks, credit unions, and online lenders. The terms and loan amounts vary widely as do the interest rates and accepted loan uses, which makes it easy for photographers to find a term loan that matches their needs.

Business Line of Credit: When you open a line of credit, you’re given access to a fixed amount of capital that can be used any time your business needs a quick injection of cash. These are great for covering unexpected expenses or making ends meet when bookings are limited.

Equipment Financing: While other loans can be applied to practically any business expense, these are for one purpose only: to finance your photography equipment. However, the definition of equipment is fairly broad. Equipment financing loans can be used to purchase cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, backdrops, camera bags, and even computers for your business.

Business Expansion Loans: The purpose of a business expansion loan is to provide you with the capital you need to grow your business. For example, this loan can be used to lease a new space for your photography studio, hire personnel to assist at events, or purchase new equipment.

SBA Loans: These business loans are backed by the Small Business Administration and can be used in a variety of ways. They’re a popular option because they offer low APRs and long repayment periods, but they’re often difficult to qualify for.


How to Use a Photography Business Loan?

There’s a variety of photography financing options available on the market. Though loan purpose may vary by lender, you can often use borrowed funds on:

  • Photography Equipment: Loans can be used to purchase photography gear including cameras, flashes, filters, reflectors, speed lights, backdrops, props, and tripods.
  • Advertising: Borrowed funds can also be applied toward advertising costs. For example, you can use loans to pay for a professional website or hire a marketing firm to advertise your services through radio, newspaper, and social media.
  • Continuing Education: If you want to improve your photography skills by taking a class or two, loans can be used to cover the cost of education.
  • Studio or Office Space: Some loans can also be used to help you secure and update space for a photography studio or office. For example, you can use borrowed capital to renovate your recently acquired office space to transform it into a photography studio.
  • Office Equipment: Loans can be used to cover the cost of any office equipment or other supplies you may need to buy. This includes computers, office furniture, a photo printer, business cards, telephones, and external hard drives for storing photos
  • Day-to-Day Expenses: You can also use loans to cover the day-to-day expenses of running a business. For example, if you find you’re not getting many bookings during the winter, you can take out a loan to help make ends meet.

How to Qualify for a Photography Business Loan?

One of the biggest concerns photographers have when searching for business loans is “Will I qualify?” Thankfully, you can increase your chances of success by following the tips below:

  1. Have a Clear Purpose for the Loan
  2. The first step towards successfully applying for a loan is to have a clear purpose for the borrowed funds. Some loans have limitations on how they can be used. For example, if you want to expand your business by purchasing new equipment, hiring some help, and building an in-home photography studio, don’t bother with equipment financing—look at business expansion loans instead.

  3. Determine How Much You Want to Borrow
  4. Before you start checking out the various photography loans on the market, you should sit down and calculate how much you need to borrow; this will also help narrow down your options to those that best meet your needs.

  5. Know Your Personal Credit Score
  6. One of the biggest limiting factors in applying for a loan is your own personal credit score; if it’s too low, you’ll have fewer options available. Before completing any applications, make sure to find out what your credit score is so you can avoid loans you don’t qualify for.

  7. Gather the Necessary InformationGather the Necessary Information
  8. Depending on the lender and how rigorous their requirements, you may need to provide some documentation proving your time in business and annual revenue. It’s a good idea to gather this information in advance and have it on hand when applying to make sure you meet the loan qualifications.

  9. Be Selective When Applying for Loans
  10. To improve your chances of qualifying for a loan, it’s important to compare your options and apply only to loans that meet your needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting time and energy with unnecessary loan applications that lead nowhere (and could end up knocking your credit score down a few points)

Conclusion

Running your own photography business is an exciting venture; you not only have the chance to connect with people, but you also get to capture some of their most important moments in life. But being a business owner isn’t always easy; you may need to take out loans to help your photography business grow and thrive. Thankfully, there are many options for photography financing available on the market; all you have to do is compare the various options to find one that suits your needs

About the Author

Christi Gorbett

Written by: Christi Gorbett

Freelance Content Marketing Writer

Freelance Content Marketing Writer specializing in finance, personal development, education, marketing, web development, food & beverage manufacturing, pet, and contracting/home improvement niches.

More about me
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Reviewed by: Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Content Writer and Editor

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt is an editor, writer, and content strategist with a focus on personal finance, careers, and DEI. A small business owner for over a decade, Jen helps publications and brands create and optimize B2B and B2C content.

More about me

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