Business Photoshoot: Deductions

There is nothing quite like a grainy, unprofessional photo of a business owner on their website to turn you off in a big way! For this reason, one of my first investments in my business was a photoshoot. 

Business coaches and creative entrepreneurs need to have business photoshoots for those beautiful headshots. Read this blog post to learn about what you can deduct from your small business taxes.

I think this is an incredibly smart investment for your business! Good photos of you displayed proudly on your website instills trust in your potential clients that you are legit and not some faceless scammer behind a pretty website.

With that said, I don't think you need to go out and book a $2,000 shoot if you only have $200 in the bank. Yes, the photos will be amazing, but you have to trust the process and not jump for big ticket items before they make sense for you business. If you don't have enough to afford a high-end photographer, try looking instead for a smaller studio that does head shots. You'll at least have a clear image on your website that shows your pretty smile and warms the hearts of your potentials ;)

A question I've been asked and see around social is..

What exactly is tax deductible about a photoshoot you are doing for your business?

Let's start with what is, then move to what isn't, and end with the grey areas.

Tax Deductible!

Photographer's Fees

Everything from the studio fee, the photographer's fee to travel to a destination, and rights to the photos is all tax deductible! The shoot will be used in your promotional media and "signage" on your website so it's included.

Location Reservation Fee

Some people prefer to be in a studio while others prefer to have their photos taken on site of a beautiful landmark or luxury location. Some of these nicer locations require a reservation and accompanying fee to take photos on their property. You're covered here too. Definitely keep the receipt here and write directly on it what it was for.

Not Tax Deductible :(

Brows or a Facial

These expenses are benefiting you personally and are not just going to be for the shoot. You will be enjoying these benefits beyond the scope of the photoshoot so sorry, these don't count.

Outfits

This is one people always think is deductible and so they go buy a $100 dress and find out later it's not deductible! The rules can be a little confusing here, but let me try to shed some light. Basically if the outfit you buy could take the place of your current clothing, it's not deductible. Some instances where clothing is deductible is in the case of having a uniform that can't replace your normal clothing like nursing scrubs or a mechanic's jumpsuit.

Wishy Washy Grey Area

Hair

If you get a cut this is definitely not tax deductible because you will "wear" this haircut beyond the photoshoot. Getting your hair styled for the shoot will probably be considered tax deductible because it is for this one day and purpose and can't be enjoyed beyond this purpose. I say probably here because the rules are not extremely clear here, but this is the generally agreed upon stance.

Makeup

Again, this is kind of that grey area. If you get your makeup done professionally on the day of your shoot you are probably ok here. Purchasing makeup for the shoot however, is likely not deductible. Most any makeup can be worn on a daily basis. For this reason, it is extremely hard to find makeup that fits this rule of not being appropriate for wear beyond the photoshoot.