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If You Want to Become a Photographer, Read This!

Photography is a career full of telling stories and serving people. Owning my own photography business has proven to be such a blessing in our lives. But I didn't always know this is what I would be doing. If you're interested in reading about how I got into photography, here's the story.

Why I Love What I Do

  • I get to hang out with people, create a space for them to connect comfortably with their loved ones, and then capture moments that TELL THEIR STORY. That’s what good pictures do. They tell a story.

  • In the first year after having our daughter, my husband commented to me, “What’d they do in olden days when they didn’t have cameras? Did they have people constantly paint pictures of their kids? I wouldn’t be able to remember what she looked like when she was a newborn.”

That’s what we get to be a part of as photographers, creating images that literally outlast us.

  • It offers a creative outlet.

  • I love having my own business and the motivation and challenge that is. Building it to be whatever I want it to be. I love that owning my own business offers me freedom to work when I want, plan my hours, travel when I want, serve who I want to serve, when I want to serve them.

Why It Can Be Hard Sometimes

  • Owning a photography business can mean wearing a lot of hats:

    • Photographer, editor, financial bookkeeper, customer service, marketer, social media manager, blogger, website upkeep, graphic designer

  • BUT! That's when you can hire others to help with the parts that you don’t love! Owning a business pretty much means you can build it as best you can, then hire others to do the stuff you don’t love.

What Do the Days Look Like

Every day is different. If you like variety, you may love this.

As an entrepreneur, you’re in charge of your day. If it’s a wedding day, my day might look like:

  • Waking up, getting everything charged and ready

  • sending a quick encouraging message to the bride to touch base

  • driving to the venue

  • following the timeline that I created for this couple's wedding day

  • shooting all the things for around 8 hours (details, getting ready, first look, bride/groom portraits, bridal party, family, ceremony, reception)

  • getting home and either popping in the memory card and beginning to edit some favorites, OR being so exhausted and crashing.

Another day could look like:

  • emailing clients

  • updating my website

  • making tweaks to my session guides

  • editing a family session

  • delivering that family session gallery to clients and emailing them helpful tips on what to do with their new photo gallery

Interested in Photography And Want to Go to College?

Cool! Here are some options:

  • Major in photography or visual studies (not necessary, but it would give you a deep understanding of the field

    • the history of it, the ins and outs of cameras, techniques, etc.

  • Major in something more broad that can give you a wide skill set but still help you with your photography goals

    • business, marketing, communications

  • Major in something completely different and use photography as a hobby/ministry.

You Have Options

There are so many different avenues of photography:

  • family, newborn, senior

  • wedding

  • real estate

  • travel

  • advertising/branding/product

  • photojournalist

  • work for an agency

  • editorial (magazine, food)

  • fashion

  • fine art

  • business, corporate headshots

  • landscape

  • sports

  • wildlife

Practical Next Steps?

If you want to jump right in and start this thing TODAY, here are some practice steps you can take.

  • Research business options in your state (this link is for NC), and start on the path to become a legal business. This is necessary if you want to really start making legitimate money. A good CPA is also helpful.

  • Get some gear! I shoot with Canon, but you can choose whatever you'd like! Here's an article on some solid Canon camera options in 2022. I also recommend getting at least one lens other than a basic kit lens. The Canon 50mm 1.8 is a great, affordable prime (non-zoom) option. If you've only ever shot with a kit lens, this little guy will change your world.

  • Figure out those camera settings, and practice shooting on manual or aperture/shutter priority (blog post coming very soon about this).

  • Offer to shoot things for free - friends, family - it doesn't matter. Just get some practice and experience. This will help you figure out your camera, the settings, and what you actually enjoy shooting, all things that are super helpful when starting a photography business.

There you have it! Owning my own photography business has proved to be an immense blessing in our lives. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out on my Contact page. I love hearing from you!

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