i get it. it’s seriously insanely terrifying to take your weekend hobby photographing your neighbors kids and friends senior photos for a few bucks or free lunch. right now things are good, you make a lil extra cash, you’re walking away with killer images and people are really liking your work! but, you know you can turn this lil side hobby into a real JOB. and by job i mean; a passion driven, money-making, full-time career as a wedding photographer. YES. you can do that, seriously. every photographer starts by photographing their friends and getting paid barely enough to upgrade gear, let alone file llc paperwork and get quickbooks. and you’re just like them, just like me.
i started a little different than other photographers. my mom was a wedding photographer and her second shooter bailed on her last minute and she dragged me along with a rented camera and left me on auto settings to get whatever i could (still very proud of my shot of the couples first kiss with roses in the air that their bridal party threw) and i actually really didn’t want to be there. i wanted to be at a concert with my friends and was so upset as a 19 year old dragged to work with my mom, but i finally caught the bug and couldn’t. give. the. camera. back. it was mine now. (well the rented one had to go back but my moms second camera was officially mine)
i begged my friends to get in front of the camera, asked everyone if they wanted updated family photos, i couldn’t get enough. i loved every bit of being a photographer. through college i learned that i was becoming a business woman whether i liked it or not (and surprisingly fell in love with that aspect as well, another reminder that you never know what will ignite a passion until you get into it!!) but was sooooo lost on what to do. i was booking major weddings, filling summers shooting every day and weekend, getting paid more than i ever imagined. i was instantly in charge of a business i didn’t know how to run. i had to ask my mom questions (she was trying to figure it all out and was just a few steps ahead, but still never made things official herself!) and mr.google was my best friend at the time, but still didn’t have barely the answers i had questions for.
how is google going to know whether becoming an llc is really the right step for you and your business? how the heck is google going to know what you need to invest in, or what the best client management systems are for your business. these are the questions i not only couldn’t find answers for, but barely knew to ask. of course, you can find all kinds of things on the internet, you can listen to all the instagram ads for the workshops to take and free downloads that might show you the next big idea for wedding photographers, but you and your business are unique.
right now it might feel like you can barely get enough clients as it is. how do you find new people? how do you price yourself to make sure you are covering your expenses AND taking some home to pay our own bills? how do you market to your ideal client, and know that what you are doing is actually working? the thing is, you don’t. it might feel like all of it is sooo much to figure out. how in the world are you going to decide, or know, what you are supposed to be doing to make it all legal and official? dude, i get it. all of it seems like it’s more worth than it’s worth! and there really isn’t much more i can tell you other than, you just should. you should take those steps to file your llc paperwork. you should invest in honeybook to serve your clients in a massive way you never expected you could. you SHOULD invest in yourself because be honest, how else are you supposed to follow your dreams?
if you are reading this post, it means you have put the time and effort into figuring all this out, and probably on your own. the thing is, it doesn’t have to be as confusing as it was for me. you don’t have to keep asking those general questions to me.google every time you don’t know if you should file for the llc, or be tracking mileage for taxes (p.s. please track your miles, just do it!)
here’s the thing. running a business ain’t easy. it takes work and time and dedications, but heck YOU ARE WORTH THAT. because this is clearly a passion, and you deserve to be following your dreams as a photographer! i promise you the work is worth it. if you don’t want to walk that path alone – i’m here to walk right alongside you! if you want to get a checklist of all the things for photographers to up-level their businesses with all the things most photographers put off (and the steps and info to help you with each task) you can get my FREE photographers ultimate business checklist here!!
i have a mentor program that walks you through all these things and so so much more. if you feel like you need a hand in stepping up your business operations, getting strategic in your social media + branding, understanding who your ideal client is and how to price yourself so they pay you what you really deserve, my mentor program covers all of this and more! i’d love to see you in there!