Becoming and establishing myself as a professional pet-friendly family & branding photographer was not an easy or quick journey. Because the honest answer is, consistency, practice, and constantly improving upon your mistakes are what make you a professional in anything, and photography is no exception. It took me 5 years of doing photography as a hobby before figuring out what it takes to make it a business and here’s what I found.
A Customer Relationship Manager is essential for keeping track of inquiries, follow-ups, and payments!
I would be lost without my Honeybook allowing me to organize and file all my ongoing projects and keeps all my client’s information in one spot.
A CRM allows you to save messages, contracts, invoices, and many other useful templates to make responding to clients and new inquiries effortless!
Above all else, using Honeybook for one month I DOUBLED the investment in sales by being able to keep on top of projects and follow-up easily!
Separating your money from business money is so essential once you start solely making your income from photography.
Also, creating a separate account will save you the headache at tax time of going through and trying to sort ‘personal’ from ‘business’ expenses. When you download Quickbooks Self-employed you can link your bank account to the app which allows you to keep track of expenses and mileage, and automatically makes reports for taxes.
You don’t need to hire a top-of-the-line designer, a college degree, or coding experience!
Most website providers have tons of easily customizable templates built-in. However, there are also tons of affordable templates for sale by other designers.
Website basics to book more clients:
Location, what you do (family, newborn, etc.), who you are, consistent work, pricing, and a way to contact.
BONUS: Schedule professional photos of YOU!! Showing yourself in front of the camera makes it easier to trust as a photographer!
You don’t need to know your exact style and use the same preset for all your sessions!! Each session is unique and has lighting situations that no preset will fix no matter how good it is!
Don’t be afraid to try new things! But it’s important to have a system for delivering what your clients expect from you based on what you have online!
Your post-session workflow of cull, edit, and delivery should be figured out to where you can send your sneak peeks and full galleries within a timeframe that matches the expectations you set with your clients.
BONUS TIP: Create model calls and shoot for free to eliminate any pressure in finding your style when starting out!
Did you know that I only took ONE photography class in my 5 years of college?!
However, rest I learned by hiring other photographers who were already at the level I aspired to be at and hired them to help me fast-track the success of my business.
Taking courses allowed me to develop and hone in skills that have made me into the photographer I am today.
Overall, every course I have ever taken has easily paid for itself in the number of bookings I achieve after implementing the skills.
I’ve been collecting valuable information over the years from my own experiences and mentors. I decided to put it all into a course of my own coming soon *wink, wink*.
Keep up to date on educational resources, the studio space, and more here!
Branding photos are what you use to market yourself on your website & social media. These sessions are also a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera. One of my favorite way to get new branding photos is to reach out to local photographers to trade! It’s a great learning experience getting to work with other photographers, build your community, and have images you can edit in your own style for your website!