Wow, I Never Knew It Was So Easy To Make Money At Photography

I’ve had a point and shoot since high school and love to play around at photography. The other day I picked up one of those camera specials at the big box store – you know, where it comes with a body and a lens all in one?

So I was thinking, I’m pretty good at photography, and because I haven’t had a raise in five years and my husband has been out of work for 18 months, I think I’ll make some money at it.

I’ve already shot a wedding and did a pretty good job. Its easy. You just show up and keep shooting. Sure I ended up with over 3000 images. But I had to take that many; by the time I went through them and took out all the bad ones, I had 400 great ones left. And after I Photoshopped what was left, I have to say they were pretty good. The bride seemed pretty happy with her CD.

And I made $500 bucks for my effort! That really looked good in our bank account. Sure, I work during the week, and the wedding took 10 hours out of my Saturday. But the kids will understand – this is a tough time. So $500 and 10 hours of time – that’s $50 an hour. Yipppeeee. Oh wait, I guess I did spend 5 hours on Sunday editing the 3000 down to 400. Oh, and I did spend the several hours each night over the following week Photoshopping those final 400. And I did meet the bride for coffee so she could look through the disk on her computer. And I might have to meet her again if she wants to order anything else – but she does have the images so that probably won’t happen anyway.

I loved the camera I used as well. Sure, I couldn’t get everything I wanted – its hard with the one lens. I’ll save up and buy another one soon, but for now the one camera body and one lens should do just fine. The on camera flash seemed to work pretty well too. This last wedding was in the middle of the day and held out on a patio area, so I didn’t need much flash anyway. It can’t be that much different at a night wedding, or a wedding reception in a dance hall with low lighting, right? And as long as I’m careful with my camera, the one should last me this entire season.

I talked with another bride today and she asked me about price. I have no idea what to charge, but I do know everyone I’m talking with wants a CD with all the files. They really don’t care about prints or albums or frames, so I know I’m going to stick with handing them a CD with all the images. That seems like the easiest way. And since I’m new at this, I know I can’t charge what others do. I searched online today and found several photographers in my area that charged $1000, $1200 and $1500 for wedding coverage. So I’ll low-ball it to make sure I get plenty of work. I think I’ll offer a $500 and an $800 package.

Business license? I need one of those? A tax ID? Insurance? Really? I want to do this bare-bones. What do I absolutely have to have in order to get this business off the ground? All else can wait.

I’ve worked the last five weekends, and boy am I getting tired. The weddings are all over town, so I’m averaging 10 hours per Saturday. And of course you can double those hours with production time. I haven’t spent any time with the kids in weeks. We’re having to get babysitters too as my husband found a part time job as well. But in five weeks, I’ve made $2500. Of course I have no idea where the money went. Groceries, gas, dentist bills and clothes for the kids. Probably a lot to the babysitter as well.

Oh no, I dropped my camera. And I have a wedding tomorrow. It should still work, right? It looks like its okay.

Well it wasn’t okay. And now the bride is fuming. All of her pictures are messed up and I don’t know what to do. I told her I would spend a lot of time Photoshopping them and doing what I can to make them great.

After 50 hours of computer time, the bride is finally happy. Whew. I was worried she was going to sue me. And I haven’t had time to look into that insurance yet. Maybe I should do that this week…

This was the worst summer of my life. I have no extra money in the bank, I’ve been working 7 days a week for the past 5 months, I don’t even know who my kids are anymore, I haven’t spoken with my husband in 3 weeks, and I have a pile of work still left to do. Photography used to be fun – it’s a huge chore now. There’s nothing creative about it. I just show up and literally start shooting in hopes I capture something great. I hate posing as I really don’t know how to do it. And I’m always stressed out and worried my camera will die or I’ll have to replace a lens. And these bridezillas! I had no idea some of them could be so demanding. They really want me to get a shot like that? How would I do that?

They say the best way to get more weddings is to market your business. What? I have a business card, but I can’t afford anything else. And do I really want to anyway? I can’t imagine having another summer like this. Maybe its time to hang up my camera and go back to shooting for fun.

I’m thinking there might be a little more to it in becoming a true professional photographer.

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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

  • J

    is this for real? or is it just a “troll” to piss off real photographers?

    its a troll right?

    either you deserve a standing ovation for how much this will piss off real photographers…

    or if this is actually real… i dont even know what to say…

    quit while youre WAY behind or get a video crew to record everything you do because it will be the most painful sitcom to watch you do – literally everything – the wrong way.

    Either way… kudos on getting a bunch of photographers to read this and repost it as “really? WTF!” haha

    J

  • Thanks J – Yes, I was just mocking the entire process. After 20 years in this business, I’ve seen this “tale” one too many times and thought it would be fun to create a post from that perspective. Glad you enjoyed!
    Lori

  • CBF

    I’m thinking you have been following the “sprayandpray” debates recently?

  • Pete L.

    I have to say, these condescending “You’re not really a pro unless you’re a pro, so stop thinking you’re a pro” articles are getting to be a little much. Not really sure what point they’re serving outside of making amateur photogs feel bad about themselves or maybe giving a few pros a laugh at their expense.

    In the time it took to write this, you probably could have written several smaller educational articles to help amateur photographers in an informative and helpful way instead of making them the butt of a joke. We were all amateurs at one point or another and had to learn and work our way up the ladder.

    Anyway, it’s just my two cents. I’m just sad that this is the type of thing I keep seeing in my feeds.

  • CBF – Oh yes, that’s always a hot topic and I love reading what everyone has to say about it.

    Lori

  • Hi Pete

    I understand what you’re saying, and that’s actually the goal of this site. I have over 1100 articles on here all geared towards helping people build up a successful business.

    That being said, sometimes it takes a little “shock” to wake people up and make them realize there is a better way. As an amateur, at some point you have to say “this isn’t worth it anymore” and you go searching for a way to turn it into a true business model. This was my intent. I wanted this to hit home with some people and say “that’s me” and I don’t want it to be anymore. I’m tired of working at my photography and trying to earn money at it, yet all I’m getting is “tired”. What can I do to turn it into a true business where I’m making money? Once you reach that point, then you can move forward and become a true artist that loves what they do AND makes money at it too.

    Lori

  • Adam

    Funny story. Actually I shot my first wedding ever. I’ have never been even assistant in such important event. It was my friend who asked me to do it. His wife asked for some wedding photo portfolio, but I didn’t have one, except a few formal events not related to wedding. I told the couple, that this would be my first time, but they were fine with that. I cooperate with bridal company and see photographers taking wedding photos, but never had a chance to work with them. So, I had some idea. At least I was honest with my friend. Anyway, I agree with your story , it’s very hard work. I really enjoyed after all, but next day morning I barly moved after 10h running around 🙂 I took about 1000s shots. My first time was also with adventure. I had my Nikon cam with my lens and SB-900. Wedding is very important and 2 bodies must have it. I rented D700 (good for high ISO in dark Church) with wide lens and flash. Motning after taking about 80 shots SD card for no reason showed me error message,that it may be damaged. Damn! I thought. Good I have another cam. Anyway, I decided to replace SD card and it worked. Lucky me, but I was worry about those 80 pictures. Then, in the Church, rented strobe had failed (SB-900). Good I had another one and could keep going. At the end, late afternoon at the reception, D700 died (mirror locked itself and zoom stooped working too). I was left with one camera, one flash and hope that next SD won’t fail. When everything was over and I returned home, the good news was that SD which gave me error in my D90 was fine when ai inserted to card reader and all 80 pics were there. D700 died after 329 photos were taken. As a first timer to do the wedding, it was quite stressful situation. What would be if another SD card didn’t work and another camera have died? I was really lucky.
    Now there is some work to do in Lightroom 🙂

  • PixelPeeper

    A photog in my area seems to be doing just this, she even says she has a this great pro camera, a Nikon D3000, she gets a ton of work, about 10 weddings on March, and she charges around $250… at least she is using an external flash, thou all of her pics seems to be shot with the flash straight on, yet people lover her for her (lack) of photoshop skills…

  • Thanks Adam – I love your story! Hope things are going better for you now.
    Lori

  • Pixel – I guess there will always be those photogs that can do it. But eventually they will get “tired” and start looking at things a bit different. At $250, I guarantee she’s making zero money. It will catch up with her. And if she is truly good at photography, hopefully she’ll look around and realize you can do this AND make money too.

    Lori

  • Pete L.

    Yeah I can understand what you’re trying to do. Maybe it’s just bad timing because every time I’ve seen an article in my feed from you guys lately it’s been this or “what a pro captures vs what an amateur shoots” or “3 Reasons You Should Give Up Your Dreams Of Being A Photographer”. Not to mention the same type of thing I see from so many other “Pro’s” or similar blogs as of late.

    My issue is that whether they are meant seriously, as a joke or just for pure shock value, the articles themselves and the volume at which they’ve been coming lately just comes off a bit elitist. And if I were you I’d be concerned about scaring off or offending those same amateurs. The very caricature of the person you describe here is someone on a budget, with a full time job trying to make some extra cash with a hobby they like, which describes a lot of people fairly.

    I’m not sure that means every soccer mom is running around calling themselves a professional or even thinking that. Those are the people that are probably grasping at straws to learn and improve, not be lectured on what they aren’t doing right. There may be a better way in our eyes, but that option isn’t always open to everyone. And if they’re making their 500 bucks and are happy, then so what? Another wise photographer once said to me that in this business, like in many others, there is a niche for everyone. The amateur who loves their hobby and maybe only has a single lens and is charging peanuts for the service might fit the budget of the person who cannot afford the $6,000 pro. And they might both end up very happy with the results.

    The other thing that bugs me about this mentality is that term “pro” is so broad. I consider myself a pro because I run a full time photography business and as you say, know my equipment inside and out. But I am still always learning, and there are “pro’s” I’ve met that have worked in the field for decades and truly are “pro’s” that I one day aspire to be like. I’ve also seen a lot of pro’s decades in that have work that the somewhat talented or lucky soccer mom can put to shame. It’s really subjective.

    Not everyone has to be a pro and an artist to enjoy what they do. If someone is unhappy with what they’re doing, they are going to make the change on their own (or not). I don’t think an article (or three) mocking everything they may or may not be doing right is going to be the big game changer that makes them drop everything they’re doing and shoves them into a career in photography.

    I guess what I’m saying is something more inspirational, at least in my mind, gives more fuel than a laundry list of negatives. An article of, “You may be an amateur now, but look at what you can accomplish if you…” might get people more excited to try new things. You know, the sports stars and leaders of the world don’t inspire the next generation by listing all the thing’s you are doing wrong, they try to inspire by what they have done or overcome and lead by an example so that others might follow. Just my opinion.

    And just as a P.S., I don’t mean this as an attack or to say you’re wrong or anything, I just don’t love the direction of this thought process in general.

  • I think the title should specify ‘Wedding Photography’ instead of just ‘photography’ but anyway, I like this article because it actually tells the ‘newbies’ that it’s not easy to be a wedding photographer. in total, 1 wedding can take up to 45-50 hours of your time, from the 1st time you meet the clients/couple to the delivery of the final images/album. shooting weddings will also take weekends away from you, specially that most weddings, here in canada at least, happen in the spring/summer/fall weekends.

  • Thanks Pete – I love hearing what you have to say and I’ll keep it in mind as I write every day.

    Lori

  • Thanks Rhommel – Yes, I started out with the title, and then ended up focusing in on weddings to make the point. Thanks for your thoughts.
    Lori

  • I just want to reply to Pete L.

    It is true that we should be encouraging new photographers to follow their dreams and such, but I believe that it is OUR responsibility who’s already in the business to lay down the facts that it’s not as glamorous as they think. they should know how much money, time and effort just to get 1 wedding.

    i agree that this article is a bit parodic, but the message doesn’t change. that being a wedding photographer is NOT an easy job

  • Pete L.

    I certainly don’t disagree. Nothing worth doing in life is ever easy. I just finished my taxes, believe me, I know. But again, I’m not sure anyone, especially amateur photographers, are saying (or even thinking) it is. If they are, they’ll find out very quickly on their own without any help from you or I that they are mistaken.

    I can remember my first wedding, I certainly didn’t go in thinking it would be easy, and I found out I had no idea how NOT easy it was going to be. But I learned and improved from that experience and many more since.

    No sense scaring people into not even trying, no?

  • A.Barlow

    And this is why 1. I don’t do weddings, even though I am asked about twice a month, and 2. won’t take on an assignment I know I can’t under promise and over deliver on. Sure, it’s playing it safe, but I’m not doing it for the money now anyway. Also, it’s nice to be choosy because of that 🙂

  • T

    Thanks Pete for your realism and your self-confidence. I have a feeling the net is full of people who lack both and I think that’s where all the grousing is coming from. The reality is professions grow and professions die. The survivors are the ones who find their niche and grow with the changes.

  • Kevin

    I learned the same lesson when shooting a 30th birthday party. I did it mostly for building up some portfolio material. $60 for about 4 – 5 hours of shooting, and then another 4 -5 hours for post production. Bottom line – $5 – $6 per hour.

  • Jackie

    Pete L. – Your approach is so refreshing…thank you. If more people felt this way we would have a happier world. I am an amateour trying to break into the business…and I am spending all my free time trying to learn everything I need to know to become a great photographer. Heck, sometimes I will be reading photography articles at 3AM when i can’t sleep (i have two little kids… i never sleep!!). So from the ‘newbie’ point of view, yes, these types of articles make me doubt myself and make me feel silly about even dreaming that I can leave a job i hate and build a career where i can use my creativity. I get the point, photography is not easy, but I love it! I have seen these types of articles so often and it is discouraging! I find myself thinking “everyone had to start somewhere…no one was born a professional ANYTHING”.

  • Hey Pete you are absolutely right – we all can’t be great photographers just as all artists are not great artists or successful artists. This happens in all life’s endeavours – everyone can’t be a success – otherwise “success” will have no real meaning or value.

    I can see the point Lori is making also. It does not matter which ever way the argument goes, some people need to hear what she had to say but not everyone needs to take heed I guess. I would advise that people with whom it resonates take heed and act now, those with whom it does not can ignore it.

    Don’t let’s drag it out needlessly – in my view it is a matter of “to whom it may concern”

  • Paul

    Hi Lori,

    I enjoyed reading this story. 🙂 I imagine that there are all too many people who don’t know what they’re getting into and find out the water is a little too deep.

    If I might ask a question, how do you think things would have turned out if the woman in this story would have entered the pool at the shallow end? Take stock photography for example: the most that can happen is that her image could be rejected by the market she chooses to sell it on. How about pet photography or portraits? Of course, she would want to be sure in those scenarios that she makes the client happy, but there is so much less responsibility than weddings. Perhaps she could have first obtained some seed money, then she could afford to expand her business and pursue continued education so that with time, she could fit the role of a wedding photographer, or whatever specialization she wished. Would that bring about a happy ending?

  • Dee

    I happened upon this site quite by accident. At first I was a little excited to find it. What photographer doesn’t enjoy reading articles on their favorite subject? So far all I have found are articles that belittle anyone who doesn’t measure up to your standard. Shame on you! You clearly have a God-given talent not only in photography but in writing as well and instead of building up potentially great photographers you are tearing them down. Do you think they are not aware of how hard it is? Trust me, they are! I should know. I have been where they are. Thankfully I had someone who encouraged me rather than mocked me. Instead of making a parody of all the things I wasn’t aware of before going into business, they gave guidance.

  • Diane

    I totally agree with Pete, it’s getting rather too much with this ‘newbie-bashing’. I suspect that the people to which this article refers will either not be reading this site, or will simply dismiss the message.

    I’m a newbie myself, but I have not launched myself onto an unsuspecting public with claims that I can take wonderful images. I have researched, practised, researched some more, practised some more, and taken a few classes to make sure I am up to scratch before even starting to do sessions for other people. I am not saying I’m there yet, but I need to make some money before we go under completely (having both been laid off from the same company a couple of years ago).

    Photography has always been my hobby – for nigh-on 30 years – and was the only skill I had to develop for business purposes. I agree it’s not as easy as some may think, but in some ways I wish I had thrown myself in a bit nearer the deep end, and I might actually be making some money now.

  • Okay everyone, I have quite a few comments to respond to, but the main point I want to stress is my entire goal and focus is to help photographers build a business. From day one, that has been the purpose of this site. I’ve been there, I started out working for nothing, I learned, I grew, and I turned it into a business. That’s the focus.

    For some people, I understand they love photography, want to stay amateurs, and never want to earn a living for it. Chances are they don’t find much in this site because we focus in on how to build the business, not how to take better pictures. That’s always a part of the photography business, but I really want to focus in on helping people understand the business side. So if you don’t want to create a business, chances are you would get bored reading this site.

    After writing 1100 posts on this site, and hundreds of articles all over online and off, I’m always trying to find new ways to write things, capture attention, and hopefully make people sit up and take notice. Guess I did that with this post 🙂

    So I find it interesting with comments like “so far all I have found are articles that belittle anyone who doesn’t measure up to your standard.” Wow. With 1100 articles here on this site, I’m curious which one’s you’ve read Dee. In most of my articles, I focus in on one topic and really provide indepth training to help a photographer use that skill within their business.

    I can honestly say that I have been in this business when things were GREAT – yes we got into it at a great time. Times are different now. Digital changed that. The current economy changed that. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck here forever. I definitely think things are going to change again and photography will be a great way to make a very healthy living. You just can’t look at it like you did in the 90’s – that won’t happen again. People want different things now. Digital changed that. Social changed that. So that’s why I do what I do and will continue to do it. I make part of my income from photography. And I want others to find their dreams in this industry and make money at it too.

    So in the end, I do think anyone, in any niche within photography can find a happy ending. The key is to look at it as a business from the start. Don’t jump into it just to make a few bucks this weekend. Instead, think of your overall goals. Do you have the proper licensing, insurance, marketing and tools in place? Are you pricing yourself to create a business? Are you doing everything you can to motivate yourself to turn it into a strong business?

    And that’s what I’ll continue to help you with right here.
    Thanks everyone, I’ve enjoyed your comments.
    Lori

  • Houa

    I LOVE THIS post!!

    I laughed (happy, wake up call laughs) through out the whole post because it is a reflection of what I am and what I’ve been doing. THis article did NOT make me doubt my photography in any way, instead It helped me realized that I need to slow down and swim back to the shallow end of the water where it can be more managable. If any one reading this post felt that it degrades or mocks the journey of photography then maybe you are not ready to move forward. In order to see beyond the horizon, one must accept the facts and the truths. Yes-the gear does not make the photographer. The photographer makes the gear…but it’s important to have the proper gear to get the proper type of image. How can one better one self if he or she does not wish to look into the mirror and or does not wish to look at other’s reflections.

    There are many different types of photographers. Not every post in here is going to target everyone’s needs and life style but what’s great about this site is that it features many truthful articles and situations.

    To tell Lori to exclude writing posts like this would mean to exclude readers like me. . and by the way I also enjoy reading the article “3 Reasons You Should Give Up Your Dreams Of Being A Photographer”. There are hundreds of post telling us how we can be successful but not enough post telling us of the reality. We need more than dreams and actions to be successful. Sometimes taking actions don’t move things either but we just got to keep that passion burning. Some of us want to be successful in the photography business so bad and we take actions too fast and end up drowning. NOw if we drowned, that deep sea is gonna kill that mini frame of passion we have…right???

    LOri-I hope that you do not get discourage from writing reality posts such as this one. I’ve been missing the laughter part of photography for so long that for me to laugh for the first time in a long time after reading this post really helped me find my love for photograpy again. I want to let you know that I keep coming back to your site because you write real posts. YOu tell it as it is and you tell it with experience and you also educate those who wants to expand and refresh their knowledge of photography.

    AND for those who thanks your post “belittle” them, they have other deeper issues.

    THank you for making this site FREE to read. The only sad thing I can think of about this post is that it’s sad to see some people take free knowledge for granted. We live in the world of free knowledge and we forgot to be thankful for it as a whole. The beauty of free knowledge is that you can take what you want and leave behind what you don’t want behind.

    HOua

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, Houa. I really appreciate your comment and am so glad to hear from people that enjoy what I write. I’ll never give it up – I love writing and sharing too much. Best of luck to you on your journey, and I’m so happy I could shed a bit of inspiration on you!
    Thanks!
    Lori

  • I am in the business of early childhood education. In my field there is a saying “Many right ways.” It emphasizes that no one approach meets the needs of every child ergo no two childcare business models are alike. Childcare is not the only field of business that has diversity in methodology. Photography is certainly a diverse field both in artistry and niche markets.

    Though I truly feel that this article was written to be well intended: for the amature and new professionals in a lightheartedmanner; the message conveyed is misguided. Our history can impact our beliefs, as I think is the case in this post. ( the history being the path you chose to success and your approach to professionalism)

    The reality is professional photography is an ever evolving field. You indicated the birth of digital slrs and the current economy as changing the field for professionals. The needs of your clients have changed in conjunction. It would be inappropriate to presume that professional business practices remain stagnent.

    Just like all other fashions of business, there are many right ways to become a professional. (The birth of social networking is a great example). After all, it is the dedication and value an individual commits to promote their brand of art that separates them from hobbyists. That and an exchange of money for goods.

    Do the Symantecs really make a difference? If somone chooses to start with the basic equipment charging introductionary rates it does not make them less professional. A small new business is not competing with the best buys and apples of the world at least not initially. The clients they attract will reflect that as well. Are those clients not investing in art simply because the photographer is new or utilizes a different business method? The client values the photography of the newbie pro just as much as they would if they could afford the apples of the world.

    Professional photographers acknowleding for many right ways in this field directly supports innovation and growth. I would expect nothing less from artists.

  • I forgot to touch base on the overall message about helping to educate new pros on the time and financial dedication in your efforts to help eliminate any unrealistic expectations about what it takes to be a pro. I appreciate this message, yet find it both unnecessary and over emphasized by seasoned professionals.

    Here is something I think pro photogs often forget: owning and growing any business requires the same level if time and dedication photographers commit to their craft. Yet this is the only field that actively attempts to educate and discourage other photographers from beginning .

    I own my own childcare business and learned the financial and time dedication through experience, not before. I had a vague understanding of the efforts needed but only became truly enlightened after I began. And honestly; I could have practiced and prepared indefinitely as seems to be the suggestions of many pro photogs; but nothing can prepare a business like real life experiences.

  • Hi Jesse

    Thanks for your comments – I appreciate hearing your take on things. And I like you’re saying “but nothing can prepare a business like real life experiences.” Nothing could be more true than that.

    Lori

  • Fitri Musa

    Hi,
    I love this article.. I’ve read everyone’s comments…. i think whoever said that “so far all I have found are articles that belittle anyone who doesn’t measure up to your standard” or the likewise have never actually read your other articles.. and not positive enough to look the article in a right perspective..

    When i read the article, it hit me that if we want to be serious in business, we have to really mean it…be serious with it.. because i believe that a lot of people can take a great photos but not all of them can be great entrepreneurs..so it’s back to the importance of many aspects in developing the business like licensing, marketing, setting up a website or social media, insurance and etc. ..unless we just want to be stuck and not planning to upgrade our business. To me i agree with Lori that said “think business from the start” even if we do it part time… that’s ok if you choose not to be an entrepreneur, and satisfied with what you have..it’s up to you..but i choose to be wealthy and successful with photography…

    this article is actually an eye opener for me…. made me think how i should be more focus into my business.. i believe the importance of branding and marketing in business …. i love all of Lori’s article.

    Thanks Lori..for sharing your knowledge and wisdom..really appreciate them

  • Fitri Musa

    *take great photos

  • Veronica from SC

    *Sorry for all the typos! I wrote this comment on my iPhone. Here it is revised and revamped*

    Great post, Lori! I laughed when reading it. I have been there, done that!

    Three years ago my husband and I decided to become “pros”, so we purchased a Nikon D5000 (woohoo!), not rven knowing anything about DX or FX formats. We thought we were in business! Llike if just having that camera and snap it in automatic mode would turn out great pictures and make us “legit.”

    We had no idea of the business side of photography; we didn’t even really care. Business goals? Marketing? Branding? Whi needs those! We were passionate about photography. We thought it was just about snapping pictures with the big camera, and having some free business cards printed. But results were not good. It was frustrating not to be able to recreate all those beautiful images we found on the internet from reknown wedding photographers (Yervant, Joe Bussinik, Jerry Ghionis). So we started reading books, blogs on the subject, participatin in CreativeLIVE workshops, learning, and learning some more to improve our craft, we upgraded our cameras, bought prime lenses; but the business side was too overwhelming, so we decided to quit. I’m sorry to say that we engrossed the statistics of small business that failed within the first two years of being in business.

    On June 2, of this year, 2 years after keeping our cameras in the bags, just taking them few times to calture our nephews and nice, we felt the emptiness inside, nostalgia of our dreams. Hubby and I had a heart-to-heart talk, and we realized that this is what we love to do, and that to be professional wedding photographers takes more than having a stack of cheap cards with your name on it, go to an event and just click that camera like crazy, hoping to salvage some shots with poor Photoshop post-processing. Not really knowing your craft well, and what it costs in time and resources to be a photographer, can kill a photography business right there. We know it from
    our own experience.

    Our craft has improved, we know our cameras, we know how to get the images we imagine in our heads, but in order to go beyond, we needed to embrace also the business side of photography.

    We created our business plan (mission statement, vision, values, goal, marketing plan for 1 and 5 years, and where do we want to be in 10 and 15 years). We asked for additional advice to the SCORE group at our local business chamber, where we met with a group of volunteer retired business men that reviewed our business plan and asked us a lot of questions to help us fine tune it. We also talked to our State Farm agent and purchased a liability insurance.

    Reading your posts and putting into practice what we have learned has been invaluable, and we have no words to thank you and all those photographers that by email, facebook, and Twitter have provided help.

    Keep up writing great posts like this!

    Sincerely,
    Veronica

  • Congratulations on your “new” business Veronica. Best of luck to you and your husband!
    Lori

  • Thanks so much Fitri! I appreciate it!
    Lori