I was thinking about the business part of owning a business today… probably because today is historically TAX DAY. When I started on this journey of photography, like a lot of people, I never fully dreamed of it being a full-fledge business. I figured I would take photos of friends and families and any referrals and just collect my meager earnings and be on my way. Well, 4 years later I find myself as a small business owner. I have overhead. I have expenses. I have an income. And I have tax responsibilities. I remember thinking this would be a ‘fun thing to do on the side’… like most start out thinking… but I quickly realized that if I am legitimately accepting people’s hard earned money for my services than I better get my act together and operate this venture as a real business.
A few month ago I connected with a couple of ladies who are starting a new venture of their own [Photo Business Tools] dedicated to helping budding (and seasoned) photographers with the business side of starting a business. I’m so happy to have met them and to watch their business grow. I’ve been meaning for some time now to post about their site and this business post seems like the perfect fit. For anyone starting out I think at minimum you should go to this site [Photo Business Tools] and subscribe for their regular email updates – they are quick messages with great reminders or tips and tricks.
It was when I decided not only is photography my passion and my love but a business, too then did I feel comfortable with my price increases. I didn’t feel like I needed to apologize every time I told someone my pricing. I felt confident in my skills, my craft and who I am as an artist. Let’s be honest, when you go to the Apple store to buy the latest gadget, laptop, computer, etc they don’t apologize for the cost. You know it’s expensive but you know you’re buying a good product. Apple doesn’t feel bad for offering a solid product for a solid price. When you run a business with a solid product or service you don’t need to apologize.
Therefore I say… BE THE BUSINESS… and what I mean is invest in the things that make you stand out, that set you apart from a side hobby to a business owner. Unfortunately there cannot be two more opposite personalities at battle here. First you have your creative, artsy side that just wants to take amazing photographs and make artwork. Then there is the analytical side that requires, errrrr forces you to do things that are usually outside of our comfort zone such as TAXES, accounting, marketing, scheduling, forecasting, business plans etc. Not the glamorous side to photography, that’s for sure. But I say start small, start somewhere. Make changes in your business practices that are in the right direction that will eventually get you to where you need to be.
Above all else… have fun. Yes the ‘business side’ of photography is undeniably the worst part (in my opinion), but don’t let that side overshadow the fun, amazing side that we all fell in love with. Believe me, every time I open QuickBooks I wanna pull my hair out and say a whole bunch of non-childproof words, but we take the good with the bad… because the good is the greatest part!
And speaking of ‘good parts’… I am going to have some AMAZING news to share very soon that I’m oh, so excited about… as in I-can’t-believe-it’s-true-and-I-have-to-keep-pinching-myself-that-it’s-happening kind of good news! More on that later… PROMISE!