This is an exciting, overwhelming time for you! There are so many decisions to make all at once! Where do you begin? When there are so many steps to take, it can be hard to know where to step first. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here are 5 areas to focus on when you’re just getting started:
Your dream studio type and business model. When I say ‘studio type,’ I mean whatever makes the most sense for you. It can be a physical location like a studio in your home, or on location in your clients’ homes. Your business model can be lower volume and higher pricing, or higher volume and lower pricing. One of the best ways to nail down the type of studio to best serve your needs is to think about your life 5 years from now. Do you want the ability to work while your baby is napping in the other room? Do you want a quiet space to be completely focused on your business? Do you want as little overhead costs as possible allowing you to work less and make more? Building your studio around your lifestyle will help you create a business you love.
Knowing your numbers. This is your ticket to the success train! Don’t make the mistake most people do and ask how much to charge in a photography Facebook group. People in photography Facebook groups are from all around the world with completely different financial circumstances. Instead, figure out your own cost of doing business. Your numbers are unique to you and only you. Here is my cost of doing business calculator to help you discover your numbers quickly.
Choosing the right pricing structure. There are a handful of different pricing options in the photography world. Some put the customer completely in charge, leaving you guessing what you’ll make every time. Others show clients that there is a cap to how much they can spend. The key is finding a pricing structure that still gives clients flexibility. Then, your clients can pick and choose what they want with no cap to spend, but also having a minimum purchase requirement so you know you’ll make at least that amount with every client.
Marketing with a true strategy. Posting a model call is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT a strategy! Take your eyes out of the photography world for a moment and pay attention to what other non-creative businesses in your area are doing for marketing. Places like gyms, retail stores, and franchises use a strategy when launching their business or launching a promotion. Learn about marketing because that’s what you will be focusing on in your business 80% of the time!
Choosing software to make your business work for you. Believe it or not, there is software that will act as an employee in your business. Adopting software like this early on in your business will stop you from wasting time doing mundane tasks. Learn to think like a CEO instead of an employee. This mindset shift will help you move the needle forward in your business!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Brewster has been a full-time maternity and newborn photographer on the coast of New Hampshire for 14 years. She also offers maternity and newborn photography education.
I teamed up with Intuition Backgrounds to show you how to take gorgeous portraits in any space. In this video I will walk you through 7 different lighting setups so that you can hang a backdrop in any space and make your clients look and feel absolutely amazing.
When it comes to Holiday Sessions, I’m well aware that my simplicity isn’t for everyone. I’ve had clients choose not to book with me because they are specifically looking for a prop heavy session. To be honest, I’m perfectly ok with that. Maybe you’re reading this and discovering that you too would like to simplify your sessions. You’re ready to downsize the props and extra “stuff” and focus more on the subject. Perhaps the props serve as a crutch for you and the idea of doing a session with literally nothing but the subject terrifies you. Not too worry. Here are some examples of how I have taken 6 simple, elegant backdrops and created Holiday “art” that can be enjoyed all year round. Whether your clients celebrate Christmas, or Hanukah, or perhaps something else, offering a different type of Holiday Sessions is completely achievable, and gratifying.
When I first started my business 11 years ago there was no Facebook, no Instagram or Pinterest. Youtube was just getting started. There weren’t posing guides or professional photographers teaching in person or online workshops on the art of posing.