I don’t often talk about the business behind the scenes, but sometimes I get questions about my entrepreneurial endeavours so I’m answering them! If you want to know more, leave a comment & I’ll gather the next set to answer!
Dealing with perfectionism:
“Done is better than perfect” has a place in my vocabulary these days, but with a caveat. Excellence is important, but sometimes we let perfection get in the way of doing anything. If we can’t do it perfectly we might wait & wait until we don’t have enough time to do it well, so we don’t do it at all. Or we put something out that’s cobbled together but “if we had more time” could have been perfect.
You can always change the way you do something to make it better, but the best way to learn how to make it better is by putting the first iteration out there. Okay maybe not the first version if you need to legitimately test it before it’s in the world, but putting the third or fourth version into the world – instead of waiting for the tenth or eleventh – is definitely better than not putting anything out there.
Remember: you grow as you go.
Balancing generosity with charging a competitive price:
The first family session I photographed ended up being two families at once and I got paid $50. The first wedding I ever did, with something like 14 hours of coverage, I got paid $500. My work was okay at best back then and I’ve worked hard to become better in every way since.
Now my photography is excellent (always with room to improve, of course), my expertise is established, and my service much better than before, so my pricing reflects that. We all need to make money, so trading money for my time & talent is how I’m able to serve people with my gifts! In order for me to dedicate myself to this work for my clients & for the Kingdom, I have to make money.
I want people to have an amazing experience with me, especially on the day of their wedding, and I want them to absolutely love their photos. I’ve learned that couples who trust me 100% to do what I’m best at are the ones willing to pay what my services are worth. If someone doesn’t prioritize photography, or doesn’t care that it’s me specifically photographing their wedding, then my pricing might take me out of their consideration – and that’s okay! I want them to have a photographer who is the perfect fit, not just an okay fit, because (no matter their priorities) they deserve nothing less than that. And I deserve nothing less than my pricing ;)
Biggest challenge & biggest reward being an entrepreneur:
The biggest challenge is the loneliness. For the most part I’m working from home by myself all day, which can be a real bummer. I have to plan coffee dates with other humans at least one day a week otherwise I feel starved for human interaction. The biggest reward is my flexible schedule. Other than wedding days, I dictate when I work. I have parameters in place (like specific office days after shoots to get editing done) but I have the freedom to go for those coffees during the day so that I can spend the evening with my husband. ALSO I love being the one in charge with no one else telling me what to do – for the most part this is AMAZING. Sometimes I wish someone would tell me what’s next haha!
I use a modified VSCO Kodak Portra 400 & some other Lightroom tricks I’ve learned over the years to get my images to the way I like ‘em! But the biggest thing about editing photos is actually shooting well in camera & using light in the way I like best!
Staying focused & organized working from home:
I’m a right brain creative who has learned left brain organization haha! I need lists to keep me organized! My new Blessed Is She planner is AMAZING. I plan out my day the night before so that I can just go do whatever’s next on the agenda without wasting time trying to remember what I have to do. Some days are really great getting everything done from home, but other times my house is a major distraction so I go to the coffee shop down the street to be more intentionally productive. Also, I put Netflix on (mostly while I’m editing photos) to feel like I’ve got company while I’m alone hehe. Otherwise it’s silence for writing or music for everything else to keep me moving!
Being your own boss & following through:
Being your own boss is great if you can set goals and follow through on them without anyone else to report to. Sure, your clients might hold you responsible, but, at the end of the day, you’re the one you answer to when it comes to where you want your business to go. Follow through on your word to yourself is the first time to master. It requires discipline and consistent action, two things I’m constantly working on improving!
Building a wide & successful platform:
I think I’ve done the “wide” part of things for a while since photography is really what social media was made for. There’s a lot more to how I grew my business than this, so if you’re interested let me know & I can go more in-depth, but I found I’d post a photo on facebook, tag people in it, and people who don’t even know me see it show up in their feed because they’re friends with my clients. For years I’ve had people tell me they saw my photos online from a wedding or event I did and then started following me, which obviously helped my business succeed, but now I’m finding that I want to go deeper with the people I serve.
I think it’s important for people to see the photos I take because genuine, healthy, heaven-focused marriage is important and our culture doesn’t think that. I love popping up in people’s feeds and being a reminder that there are good men & women out there who want to give themselves wholeheartedly to each other, just as Jesus did for us, but I also want to serve my clients preparing for marriage in a deeper way now. As I’ve grown as a person, my brand has grown, too, which means new things are on the horizon to keep things going.
I hope that’s helpful/insightful/at least enjoyable to read hehe. Any more questions? Leave a comment!