QnA::How to Get Where You Are

I love Tuesdays for many reasons: it's not Monday, I change a pregnancy week every Tuesday and it's half-price pizza at Straw Hat. Pizza and I are great friends on Tuesdays and my little ball of cells totally digs pizza!

The other day I got this question and decided to answer it a little more publicly than just responding to Amber alone. Amber, thanks for the question and I’m not an expert or anything but if my answer helps at least a little I’ll be satisfied. I hope my answer helps you some.

I discovered your page on facebook, and I really like your style and all your photographs. I am really into photography myself; I am looking into it for a career. I was wondering how you got to be where you are in the photography business today? Any advice on how to get myself where you are?

When I read her question my first reaction was that I’m STILL trying to get to where I want to be and haven’t quite gotten there yet. My following thoughts were about all the good advice I had missed when I first started. When I first started I had started because I knew I had a talent and wanted to somehow make it profitable--that's being completely honest. Did I love doing photography? Absolutely. I still do and still feel so privileged to be able to do photography and build my little business. But when I began my business I started scoping friends to take their photos so that I could practice--which would have been all good and well but I approached it totally wrong. I told them I would take their photos and they could buy the prints and then proceeded to charge them the full price for their prints. This was a crucial mistake and not how I should have started. I think I came off a little arrogant and rather than have been grateful for the practice saw it as a bit of my right to make the money. Wrong, wrong, wrong. When you're starting off, DON'T start as a career right away. Practice, be grateful for the practice and once you've built up a client following, you have people seeking you out and you're ready to deal with the taxes, the sales tax, the business licenses, doing your books and all the things that go with a business, then looking seriously at doing photography as a career is a great option.

I had to do some backtracking once I realized what I had done. I changed my approach and began to give of my time, my talents and not be stingy about it. Give as much as you can in whatever ways you can. Be willing to be honest and transparent about your mistakes. Share what you learn and never stop learning. Read books that will help you when you do begin your business. Amber~I'm totally excited for you, and anyone else wanting to do what they love.

Speaking of being excited, I was editing a recent maternity session, and came across this photo. I love it. The expression, the lighting and the love.

Happy Tuesday--go get some pizza!


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