I thought building a photography business was all about capturing pretty pictures of pretty people. I could not have been more wrong.
Throughout the past 12 years of running Amanda Holloway Photography, I have learned many lessons through a lot of trial and error. I’ve fallen more than I’ve flown and come to terms with many hard truths. Five of which I’m going to share with you today.
So here they are… The 5 Hard Truths:
1. Your pricing must be tied to your needed income and cost of running a business. Without doing that math, you’re going to be wondering where your money went every month and you won’t be able to make ends meet for your family. That’s no way to run a business & will leave you burned out and overworked in no time.
2. You can’t rely on Photoshop. Take the time to learn about how to properly expose your image with manual settings, use a reflector for even lighting, learn posing for body types, and slow down enough to fix tiny things like hair flyaways, upturned hems, and straps so that you don’t spend countless hours in PS trying to fix these issues that would have taken seconds on location.
3. You have to be a self-motivated hard ass. This is the hardest part sometimes because being a creative likely means that the business part of your career can fall to the artistic side quite a bit. The best thing you can do is set boundaries with yourself and your clients through proper use of restrictive scheduling, contracts & policies, time constraints, etc.
4. You must understand how to market your business. Posting sneak peek after sneak peek just doesn’t cut it anymore. High value content, consistency, and building trust with your audience are the cornerstones to not only a growing your social media audience, but converting your community into paying clients.
5. Knowing how to sell has nothing to do with the product you’re selling. Sure, you need to show samples of what you’re selling, but that doesn’t sell your products. Getting high sales is dependent on how you educate and prime your clients before you ever meet them at your ordering session. It’s also in the story telling, framing, and presentation of the memories you’re selling.
Learning these lessons have saved me not only tons of money, but my sanity as well. How about you? Are any of these issues relatable to you? What lessons have you learned while building your photography business?