missashleymarieeee wrote in post #13935974
Just curious and would like to hear about how you started your photography business? What are the steps you had to take? Did you go to school or did you pick it up as a hobby? I picked it up as a hobby when I became a SAHM and bought a canon 60d w 18-135mm lens. Now im learning on how to become better and eventually be able to make some income off of it. Thanks
It started as a hobby for me from back in the 80's when I got my first camera as a Christmas present from my Mom. At some point in the 90's I bought my first SLR (a Canon Rebel) to continue my hobby, got my first P&S digital around 2000 as my first step into digital although I still used film for the "important shots". I moved completely to digital around 2004. The business aspect of it started out like so many do....just friends and family asking me to take photos and word of mouth would get me another inquiry down the line, etc.... I did it on the side for about 5 years before making it my sole job. As an only source of income, I've found it to be quite difficult at times and a huge amount of work....but very rewarding. I'm constantly marketing and working to generate and keep clients. For myself, I've found the best method of marketing is in person. Schools, pre-schools and youth sports leagues are my biggest money makers but there is a huge amount of competition to deal with. After that, families, children and high school seniors make up my next largest market (although I rarely shoot babies.....not that I don't want too but I think female photographers have somewhat locked up that market around here and I just can't seem to find an "in"......at least that's my theory). I also generate fairly regular sales from my stock work that I sell on Alamy along with a little bit of product work for some local businesses. If you're a stay at home Mom, then I assume that you have another source of household income......IMO, that's a great situation to get started in because you can practice and take on only what you so desire with no pressure of having to pay the bills with your photography. Having kids will also probably help in putting together a customer base as you get to know other parents and attend your kid's events.
IME, it's not an easy job (as so many outsiders seem to think). Most of my work time is not spent behind the camera taking photos....most of it is spent marketing, visiting schools, trying to get contracts, e-mailing, processing, keeping track of expenses and income, etc. In fact, my job is far more sales, customer follow up and accounting than it is photography.