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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 29 Jun 2007 (Friday) 03:03
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So.. what's your PROFIT ???

 
liza
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Jun 29, 2007 11:03 |  #16
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tlc wrote in post #3459863 (external link)
its very frustrating. hard work and dedication is the only way you will make it. i think that is what 'weeds' out a lot of the people who are picking up a dslr and expecting to be buissink over night. they play at it for about a year and then the novelty wears off and reality sets in - costs of insurance, advertising, supplies, etc.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. In the fall, which is my busiest time, I average four hours sleep per night seven days a week. I have to work a full time job 9 months per year and another part time job just to stay afloat. I'm also looking at replacing two camera bodies, adding a 70-200 f/2.8IS, acquiring studio equipment, and building a small (20'x30') studio on my property by the end of next year. Sometimes it seems like I'll never get out of the red. :cry:



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Tish
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Jun 29, 2007 11:48 as a reply to  @ liza's post |  #17

In the US, you can count on taking 50% off the top for self employment taxes (both federal & state, for most states), income tax, local operating taxes, etc. You can't just assume that "well I'm only in the 15% bracket, it won't be that much" as your employer currently pays half of your Social Security tax. As a self employed person, you'll pay all of it yourself. In my county, you also pay two other taxes an employed individual doesn't--a business & operating tax, and a personal property tax on ALL assets used in the business--never mind whether they were gifts, whether they were originally purchased for personal use & converted to business use, or that you've already paid sales tax on them!

In my area, I've been advised that when all is said & done, I need to be taking in about 2.5x what I currently make in my day job in order to cover that income. And of course, it's not just the salary amount I have to replace, but the benefits--insurance, 401K, etc.

Some days I think it's doable, some I think I must be insane for even thinking about it.


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Atl-Fotos
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Jun 29, 2007 12:08 |  #18

To agree with Tim I am in my 3rd yr, but I am married so....... there is no profit.......:lol:


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italianfemmy
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Jun 29, 2007 12:23 |  #19
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Well... I understand that there are other expenses. But, do those of you who run your business from your home instead of a studio still pay all the same expenses? Aren't there a ton of things that you can write off to get out of paying high dollars in taxes?

And, I didn't include labor time because it is obvious to me that you have to spend the hours but so does anyone. To me, as a business owner, starting out and expected to run yourself in the ground, profit is the difference between what I spend for products and what I make for services. Because all of the difference would come back to me since I don't have any "employees."


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liza
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Jun 29, 2007 13:03 |  #20
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I do run my business from my home. You still have to pay taxes. And you have to be very careful deducting a part of your home as a "home office." That's an extremely audit-prone deduction. It isn't as simple as you think.



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sapearl
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Jun 29, 2007 13:16 |  #21

I'd say there are a few POUNDS I regularly have written off as opposed to TONS. My tax guy gives me excellent advice and always warns me about certain things people try to deduct and shouldn't. That only puts up a flag and gets the IRS's attention :cry: .

I know what I end up with in the plus column at the end of the year - and there always is SOME amount of profit (certainly not enough to take care of a house and family) but I couldn't tell you exactly what my profit is.

Many of those deductions are calculated based upon the square footage of our home office. It represents xx% of the entire house's footage. So, my accountant applies that percentage to utilities, repairs, etc.... and all this gets put on Schedule C of my Fed tax return. So that chops it down even further.

But to answer your question, home businesses really don't have exactly the same kinds of expenses as the brick and mortar places. And anybody who deducts a TON of (questionable) things is living dangerously. There is no easy solution. Businesses are expensive to run and demand long hours when you are your own boss.

And all of this is why there are so many wedding photographers who do so as a SECOND job - we couldn't afford to exist and survive otherwise. Quite frankly, with prices coming down from traditional higher end packages I see this getting even more difficult.

italianfemmy wrote in post #3460373 (external link)
Well... I understand that there are other expenses. But, do those of you who run your business from your home instead of a studio still pay all the same expenses? Aren't there a ton of things that you can write off to get out of paying high dollars in taxes?

And, I didn't include labor time because it is obvious to me that you have to spend the hours but so does anyone. To me, as a business owner, starting out and expected to run yourself in the ground, profit is the difference between what I spend for products and what I make for services. Because all of the difference would come back to me since I don't have any "employees."


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howzitboy
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Jun 30, 2007 02:06 |  #22

getabetterpic wrote in post #3459531 (external link)
I've got a related question. What do you guys assume when looking at useful life of your equipment? I guess I could take the projected shutter count on my camera and divide that by the average number of pictures usually taken at a wedding multiplied by how many weddings I do, but that's going to give me a really high number (quick calculation gives me something in the range of 15 years).

some of our photographers got about 100,000 activations in ONE YEAR on their new canon bodies!
lol i dont think theirs will last 15yrs.

dont forget wear and tear on your car too!


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mizuno
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Jun 30, 2007 03:28 |  #23
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tlc wrote in post #3459645 (external link)
i see david jay, becker, jessica claire, and the others who do nothing but this and i have to wonder... is it location?

Those two are not great examples as both of them have income streams apart from shooting weddings.

DJ sells software, Jessica sells bags and I think both have done seminars at some point.


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tlc
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Jun 30, 2007 03:57 |  #24

mizuno wrote in post #3463553 (external link)
Those two are not great examples as both of them have income streams apart from shooting weddings.

DJ sells software, Jessica sells bags and I think both have done seminars at some point.


oh, i know, but the marketing of their sidelines didnt come in to play until some time later in their career. jessica only just started selling shoot sacs, but before that, she devoted pretty much full time to weddings, engagements, etc. i just dont see jessica claire being the name she is today, had she been located in boise, idaho, if you get my drift.

my point is, is it safe to say that none of the big named wedding photographers of today came from poe-dunk locations?


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sapearl
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Jun 30, 2007 07:43 |  #25

That's really a hard question to answer, but I tend not to agree with it. In all honesty, who's to say where brilliant creativity and talent can arise? I think it can come from anywhere.

Some seem to think that gorgeous venues and beautiful backgrounds are critical to creating standout wedding work. That's not true. It's very possible with the proper posing techniques, the right camera angle and "shooting crop" and the manner in which you relate to your subject, to produce stand-out work in even the most average of locales. That's the mark of a really talented individual. And as Tim pointed out earlier, we see many examples of that right here in the forum.

tlc wrote in post #3463602 (external link)
.....my point is, is it safe to say that none of the big named wedding photographers of today came from poe-dunk locations?


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-Pleiades-
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Jun 30, 2007 07:51 |  #26

I can't believe how hard it seems to be to run a small business in the US. The government must make it really difficult?

I've run my own (non-photography related) business and if anything the government in regards to a lot of things (including taxes) are a lot kinder to small businesses.

How do you all survive!


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sapearl
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Jun 30, 2007 07:58 |  #27

Always good to hear a success story :D - thanks for sharing.

How do we survive? Well, as many of have said, in a lot of cases or regular 8-5 job M-F "subsidizes" or photography business. I fit into that category. Some of us are married to spouses or have partners wit well paying jobs and good medical coverage. And for most it is just really tough work with not too many vacations to Tahiti :lol: .

Cost of living is also a consideration. Some parts of the U.S. are really expensive to live in, while other areas are much more reasonable. In my area housing is quite affordable compared to say New York, D.C. or LA, but the local economy is fairly depressed so I have to scramble to compete with the modest business out there.

-Pleiades- wrote in post #3464047 (external link)
I can't believe how hard it seems to be to run a small business in the US. The government must make it really difficult?

I've run my own (non-photography related) business and if anything the government in regards to a lot of things (including taxes) are a lot kinder to small businesses.

How do you all survive!


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mmahoney
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Jun 30, 2007 16:13 |  #28

I don't comment on my business income or profit in online forums but I will make the quick observation based on some of the posts I've seen .. get an accountant, and quick !!!!


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jbstudios
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Jun 30, 2007 18:32 |  #29

i so agree you need an accountant. listen to them they know your area and are trained in it. You also need to get a very good look into the business side. i am always loosing money =) so not by choice, but i always forget to factor in the cost of equipment, my time editing, etc. i always do for the hours i am there but never at home. every year i raise my prices and i still need more. we cant decide this for you and every area is different. look into what your goal is to make an hour, every hour. figure out how long the average shoot is, the hours you are there and the hours you do at home. your equipment. this is why an accountant would help do you have a clue of how much you are spending? the cost of marketing, brochures, the way you package the end product etc. you have so many things to consider and each area is so different, this is something that is different for everyone. i still dont have it right =)

julie b




  
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italianfemmy
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Jun 30, 2007 18:46 |  #30
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Yet having an accountant isn't free, so that dips even further into profits, right? My pla is to take some part time business classes actually. I think that will be best.


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So.. what's your PROFIT ???
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