Your family and photography go hand in hand. After all for many of us, the photography bug really hit once we had our babies! But when running a business it’s important to have boundaries! I know that the majority of my readers are moms enjoying their passion and exploring a creative outlet while trying to bring in some income (I’m in that category too) but that does not mean we shouldn’t be wise business woman! Some things I’m thinking about are small and others a little more major. Here are three things I believe every photographer small or big should be doing right now! And believe me – I am no expert. I’m most often learning by trial and error but as I do, somehow it feel more complete if I can share it!
1. Your own space! Not everyone can have their own office (I understand that) mine is the office/ slash guest-room and not at all the creative workspace I dream of! Maybe you don’t even have that much… You can still have something thats your own! Do you have an external hard-drive only for your work? The hard drive is a necessity for backing up your work. Do you have an email account solely for your photography? Do you have a file system to keep track of clients, paperwork, etc.? Even if it’s only a corner of the closet, make a little space thats specifically for your business!
2. Keep the $$ Separate! It’s important that you know how much you are making. And you can’t even begin to figure this out if you don’t know where your money is (thats a whole other post coming soon) I feel like it’s important that I see my hard work grow and that I have the freedom to use those funds as I want (even if thats just to help support my family)! Open your own bank account, in your name. We have our family account and I have my business checking and savings accounts too (this can be just a personal account if you do not have a business license yet). I really like having a C & S account. All earnings deposit into my checking account and from there I can transfer a percentage to my savings to help me save for big ticket items like a new camera or lens or workshop. And remember all those things I just mentioned are investments back into your business and should be treated as such. Bottom line. Have your own account, keep track of your spending, know where your money is! Next week I will break down how to know what you are really making.
3. A secure investment? No investor ever takes a risk on a business with out determining it to be a good and profitable opportunity. What would happen if you dropped your camera in the ocean or if it was stolen? If you get a grain of sand in your camera and jammed the shutter (can you tell I’ve done the last one) do you have the money to go out and replace it tomorrow? Will you be happy to do it? I think not! Be a smart investment and insure your equipment. I pay about $35 a year with no deductible and everything is covered from my camera to memory cards, lens, flash, batteries, all of it. If my camera bag was stolen today I could go out tomorrow and replace everything and not have to stress one bit (except for maybe about what was on the memory card).
Being a great photographer is of course the first crucial step in being a successful business, but if you are not business savvy the longevity of your business will ultimately suffer.