How to Avoid Bankruptcy as a Photographer

facebook_0488 The more you get immersed into the photography world, the more you realize how much MONEY you can spend on equipment, workshops, travel, conferences, software, gear, gear and more gear.

Every new training session you enjoy you find new equipment to buy, new upgrades to purchase or new memberships to join.

I'm here to say- enough is enough.

As a photographer it is so easy to destroy your profits by buying all the latest and greatest. Yes, Lightroom 5 is now available, as are the new VSCO filters, and of course camera body upgrades- but As my dad, and successful entrepreneur says, "sometimes, adequate is good enough". You are a business, not a hobby. Avoid the temptation to base your identity as a photographer in what version you use or the ever-present desire to compare yourself to the leading industry professionals.

I'm not ashamed to say I still work on a Macbook Pro from 2005 with a broken shift key. I fully intend to work this little bit of computer magic into. the. ground.

Adequate is good enough. Because frankly, I'd rather  be making money and paying off our mortgage than sitting pretty on the latest version of photoshop.

The end.




Why Sucky Photographers Can Still Beat You

facebook_0472 Jamie Swanson writes: "The success of your business has nothing to do with the quality of your images"

And as much as I hate to admit it, she's absolutely right. Photography is much more about good business sense, excellent customer service and confidence in sales than any photoshop technique or gorgeous filter.

Your clients will not refer you based on your supreme editing skills but rather your speedy image turnaround and convenient delivery system. Yes, they want nice photos, but the average bride can't doesn't know a good photo from a bad one.

That's why educating your new brides is so important- they won't know the value of the experience your offering if you don't communicate. They will make a judgement solely on price unless you give them a reason why you are better than the competition.

This is awkward for us, yes. We're creatives and don't really like talking about ourselves- but it's that kind of timidity that puts incredibly talented photographers OUT OF BUSINESS.

So resolution for the new year:

Answer these questions: 

1. Why am I better than a cheaper photographer? What do I have that no one else does? what about my experience is truly worth $1,000 more?

2. Practice talking about your assets. Look in the mirror, (I dare you) and have a conversation with an imaginary client on why they need to book with you. Believe it yourself and you'll find it very natural to walk someone else through the process.

3. Be ok with saying goodbye to certain clients. I'll never forget watching one of Bambi Cantrell's workshops and her response to a client who is asking for a discount/slashed price: "Oh honey, I wish I could". So polite, so uncompromising.

4. Prepare an upsell. Compare and contrast the value of your highest packages- really get them to shine. Talk about the benefits. ALWAYS the benefits. They'll buy...just watch.