I haven’t always been business minded. In fact, photography wasn’t something I even co
nsidered making money off of until two years after I bought my first DSLR. For me,
photography is a passion that turned into a dream, and a dream that turned into a business. Side hustles are becoming more common especially among college age students. Everyone is looking for extra ways to make some cash or turning passion projects into profit. But the question is, how do you even get started? Here’s how it went for me! Art in its many forms is something I’ve loved since I was young. I used to write my own stories and poems and illustrate them with Crayola crayons. When I was ten, I got my first d
igital point and shoot camera, and I began to fall in love with photography. My love for capturing beauty through images, words and illustrations has been present as long as I can remember. When I was fourteen I purchased my first DSLR camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with the kit 18-55mm lens. My family was driving across the country in an RV to see America the Beautiful, and I wanted a camera to capture everything I saw. (Btw, I would 100% recommend a cross country road trip and be sure to hit up the Badlands and Yosemite National Park.) My love for photography only continued to grow, but I found myself more interested in concept portraiture inspired by music and art, and equine photography. I grew up riding horses and competed throughout high school, bringing my camera with me to every single show. People began to recognize me at shows as the girl with the camera and I really started shooting consistently during show season. My
T3 served me well and I shot my first paid gigs with it! I learned how to shoot in manual and use external flash, and I fell more in love with photography the more I practiced. I started practicing portrait work on my friends and the horses (lol), and booked my first gig photographing a sweet 16 when I was 18 years old. From there, it was sessions here and there, model calls so I could practice more and bringing my camera with me on outings with friends. Youtube and podcasts became my best friend and I spent hours learning color, composition, editing and the business side of photography. (I still do! I’m a big believer in lifelong learning!) Business didn’t really become consistent until I began college. I began shooting senior portraits, engagements (at a Christian college, there are lots of them – lol), families and whatever else anyone asked me to shoot. I’m a
natural storyteller and journalistically capturing moments is what my business is rooted in. I’m also a journalism major and although writing and photography are two different things, learning how to find a unique angle on a story has seriously helped me so much when it comes to photography. My minor is graphic design so formal training in studio art, color, layout design, editing and typography has also been so beneficial to my business. Over the past few months I’ve watched my business grow more than I ever imagined it would. I’ve been able to narrow down the things I really love shooting and hone my skills in those areas. I transitioned my brand to focus on wedding photography, couples and brand photography. Being able to create art and tell stories through photography is one of the biggest blessings in my life! The best advice I have for anyone who wants to turn their dream into a business is to start doing what you want to get paid to do — but do it because you love it! If you want to sell art prints, start making art prints! If you want to shoot families, do a model call for a family phot
oshoot! Become an expert in what you love. Practice hard and do not give up! Most importantly, take care of yourself. Running your own business can easily take over the majority of your time, but it’s important to find time to rest, spend time with the people you love and take a step back to reset and recharge. You will never be able to serve your clients to the best of your abilities if you’re drained to empty. Remember to take care of YOU!
If you want to chat more about the logistical side of running a photography business, that blog post is coming soon! Everything from contracts to workflow to tracking your finances — I’ve got you covered! I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about my journey with photography. Everyone’s is so different and I want to hear YOURS! So shoot me an email or DM and lets chat! :)