Monday, March 25, 2013

Building a Business....It's Kinda Hard.

Business owners/fellow photographers:  Have you ever wished for a time machine??  A chance to go back to the beginning of your business and re-do the way you run things?  Me too!!!

I started out, (and this is embarrassing), giving away my sd cards so clients could just go plug them into a kiosk at a local retailer to get their prints.  (I can't believe I said that out loud!).  I only charged $30 for Kids and Families, $70 for Senior Pictures and a wedding was just $300.  But as I gained confidence and my images starting improving I raised my prices and went to burning discs for my clients.  At first, I was burning over 100 images. Then I 'narrowed it down' to 80....LOL.  When my husband staged an intervention, (not really....but kinda), I whittled it down to 30 images....and that's where it was last year and into the beginning of this year. 

Up until last fall, I thought I had a good thing going!  Clients LOVE getting a disc with their images/printing rights!  And for good reason!  For me, it was somewhat easy....take the pics, edit, burn, mail disc, done.  But then I booked more and more....and more.....and WAY MORE sessions than I've ever taken....EVER.  I was spending my entire weekends shooting from 9a.m. Saturday morning until sunset on Sunday evenings. Monday's thru Friday's were spent editing from 6a.m. until 9 or 10p.m.....sometimes 2a.m. if someone needed their disc in a hurry.   And all the sudden, my business was was my sanity.  When my family was playing a game or watching a Christmas movie, I was at the table in the other room working on edits.  It was sad.

My husband and I sat down and figured how much I was making per hour based on my rates.....and I think I cried.  (I can't remember clearly due to the lack of sleep I was getting at the time).  I think it ended up being the pay rate of a sweat shop in China.  And due to the fact that I barely took a break to eat or go to the bathroom, I looked like a sweat shop worker, too.  Not cute.

We then sat down and figured out how much I would make per year if I had filled my calendar COMPLETELY at the rates I'm charging..... Let's just say it didn't move me out of 'poverty level' income.  ARE YOU KIDDING!?  Not kidding.

So, things had to change.  Quickly. And they are.  And it's good! 

1 comment:

Tia Wind Photography

Welcome to my blog! I'm so glad you stopped by! I try to blog daily, but I'm sure I'll fall off the wagon eventually:) So, here's a little about me.....

I'm a wife, mother, sister and friend. I take my camera EVERYWHERE I go. Creating images that make my customers happy is my one and only goal! I love, love, LOVE getting behind the camera and do so every chance I get! I'm located in the Benton/Bryant/Central Arkansas area.

I'm an on location natural light photographer, which means I come to you and I use whatever light is available. I don't lug around heavy lights and equipment. And the best part about that is the fact that I don't have any overhead! Which means I can offer YOU great pictures at amazing prices!

Enjoy cruising through my blog:) Call me for details on my sessions and investment. I look forward to building my list of new friends and clients!

(501)-303-7383">Natural Light on Location Photography, by Tia Wind on Facebook

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Above all, I'm a mom of 3 amazing kis and a wife to the hottest man on the planet! :) Secondly, I'm a photographer. You can use this blog to keep up to date on recent sessions, news, upcoming events or just random posts about my life:) I shoot primarily in natural light and on location. I stive to capture my subjects' spirit and personality in every image I take! I'm living my dream!