Episode 1 Introductions and Things I wish I knew Starting my Photography Business
I am so excited to be posting and sharing the news that The Ambitious & Inspired podcast is now LIVE. I am being totally honest with you, this has been such a long time in the making – in fact since 2017!
So you can play above and listen here in the website, head over to Apple Podcast or Spotify to listen through the App. Or if you would prefer to read about what I chatted about in the episode, just carry on reading as it is all here for you if you are a read with a cup of tea kinda girl!
So let’s jump straight on in…
I dreamed of creating a podcast for like minded female photographers and business owners to chat all things business, strategy, marketing, growth, believing in yourself, creating a dream lifestyle. It lights me up to help others reach their goals and dreams and that they can achieve anything they set their mind too.
Ambitious and Inspired, is how I want you to feel when you listen to these podcasts. To feel inspired, motivated encouragement and empowered. That you can be totally in control of your life, you are an ambitious woman and have big goals and dreams and I fully believe you can achieve them! You can be fully booked in your business filled with your dream clients. I want you to create a business that you absolutely love, that is thriving and profitable and in turn that you can create your dream life, whatever that might look like, whilst having the ultimate balance between hustle and being your best self.
You can take your business full time and leave your 9-5, to be fully booked and create you own freedom based lifestyle!
This podcast is going to be filled with solo episodes where I will share with you everything I have learnt about running a business over the last 8 years, I am going guest experts on chatting with some of the best female photographers to chat through their expertise, share best practices and how you can implement practical strategies to your business! I also have an amazing line up of experts outside of the world of photography – we will be chatting all things that be applied to your business that ensures you are setting yourself up for success, creating important foundations to running a profitable business that you love!!
So today, I thought I would share with a few things I wish I had known when starting out my photography business. But first, I thought I would give you a little back story. I started my business back in 2012 when I photographed my first wedding. That year not only did I shoot my first wedding but I second shot ALOT of weddings, both in 2011 and 2012 whilst working a day job. I wanted to fully immersed myself in the world of wedding photography and learn from people doing the job, get on hand experience and build my understanding of working in that niche.
I was side hustling whilst working in my corporate day job, I then had an opportunity for a new job in London which at the time I couldn’t turn down, and my boyfriend and I moved to the city! Still hustling and caught up in the daily routine – Little sleep, long commute, working round the hours, getting home editing and shooting and felt like I was getting no where. I hated it.
I have been where you are right now.
If you are working the 9-5 really unhappy caught up in the corporate daily grind, not fulfilled in your job, wishing for more in your life, and dream of having your own business, on your terms, achieving your goals. I hear you! But it is achievable, and I want to help you get there!
It got to a point I knew it was time to take it seriously about leaving my day job and came up with an exit plan, strategy whatever you want to call it. And then 6 months later, this was back in 2015 I was able to hand my notice into my full time, well paid, corporate day job to take the leap into self employed life and running my business full time.
IT IS A MARATHON NOT A RACE
Firstly my biggest piece of advice always in this whole game of business – and I am sure you would have heard it before, but it is so true that it is Marathon not a race. In my opinion you are in this for a quick win, overnight success, a quick buck…..you might be pretty disappointed.
Creating foundations that set you up for long term growth not quick wins is so vital. My business has grown year on year, I have learnt alot and also importantly made mistakes along the way. But it came down to laying the key foundations of my business, and growing on these aspects that has meant I have a profitable and successful wedding photography business that is fully booked and able to also grow in other areas.
So back tracking a bit to when I had a dream that I would be working for myself, running a business I was passionate about, that I would be living by the coast, have a team and ultimately living my dream life. Back in 2011 after I had spent abit of time deciding that I wanted to be a wedding photographer, I spent years learning and investing in becoming a photographer. I attended workshops, mini masterclasses, 100s of webinars, watched hours of YouTube videos, read books and when I took things seriously I began investing in business coaches and this is where I really saw the biggest change in my business growth and in me personally.
I was side hustling every minute I could and I made plenty of mistakes along the way. But I established the foundations of my business and worked on these, every day, every spare minute I could this was so so important to the process.
ESTABLISHING YOUR NICHE
Secondly is establishing your niche as soon as you can! A niche if you aren’t sure what this is, is a segment of a market in need of your services. For example the industry I am in of photography you have lots of different niches like couples, weddings, families, newborns, fashion the list goes on and those are the different “niches” within photography industry.
You can get even more specific within that niche, for example traditional newborn photography or modern family photographer, or alternative wedding photographer, adventurous couples photography.
Establishing your niche, and working on this in everything you do, so your branding, your website, creating your portfolio will appeal to your ideal client and showcase what you and your business are and what you want to book.
- Quickly establish your niche and only book work in your niche
- Photograph and create products, services, shoots that fuel your creativity
- Only showcase what you want to book
WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT
Now when I was starting out, I was getting serious shiny object syndrome in relation to photography equipment, but the price tag attached to the gear in total basically was what I needed to pretty much buy a house! Focusing more on what I could do with what I had instead of thinking a new lens or new camera would fix it, was huge!
Honestly – I just needed to know how to really use my own camera to start with, I had a couple of lenses and then when I was photographing big weddings that I needed a larger telephoto lens, I hired. I had a crop sensor camera to start with whilst I was learning and training, when I realised I was being limited by my gear that was when I upgraded and invested in a new camera.
There are definitely times when it’s more beneficial to have a full frame camera vs an entry-level DSLR. For example, entry level DSLR’s (and most crop sensor cameras) don’t handle low light situations very well, meaning- when you go to up the ISO, which definitely photographing weddings you would need to, it can get pretty noisy/grainy, (sometimes to the point where your images aren’t salvageable.)
If you’re not comfortable shooting in manual mode, and your in the early stages you DON’T need more than an entry-level DSLR. Simple as that. Once you’ve mastered manual mode, your taking on paid clients and expanding your business then it may be time to upgrade to a full frame camera.
But don’t feel you need to fill your kit with 10 lenses and 5 camera bodies. My advice, buy the equipment you need, for me I currently have my main camera and my backup, I have 5 lenses which cover a variety of things I would need under any circumstances, and then if on the odd occasion I might need a big telephoto lens if I have a big church wedding or something like that I would hire the lense I would need.
I’ll leave a list of my full kit in the show notes if you are interested but what you need to be thinking most importantly, and always is how to be running your business so that it is successful and profitable. Spending £2,000 on a lens that just sits in your bag and you maybe use once a year and just mainly collects dust, isn’t a smart business purchase in my opinion. And this could be applied to any industry, not just photography.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Lastly, don’t worry about what other people think of you. I WISH wish I took this advice sooner on all my ventures. This might be the biggest thing holding you back – my strong worded advice, don’t!
You might not be feeling super confident, you might be overthinking a lot, unsure what to post, how to say X, if that shoot you did was good enough, if this business idea will do well and what might people thinking on my FB and Instagram – this one was a biggie for me.
I am going to tell you, it doesn’t matter and who cares!
The only person you need to worry about and what they think is you, and your ideal client. I mean As long as your not being like super offensive or rude or something like that, it doesn’t matter what people think. Go with your gut, trust your instinct, go for your dreams. Those people that you are so called worried about, aren’t going to pay your bills.
So there you go, I guess first episode a wrap, if you would like to connect further head over to my Instagram @charlottebryerash, take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and share on your stories! Leave a review if you have any feedback, what your takeaway was from this episode and if you have any future topics you would like me to cover.