Wednesday, July 13, 2016

what i've learned in the first few months of running a photography business

Howdy y'all! For those of you that don't know, I recently started my own photography business, Dixie Marie Photography. So far I'm super excited about how it's going, even if I'm still working out the details and trying to figure out how exactly I'm going to pull this off. Here are a few things I've learned in the first months I've been open.

Y'all, people love free stuff. The first thing I did when I opened was chose 3 or 4 people that I wanted to give a free shoot to get me started and to get my name out there. I also gave away 2 free shoots in a hunt club that my dad and I are a part of. So far I've done a couple session, a senior session, and a dance portrait session. Coming up I've got 2 hunt dog sessions and a family session. When I told all of these people that I wanted to shoot with them for free, they were so excited and when they saw the quality of the pictures they got, even more pumped! If you're starting any kind of business, I would definitely recommend doing a few giveaways at the very beginning! The only problem I've had with this is that I decided to do too many at once, I wish I would have only taken 2-3 clients for free as I've spent a lot of time on the free shoots and haven't really gotten a chance to book paid clients. Also with this, don't let people walk all over you! Know your worth and set limits to how much you're willing to do.

Another huge thing I've learned is that pricing is hard. When I first started putting together pricing packages I thought that I was pricing everything pretty dang low. And for a professional photographer those prices are low, but since I'm just starting out, they're pretty high. Also, when pricing, you have to take into account your target client. Because of where I live and how old I am, most of my clients are probably going to be high school students and many of them will be paying for their own pictures. Since I'm a high school student myself, after I looked at my prices from that standpoint, I realized that I probably wouldn't even be able to afford my own pictures. I'm now planning to lower my prices and eventually raise them when I think it's a good time.

One of the first things I did when I opened was order business cards. When I first started giving them out, people were so surprised that I had cards and were impressed by how seriously I was taking my business. People want to do business with someone that looks professional. I also created a website really quickly, which I'm planning on expanding on this summer. I created a bunch of social media accounts and a nice logo and in the coming weeks I'm hoping to make some pricing graphics and forms that look nice for my clients as well as get testimonials from the people I've already worked with.

Finally, I've learned that starting a business is not as scary as it seems. Smile a lot, be kind to your clients, put out the best work you think possible, and you will be absolutely fine.

Have a great day!

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*Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored or endorsed in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.*

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