How I Started My Photography Business

In 2013, I was a newlywed obsessed with my wedding photos. I loved how they turned out and I absolutely adored the story they told. 

We all have those days you never want to forget, the ones you want to relive over and over again? That’s what these photos did for me, helped me relive one of the best days of my life!

As I was displaying them in my home and sharing them with family and friends, I began to notice a spark of interest in photography as a hobby. I really enjoyed the idea of telling stories and creating tangible memories through photos. I wanted to share this joy with others in a creative way, just like my wedding photographer did for me. 

So, I did what anyone would do…

I told my mom. 

My mom had recently got a new DSLR camera and gifted me her old Canon Rebel Ti. With this new opportunity sitting right in my hands, I began my journey to learning all things photography and how to use a camera professionally. 

I was so excited to take my new found passion seriously and embark on this transition from interest to investment. 

I took a class on how to use my camera and learned aperture, exposure, and shutter speed. These were the first stepping stones I tiptoed across as I followed my new passion. As much as I wanted to fast forward my journey and become a fully booked wedding photographer knew I needed to start with the basics. 

I took pictures of everything. I probably had 300 pictures just of objects around my house. 

Eventually, I got brave enough to ask family and friends if I could take pictures of them. They happily (well, maybe just willingly) agreed! 

I am so grateful I was able to practice my editing and lighting skills before venturing out to look for paying clients. I was not ready to ask people I didn’t even know to pay me, you may know the feeling!

Over the next couple years, family photos became my thing. 

I practiced any chance I could get. Throughout this time, YouTube was my best friend. 

Videos about the buttons on my camera, lighting techniques, editing styles, and so much more filled my free time. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a 20-minute camera tutorial video. 

Throughout this time, community began to play a role in building my craft and as I eased into the world of other entrepreneurial photographers, I began to interact and set up times to work alongside some of them. 

In doing this, new skills and techniques were shown to me and I was able to implement them into the way I took photos and put my skills to use. 

In 2017, I decided it was time to take things more seriously. It became evident to me that editing styles were important to how you marketed and presented your craft to your clients. I devoted my education to editing so that I could figure out my preferred editing style. 

Once I knew how to perfect my finished product, I wanted to take my skills and my efforts to the next level. 

I decided I wanted to build a business around it. Social media marketing and the importance of contracts were two big things on my list of things to learn at this point. We all know how much social media marketing is growing right now and I’ve heard horror stories about faulty contracts and their lack of protection for businesses and their clients. Even with these risks and fears, I took the leap.

The idea of owning a business wasn’t new to me. When I was 16 I was charging people for horseback riding lessons. Building a business always intrigued me so now that I had the chance to potentially earn my own income and create my own schedule, my excitement only fueled my efforts.

As I began building my client base through referrals and spending time with some amazing people during our photo sessions, my business began to grow. The more I interacted with other photographers and business owners, the more I realized my love for their passion and strategized ways of thinking.

In 2018 I added brand photography to my portfolio because I love the variety and creativity involved in working with businesses and personal brands. Dreaming, brainstorming content, curating a photo session that is totally in line with your brand, are all my jam. Brand owners give so much of themselves to their businesses and helping them capture this passion in their photos allows them to connect with all the right people, and continue to grow their business. 

With ever-changing markets and the demand for fresh content all the time, it’s a passion of mine to come alongside business owners on their journey to create content that helps tell their story.

Now, my focus is reaching more brands and learning more about who they serve. Although I love a pretty portfolio and visiting new sites around my city, my passion is to help brands build their businesses and celebrate as their business grows.

Encouragement and collaborative creation are two of my absolute favorite aspects of working alongside other like-minded business owners. This sense of “we’re all in this together, no one is really competition” gives me hope and pushes me to gift this hope to others in the community. 

If you’re looking for a photographer who is interested in your story, utilizes aspects of it in your photo session, and encourages you to step out of your comfort zone in order to grow your business, I’d love to chat. 

Set up a free consultation to see if we’d be a good fit for your next branding shoot. 

And, let me know below your story. How did you get into what you are doing now? Share in the comments!

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Pinterest Strategist & Brand  Photographer. Based in Arizona.