I’ve had my fair share of financial highs and lows when it comes to my business. Photography is something I love doing and would do for free if I wasn’t hoping to someday do only that and work for myself. Just because you love doing something as a hobby, doesn’t mean you can’t organize yourself to hopefully make a profit off of doing that thing. Today, I’m sharing how I do just that – organize my business budget and accounting to (hopefully) make a profit.
Now, if I were to try talking about everything that I do with all the little pieces, it would turn into a series (which I would be okay with, so let me know if you want that in the comments below). There are literally whole university classes that teach only this subject – for multiple years in a row! I’m no expert or professor, but I like to think that I’m a pretty good self-starter and DIYer who has a few methods that anyone could use to get started.
You can’t have a budget without knowing what your goals are. I have a Google Sheet devoted to my year-to-date (YTD) budget goals (just some ballpark numbers based on the cost of new equipment I want to buy or photography expos/conferences I want to go to, and so on).
Right now, expenses are few and far between in my business. I’m purposefully trying not to spend too much on the little things so that I can save more toward the big things. But I still track what few expenses I do have in another Google Sheet so that I can keep a close eye on those numbers – like a hawk, trying to make sure there’s still enough food rationed for each of her children (I know, weird analogy; I feel weird today). I use the app Expensify to log receipts quickly while I’m out and about so that later I have a good record to bring over to Google.
Income is anything that I’m paid by an investor or a client – so money invested towards my business and clients paying their service invoices. I list all of that out with descriptions in a – you guessed it – Google Sheet. Even if someone is just giving me a tip in cash after I photograph them – I log that as income.
This is where it all comes together. “Net” means different things for different businesses; some go all in and itemize literally everything and include their price reductions from last year and the cost of the sweater they bought for their great aunt Silvia as “loss.” I just treat “net” as a basic equation: NET Revenue = Income – Expenses – Taxes Paid Basically, for a small business sole proprietorship like mine (I retain all of my revenue), net revenue is my profit that I get to save or spend on things. Simple!
Those are the basics of my budgeting and accounting setup. It’s nothing fancy, but it helps me keep track of my earnings and stay on target for my goals. Do you have more questions about business budgeting? Ask them in the comments below!
This is such a beautiful experience. I can’t wait to renew my vows! The colors they chose compliment each other so well in these photographs.
These are all thoughts that were going through my head a couple Saturdays ago while I was photographing one of the most beautiful weddings I’d ever had the privilege to attend. The brides looked stunning in their gowns, and the bridal parties were all dressed stylishly as well. But the most important thing is that I was able to capture the small moments throughout the ceremony and the reception that truly show the love these two hold for each other.
I’m in the process of editing these photos now, and the brides have given me permission to share some of these photos on my blog; I hope you will enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed making them!
Did someone say couples photography? Oh my gosh, yes! How cute is it to have beautifully rendered photos of you and bae on your walls or on the nightstand next to your bed or on your kitchen table… Wait, on your kitchen table? You know what, do it – I don’t judge! Getting to take photographs of couples who are clearly in love gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, like I’m doing something good with my talents on Earth.
Do you want to take your photographs with bae to the next level? Well, find a photographer who super loves photographing couples (*ahem ahem*) and use my top 3 couples photography tips to get some of the cutest photos ever!
Make sure you and your loved one are clear on the types of photos you want. Do you like more serious pictures? Do you want to experiment with funny candids? What about a mixture of both? Talk about it beforehand!
Pick a location based on your personality inclinations. This relates more to how you handle being in public. If you’re choosing to photograph on-location somewhere and not in a studio, make sure it’s a place where you’re comfortable. For example, if you get skittish or embarrassed easily around other people, you might want to think twice before getting photographed at the mall during Christmas time, you know?
Have pose ideas in mind before you go to the photo session. Now, your photographer may be able to help with this (and likely will be able to help with this). But it makes the session run much more smoothly if you and bae already have a few pose ideas picked out and saved somewhere. Pinterest is a great reference for this; check out this board I created just for pose ideas!
Those are my 3 biggest tips for a more effective and efficient couples photography session. Speaking of couples photography, did you know that for the entire month of February 2020 ALL couple’s photography sessions will be 50% off?! You didn’t know? Well, you better be thankful I told ya! Click here to learn more about this awesome discount.
Shopping for a photographer can be a pretty overwhelming process. There are a lot of us in the market (believe me, we know; we’ve heard it from our parents and that one overbearing uncle way too many times). But it doesn’t have to feel like a nightmare! Here are 4 things to consider when looking for a photographer for any kind of photos:
Do they have a portfolio that you can easily view? Some photographers keep their portfolios locked away unless you expressly ask to view their previous work. I keep my portfolio photos viewable on my website so that my clients can use them in making a decision about my services.
How does their style of photography compare to your wants and needs or the vision you have for your photos? Portfolios can help you identify the style of photos that a particular photographer usually works with. Note: even though a photographer may appear to work in a specific style, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t work in others.
What are their prices like? This is a biggie. Price shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in looking for photographers, but it does make a lot of difference in who you’re even able to choose based on your budget. Just take it into consideration, and make sure to be crystal clear on what your photographer’s prices are before you sign anything.
Are they local to your location or would they be willing to travel to your location? Now for the most part, if you’re doing a portrait or other type of photo session that won’t require a lot of travel, this point becomes slightly less relevant. But what if there is a really great photographer in your home town who you want to use for your wedding in Tahiti? Something you have to look out for.
When my husband and I were shopping for wedding photographers, we didn’t have a clue. What’s the best price in our area? Would they be okay with doing first-look shots? What if we don’t have food for them at the wedding? But we buckled down, came up with this list (if a little abridged), and started our research. If you can look through photographers in a way that allows you to compare them based on your own needs and wants, you’ll be a-okay.
I know what you’re thinking: where the hell has she been?! The truthful answer: all over the freaking place.
These past couple of months have been absolutely crazy; I’ve been in full-on wedding planning mode, I started a semi-new schedule at both jobs, and I have a friend going to Thailand soon so I’ve been soaking up all of the possible time I can with her and other friends/family before I leave myself on a week-long trip to Tennessee for my honeymoon.
In short, everything is crazy right now.
I wanted to get on and write a quick blurb to you all about my life and where everything currently sits. I also wanted to let you all know that I hope to be posting more and more often as things wind down.
A big part of why I haven’t posted in a while is that I can’t seem to find inspiration for anything anymore. I’m not in any Coursera classes right now (which means I still haven’t earned that specialization yet), but I feel like I push myself into that, it’ll be the straw and I’ll be – well, you know. *breaks back*
But not being involved in any classes or photography ventures has been bad for the flow of inspiration… Meaning I have none right now. I can’t seem to think up any good photography projects because I hardly have time to think about creative stuff at all. I want to start getting out to photograph again, but I rarely have time. Maybe I’ll be able to get out there this weekend, but who knows? We’ll have to see what happens.
I’m really thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had and for you all for sticking with me and putting up with the LARGE delay in posting. You guys are awesome.