Tag Archives: Photography

Business Budgeting Setup

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.

Goals

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).

Expenses

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

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.

NET Revenue

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!

Photographing a Wedding: my most recent event

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!

Best Instagram-Worthy Photo Editing Apps

I’ve seen it happen all the time. Well, I haven’t actually seen the process happening before my eyes, but I have witnessed the backlash. I’m talking about the inevitable outcome of using poor editing on an Instagram photo. Photos with amazing potential get squashed under the weight of others that were more creatively or professionally edited. Well, you don’t have to be a “professional” in order to ensure this never happens to your Instagram feed. You just have to do a little research on the appeal of edited photos and then use the right technology to get the job done. To help you out with that, I’m sharing my list of the best apps to use to get amazing Instagram-worthy edited photos.

Camera+
You may have seen this one popping up in the Instagram world, and that’s because it is so great for taking and editing photos. The grid setup on the camera allows for even a beginner to learn perfect posing and framing rules. The camera also has the ability to use wide angle, telephoto, and duo-camera functionality. Once you get into the Lightbox editor on the app, you can use “The Lab” to enhance your photo to its fullest edited potential like I did with the photo on the left when I turned it into the photo all the way to the right.

Lightroom
I would be letting down everyone if I didn’t talk about Lightroom in this post. This is a photo editing app for your phone based on the ever popular software for your computer that you can download through Adobe. A cousin to Photoshop, Lightroom allows the user to flawlessly edit their photos with very minimal knowledge about the “fancy stuff.” There’s even a really helpful Presets function that makes theming your feed as easy as possible. If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a Photoshop screen like “What the hell do I do with this?” then you need to get Lightroom. It is more user friendly, and there are easy to follow how-to videos for Lightroom all across the Web.

Canva
Okay, so, Canva is mostly used for editing graphics. But it has some pretty useful photo editing tools too! And you might need to put a graphic on your Instagram. Let’s say you just started a meeting group (like a book club or something). Canva can help you take a photo of your first meeting and turn it into a beautiful promotion piece with pretty writing and doodles on it to make you stand out!

There are plenty of photo editing apps in all of the app stores. These three are the ones that work for me, but you might be able to find one that you feel functions even better for you. The most important thing to remember is that your style is your style. Apps and other tools are just there to help you bring it out.

Do you have any other apps you use to edit your Instagram photos? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 3 Couples Photography Tips

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.

4 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Photographer

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.