We've been running a side business for several years now. There have been a lot of good times, but there have also been plenty of scary times as well. We've had a lot of frustrating struggles that we have had to work through. Here are the things we wish we would have known before starting a photography business.
1. It's not all about equipment
If you spend enough time around photography, or you do any research, you'll hear a lot of "you have to have ________" fill in the blank with some specific camera or piece of gear. Sure, having a nice camera and a few great lenses make things easier, but good photography isn't about the camera that you have. It's about the person behind the camera.
When we first started, it was discouraging to do research and see that a"starter professional" camera was going to cost several thousands of dollars. Thankfully, that didn't stop us from forging ahead and giving it a shot anyways. Katie spent countless hours learning her camera and making sure to achieve the light and airy look that she loves, regardless of the equipment she is using.
2. You'll want to be best friends with all of your clients
This has probably been one of the biggest surprises. We love getting to meet people, but we never thought that we would be falling in love with all of the families and couples that we get to meet.
Before we got serious about photography, we knew that we wanted to use it to bless others and to love on engaged couples or families. After we finish shooting a wedding, we feel like we've gotten to know and love the couple and we spend the next three days talking about how much fun we had at their wedding. :)
3. It's more than just the fun parts of taking pictures
This one is more from Katie. Both of us loving getting behind the camera and snapping away. We love getting to go to new places next to waterfalls or on farms, but we've learned that there is a lot more to running a business than just producing beautiful images. In fact, there is A LOT more to a photography business than taking pictures and editing them.
Over the past year, we've been going through all of the behind the scenes work, like setting up business licenses, getting tax IDs, setting up business bank accounts, and purchasing insurance for the photography business. All of these things must be done, but aren't things that we really considered when we were getting started.
We wouldn't trade our experiences, memories, and learning moments with our photography business for anything! One other thing we didn't realize about going into the photography business: It is the best, most rewarding career ever and we love it so so much!