Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thinking...


I've been doing a lot of thinking, lately.

I'm really, really contemplating whether 2011 is the year for me to become an entrepreneur...to maybe, possibly, perhaps embark upon starting a photography business.


Some days, I think I'm good enough to do it...then other days, most days, the self-doubt creeps in. I wonder, "Really? How could you think you're good enough to do this?!" and my concern about running a business begins to overwhelm me and then I shove this idea to the back burner again.


Only to have it slowly inch it's way back into the forefront of my mind...

So many questions...what to charge?

...what would I name my business?

...how would I market myself?

...what would my "niche" be?

...can I handle the criticism?

...will I be able to keep my vision of "quality photos made affordable"?

...is it worth it to take out a small business loan to get started?

...am I organized enough to make it work?

...how on earth will I ever wrap my mind around photoshop?


I love photography. LOVE it. I love snapping photos, adjusting settings, composing subjects and then downloading them and seeing what I've captured. Who I've captured.


And if I've captured the "real" them.

So...will this be the year?

We shall see...


19 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. ummm...YES!!!! 2011 will be YOUR year. Call me with any questions you might have! You can do it. You are good enough to do it.

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  3. (Re-posting comment.. had typos!) I think it's a great idea. And just to chime in a little bit ... I actually contemplated the same thing for a long time. I thought, "who am I to think my skills are SO fanstastic, that people would want to pay me?". -- So I started out slow. First, I got my DSLR. I loved taking pictures LONG before I got one, but it helped. I learned all about it, how to use it in Manual mode, etc. I had already had photoshop for 2 years, so I was pretty good with that. Then, I did some free photo shoots of friends' kids for 1st birthdays, etc. And I posted them on FB-- and other people then started asking me to do theirs, and 'how much I charge'. Like you, I wanted them to be affordable.. plus, I had JUST started. So I started out charging $50 for a shoot (dirt cheap, I know). Then I started getting more & more non-friend clients who saw my work on FB, I upped my prices a bit, and am still going on up. I now have my own website, and have a steady flow of clients. It's only a side job, considering I'm a full time teacher, but it's fun being able to carry out a passion, and in return giving someone photos they can cherish forever. I don't know if it'll always be just a small thing, or if I'll eventually one day actually be a "company", but it'll fall into place how it should be.
    It's nothing you have to jump into all at once. =)

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  4. I have a friend who did similar, she started out small, doing it for friends for advertising. then going up on prices slowly. The small business loan would be hard for me. Can you rent the equipment or borrow from a friend. Do you know anyone who you could shadow under for a few days. Can you come to NC (for free)? I think it is a wonderful idea, what does your hubby think. I would say advertise at pediatrician offices, thrift stores (like once upon a child), set up at craft fairs and offer quick cheap pictures then they will want to return. what about doing a cheap price and doing like a MOPS group. that way you get lots of practice. It could even be a fundraiser for them. Then when they liked your pictures they would call about more pictures. Your kids play sports, what about handing out business cards saying you will take action shots why they play. They could review them on line and buy them.

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  5. I've been debating this for a long time too. And if I had the self confidence I really would. But I hate charging people and then you have the fear did they turn out, will they like them and then also I can't use Photoshop to save my life. I've been away from Blogger for awhile so I haven't see much of your stuff but I say "hey, why not give it a shot!" Pun intended...

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  6. I've been following you for a while now. I have your blog come into my Google reader everyday. I love the pictures you post. You are very talented. Two and half years ago, I wanted to open my open business as a marketing director for professional speakers. I worried and fretted until one day I woke up and said I'm doing it. I named the business, went to the local courthouse and for $25.00 I had a business license. Went to GoDaddy and for $29.00 had a website and for $8 a month I had the hosting. I was in business. I do not regret one minute. I have been happier than I have ever been. I'm doing something I love to do and get to be my own boss while doing it. Since I specialize in marketing and can give you many tips on how to market yourself at little or no cost. I am proud of you for taking the courage to even think about starting your own business. Feel free to email me for free marketing advice at mamawsplace@gmail.com and good luck!

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  7. You are SO good at photography and I think maybe you should just try something! Start small if it's easier...but you'll never know if you don't try!

    Happy New Year!

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  8. I read a blog by a woman who is an amazing photographer. She does what she calls "(un)workshops" occasionally across the country. She also has recently started offering online classes for photoshop and lightroom.

    Maybe something like that would boost your confidence going into business.

    Her (family) blog is http://americanmum.blogspot.com/

    She did a post recently about an article she wrote on starting a photography business: http://americanmum.blogspot.com/2010/12/starting-photography-business.html

    I sound like I am advertising for her! Ha! Really though I admire her talent and knowledge and would love to take some of her classes!

    It's definitely a big step to take.

    Wishing you the best! (:

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  9. Go for it! No time like the present. (To start new things) :) LOVE your photography, by the way.

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  10. I don't think I've seen a pic on here I didn't like! :) I know a lot of "small time" photographers are charging a flat fee and then providing the customer with a disk of edited pictures with full printing rights. To me, this is awesome b/c I can get what I want without having to purchase a large package and if I decide later that I want more or want a reprint for a special gift, I don't have to go through the photographer again...and possibly pay another "extra" charge. This seems to be a growing trend. I think you could do it, if you have the time to commit to it. Of course, the up side for you is being able to schedule around YOUR life...so it would probably work well for you! :) Good luck!

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  11. I think you should do it! Start by doing friends and family. Then get them to send you people that will pay the "big bucks"! :)

    You could call it "Crooked Halos Photos"! (I love that line in the header of you blog!)

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  12. I have a friend who is building her photography business... started out using just her camera and specializing in natural light photography... as she gains popularity she is adjusting her prices. She put in her time using "models" and then giving them a deep discount on the prints. As she grows, she is purchasing more and more equipment. The more opportunity she gets and challenges given to her, the better and better she becomes. I say GO for it! You don't need to take out a loan, just take it in baby steps.
    If you have facebook, look up my friend under JAM Photography. She's so sweet, so if you want to pick her brain, she would probably love that.
    Good luck and blessings to you!

    P.s. Love the "Crooked Halo Photography" idea for a name.
    If you need a logo, I would love to make one for you... I already have one in my mind! :D

    Johnna Brunenkant

    Johnna Brunenkant

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  13. Hey Mama M,

    From my total unprofessional point of view - I think you totally captured #5's personality in the above picture and the others you took of him, and I so would not trust you taking #7's newborn pictures if I did not think your pictures were awesome! They are only newborns for such a short time! I say go for it!

    You know who I am!

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  14. I would like to tell you (as someone who has been in these very shoes) to go for it. I started my photography business in June, and while I still think to myself "Why are these people asking ME to take their family/maternity/newborn portraits???", I have found the experience so very rewarding! I literally had to SHOVE myself out of my comfort zone, and still have to fight the self doubt that creeps in from time to time, but you will be amazed at what you learn and how quickly you improve from session to session! I would say start out slow, let clients know you're new at the whole "becoming a professional" thing and have lots of fun with it! You're great! You have a natural talent for capturing "moments" and I'd love to see where that takes you! Best of luck!

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  15. I'd love to help you get started... If you want a coaching ear to get organized or find a starting point, I have some names to pass along and would love to brainstorm with you!

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  16. Ha! So I guessed right!!!! I knew it! Your pictures are awesome! Are you planning on taking a class (or have you?) If so, where? I am interested too (although I am not as experienced as you...) Please don't answer me here, I will probably forget to check back (umm... can we say 5 kids?) E-mail me or FB me. I am SO excited for you!

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  17. I too am considering and hoping that this is my year for me. I am not only cheering you on but will be working along side you to do the same and yes we have what it takes.

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  18. you should totally try it. I think youv'e got skillz to pay the billz! =)

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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