Photography Resources

Profit & Sustainability for Wedding Photographers

By February 1, 2016 No Comments

how to sustain as a wedding photographer
I’m going to talk about growth & sustainability for a minute. And Im not talking about plants or taking care of our environment, though, I love both of those things too! ????????????????????

Yesterday I was invited to speak alongside the talented Jenn Ayres at #tuesdaystogether in Buffalo on “pricing for profitability & long term stability.”

One of my side passions is creative small business mentoring and one of my favorite conversations to have with with my mentors is “how to price to profit & sustain.”  This is a topic that is not often talked about openly because, let’s face it, as creatives we don’t do it for the money, we do it for the passion. And somehow, me included, as passionate persons, we feel bad and awkward and all sorts of strange things if we bring up the money aspect of our art. But it’s an important topic none the less. If creative business owners don’t price themselves appropriately it can lead to all sorts of bad things including burn out and worst of all, maybe giving up the creative thing you’re doing because it’s no longer viable to keep it as a business. If you couldn’t make yesterday’s conversation, (or you did, but you have more specific questions), I offer mentoring options (see all details here), that are tailored specifically around pricing and sustainability and I would LOVE to help you learn how to make your business a profitable one.  You do not have to live in the NY to take me up on one of my mentoring sessions, phone calls are amazing ways for us to connect and learn.

A little about us: we’re husband and wife photography team specializing in intimate weddings & storytelling sessions. Since starting our business a LOT has changed. In the beginning, growing our business as BIG as possible was one of our main focuses and we hustled to do just that. But three years ago, in the middle of our busiest and most expansive year, we had a revelation that growing our business as big as possible wasn’t actually something that resonated with our goals and values.

Since that discovery, we have worked towards a more simplified life, including business, and have transformed our lifestyle to work just enough to cover our basic needs, pay off debt, put money into savings and retirement, donate a portion of our salary to an important cause, all the while keeping a little extra for our love of traveling & exploration of our interests.

This wasn’t an overnight process, it took 7 years to find this balance with a lot of hustling and overworking ourselves on the front end and finding out what was truly important to us and getting rid of what wasn’t important on the back end. With an awareness that our lifestyle could change in the future with the addition of children or unforeseen circumstance, our plan to deal with those changes is:  adjust the amount of weddings and portraits we photograph accordingly to more or adjust our lifestyle spending accordingly to less. OR, diversify our income in other creative ways.

I am working on a separate blog post that gives the actual numbers of our business and living expenses so people can see realistically how a husband and wife photography team work to sustain, but I’m leaning towards keeping that just for my mentors and possibly running a small workshop on pricing in the near future. If you are interested in learning the nitty gritty or learning how to keep track of your numbers, my mentoring sessions are an open book and I’d love to hear from you. Say hello at info@shawphotoco.com.