Julie Kulbago Photography is a nationally published photographer who is trained in newborn safety practices and has mastered the technical knowledge & experience to use advanced photoshop techniques to capture challenging poses safely.
Her full service boutique photography studio works with families to capture fleeting moments so they last a lifetime. Let’s plan your perfect session!
I’m quite often talking to my photography peers about our experiences leaving corporate America into the great unknown of entrepreneurship. We recently talked about what they thought it would take to become a professional photographer. I’m so excited to share some of the main tips with you here:
Have you ever heard the saying “there is no right time”. I think that is absolutely true with a lot of things – especially when it comes to knowing when you should quit your corporate job and become your own boss. Now, there are certainly better times than others.
The winter is very slow for most photographers – – especially those of us who have really cold winters! Depending on when you decide to go from PT to FT photographer, I would suggest you do NOT make the leap January 1. Nothing will make you regret your decision more than an empty calendar! Late summer through the Fall are typically very busy months. I suggest starting to build hype around your full opening (remember, you will have already been working part time), 6’sh months before you actually go full time. You can offer incentives for families who book (and pay) now for a session that will happen later. It would be very comforting to resign from your job knowing you had clients on your books already!
One final word. When you do leave your day job – make sure that you leave on good terms. Give them plenty of notice, help to train your replacement (if possible), don’t leave them in their busy season. A – it’s just being a good human. B – they could be your future clients some day or at a minimum another source of referrals.
When I first started my photography business everyone kept their cards close to the vest. I mean REALLY close. Nobody shared where they took the picture, how they took the picture, how they edited it etc. Now, you can literally find out EVERYTHING you would would ever want to know about photography online and everyone is an open book. That’s wonderful for skill learning but can often create compulsive learners who don’t act.
One thing I have found extremely helpful in my photography career is having a mentor (I actually have worked with multiple in my career). Photography mentors are a huge asset because they greatly reduce your learning curve, save you from costly mistakes and get you pointed in the direction of success much faster than you could on your own.
This section could literally be a book. The number one reason photography businesses fail is NOT because of lack of photography talent but lack of business skills.
There are AMAZING photographers who wash out and mediocre photographers who kill it financially.
Whats the common thread? Business skills! Just taking pretty pictures is NOT enough to hit a 6 figure income.
Managing expenses, pricing for profit, investing wisely, hiring out non-essential tasks, having business management software – – and on and on.
I feel so passionate about helping newer photographers build solid business foundations that I offer group coaching where we literally start from the ground up and layer by layer we build businesses that can stand the test of time. Check that out here: Photography Coaching & Mentoring
This definitely fits in the above section with business skills but it is so important it gets a few paragraphs on its own.
Here’s how you should NOT price your photography:
If you set your pricing in any of the above ways I urge you to stop right now and reconsider!
The only way to know what to charge is to know ALL OF YOUR EXPENSES. A super basic way to think about it is:
Cost of Goods + Cost of Labor + Expenses = Total Cost
Total Cost + Taxes + Profit = Revenue Needed
Revenue Needed / # of clients you want to serve a year = Average Sale Needed
If that all feels a little overwhelming we spend a solid week talking about pricing photography for profit in my 8 Week Business of Photography Bootcamp mastermind. Check that out here: Photography Coaching & Mentoring
I think you can see that I didn’t really talk about getting amazing photoshop skills or even the best gear. Becoming a professional photographer is 80% business skills (not sure if that’s a “google-able” fact but you get the point I’m trying to make.)
I hope that was helpful. Have more questions? Shoot me an email and I would be happy to help! Contact Julie