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!
Starting & growing a photography business can be VERY expensive. Over the last 12 years, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on launching and scaling my photography business. Some of these investments have been good (read on to see which ones have paid for themselves). And others, have been very – I mean VERY bad (I’m looking at you crate of vintage suitcases from my vintage era). So today, let’s chat about the very best investments for your photography business based on what I have learned over my 12 year career! Hopefully this list will give you the confidence to start your business and know where to put your money!
If you’ve been with me for awhile, you will know that I talk about websites ALL the time. That’s because it is super important, and in this social media era, super overlooked. A professional website is yours. You own it and you own the rules. Nobody can change the rules for you and nobody can take it away from you. I know people were panicked when Instagram was down for a day or when Facebook was down for a few hours. For people who solely rely on social media, they had lost their connection to their potential clients. Remember, with social media at any time “they” can change the algorithm and you’re left guessing. Even worse, those platforms could go away at any time! Who remembers MySpace??
I highly encourage you to have a website. Even better, once your business is growing, and you’ve got a little more money to invest, take the time to hire somebody who is an expert at what they do and have them provide you with a professional branded website.
My clients say how much they love my website and how they love the the copy that I have crafted. By focusing on your website and copy you can attract your dream clients, allow them to connect with you and learn to trust you so that when they do contact you, they already feel a connection to you. It’s a lot harder to get all of that across in a very quick social media world.
Remember – the biggest take away here is that you don’t own social media and the algorithm is always changing. With a website, you can focus on your SEO and on the copy that you write so you can attract those dream clients!
While words might touch a clients heart, video touches their soul! Create videos for your brand to allow your clients to get a peak into working with you.
I have a video that I send to all of my newborn clients. You can see it here: Example of Newborn Photography Promo Video
This video allows my clients to see me in my element doing my thing – talking directly to them – so they get a sense of who I am. My moms tell me it always makes them cry when they watch it. By seeing me work with other babies they start to picture me working with their baby. It’s also a way to gain trust faster . . . they can see that it’s safe. They can see that I know what I’m doing. A professional video has hands down been huge in converting my inquiries into clients.
I also have other videos scattered throughout my “onboarding” process. A few examples are:
Keep in mind, you don’t have to always hire these out. As a photographer, you have all the tools you need to put together a high quality video for your potential clients!
I live in Pittsburgh where it is grayer than gray! For my studio, I invested in a huge softbox. It has made such a difference in my work! When I first started, I felt like it was a badge of honor to say that I was a natural light photographer. Being able to use available light is great . . . but in order to deliver consistency, studio lighting is essential. High end clients expect that you can deliver the same type of images they see on your site over and over again . . . even if their session occurs on a rainy day! In order to charge that next tier pricing, every one of your shoots has be at the same level of consistent quality. Even if you don’t have a studio, you can invest in lighting that you can travel with.
I’m not saying that everybody has to have studio lighting to be a professional photographer. For those of you lucky enough to live somewhere warm year round with lots of sunshine . . . especially if you can be outside 365 days a year – it might not be for you. But for anybody who has gray seasons and cold seasons – where you need to shoot inside to continue to bring money into your business – studio lighting is absolutely the way to go.
Invest in training, either hands-on training or a quality online course. It’s very easy to say you’re going to wing it or learn on the fly. You can absolutely do that! However, if you really want to decrease your learning curve, learning from someone who’s already been there is absolutely is worth the time and money. It will save you from making costly mistakes. It will save you time & agony wondering why your images aren’t like theirs or why you aren’t getting clients.
Hold up for a second though, before you just run out and sign up for the next course that pops into your Facebook feed . . . make sure you check the reviews & talk to people who have done it. Even more importantly, make sure that it will add value to your business.
Anytime I invest in a course, I have to ask myself, “is this going to make me money or just cost me money?” If the information that you learn will will lead to you making more money in your photography business, then absolutely sign up!
Education has always been at the forefront of my business and I really do believe that’s how I was able to work my way up to becoming a six-figure photographer.
Similar to training but still a little different – a mentor. Before I knew that mentors were a thing, I did a lot of stuff on my own and consequently, did a lot of stuff wrong! It took me a long time to get to that 6 figure mark . . . longer than it should. However, once I found a mentor that was a few years ahead of me in my career, I really took off. A mentor is a great resource to bounce questions off of and to seek feedback from.
I know not everybody can invest in very expensive training programs or very expensive mentors. That is one of the reasons why I started the Creating Freedom Academy. This online membership is for the beginning photographer or even the photographer who’s been at it for a bit but just isn’t making the kind of money that they want to make.
It’s a monthly membership, which is great for people just starting out! You can learn what you need to and when you are ready to “graduate” you get to take all of that knowledge with you! w
The membership also provides you with a photography mentor (that’s me) in your pocket. Twice a month I hold a Zoom call where we meet with everybody in the membership and you can ask questions, listen to other people’s struggles etc. You can also submit questions ahead of time if you can’t make it live.
Make sure you check out this photography & business education membership.