Friday 5

1. I am considering starting a photography business. What kind of hidden costs are there to photographers?

As I have just recently finished my taxes for this past year, I can tell you there are A LOT. I wish it were as simple as having a nice camera and finding people willing to pay you for taking their pictures.

Here is just a short list of some hidden costs that go into running a business:

- Web hosting, domain renewal (aka
- Advertising
- Paper products (brochures, packaging, contracts, stickers, branding, etc.)
- Online gallery hosting for clients
- Commission fees paid to photo printer - The cost of prints from client purchases, shipping, boutique packaging, etc.
- Camera equipment and rentals
- Self-employment and other taxes
- Gas and mileage to/from shoots
- Accounting fees
- PPA membership, equipment/business insurance 

and more!

2. How long have you been shooting for?

I tend to answer this differently from time to time, but if I am being honest, I have only shot professionally for about a year. I spent a few years building my portfolio after shooting the wedding of my good friends. I did a few sessions here and there to gain more experience, but it wasn't until after the birth of my daughter that I really started putting my name out there and making this a business venture instead of a hobby. 

3. What do you look for in another photographer? What kind of photographer would you hire?

I wonder how other photographers would answer this, but I personally look for someone with a style similar to mine. I love the look of vintage photos and I think effects can be really pretty, but they can also really date a photo. I tend to gravitate towards photos that have more timeless coloring and qualities to them.

4. When will you begin scheduling clients for the spring and summer?

The winter has been super mild this year here in the DC area! I am hoping to start entertaining session bookings in late March and early April. It really depends on whether or not this great weather continues and when Spring temperatures will make their arrival! I am definitely looking forward to getting out there and shooting again!

5. I'm a pretty new photographer and I am considering taking a workshop. The only problem is that it's $1800. That seems like a lot of money. Do you have any experiences with workshops?

Now, I will preface this by first saying I have never taken a workshop that demanded that much money, but I can't imagine what you would be taught that is worth that much money... Unless Wolfgang Puck is catering the "provided lunch", I think you can definitely find more cost effective workshops in your area, or better yet, online workshops. 

I have taken an online workshop with Crave Photography that I was really happy with. I feel like I learned a lot in regards to post processing, and I love watching other photographers workflows (this is what they're most secretive about). Workshop Jungle also has a great list of online and local workshops - I would definitely look into some of those listed. They are very reasonable and cover the entire spectrum of talent and experience.  


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