The evolution of a photographer comes with lots of perks and lots of downsides. I mean that because obviously when you grow as a photographer you realize that your work gets better every time but you also realize that your … Continue reading
A year ago, I decided to jump into opening up a studio. I say jump, because I literally went from crawling to jumping, no learning to walk, no falling down in between, no running, straight up jumping… olympic style lol. And what I wish someone would’ve told me is that having a studio wasn’t just about having a studio. lol
It’s very hard to think of yourself as a professional when you’re working from home and it’s also very hard to separate work from home when you’re working from home. You eventually end up spending 17 hours out of your day working and if you’re lucky 7 hours sleeping. From the minute you wake up, until you go to bed, and even while sleeping your brain is on overdrive thinking about all the different things you have to do the next day.
I thought having a studio would make it easier to separate my home and personal life from my business life, but boy, I was wrong! I ended up working just about the same because I HAD to pay rent and expenses. I still worked at another job because I didn’t want to give up my steady paycheck and jump into a business that was great at times but very slow at other. Maybe that was my mistake… not giving up the job, but it was very hard to give it up. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned it before, but, I started my business CASH… no loans, no credit cards. Everything I made at my job was put into the business and everything I made with the business was put into the studio. This made it easier to open one up but now looking back a year and a half later I don’t think it was the best decision for me.
What I wish someone would’ve told me is that having a studio does not make you a professional. Having a studio was not going to make things easier and having a studio was not going to bring you more clients. What brings you more clients is how professional YOU are, what YOUR work is like, and how YOU put yourself out there. A studio will make you look good but it won’t make you good. I wish someone would’ve told me to save my money, buy my gear, attend more workshops, and advertise or market differently not through a studio. I also wish someone would’ve told me to find my niche and my specialty before opening up a studio.
This is why I decided to close the studio. I found my niche. I know weddings are my specialty, and I know that in order to book more weddings I don’t need a storefront.
So here’s my advice: save your money, buy your gear and your lenses, find creative ways to market and advertise yourself but don’t spend on a storefront. Your brides and grooms will book you because they love your style and they love your personality not because you have a storefront.
When I first started in Photography, I had a Nikon d3100 and I thought I was amazing with it. Which actually now that I look back I did so much more with that d3100 than I probably should’ve lol. But what I wish someone would’ve told me is to hold off on getting an inexpensive camera and to spend more on a really good camera right from the beginning. I now have a d600, which is amazing. It’s a full frame camera which obviously was not around when I first started so it ended up working out anyways but the body definitely makes a difference.
Everyone says spend on your glass, which I truly believe in, especially great quality glass but if you put that glass on an inexpensive camera it’s not going to have the same effect as if you put it on a two thousand dollar body. Besides, you can always rent the glass but your body should be your main priority.
The sensor on the d600 is amazing when shooting wedding photography, especially in low lighting situations and at high ISO. You will get some grain, but it’s not as bad as on the d3100. I constantly read articles about people telling you that the camera doesn’t matter. But it does. At the same time I wish someone would’ve told me to just shoot MANUAL straight from the beginning. Of course, shooting manual isn’t an easy task there’s a lot you have to learn in order to shoot manual, but having an expensive camera and letting it do all the work for you on Auto, is just dumb. You could’ve just bought a point and shoot for that and saved yourself a lot of money. My biggest mistake was not learning how to shoot manual right off the bat! There were tons of pictures that I look back at now and say, if i would’ve shot at this aperture and this shutter speed this picture would look so different!
So here’s my advice: save your money, don’t buy a cheap camera unless you don’t want to go pro, and when you have the money buy yourself a great quality camera that will last you a good amount of time!