Today’s Money-Making SAHM is Annette. She has a great photography business. She started it because she loves photography and wanted a way to make additional income as a Stay-at-Home Mom. Annette shares in the interview below how you can start one too.
Q. What inspired you to begin working?
A. This job is more of a hobby for me. It’s just a bonus that I can charge for it!
Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?
A. I owned a preschool and had been hiring people to come in and take their school pictures. I decided I really needed to start doing it myself because I felt I was more creative than the photographers that I was hiring, so I decided to do it myself. Taking my school’s pictures paid for my camera the first year.
Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?
A. Make sure you know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to really use your camera in manual, how to set up lighting, and how to edit in photoshop AND lightroom or Adobe Bridge, you’ll really struggle. Take as many classes as you can. Practice, practice, practice, and make sure you really like to work with people. Even strangers. If you want to be a family photographer, you really need to be good with kids and really animated.
Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?
A. A photographers schedule is not consistent. You work when you get calls. My busiest season is in the fall because I mainly do Family portraits. I get a few weddings a year in the summer. I choose how much I take on though, so I can have a flexible schedule. Remember that after you take the pictures, the real work begins. Sorting and editing the pictures after the session takes up a lot of your time.
Q. When/how do you find the time to work?
A. I work when I want to. I schedule the sessions when I know my older kids are at home to watch my younger ones. I edit pictures at home when my 3 year old is occupied with something else, or I wait until the older kids get home to help play with him.
Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?
A. Make sure you charge what you’re worth. Figure out how much you want to make per hour, then figure out how many hours TOTAL each session takes you to edit. Add up the hours you work and times them by how much you are worth and you’ll get your session prices. Decide if you are going to offer prints to clients and find a good printer. I love WHCC.com but you have to have a business license to use their printing service. Increase what you charge for prints. They are worth it to the client. Decide if you are going to offer the digital negatives and if you are going to charge more for them.
Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?
A. Training and school are not required to be a Photographer. But I would HIGHLY recommend taking as many classes as you can to learn all about your camera, lighting, posing, editing, and the art of photography. Try all different types of photography and find what you like to do. Landscape, Wedding, Portraits, Newborn, Commercial, Architecture. There are a bunch of different types of photography out there. Find your niche.
Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or How much do you make from this job?
A. This income makes up about 25% of our income. It’s not a lot, but it helps pay some bills and support my hobby 😉
Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?
A. Get trained. Buy quality equipment. Don’t skimp on the equipment. Get a business license, get a website so you can start showing off your work. Spread the word that you are starting this business and offer discounts as you build your portfolio. Market yourself in any ways you can. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, classifieds, coupons, local deal sites, mailers, fliers, etc.
Annette Belnap is an amazing mom, preschool teacher, and photographer. Like her photography business Little Gems Photography on Facebook here.
For other posts in this series with live interviews on how to make money from home please click the links/titles that interest you below…
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