When I first started my family photographer business, I was a sleep deprived mom of a one year old who craved a creative outlet. I had left my corporate sales job when I had my son and honestly felt a little lost! Although I had always dreamed of being a stay-at-home parent, I didn’t expect the other feelings that surfaced. I felt a deep sense of loss when I wasn’t contributing financially. Arguably, stay at home parents are contributing financially in an intangible way. They take on the roles of childcare provider, homemaker, chef, and chief organizer. All those roles cost money to outsource, money that the stay at home parent is contributing to the bottom line. However, the type A side of my personality wanted more.
I started Lyndsay Hannah Photography in Spring 2015 and floundered a lot as I figured out what I was doing. Everyone probably looks back at their early years as an entrepreneur with some regret and I am no exception. Today, I have narrowed my regrets to three. If there are any aspiring family photographers out there, here’s what you should not do.
When you are a new family photographer, you are a little desperate for work. You take any and all business that comes your way. Family sessions, extended family sessions, cake smashes, milestone shoots, senior portraits, event coverage: you name it! I did it all at the beginning to gain experience and have some cash flow. The mistake I made was showing work from all these genres even if I didn’t actually want those types of sessions in the future.
What I wish I’d done was been more picky about the work I posted on my website and social media channels so that I could attract only what I wanted in the future. I posted everything because I didn’t have a lot of content to post. What I should have done was model calls for more of the types of sessions I wanted to attract. This would’ve given me the content I needed to build my portfolio while being able to accept other jobs to help the financial side.
Two years ago, I made one of the best decisions for my business mental health. I outsourced my bookkeeping to someone who specializes in knowing the ins and outs of the family photographer business. I don’t know why I waited so long to do this! Taxes and bookkeeping were such a source of stress for me. I hated it and never felt like I was doing either properly. It costs me approximately $50/month for someone to take all of my records of cash in and cash out and organize it for me. Seriously, best money I spend all month. The peace of mind is 100% worth it!
Now, this doesn’t mean that anyone else’s pain point is also bookkeeping. Maybe you hate editing, blogging, or posting on social media. Whatever the task is that you absolutely dread, look into outsourcing it! Build the cost of that into your session cost and you’re good to go. Being an entrepreneur has a lot of risk involved but one of the major pros is that you don’t have to do anything you hate! Structure your business in a way to take that aspect off your plate, leaving you more room to do what you actually love!
The first few years of my journey into posting on Instagram, my captions were pretty boring. I thought a family photographer could only post about how the session went or what they thought of the image they were posting. False! Instagram is all about engagement and your clients learning more about YOU. Captions should be personal and they don’t have to “go with” the photo you’re posting. A year or so ago, I made a huge change in my Instagram voice. I started sharing details of my life, my business, and motherhood. Since then, my account has grown and it’s turned into a place I enjoy hanging out in! Even though it is still not a huge source of inquiries for me, it helps me connect daily with my current clients and build relationships with other family photographers around the world! Win, win, win.
"To say that I love each one would be cliche and a total understatement, but seriously... She nailed it. Being a photographer myself, I am very picky and searched dozens of photographers before coming back to lyndsay and booking her and I am so glad I did. I can't even remember the last time I hired a photographer and was this in love with the images and unable to pick just a few favorites. Thank you, lyndsay, for making the photo session easy (with 3 kids), fun and providing this mama memories for a lifetime.”
"Our images are so special and really captured our joy and the sweet personality of our little girl. Lyndsay did a great job going beyond the typical posed shots and making our photos feel authentic. We will treasure them forever."
- amanda, northborough
"We have done multiple sessions (family and newborn) and we’re so happy with the results. Lyndsay makes you feel comfortable and is able to truly capture the moment. We will have her prints hung in our house for years to come."
- beth - framingham
"We've done it all - newborn, maternity, cake smash, family photos - and every single time we are amazed by the quality of the end product. Lyndsay captures beautiful moments that we will treasure forever!"
- nicole - framingham
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