In March of 2014, I lost my father. And, shortly after, in 2015, when Target Pharmacy was bought out by CVS, I lost my "stable" 6-figure job as a Target pharmacist. From this, I learned two things:
1. There is no such thing as a "stable" job. The most dependable and financially sound thing you can do is to work for yourself
2. Life is short. You are not guaranteed anything. You can live your life (unhappily) doing what others tell you to do, or you can carve out a new direction, doing what you love
Instead of trying to find another job as a pharmacist, I decided to give myself a chance to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer.
Long story short, over 6 months, I lost a lot of money, spending way too much on Facebook ads and failing to generate any consistent business. So I decided to spend the next 4 months shadowing financially successful photographers, doing their "bitch work" in exchange for an opportunity to learn how they ran their businesses. From that, I learned these valuable lessons:
1. It is absolutely possible to make $250,000+ / year from photography. In fact, the most financially successful photographer I shadowed has made over $20 million every single year over the last 8 years of her photography career.
2. The most financially successful photographers earn the vast majority of their money via passive income, thru membership sales, online sales of digital photography training programs, etc. This allows them to make far more than the average photographer, even while working less than 4 hours a day, for only 3 or 4 days a week - whereas most photographers who struggle financially have no clue on how to make passive income via photography or, more commonly, have no idea what the term "passive income" means
3. The most financially successful photographers spend the vast majority of their time concentrating on sales because they know that it is sales that generate their income, not pretty pictures - whereas most photographers hate thinking about sales and prefer to spend most of their time editing, shooting, and/or dreaming about becoming rich and famous
4. The most financially successful photographers are aware that, due to the fact that DSLR technology has become so cheap and readily available, there are more photographers than ever in the history of mankind. Instead of fretting about increased competition, all of the successful photographers I shadowed found ways to make this into an advantage by selling TO photographers (everything from $5000 lighting workshops to $400/month online access to digital photography training programs, etc)
5. The most financially successful photographers EMBRACE rejection, instead of running away from it. They realize that that more "no's" they get, the more "yes's" they will achieve. They don't worry about batting average. They worry about getting the word out about their products and services to as many people as possible, to give themselves the largest chance for success.
Each model is extensively vetted to meet our exacting standards of conduct, professionalism and fit for our culture.
We shoot in the most lavish suites of some of the most elite venues in Philadelphia and NYC: The Ritz Carlton. The Plaza Hotel. 1 Hotel Central Park. The Langham Place Fifth Avenue.
We shoot 6 to 8 times a month In San Francisco, NYC, Philadelphia. We aspire to create a shooting experience based on collaboration, open sharing of ideas, creative experimentation, and mutual benefit.
One of the biggest barriers to portrait photographers making the level of income they deserve from their work is lack of experience or training in sales. Unfortunately, it is not your talent in editing, your ability to take beautiful pictures or create remarkable images that gets you paid. It is your ability to sell.