Episode 116: From a Brownie Camera to Big-time Sales: How Dawn Turned Her Love of Photographing Teens Into an Income

How Dawn Turned Her Love of Photographing Teens Into an Income


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Do you ever struggle with trusting your talent as a photographer?

Or maybe you wonder if you’ll REALLY be able to make a living doing what you love…

If so, you’re not alone. 

Today my amazing Boutique Breakthrough student and 10-year photography veteran Dawn Peek shares her story of how she turned her love of photography into an income. 

Sarah Petty:

I have that head trash, too, of, “I’m not good enough.

I couldn’t make a living at this.

I don’t have a degree in photography.

I’m not trained.”

So, Dawn, tell us your story of what that felt like.

Dawn Peek:

In February of 2020, I was in one of your challenges and it rekindled my love of photography (I had one of those Instamatic cameras when I was 10).

I thought this was the best thing I’d ever heard of in my life. 

So I took what I could and tried to implement it.

I knew I didn’t want to give digital files away and really wanted to charge my worth. 

A year later I went to Go Boutique Live and got even more inspiration.

But I still hadn’t landed my first “Julie” yet. 

Finally, I decided that 2022 was my year.

So I decided to invest in myself and take Boutique Breakthrough.

Sarah Petty:

So, you jumped into Boutique Breakthrough and you were getting systems to put into your business.

I love that you had the mindset to charge what you’re worth. 

Now you actually had the structure of how to build your photography business.

How did that feel as you were learning it? 

Dawn Peek:

I was extremely scared and excited to do it.

In fact, the only way that I got through the course was by getting a close friend to let me practice with her. 

We did the call, consultation, session, and in-person sales together! 

My first in-person sale was in front of her and 13 other people, and I wasn’t sure how it would go… 

But during the process, they picked out the portraits they wanted and invested almost $1,500!

I never, ever expected that.

Sarah Petty:

That is amazing!

And all of that happened just from you serving your people so well.

Dawn Peek:


One of the biggest switches in my soul was to go from not knowing how to ask people to invest so much money, to this system just working for itself.

Sarah Petty:

And you’re not being pushy or salesy.

So you’ve had several “Julies”, $1k or more clients, now, right?  

Dawn Peek:


My next one was actually one of my first client’s daughters.

She and her boyfriend wanted metal and acrylic wall art. 

If I hadn’t done Boutique Breakthrough, in my head, I would have thought that there was no way they could afford it.

Sarah Petty:


So, you know what I’m super proud of you for?

You’re a grandma now.

You’re starting this whole new adventure in your life. 

How does that feel for you?

What are you most excited about?

Because I think some people think it’s too late for them, but I always refer back to you. 

Dawn Peek:

Well, I’ve had too many careers to even count at this point, but I’m the most excited about the passion I feel for photography.

For me, photography is about connection. 

That preteen age was a rough time for me. 

So, it means something to me for those kids to feel seen and see themselves on the wall.

That’s what I’m excited about! 

Sarah Petty:

What a gift.

With the perspective we have, that’s such a hard time in a young person’s life, so to be able to lift them up is such a gift. 

I am so proud of you and I appreciate you coming here and sharing your story.

From a Brownie Camera to Big-time Sales: How Dawn Turned Her Love of Photographing Teens Into an Income
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