Episode 119: When This Mom of 4 Lost Her Job, She Went All In With Photography

When This Mom of 4 Lost Her Job, She Went All In With Photography


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I am really excited to be here with my student, Keilynn White, who decided to go all-in on photography after she lost her job.

Despite having 14 years of experience under her belt, she still considered herself a hobbyist photographer (maybe you can relate). 

But as a determined mom of four, she knew she had to show up for her family.

I can’t wait for you to hear what happened to her next. 

Here is our amazing conversation… 

Keilynn White:

I had been doing this as a hobby for 14 years.

My best friend handed me a camera when she was pregnant and said she just needed a few pictures.

The pictures were not great, but I fell in love! 

I’ve always worked a full-time job and been in sales or some sort of person-to-person contact.

I love people, and I did my photography on the weekends. 

So I would work my 40-hour job, and then I would work all day Saturday and Sunday taking photos.

It was pulling me away from my family. 

I would shoot and burn 14-15 photo sessions a DAY at $45 to $95 a session, so all-in-all, I wasn’t making much money (or profit).

Then I would sit down for the next week and edit my life away while still working my 40-hour job. 

Sarah Petty:

How did you justify that in your mind?

Were you telling yourself that one day you were going to be able to charge more?

What was the story you were telling yourself of why that was a good thing?

Keilynn White:

Actually, it was more of a belief that I had.

Right before I started taking pictures, I went to Sears and I had my pictures taken with my son and they were terrible.

I spent $250 on these absolutely terrible pictures and then I paid another $200 for a CD.

That was $450 I didn’t have. 

So in my mind, when I started taking portraits for families, my motto was always that I understood it is tough out there.

I thought that some people just really want their pictures taken and can’t afford an arm and leg.

But last year, I decided enough was enough. 

I lost my full-time corporate job, and my husband told me to pursue my photography business.

Even though I had his full support, I honestly didn’t think that I could actually make an income off of this. 

And so, the first year, my business tanked.

I was using a shoot-and-burn model, and I didn’t make anything. 

Sarah Petty:

It’s interesting how your mind shifts from wanting to save everybody from spending money at Sears, to realizing you do not have benefits, vacation, and a consistent paycheck anymore. 

Now, all of a sudden it gets real.

So you worked super hard for a full year and made no money.

What made you realize that it wasn’t working?

Keilynn White:

Last year, I took this picture that should have been in a magazine.

It makes my heart just explode when I see it.

And… I just gave my client the digital. 

I had it printed in a magazine, and got so many new followers on my Instagram and Facebook from this one photo.

People were raving over it! 

I told my husband that something wasn’t working.

This amazing photo just left the house and I have nothing to show for it.

So in December of last year, I decided to make a change. 

I saw this huge opportunity for your event, Go Boutique Live and I bought a ticket. 

Sarah Petty:

I love it.

You attended my event and then you jumped into Boutique Breakthrough where we systematize your business.

You dove in, applied what you were learning, and you’re killing it.

What was the biggest aha of like, “Why didn’t I think that?” when you were going through the program?

Keilynn White:

There are too many to even go into all of it because I didn’t know any of this stuff.

I had been struggling and grasping at other things that were all free.

But I realized that I needed to invest in myself.

I went all in and thought, “if she’s saying this is working, then this is what I’ve got to do,” and so I did. 

Sarah Petty:

Tell us about your first Julie (a client that invests $1k or more).

Keilynn White:

So my first Julie was that amazing picture I told you about earlier. 

I had done four sessions with this client.

Her engagement, maternity, newborn, and six-month shoot for her new baby.

I was only a couple of days into this program when I did that six-month shoot, and I told her I don’t offer digitals anymore. 

She didn’t know what I meant, until I sat down with her and showed her what could be.

I went through all of the things with her and my first sale from those four sessions was $6,300! 

I was so happy I could explode.

It was like all of these emotions that I am worth that and that photo was worth it. 

Now, it’s huge, it’s 16”x36” in her home. 

Just knowing that my photos are on display now and they’re not just stuffed in a drawer is the best feeling. 

My other Julies during Boutique Breakthrough, were a $3,600 sale, a $3,200 sale, and a $1,900 sale.

I haven’t felt better in my entire life being able to provide people with what they need.

Like you said, it’s a gift.

Sarah Petty:

Are you kidding me?

That is insane.

And finally, what is your husband saying?

You have his support and not everyone has that gift.

How proud is he?

Keilynn White:

He is beaming with pride.

Eventually, my goal is to work him out of his job. 

He’s been taking over a lot of my photography business side stuff because he’s actually in business school and so it makes sense for him to run the business.

If he has any advice for the men out there, it’s to believe in your woman.

This is your time to shine and to prove to them this could be our lifestyle! 

Sarah Petty:

That is amazing.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. 

When This Mom of 4 Lost Her Job, She Went All In With Photography
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