Episode 140 – How a Mom of 3 Went From Feeling Like A Burden To Helping Support Her Family With Her Photography Business

Episode 140 - How a Mom of 3 Went From Feeling Like A Burden To Helping Support Her Family With Her Photography Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

When things weren’t working out for her family of five financially, portrait photographer Amanda Costle felt like a burden.

She was living in a market filled with photographers and imposter syndrome was holding her back.

Maybe you can relate…

Today I’m talking with Amanda about her decision to push herself in a new way and the UNBELIEVABLE outcome that has her husband saying she became a totally different person–in a good way!!!

Sarah Petty:

So tell me your backstory.

What was your business story before you converted to boutique?

Where did you start?

What was your thought process?

Amanda Costle:

Well, I worked on websites for 12 years and that came to an end pretty abruptly.

So I thought, okay, I’m just going to dive into photography headfirst, not knowing what I was doing or having a plan.

Sarah Petty:

What was your life situation?

Was this a part-time thing or a hobby?

Or where did photography fit in your life?

Amanda Costle:

I wanted it to be full-time but it couldn’t be because I didn’t know how to find my clients.

I didn’t have the confidence to find them, and when I did, I gave away a lot of stuff.

People would come to me and say,”Oh man, that’s a lot of money.”

So I would waive the fee for something and try to make it work for them.

But then at the end of the year, I didn’t even make enough.

And then year two came and I still wasn’t making enough.

I thought I was going to have to find a full-time job, and go back to not being there for my family again.

That was stressful for me.

I didn’t want to go back to that because I have three kids (two seven-year-olds and a 16-year-old)! 

Sarah Petty:

Yeah! It feels like it’s either working all the time for someone else or doing the digital file model, working all the time.

So you realized that wasn’t working.

How did you feel about your skills?

Amanda Costle:

I definitely didn’t think that I was good enough or experienced enough to sell my work.

I had imposter syndrome.

There are so many other photographers where I am.

It’s such a saturated market.

I mean, you go on one of the Facebook pages where someone’s like, “I’m looking for a photographer.”

And there are 150+ replies.

I thought, who am I to be able to fit in there?

Sarah Petty:


And the next person’s trying to be cheaper than the one before, right?

Oh, they’re going to do 30 images for $100. I’ll do 40 for $75.

And then finally, they’ll offer things for free.

Amanda Costle:

Right. Exactly. And that’s where I was.

I was the person who would say, “Okay, well, I’ll do it for free.”

Sarah Petty:

And were you offering it for free so you could get more “experience” or get “better”?

When did you think you would have enough clients or sessions?

Amanda Costle:

I had no idea really when I thought it was going to happen for me.

I just kind of kept chugging along, failing over and over again because I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t know my worth at the time.

Sarah Petty:

So did you have a moment when you decided that you had it figured out and didn’t need to get a full-time job?

What did that look like?

Amanda Costle:

My husband was so supportive and so sweet about it, but things weren’t working well financially for our family and I felt like a burden on my family at that point.

I was selling my images for $25 and I made $500 that year…

That’s when I found Boutique Breakthrough.

Sarah Petty:

So here you had the opportunity to learn a system and change everything!

You heard me talking about Julies (clients investing $1,000+)…

What were you saying in your mind?

This can’t be true or this can’t be for me? 

Amanda Costle:

I definitely thought, “Okay, all these other people are doing it. Maybe I could do it too.”

But I was also worried about signing up and failing.

Because then I would be letting my whole family down and I’d be even further behind.

Sarah Petty:

Ultimately you decided that you didn’t have a choice because it was either invest in Boutique Breakthrough or get a job.

What did your husband say when you said you wanted to do this?

Amanda Costle:

It’s kind of funny because he was out of town and he was hunting.

So I wasn’t able to really talk to him.

When he came back, I just told him that I did something BIG.

And he said okay.

At that point, in my mind, there was no room for failure.

Sarah Petty:

I love it. So you jumped in, you started learning, and you started doing!!

What was your biggest aha as you’re learning this entire system?

Was it easy for you or was there a place you got stuck?

Amanda Costle:

Well, there are always little places to get stuck.

Thankfully the coaches were able to work through all that stuff with me, which was great because I freeze sometimes.

But once I trusted the process I was able to take action. It was amazing!

Sarah Petty:

So you got a client and you were getting ready to present and what was going through your mind?

Amanda Costle:

“Oh gosh, am I going to be able to do this?” It was an existing client and I had already scheduled her.

So I told her, “Look, I’m using this new model. I will give you the options to go with my old model, which is, you just take your images and run. Or you can go with the new model that I’m working on and allow me to serve you big. I want to serve you well.”

And she ended up going with that!

Once I had all the tools, I knew how to show her that it was worth it and how to explain to her how I was going to serve her. 

Sarah Petty:

So you got through the order and you realized it was over $1,000!!!

Amanda Costle:

Yeah, I just sat there.

I think my hands were kind of numb because I was just like, “Oh my gosh, this is actually happening.”

The process worked. I was just beside myself excited.

She actually ended up ordering even MORE from me a few days later.

Sarah Petty:

Oh my gosh.

That is just my happy meter flying out of my head.

That is amazing.

That is amazing because you served her and you took care of her.

Do you remember what that order ended up being?

Amanda Costle:

$3,400 after tax.

Sarah Petty: 

And she loved it!! She’s probably displaying it in her home.

That’s it’s amazing.

What does your husband say now?

Amanda Costle:

He’s super excited. He’s my biggest supporter.

Confidence has been my biggest issue, and he said, “Look what you did. You did this. You can do this.”

And that was such an incredible feeling for sure.

Sarah Petty:

That is amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing your story – it’s so inspiring.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Episode 140 - How a Mom of 3 Went From Feeling Like A Burden To Helping Support Her Family With Her Photography Business
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