Episode 209 – How Do I Know If I’m Ready to Start Charging for My Photography?

Episode 209 - How Do I Know If I’m Ready to Start Charging for My Photography?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Years ago, before I even thought about charging for my photography, I took a photography class for fun and I fell in love. The assignment for the whole semester was to build a cohesive portfolio of one subject and I chose to photograph children. My boyfriend at the time, who’s now my husband, had tons of nieces and nephews, so they became some of my subjects.

Somehow a friend from my past had seen some of my images and asked if I would photograph her son. I was so caught off guard, but somehow, I agreed to do it and I went through so many emotions. Am I good enough? What if she doesn’t like them? How do I even charge? The good news is I turned that one $50 session into a 26-year career as a professional photographer, selling over $3 million of photography services. Today, I’m going to share with you ways to know if you are ready to start charging for your photography.

  1. People compliment you photos

If at least somebody is gushing on your photography and telling you how talented you are, they see it. When those people are gushing on you, listen to them.

  1. You’re passionate about it

Are you spending hours not getting paid, playing with your camera, whether it’s editing, retouching, or just simply creating a ton of images? Maybe you’re the mom or the dad who’s always photographing the kids at their sporting events. If you’re that person who’s toting that camera bag all around because you never know when you’re going to have the perfect photo opportunity, this is for you. You are in the right place.

  1. You have basic skills

I believe to charge for your photography, there are just a handful of skills that you need to know. Those skills include how you’re composing the image, finding the light, being able to flatter all different figure types, and get your camera off manual so you can use the tool the way it’s meant. I can’t stress enough that you do not need a college degree in photography to get these skills.

  1. You have a desire to make this a legitimate business

If you truly would love to make some income with your camera, you’ve got to follow through and deliver what you promise. You need to be able to set deadlines and stick to them. And if you aren’t the best at that, you can make the decision to learn how to be good at it. Meeting deadlines is a skill that with the right system, it can be learned.

  1. You are ready to invest in yourself by getting a system and a mentor

You don’t want to wing it by charging people money, and hope that you can figure out what is next. When you’re charging people money, that’s a trade of energy, and they’re assuming that you have a proven system to follow. I never would be where I am today without all of the investing I’ve done in myself. The cool part about this is the hardest investment is the first one. Then, you learn how to run a business. Your business starts making money, and your business pays for the next investment, and so on.

  1. You want to be in control of your schedule and life

It’s so heartbreaking to me that fellow mamas are out there with a killer career job with bosses who won’t let them go to their kiddos’ things. I want every parent to be able to go to the seemingly insignificant preschool performance because those are so important. In my mind, I thought, well, I have to leave my well-paying job and go be a broke mama so I can be a good mama. And that is a limiting belief, and I’ve proven it wrong and I continue to prove it every single day as do so many of my students. Imagine how that would feel to be able to say, “Yes,” to everything you want to do with your family, yet, you still have to be able to take care of business.It’s not one or the other. It’s both.

  1. You value your time

You are worth more than minimum wage. Time is going fast, and you can go through life making a little or making more. We all have 24 hours in the day, and some people can do a task and make a little money, other people can do that same task and make a lot of money. If you have a proven system to follow where others are using that system to make good money, that shows that it’s possible. Learn it faster.

  1. You must have a clear vision of your “why”

This is so important because it is going to get rough. You are going to have bumps in the road, but you can do hard things. You are doing hard things right now by not going for your dreams. Stay focused on your “why”, and the path will become clear even in the hardest of times.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Instagram sarah.petty
Episode 218 – Business Not Growing? 5 Things You’re Overlooking

After being in business 26 years and understanding the value of every single client, I am always shocked when creatives don't do every single thing they can to serve every single client they have. The longer I'm in business, the more I realize that just doing that...