Episode 94: Can You Make It When You’re In A HUGE City Crowded With Photographers?

Episode 94: Can You Make It When You’re In A HUGE City Crowded With Photographers?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

As an L.A.-based actress turned into a shoot-and-burn photographer, Kendra Greenberg felt like there were so many people just like her in her city.

Unable to pay herself from what she was making from her photography, Kendra and her husband decided it was time for a change.

Today I sat down with Kendra as she shared her story of going from shoot-and-burn to boutique and how she got a $6,300 client.

Sarah Petty:

Hi, Kendra.

I’m so excited you’re here.

Tell everybody about yourself.

Did you have a career before being a photographer?


Hi Sarah.

I live in the Los Angeles suburbs.

After we had our twins we moved up to Northridge and bought a house and I didn’t work for a while.

I had been a photographer in the past, so I decided to start taking pictures of babies and family since that’s where my heart is.

And I’ve been doing that for about three years.

I was trying to be an actress and I did a couple of TV shows.

But in the end it was better for my family to transition into something that was more stable and hopefully more profitable.

Understanding Print Credits Limit Your Clients’ Orders


I worked for a company in the hospital that goes from room to room and takes pictures of babies, just for something to do.

And then I figured out this passion of mine to talk to new moms and I decided to go out on my own.

I took print credits with digitals in different shared packages.

My most expensive thing would have been $2,000.

That’s what I did all last year and I realized I was capping myself.

Sarah Petty:

So, what were you most frustrated with?

Was it all the editing retouching or the fact that people weren’t buying things?


Well, there are probably three things off the top of my head.

That first phone call, you get the price shoppers and they think that $2,000 is so much money and they could never spend that amount.

And I questioned if I should be cheaper.

It gave me all kinds of imposter syndrome.

The second thing that I hated was that I needed to bring on a whole bunch of staff.

I was having to run sales and was up late editing, which is not my favorite thing anyway.

And the third thing was that I had to go and get my clients to get them to spend their print credit.

So I would be doing all this service for my clients and at the end of the day, I wasn’t making much money.

Sarah Petty:

That is so frustrating.

And you have three kids who need you.

What did your spouse say about this business and what it looked like?


He’s excited and he’s on board, but his whole thing is he knows a lot about business and he knew I needed a business plan and a business model that actually works.

So when I decided to take your Boutique Breakthrough workshop and I was really nervous about spending that money he was really all for it.

Sarah Petty:

I love that.

And you’re out in L.A.

I’m in central Illinois and I know L.A., is so much more expensive.


There’s a lot of shoot-and-burn photographers here.

And another thing my husband always tells me is that I need to be the most expensive person.

That’s how you’re going to set yourself apart.

From Shoot-And-Burn to A Profitable Boutique Photography Business

Sarah Petty:

I’m just curious, if photography didn’t work what were you going to do?


I never thought about that option.

I was just going to keep hammering away at it.

My goal has always been to have my own business and to match his salary.

That’s my why, it drives me.

Sarah Petty:


So you jumped in and decided to be Boutique photography business.

We created pricing and you went through so many things with my team.

What was the biggest thing that hit you when you were learning?


I have a lot of fear about money, so I was really scared.

The thing that I loved was that you give us all the tools to get started.

So I just followed the steps and just put my doubts away.

And by the time I was done I had a beautiful price list and I was ready to talk to people.

I knew exactly what I was supposed to say to people too.

I really needed the language and I needed to know how to price myself.

Everything was laid out for me.

Sarah Petty:


Tell me about your “Julie’s”, the first client you got that spent over one thousand dollars on artwork (not digitals).


Okay, so I had three in Boutique Breakthrough!

Two were people that I converted from my shoot-and-burn model.

When I brought them in, instead of sending them to the online store which is what I had done before, I showed them the brochure that I created during the class.

And they bought a lot more than they were going to.

One girl spent $2,466.

Another mom spent $2,000.

But then I had a client who called in and she had zero objections.

She came in for the consultation and I found out her journey to motherhood was difficult.

She was in the hospital for the first month of her babies’ lives and when she finally got out, no one would photograph her babies because they weren’t young enough.

I told her that’s ridiculous and that I will photograph your babies.

She didn’t care about the money at all.

She spent $6,300.

She ordered five pieces of wall art for her home.

During our sales meeting, I am writing all the things she wants down, and she put down her deposit.

When she left, I literally just fell on the floor.

I couldn’t believe it.

I would have ruined it if I hadn’t had the tools to have a person like that come into my business.

She would have gone somewhere else.

I’m so grateful.

Sarah Petty:

That is amazing and you served her.

You gave her something that she wanted that no one else was going to give her.

What did your hubby say with this $6,300 order?


He was so excited for me.

And we’re so hopeful for this year.

It’s so exciting, it’s the best place to be because we can both see the future of what this year could bring.

I don’t know how much I made last year but it wasn’t a lot.

And I’m hoping to do a lot better this year so I’m excited.

follow boutique photographer sarah petty on instagram to learn more about the boutique photography timeline

Episode 221 – What #FamilyFirst Really Means

Family first is our credo, our motto, one of the three pieces of our framework at the Photography Business Institute, and the reason I have taken so many risks in my career when I could have had a nice well-paying, safe job that came with golden handcuffs to my desk....