I understand how hard it is! Money is tight, but you want to get your business going and it’s hard to know what the wisest investment is! I made OH SO many mistakes starting out spending money where it shouldn’t be spent, and neglecting areas I should have invested in! I wanted to share a few with you!
- A website & brand. I’m not a graphic designer. I took an intro course in college, and dropped the class right before the first assignment was due (over-achiever I know;))! Needless to say, I knew my dream logo & website wouldn’t be a possibility if I did it myself! I’m SO glad I found With Grace and Gold, and am thrilled with the incredible job they did even over a year later! They offer templates, or they’ll create a custom site and logo for you from the ground up. AND use the code CHRISTA10 for a 10% discount!!
- Two Bright Lights. If you’re hoping to get published, I’m convinced Two Bright Lights is the way to go! You pay monthly, and it allows you to easily submit weddings to multiple publishers at once, saving you a whole lot of time reaching out to them separately! It also shares which editors are looking for submissions and what they’re looking for so you can carefully choose which editors to submit to! I’ve been published over 10 times just because of Two Bright Lights!
- Adobe Editing Software. Yes, I know there’s free editing software out there. Yes, I used it at one point when I was starting! But investing in Adobe Lightroom for photographers is SO vital and will save you so much time editing! I have the creative suite and use Lightroom, Photoshop, and InDesign the most, even though I didn’t know if I’d ever touch anything besides Lightroom! You’re editing will be so much quicker, more efficient, and more professional using editing software like Lightroom!
- Reliable equipment. I know this is broad, and SO much could go under here! But basically, before making any large purchases on electronics like a computer, camera, or lens, do your research. LOTS of research! Make sure it’s reliable and will last you WAY info the future! I decided instead of upgrading a computer and camera regularly, I’d invest in a good one, and use it a long time instead of upgrading frequently! And it’s SO been worth it.
- An organizational system! If you’re a wedding photographer, it’s VITAL to stay organized with contracts, invoices, and notes! I made this mistake early on, and was SO unorganized with this! A client would ask me what was left to pay, and I’d have a mini inner crisis racking my brain trying to remember what they had paid! THEN I started using 17Hats and that helped OH so much! I recently switched to HoneyBook and LOVE it even more! So even if it’s just a few weddings you’re shooting, make sure to have a system or program to keep you and your couples organized!
And just remember, we all make mistakes! But pick yourself up and keep going! This is coming from the girl that would go onto a free editor and make blue eyes look electric blue thinking it was cool 😉 Keep going my friend! And as always, contact me for any questions!