When most people think of a photographer, the first two things that come to mind when thinking about their responsibilities are 1) taking pictures and 2) editing those pictures. After jumping into my business feet first, I quickly realized that this is definitely not the case! While those two things are what the rest of the world sees, they are just 2 tasks among a mile-long list of things that we are responsible for.
I started my business while still in college, and I graduated with a business degree in marketing. This has proved to be so incredibly helpful over the last year of growing my business. The thing about this business is that I’m actually only taking pictures about 5% of the time. The rest of my time is spent editing, blogging, responding to emails, sending contracts and questionnaires, organizing my client information system, prepping educational materials, planning styled shoots, submitting shoots for publication, keeping track of expenses, preparing for taxes, reading blogs, listening to webinars, investing in education, planning my social media strategy, posting and sharing to social media, re-branding, making updates to my website (or in my case, creating a whole new one!), creating an editorial calendar, setting up and going to client meetings and consultations, grabbing coffee with other photographers, scouting locations, researching new equipment, and the list goes on and on and on. The best part is that I love almost all of it (I could do without the accounting though), and I am so incredibly thankful for my degree because it has prepared me for all of the behind-the-scenes tasks that I didn’t initially realize went into owning a photography business. There are so many moving parts to owning a business and I have to have my hands touching all of them.
I love the business side of things (yes, even the back-end awful pit of agony as I sometimes like to call it) and the fun, creative, marketing side. I get to utilize my business degree in ways that I never thought I would. I’m solving problems that I didn’t even think I would have and I’m figuring out ways to develop and speed up my workflows. I am challenged in ways that I never imagined. I have learned how to handle myself professionally under extreme amounts of stress. I have had to have difficult conversations, and had to learn what it looks like to legally own a business without breaking any laws along the way (I’m convinced this one is the reason why I have so many zits!). I’m learning to hold myself to a standard of grace, realizing that I may not always respond the way I should, I may forget to record something and I may disappoint someone. The fact is that I am human, but I’m saved by sweet, sweet grace that fills in all of the gaps. I’m realizing more and more that being a photographer is not something that I can do on my own strength, but it’s an amazing opportunity to trust in my Creator to come to the rescue when I feel like I can’t do it all.
Anyone can be a photographer. I mean, really all you need is a camera, a memory card and a battery, right?? But owning a photography business is a whole new ballgame. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into when I legalized Kelsie Lynn Photography LLC, but I absolutely LOVE what it has turned into. Having a photography business isn’t for everyone, but I am so incredibly in love with what the Lord has given me to cultivate, grow, and ultimately use as a platform for His glory.