Starting a Photography Business : What I Wish I Knew

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f you're here and you're thinking about pursuing photography or taking your photography business full time, I'd love to have a little chat. Why? Because I got to thinking. And when I think, dangerous things happen. Like that one time I bought cream suede boots...I looked like a Mexican telenovela actress at a karaoke bar...it was bad. Whoa, that was a detour. Back to starting your photography business!

I got to thinking about a few things I wish I knew before starting my business. Yes, I wish I knew more about the technicality of photography (wait, so you're telling me f-stop and aperture ARE THE SAME THING?!?), but I wish someone would've sat me down and had a real conversation about expectations. I envision this scene in my head like there's this mafia-looking guy (hair slicked, big nose, acne scars) sitting in a corner booth at an Italian restaurant ready to give me me first hit job. Come to think of it, maybe I'd wear those suede boots in this scene.


Okay, so here we go. Here's what I wish someone told me when I first started my photography business...

1. Expect the Worse.
It might sound terribly pessimistic, but expect the worse. If you can imagine just how bad things could be--and you're okay with the outcome--then you know exactly what you're risking. Knowing the worst, but hoping for the best tempered my emotions when I first started. The worst case scenario (for me) was: failing at photography, going back to law school, and owning a really nice DSLR camera. Once I realized what life looked like if I failed, I was ready to succeed. There are others who might be risking a mortgage, health insurance, and a 401K, so I suspect the transition may be slower in order to safeguard one's family and assets, but it's important to really know what's on the line.
2. Good Mistakes.
Although you don't want to make mistakes, they'll happen. It's part of the growing process, but it's important to know not all mistakes are bad. A misstep that allows you to learn, correct, or grow is actually beneficial and the more you make in the beginning, the less you'll make later. Instead of trying to avoid mistakes, embrace each challenge optimistically and know you're learning along the way.
3. Unconsciously Decision Make.
Okay, so that was written all yoda-style, but what I really mean is go with your gut. I'd like to think I carefully weighed all the factors before starting my business (consciously), but actual decision making is made in primarily in an unconscious way. This doesn't mean this is bad or faulty, there's simply just too much to digest, too many unknowns (I had never started a business before, could I really compete in a saturated market, would people like my suede boots?). Innately, we want to make educated decisions, but it's important to know actual reasons are hardly enough to cover reality. Do as much research as you can, then take a jump!
(This also applies to buying lenses, the perfect photoshop actions, business cards, a website, etc)
4. Thought Paralysis.
This pertains to point three. When you start a business, you want to know all your options...at least I did. Little did I realize this would only lead to the inability to actually make a decision. The more you research, the more you'll find. This may lead to a rabbit hole of choices (been there, done that), so try to set parameters before you dive too deep.
5. Emotional Anticipation and Assessment.
Let's be real for a second: the daily grind of what I do isn't glamorous. I sit in yoga pants for hours in front of my computer...I sing for my dog...I occasionally wear mismatched socks around the house. I work a ton and I photograph (professionally) on good days. Before I built my business, I looked forward to working from home with positive emotions (probably because I had never done so), but once things got going, I realized it wasn't all pixie dust and kazoos. The emotions I place leading to or at the conclusion of an event are often the strongest because they're idealized...it was important for me to take my perfected ideas of being self-employed and juxtapose it with reality. I wish I had done so earlier because it would have lessened the blow of sitting in solitude for hours, not having a water cooler to congregate around, and having a co-worker with four legs.

Whew, this was a doozey of a post. If you stayed with me until the end, you got bonus cool points in my book. If this helps just one person--even a tiny bit--then I'm happy. The more we help each other, the better this industry will become. Together.

Happy Wednesday!
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Rachel - I have SO MUCH THOUGHT PARALYSIS. So much, so much. This post helped a lot. Thanks!  09.22.12 - 3:11pm
Veronica Salazar - Thank you for such great advices, specially #5. It is good to make a reality check and realize that our emotions toward what something might be may cloud the facts in a surreal atmosphere. Great post, as always J*!  06.06.12 - 2:01am
JANELLE - Thanks Jasmine -this helped me tremendously! I just started my own wedding photography business a couple of years ago and spend countless hours at home in my office with my little dog and it made me feel good to know that I'm not the only one that experiences these feelings :)  06.04.12 - 12:59pm
Alex Sablan - Great read! I wish I could just jump right in to the business of photography, but I tend to take baby steps and try to make good decisions. Much like photography, you can not really make good decisions until you can truly understand and accept the bad ones.  06.04.12 - 9:16am
Julia - Love this! Jaz (from your UK course) passed it on. Im a photographer and art editor at WEDDING magazine who featured your fab workshop. Sadly I couldnt attend as my baby girl, Mia was so little! Sounds like it was fab  10.05.11 - 12:23pm
Léne Ballantyne - So true. I can relate to all of it. Thank you Jasmine.  09.13.11 - 5:40am
Shelly B - Could there be better co-worker than the four-legged kind?!  09.08.11 - 9:53pm
Josephine - I must have read this post many times, I will have to do in a MILLION TIMES if i can. Thank you will always be not enough to tell you Jasmine. you've helped not in any tiny bit at all --- MASSIVE you did! :) Can I say I love you so much I dream of really meeting you someday. :) I saw that you're having another workshop in Nov, but sadly I still can't make it. I wish your workshop happened last July when I visited CA for 2 weeks. Oh dear Lord, there must be a greater reason why I can't meet you yet. In the meantime, I will move about my own and strive to be better. Thank you Thank you Thank you. :)  09.07.11 - 10:19pm
Natascha - Thank-you for sharing. I always check out your blog for info and just to look at some amazing pictures. You are a true talent!!!  09.07.11 - 2:45pm
Susannah Storch - Thanks so much for sharing all the photo business posts with us; it is so helpful/inspirational/motivational. Go team!  09.07.11 - 9:52am
Krysann Joye - You helped ME! :) Thanks for posting!  08.26.11 - 2:27pm
Jessica Sweeney - Thanks, yet again, for another helpful and affirming post. Yeah, working from home is not as glamorous as it sounds. But at least I get to wear yoga pants, right? Right.  08.15.11 - 12:01am
Laura Rassier - I'm a couple weeks late in commenting, but I really appreciated this post! I'm starting my own photography business in small-town Wisconsin. I love your work, and really value your advice! Thanks  08.11.11 - 10:18am
Em - Sweet post and LOVE that shirt you are sporting-super cute!   08.02.11 - 7:42pm
Shalyn Nelson - This may come off silly, or in a way, odd, but I just wanted to tell you that I got a little teary eyed when I read this. I don't know if it's because I'm having a bad day and feeling defeated, but my friend sent me this post today and it really, REALLY helped me. I'm still at that point in my life where I know photography is what I'm GOING TO DO full time...but sadly, I'm typing this to you from a mundane cubicle in the heart of Texas. Thank you for sharing this. I'm so glad I found your blog. You have made me feel less defeated today and shed some light on my bad mood. <3   08.02.11 - 11:48am
Ricki Ford - The only regret i have was switching to digital. But now that i made the move back to film (2 years ago) I'm happy again. what I'm saying is if you are happy with what you are doing or shooting stay with it don't change just because it's the in thing. In things come and go then come back again...  08.01.11 - 8:25am
Faith - Thanks for the post, Jasmine! I can especially relate to the "thought paralysis" -- at some point, we just have to make a decision and see what happens. That's what moves us forward, one baby step at a time.  08.01.11 - 12:17am
Renee - Thank you so much. I have a long way to go but everything you shared was really helpful to me where I'm at! All the best to you!  07.31.11 - 10:38pm
j.nguyen - being in this situation right now with my birth photography business, this was a great read. Step by step, I am getting closer and closer to taking the LEAP, so to speak. Reading things like this gives me a little bit of assurance that things will be ok. Whether it be success or failure. Thanks!  07.30.11 - 1:25pm
Ally - Great info to know, you are a wonderful person to share your story & help others to grow. Love your style :)   07.30.11 - 6:50am
Monica White - I'm so glad that you are into helping other photographers and being in it Together! I love to teach others what I know and have learned from others but there are too many photographers that like to keep their techniques and tricks to themselves instead of helping others to grow in learning more about photograhy/editing.  07.29.11 - 4:14pm
Renee Collazo - Jasmine, Thank you for the inspiration and knowledge. BTW the movie is "SANDLOT" from that quote you wrote on your site. Love that movie. Can't wait to keep reading more post! Thanx  07.29.11 - 7:52am
Musa - I am a great believer of "knowledge is useless if not shared" Thanks for sharing the knowledge.  07.28.11 - 7:07pm
Ashley Perez - I've said it before but I'm going to become a broken record again. Girl, you NEED to write a book! You have so many valuable things and experiences to share. That is if you're not already...  07.28.11 - 3:29pm
Amy - Thank you Jasmine. This just helped and encouraged me so much! I will keep on pushing myself everyday!  07.28.11 - 12:49pm
angel canary - I will second the last part! Of course I agree with it ALL. ;)  07.28.11 - 12:02pm
Amie Harrison - I am totally working "it wasn't all pixie dust and kazoos" into a conversation today. :-)  07.28.11 - 11:53am
Kaley - This post was awesome. I just took the plunge and am starting my own photography business next month. I have been reading your blog religiously and it has helped me so much. You truly are the best and I want to thank you for all your great advice and inspiration.   07.28.11 - 11:23am
Kate Neal - It helped me out! Loved this post!  07.28.11 - 10:23am
Irela - It helps Jasmine and every post I read in full attention. Thank you for always being so generous with your knowledge/experience. Have a beautiful day.  07.28.11 - 9:52am
Manya Keseloff - I love this post! This is so good to point out... "The more we help each other, the better this industry will become. Together." P.S. I think you need to post a photo of those boots now. :)  07.28.11 - 9:45am
Brooke Summer Photography - I'm so glad you were "real" in what it's like to work from home. It can be very isolating, even if you're doing what you love. It's reality, but if you accept it, it's doable! Thank you for the insight and a dose of reality. And by the way, I totally have a pair of cream suede boots and I love them. Now I'm wondering if something is wrong with me LOL!  07.28.11 - 8:50am
Michael Anthony | Santa Clarita Photographers - Nice post Jasmine. Number 5 is important. people do not realize how much work is involved in a home based business. I work so much more than I thought I would, in fact, I spend way more time in front of the computer than I do behind the lens.  07.28.11 - 7:34am
Mary - Hey Jasmine, I would love to hear your perspective on how photographing for friends works into your business? Seems many photographers have this same question, and a bunch of different answers all over the board!!! Thanks for any insight. Maybe I should just get a pair of boots and call it a day!!! :)   07.28.11 - 7:15am
fotocraft.hu - So true... We photographers all work a ton, with marketing, website, searching new ideas, finding new clients, developing pictures, and photographing. But at least I am happy to working for my own business.  07.28.11 - 4:21am
Brittany Davis - I've been an avid reader for a while now, but I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before. I hang on your every word. I really love how much of your story you share and advice for other photographers. Finding someone so knowledgeable and helpful is a rare gift. Thank you for this post. I have just started my business this year and I am already feeling lost. Thank for you giving me a little boost to keep going and hope for the best (but still expect the worst). You're amazing!   07.28.11 - 2:20am
Priyanka Damwani - So true, straight from the heart and connects with my heart! <3 Thank you Jasmine :)  07.28.11 - 2:15am
Jessica - I'm in love with your first point! Over the last year, I have worked my emotions to bits worried about failing at photography. As much as I want to do well, the truth is that my life is still extremely blessed even if I fail. Thanks for the reminder!  07.27.11 - 11:46pm
Charlotte - I've been reading your blog for quite a while, but I've never commented before. I had to comment on this post though, since I'm currently in the decision process of whether or not to start a business - it really hit the spot for me! Thanks for sharing!   07.27.11 - 11:37pm
James - Everyone that found this helpful should go buy Jasmines creativeLIVE course for $99 Here I'll even give you the link. http://www.creativelive.com/courses/building-your-wedding-photography-business-jasmine-star How simple is that!! That should get me even more bonus cool points tan making it to the end. ;)  07.27.11 - 10:58pm
jalene taylor - thank you so much for this!!! i work a 40 hour a week day job that i despise. it's so scary giving up that steady income especially with husband in school. someday i'll get to do photography full time, and i'll look back on this post. thanks for always being willing to share your experiences. i appreciate it so much!  07.27.11 - 9:51pm
Carrie Olney - Jasmine, you rock. PS. thanks for blogging, i was startin`to really miss you there :)  07.27.11 - 9:17pm
Lydia - Such great advice! I was just sitting here sad that it's another late night of editing, but that's what goes with the job. And I'm so grateful to be doing what I love and building my own business!  07.27.11 - 8:51pm
katie higbee - It helped me! In fact... I feel like you wrote number 3 just for me in response to my question on facebook about which lens to buy!! I'm sure it wasn't, but I'm gonna go ahead and think it was.   07.27.11 - 7:53pm
R. J. Kern - Wonderful pearls of wisdom. Thank you for sharing x100, squared!  07.27.11 - 7:01pm
Falcon - Thank you thank you thank you! You have no idea how helpful this is and I especially like the first point you made about expecting the worst, a concept that was first introduced to me by Tim Ferriss.   07.27.11 - 6:56pm
Tanya Petraglia - It helped me! now how many points do I get? LOL   07.27.11 - 6:54pm
Mireya - When I started reading your blog I decided I would abstain myself from commenting (since you already had plenty to read), but today’s post really spoke to me and helped me clear my head and trust my gut a little more. So I must say THANK YOU for everything, for today’s tips and all the good reads.   07.27.11 - 6:21pm
david | happy hearts photography - well said. numbers 3 and 4 are crucial and apply to everyone too, not just start-ups. it's worth contemplating how these ideas come into play everyday... and not only for the big stuff, but the little stuff too: image culling/editing, what to do when the light or weather or mood of a client swings unexpectedly, etc.....  07.27.11 - 6:12pm
Derek - Excellent Post Jasmine!   07.27.11 - 6:09pm
Melanie - Jasmine. Thank you. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the title of today's post. Thank you so much!  07.27.11 - 6:09pm
Camille - Oh how you make my life happy. Truly, thank you!   07.27.11 - 5:48pm
Lindsay Schlick - The relevance of this post really hit home with me today especially tip 5. Emotional Anticipation and Assessment. I have been working on my photography business from home for 4 months now since I got laid off from my full time photo job and I really manage to Psych myself out without having someone to bounce ideas off of. It can be really frustrating and I spend way to much time in my own head. Which if you knew me you would know is dangerous for me. lol This article is very inspiring thank you so much for your input it is always greatly welcomed. Keep em coming! xxx   07.27.11 - 4:26pm
Melle Veronesi - Thanks for the inspiration...and the advice about suede boots!  07.27.11 - 4:23pm
Gill Maheu - As honest and insightful as ever - thank you, you're brilliant.   07.27.11 - 4:11pm
Suzy G - Oh wow, I so understand this. In despiration I added a fire red beta fish named George to my home office scene to make myself feel more happy. I tend to over feed him and tap on his tank alot, poor fish....right now I am in the "just changed prices, taking a new direction, slump" I think I repeat, "this to shall pass" more in one day than some people do in a year. Wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement. I needed this reminder. Thank you. :)  07.27.11 - 4:08pm
Alissa Saylor - Wow.. So true! I am still in the process of figuring things out and it is encouraging to hear another (more successful) photog say these things. It makes me feel like just maybe I am on the right track. :) Thank you!  07.27.11 - 3:51pm
Ashley Esfandiari - I love reading your blog. You give such great information and you are such an inspiration to me and so many others! Thank you for this post and everything else! :)  07.27.11 - 3:48pm
blue elephant photography - very helpful indeed! thanks a bunch!  07.27.11 - 3:26pm
Taylor - This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.   07.27.11 - 2:24pm
Danielle Marinucci - Thank you so much for this post and all others! You are such an inspiration!!!  07.27.11 - 2:08pm
Diane - Thanks for the tips! I'm hoping to start one in the next 3-5 years, so I'm taking lots of notes now while I work on the photography part. Love your work, and your blog!  07.27.11 - 1:55pm
ashley barnett - Thanks for this Jasmine....I am right there now, slowly coming out of the honeymoon phase after being full time for two months and realizing life can be really really hard outside the safe corporate walls. But I also realize I wouldn't have it any other way :)  07.27.11 - 1:47pm
Bobbie Brown - I read every word... and now I'd like to say "Thank you"! Your awesome to sit down and think this out, and then put it out there for us.   07.27.11 - 1:39pm
Kristin Nicole - Such great advice as always. #5 was what I needed to hear, glad I am not the only one sitting in an office in yoga pants.   07.27.11 - 1:37pm
Jennifer - a tiny bit helpful? it's VERY helpful! thank you so much for this post, jasmine, i really appreciate your time and kindness :).  07.27.11 - 1:30pm
Liz - Great post as always!  07.27.11 - 1:21pm
Carlise - There are so many pro photogs out there so unwilling to share or even support what other photogs do...you are definitely not one of these!! You are a one of a kind and an amazing guiding light! Thank you for so much of your soul, experience and self!!!  07.27.11 - 1:12pm
Erin Dietrich - Words can't thank you enough for this post. You helped me more than you know. Thank you, Thank you! I hope to take a "leap of faith" within the next year!  07.27.11 - 12:55pm
Rachel Marie Photography - Great advice that I plan to take to heart. Thank you for sharing your heart.  07.27.11 - 12:54pm
Carly Arkfeld - Thanks Jasmine! I am super afraid I will fail at this and then I'm not really sure what I would do next. Picturing the worst case scenario (actually using my finance degree and maybe going back to school) really puts things in perspective. Most people don't know at 22 what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. Why should I be any different?  07.27.11 - 12:30pm
Kimberly Murray - So, I'm patting myself on the back for my extra cool points. :-) Thanks for sharing such great insights. I especially appreciate the last one, as I've been experiencing the "grass is greener" phenomenon lately. Helpful to keep in mind that there are pluses and minuses in every job.  07.27.11 - 12:16pm
Emily Kiel - thank you so much! i'm finishing grad school (hopefully) this semester and everyone keeps asking me what i'm going to do. i don't know?!? i already halfway have a business but i'm nervous about making that jump. thanks for the post!  07.27.11 - 12:14pm
Paper Monkey - I think these are true with any small business venture. I completely agree with you on all accounts. Right now, I'm definitely in the Thought Paralysis stage coupled with a touch of Scaredy Cat. Sometimes it's hard to believe in yourself & your skills 1000% sometimes, but that's when you definitely just go with your gut. Thanks for the motivation, as always...   07.27.11 - 12:14pm
Melissa - Your posts are always so awesome - so REAL! Thank-you for sharing!!   07.27.11 - 12:06pm
Stephanie - Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! Another photographer I follow just did a similar post this week. I am compiling all this great advice and tips and candor for myself. This is super encouraging and helpful!  07.27.11 - 12:03pm
Jeffroger Kho - Helpful tips as always Jas =) Whenever I feel down, or think that something is wrong with what I'm doing, I always find myself going back to your blog and somehow find an answer =) Thank you and keep it up!  07.27.11 - 12:00pm
Camille Dohrn - This is really valuable advice ... I think for life - not just starting a business. Thanks for sharing!  07.27.11 - 11:57am
Jessica K. Sullivan - Once again Jasmine, thank you! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your posts and I couldn't agree more with your business philosophy, "The more we help each other, the better this industry will become." We are in the start up phase of our business and I am at all these points you outlined. Great advice and I think I would totally dig your suede boots! I will even go sing karaoke with you and wear my cowboy boots:)  07.27.11 - 11:48am
Charlie - I always enjoy these types of post. Thanks for the insight :) Sing on you next video post.   07.27.11 - 11:41am
Emma Gardiner - How I'd also love a four legged co-worker!!  07.27.11 - 11:40am
Jenelle Sewell - Fantastic! Simply right on point...thank you.   07.27.11 - 11:38am
Julieann - I work from home part time doing work OTHER than photography which was FUNNY because I enjoy photography SO MUCH and originally wanted it to be my buisness...but now that I work from home and ALSO WEAR MISS MATCHED SOCKS, PAJAMA PANTS and TALK TO THE PLANTS during the day...i totally realized photography was not for me. I TOO HAVE SPENT HOURS editing the weddings of friends that my husband and I had shot for NO COST...and its funny the more FREE photography we do...the MORE DEMANDING the clients...but anyhow...my point is I HAVE MAD RESPECT FOR YOU and SYMPATHY for what you go through on a daily basis...I'm glad to hear YOU say it though because as I sit here at home working, i keep thinking...hmm maybe photography would be more fun...but then i realize MY JOB does allow me to interact with others and I STILL work in the hospital 2 days a week AND WOULD NEVER EVER GIVE THAT UP to work full time from home. NOT TO MENTION WEDDINGS and EVENTS can be CHAOS Sometimes....chaos and demanding! ;) THank you for this validation! :D  07.27.11 - 11:28am
Kira Noble - Thank you so much for the encouragement and insight today. I really appreciate what you shared about expectations! It's just what I need to hear this morning.   07.27.11 - 11:17am
Natalie Johnson - As I sit here in my yoga pants ready to spend hours alone editing a wedding, I went to read your blog before I start. You once again reaffirm the reality of this business. Thanks for putting to words the reality of what is really involved with this business. I will have to take a break today to take a walk with my 4 legged friend. Blessings to you!  07.27.11 - 11:06am
Tina Nandi - Jasmine, you're a star! Thanks for being so willing to teach and share from your personal experiences!  07.27.11 - 11:06am
The New Diplomat's Wife - Very helpful. Also, we're kind of expecting a picture of this telenovela suede boots now.  07.27.11 - 11:00am
Marlene C. - Hi Jasmine, I appreciate all the helpful advice you have shared. I'm passionate about photography but have not taken any courses. What I've learned so far has come from online blogs like yours and others. Like you said there's ton of information out there and ask myself but what should I learn first?.. I figured, just learning my point and shoot camera with a zoom lens and practice taking pictures in different settings. Next probably build a portfolio, volunteer doing events for fun for exposure and practice. I've thought about coming up to you after our Tuesday night study to show you some pictures I've taken and ask maybe 2 questions but I tell myself, she doesn't want to bother with this right now. lol..In the meantime, I'll keep shooting away and reading blogs until I'm ready for the next step. Your post was very insightful. Thank you!   07.27.11 - 10:59am
Lucy Gregory - Plus I think I need to find a dog to talk to while I work... at least it would make better conversation than the one's I have with my coffee cups :)  07.27.11 - 10:59am
Marissa Rodriguez - You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. thank you!  07.27.11 - 10:58am
Lucy Gregory - I have a bookmark folder of inspirational business info, and I think now that having just saved this in there that there are more helpful posts written by you than anyone else! You certainly take up the majority of my business inspiration folder :) Maybe we can make a cyber water cooler to congregate around when we are parched!? have a bit more elderberry water together ;) xx  07.27.11 - 10:57am
Cynthia Pipitone - This is one of those times when the universe seems to be sending me the messages I need to just "do it!" I have a plan in place to quit my day job and go full-time into photography, and I am struggling with making that leap---leaving benefits and big salary for the chance to not die a slow death in the corporate world. Your post is so encouraging and the timing is dead on for me. Thanks for your generousity of experience. BTW - I work remotely, so I am already used to the lonely watercooler. LOL ;)   07.27.11 - 10:53am
jeramy - the grass IS always greener, huh?  07.27.11 - 10:53am
Shannon Wimberly - You're awesome Jasmine.....  07.27.11 - 10:35am
Jennifer - Yes, I stayed with you until the end, shaking my head the whole time because I am dealing with those same 5 topics right now...especially #1 with kids, husband and mortgage in tow and #4..I'm notorious for not committing for fear of making the wrong choice. But being a designer with 15 years experience. I am well aware of the perils of #3, and #5 (you do work alone a lot in design even with an office job). I guess I need to grow some chest hairs and just do it, especially since I know I need to do it slow.  07.27.11 - 10:33am
Keilah Engstrom - Wow, how helpful! Thank you so much! You are so easy to understand, and I LOVE learning from you! SMILES! Keilah  07.27.11 - 10:30am
Kari Jeanne - Thank you so much for posting this! I am exactly at the beginning stages of this crazy photography thing and love all the help and advice you offer :)   07.27.11 - 10:29am
Lulù - Hi Jasmine, yes I stayed with you until the end and also I guess I deserve some extra bonus cool points since I'm Italian (and I've got also acne scars and all the rest) and my english is awful. Rather, the truth is that usually, when I follow a non-italian photography blog, I only take a look at the pictures. Really. I'm SO lazy! But, for some unexpected reason, every time your blog is updated, I can't help reading everything: I MUST read every single word. Just to let you know :)  07.27.11 - 10:29am
Brooke Schultz Photography - I love your perspective! Thank you so much for sharing. Every day, I get all jittery when I see that you've posted. :) Thanks for doing what you do.  07.27.11 - 10:29am
Eric Turner - You always write from the heart! Your willingness to share your challenges and your successes is greatly appreciated. Thanks for sharing, and yes I read right to the end.   07.27.11 - 10:26am
James Dyas Davidson - Being paralysed by choice is a killer for me. It drives my wife nuts. I do all the research, the homework but something still stops me from jumping. They say, 'everything you desire is on the other side of fear'.   07.27.11 - 10:23am
Elizabeth Parker - Thanks for summing up my week , my emotions and my fears all in one post. I needed some catharsis going into the weekend!  07.27.11 - 10:22am
Todd Cowdrey - Thanks Jasmine. This IS a real help. I started doing Senior portraits last year on a part time basis & now am also starting to do weddings. I love #5. No one see the countless hours behind the computer doing post processing. I'm still not ready to go full time with this but your advice is extremely helpful. Thnx  07.27.11 - 10:20am
Severine - Yes Jasmine, it helps a lot! Thank you so much to share :-)))  07.27.11 - 10:16am
Nichole Jensen - I love the way your personality comes through in your posts!!! It makes it so much more understandable and real. Thank you for this post. I have yet to make the dive into a real business just because I want to wait till my kids are a little older. But one day I will and this was good advice.   07.27.11 - 10:15am
Ilmira - Hey Jasmine! My name is Ilmira, Thank you for your post, you are really help people, and you are inspire me to start photograph. I have bought a canon 7d and at this moment I'm thinking what kind of lenses should I buy. Could you help me to choose please?  07.27.11 - 10:13am
Danielle Barger - I'm not even a photographer, but I read your blog because your stories about things like cream suede boots make my day. Your advice still rings truth to those seeking career opportunities in other fields. Thanks!  07.27.11 - 10:12am
sarah - i think what you said in an earlier post about buying the equipment you ultimately want at the beginning was really helpful. you gave an example with the flash you bought? do you remember? do i sound like a stalker now? sorry... anyway, that really helped me think about how and where i should invest. so, that was a helpful hint that i might add to this list- know where to spend and where to save, so you don't end up wasting a whole bunch of money.  07.27.11 - 10:12am
Nicole Diehnelt - You have a great ability to connect to others with every post. Thanks for helping us gain or reflect...or both!  07.27.11 - 10:10am
Sandra Fazzino - Yes, it did help. It hit the spot today. I just finished writing a "hand written" thank you note {complete with embossed butterflies b/c I have a sickness for being crafty}to a wonderful photog in my area who graciously offered to meet with me for lunch after she learned I was new to the industry by almost a year now. I send to you that same A2 hand written card via cyber space with a BIG thank you for your ability to hit the nail on the head every day that I (all of us) need a little perspective, validation and ammunition. Some days I wake up weary knowing I'll be alone all day in my home office with only my two cats to keep me company. But today, I'm excited for the potential. And I rather be here than anywhere else in the world. Off to change out of these PJ's and brush my teeth! Thank you!!  07.27.11 - 10:01am
Mara - Thank you so much as always you are inspiring! No.2 reminds me of the quote, "Things fall apart so others can fall together." How true.   07.27.11 - 9:58am
Erin - perfect post. perfect timing. thanks!  07.27.11 - 9:58am
Mary Veterano - Jasmine, your posts about photography and the business are always perfectly timed for me! Thank you for another post! You reminded me to keep my goals in mind! I've got my first (phone) consultation with a bride today and I'm nervous! But the worst that can happen is that she doesn't book me, right? Thank you for always being amazing and sharing your knowledge!  07.27.11 - 9:52am
Claire Hervieux - This post could not have come at more perfect time for me!! Seriously! Thanks, Jasmine!! :) So grateful for your faithful and generous contribution back to the photography community! You are appreciated :)  07.27.11 - 9:50am
Caitlin Finchum - this was absolutely wonderful - i know you get posts like these all of the time, but you are truly inspiring. trying to get my own photography business going has been quite a learning experience, and posts like these help immensely. thank you for sharing!  07.27.11 - 9:50am
Christa - Jasmine thank you for this. As usual you post something that is exactly what I am wondering about. Thank you for your insight and I really enjoy reading your posts. The random inserts make me laugh and prove you are a real person like the rest of us =) THANK YOU!  07.27.11 - 9:48am
Kenny Graham - This is seriously the information that I have wanted know. Thank you for always sharing great information and thoughts. You Rock!!!  07.27.11 - 9:45am
LEOLAK - Thank you Jasmine! Many of these hit close to home..having a mortgage, health benefits...making a decision...having too many options to make a decision, etc. I recently realized I haven't moved things forward w/ just putting myself out there (website hello) because I've been so paralyzed by information overload and making the wrong choices, thinking too big etc. I'm going to just get out there and keep my focus on how much I do small and manageable becuase in the end all I want to do is enjoy photography and help capture memories for others. Thanks for the cool points!   07.27.11 - 9:42am
Jessica G - If you were on a Mexican telenovela co staring with William Levy I would so watch! :) Thank you for such valuable information. As I get started all the decisions to be made #3 and #4 ring so true. Your amazing!   07.27.11 - 9:36am
Lisa Cunningham - Thanks for the great insight. I started reading your blog and following you on fb when I thought I wanted to be a professional photographer. It turns out that my photography was a stepping stone to my true joy, painting custom watercolor pet portraits. Know what? Your advice applies to starting that kind of business, too. Thanks for the inspiration. And laughs. And advice about suede boots. :)  07.27.11 - 9:36am
Michelle Edgerton - Thanks Jasmine! You seem to be speaking directly to me at this stage of my business   07.27.11 - 9:34am
Sharon Beadnell - On the matter of #1. Yes . . . just had that very recently. And I didn't see it coming, which is odd. I ALWAYS see EVERYTHING coming. It almost made me quit dead in my tracks b/c let's face it . . . who needs THAT kind of abuse!? I'm down with #'s 2, 3 and 5. #4 . . . I get grid locked regularly b/c of this. And I'm breaking out of it now! Therefore, I'll see you in Atlanta in September! THERE! Decision made!  07.27.11 - 9:31am
Brian Verdi - Jasmin thank you for reaffirming what I have been feeling since 2007. I am a retired Fire Lieutenant retired through an unwanted or unexpected severe injury. My passion has always been photography but the leap into a professional level has given me a rude awaikening to some major pitfalls. I do not own a studio so I work out of my home which has some pluses. I enjoy looking at your photos and it gives me motivation to keep striving to be a better photographer. Thank you!  07.27.11 - 9:29am
Dailyn - I can't thank you enough for this post right now. :)  07.27.11 - 9:28am
Cindy Meisch - You are so totally right about the "pixie dust & kazoo's" I thought I was the only one singing to my dog while I worked! :)  07.27.11 - 9:28am
Jessica Brunette - Jasmine I love your genuiness (is that a real word?) and sincerity. Wishing YOU a happy Wednesday back!  07.27.11 - 9:27am
Rosie - Although I'm a year in, I wanted to read this. I read it for a laugh, simply to see if any of these hit home, and did they ever. You're so absolutely right on point. Thank you for the honest look at this business, and thank you (always and forever) for believing that if we all work together, photography will be a bigger and better thing. Your outlook is priceless. I'll always love your work and admire your perception. Happy Wednesday!   07.27.11 - 9:23am
Andrea - I love your willingness to share your path to success. Thank you for not being selfish. I stand alone at my water cooler at home too, but I love it! :)  07.27.11 - 9:23am
Jaye - Great post Jasmine, I especially like your final statement about idealizing everything. THank you  07.27.11 - 9:22am
Tanya De Leeuw - Excellent article! I'm on the early part of my journey into professional photography and it's always good to be reminded of the basics when things get overwhelming, and one can't see the forest for the trees! Thanks, J*!  07.27.11 - 9:22am
Moira - great post!  07.27.11 - 9:22am
Angie - Thank you once again for just keeping it real, and not sugar coating anything! I think a lot of times people starting out in our business have these dreams of grandure and an ideal that the big time photographers have people knocking at their door all the time, and as we all find out this is not the case. We have to continue to work even more than others with a 8-5 job to reap the benefits of our labors and sometimes that is not even enough. Again Thanks for all you thoughts!!  07.27.11 - 9:21am
Christina Carter - Thank you so much for this post. I am just getting started myself. You are very encouraging and I love reading all of your inspirational words of wisdom. Thank you.  07.27.11 - 9:18am
Amy - i've learned to "don't sell yourself short as well" although I learned and built a portfolio before I went out on a limb, I undersold myself. I didn't charge alot b.c. I felt well it's my first year,etc. BIG mistake on my part. fantastic article!!!!! thanks  07.27.11 - 9:18am
Jodie - Thank you. It's so true. I think this is so helpful to any newbie. I appreciate you alot!! and I love your last point. I wanted. Job that kept me at home with my kids so I could be a good mom. The relity is now thy I am home in front of my computer alot so it's a bit hard balancing my work time and my time with the kids. I wish I'd planned for that and had a strategy   07.27.11 - 9:16am
Mike Moore - Jasmine, Thank you again! I know personally I get stuck on number four. I over analyze then never get started...well, now I'll get started!!  07.27.11 - 9:15am
Abby Grace - This is both encouraging and depressing, since I'm ready (emotionally) to make the leap, but can't logistically make it work yet, and I don't know WHEN I'll be able to make it work. Thanks, Jasmine!  07.27.11 - 9:15am
Sarah Lajevardi - So true. Another good point to make is that more than likely it is going to take considerable time before you ever start making any real money. It is the scariest and most fun roller coaster you have every been on. And to your point of working from home, it's so true. It's not as awesome as you think it's going to be. Sometimes it can be downright lonely. BUT, at the end of the day, I love what I do and want so desperately to be successful at it. I wouldn't trade it.   07.27.11 - 9:13am
dani|studio fleurette - A great post Jasmine! This goes for starting a studio based wedding and event floral design business too! It is so nice to hear other professionals acknowledge how hard it truly can be!  07.27.11 - 9:13am
Gabriela Koekkoek - Is it weird that I wish we were friends?! Ha, anyways, thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge of photography in this competitive business! Love from Oregon!  07.27.11 - 9:12am
Belinda - Thanks for sharing Jasmine!  07.27.11 - 9:11am
Damaris Mia - Great info! You hit the points many people don't talk about! Thank you :)  07.27.11 - 9:10am
Denise - Thanks for this post. It came at just the right time for me. I truly appreciate your advice and willingness to share with those of us that are just getting started. You're my hero, girlfriend! : )  07.27.11 - 9:09am
Peter Mercado - it helped me! thanks!  07.27.11 - 9:09am
Gallery by Laura Photography - Thank you so much for #4. It is good to know that someone else has faced all the choices, I never realized how overwhelming that could be.  07.27.11 - 9:08am
Laura Stricklin - PERFECT info! Greatly needed. Soooo feel the *working from home is not always pixie dust and kazoos*, especially if you are a workaholic and carry a lot of self-induced stress! Thanks for the info!! :)  07.27.11 - 8:57am
jessica vidmar - Jasmine, every time I read your posts I think two things: 1. you are amazing and 2. you are valuable. The information you give to everyone who reads your blog (not to mention the sincerity with which you write) keeps me moving forward. To make a long story short I have been "trying" to get my photo biz off the ground for a while now and I finally feel like maybe I am moving in the right direction (if only I can get out of my own way) and you are very positive and inspiritational to me. Thank you and keep up the good work : )  07.27.11 - 8:51am
Don OConner - Thanks Jasmine. This is exactly what I needed. You are truly awesome. Wish me luck because I am jumping into the pool :)  07.27.11 - 8:49am
Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs - I think you have hit the nail on the head, not just in the photography business, but starting any business. Great advice Jasmine. Thank you!  07.27.11 - 8:41am
Gabby / En Route Photography - It definitely does help! I'm just in the process of starting my business so every bit is much appreciated! ;) You've helped me so much already! Because of you I read the Fast Track Photographer, signed up with Showit... etc ;) Wish me luck! xxx http://enroute-blog.com/  07.27.11 - 8:38am
whitney ann - wow. thanks so much for posting that! i am about to make the leap myself, and this is a huge encouragement!  07.27.11 - 8:36am
fotografamos - Don't worry. Your suede boots are just fine. And they match this post so good. Er, minus the yoga pants :) Great post. I'm sure you're helping out a lot of starting photographers! Us included. Cheers! Keep it up.  07.27.11 - 8:24am
John Payne - Ahhh, Jasmine. You know where I stand on this topic and of course it resonated with me. Thanks for an honest portrait of what to expect. Always love your take on the business. Thanks for the reminder!  07.27.11 - 8:22am
Shelly - Feel free to show that gorgeous smile of yours and be happy! You've helped/inspired one person (and I'm sure many more), as you do with each and every post! Thank you as always! p.s. - I have that water cooler just down the hall and I'd much rather be with Polo wearing mismatched socks right now!   07.27.11 - 8:19am
amanda - As a new photographer just starting out, this post is SO SO helpful!! Thank you so much for sharing all of your fabulous experience and know-how with everyone!!  07.27.11 - 8:17am
shannon-may - jasmine! thank you for another wonderfully encouraging post. you touched on five facts that i have recently experienced as a new photographer. i love how you repeatedly encourage new photographers and business persons to spin things into a positive situation [ie: good mistakes]. this has been my approach this past year [remaining optimistic and open to learning]... making good out of not so good circumstances; it;s the only way to be successful and happy, i think!  07.27.11 - 8:16am
Mary Marantz - You're lovely. And so is this post!  07.27.11 - 8:11am
Karen Cooley - You are AWESOME. Thank you for sharing these. Since I AM starting a business, it helps a lot. The last point about your daily grind - I connected with that and it felt great to hear about your "real person" moments. I look up to you as photographer, but knowing you on a human level just makes it that much better. Thanks for all you do to share with your fellow photogs. It's appreciated a great deal!  07.27.11 - 8:02am
Samantha Macabulos - I'm with ya, so glad I'm uber cool now too ;) Thank you for always reminding me that I don't need to be perfect right away, that we're constantly growing, and that leaving my memory cards in the bride's preparation apartment is all part of the learning curve (you'll be happy to know the preparation, ceremony and reception were all within 50ft of each other and I JUST got through the ceremony A-OK, best lesson learnt at the best possible time). Happy Thursday (Australia time) xo  07.27.11 - 8:02am
Jenny - Read.to.the.end! Very awesome perspective. Thanks for taking the time to share!!   07.27.11 - 8:01am
Sara Fachetti - This was a fabulous post, Jasmine. Some great, real and honest insight. P.S., I am meeting the fabulous Lara Casey at the MTH workshop tomorrow... CAN'T WAIT!   07.27.11 - 7:55am
Rachel Tatem - Thank you for sharing. I have recently taken on photography on a more full time basis. I got started about 2 years ago but did it more passively and just under a year ago switched to a more active role. It is always great to get advice but it is even better when the person giving it has been there!  07.27.11 - 7:53am
Amanda - This is really great advice! Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge, and just so you know...every time I read one of your posts it makes my day brighter. Have a great day!  07.27.11 - 7:49am
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