Did you know that my very first year in business I LOST money? Yepppp. I was way undercharging and still spending a lot on equipment. During my second year, I broke even. It wasn’t until my third year that I made any money, and even so, it was sort of pitiful. I loved it enough to keep going though, and I’ve just wrapped up my fifth year in business. It was my most successful year yet, but ironically, it was almost my last.
In early 2018, I booked quite a few sessions for the spring. At the time I booked them, Greyson was about 8 months old and went to bed at 6 pm every night, affording me plenty of time to get my lesson planning done for my teaching job and a bit of editing done as well. At that time, I couldn’t have predicted that his sleeping schedule would change without warning as he approached the one-year mark. In the midst of my busy spring season, he suddenly was wide awake until 8 pm every night. With two fewer hours to myself at night, I was drowning in work and could barely keep my head above water. And while Greyson was awake, he required my eyes on him 100% of the time, which meant no sneaking in 10-20 minutes of editing here and there like I could do when he was an immobile infant.
I knew I couldn’t continue with this many sessions when I returned to school in the fall, so I waffled between giving up the business entirely or scaling back significantly. After weeks of discussion with my husband (and many tears shed), I came to the conclusion that giving up my business completely wouldn’t make me very happy in the long run, and I decided to shift it primarily to a summer thing. I sent out a newsletter saying so, and I jam-packed my summer fulllll of sessions and scaled back to just 2-3 a month during the fall.
This was absolutely, positively the best decision I could have made for myself and my business. I felt like I had found the perfect work/life balance, and because I had booked so few sessions, I had the luxury of being able to reschedule for clients easily when we got rained out(which seemed to happen ALLLLL THE TIME). Anddd because I was picky about the sessions I took, I found each one to be creatively fulfilling and 100% enjoyable. I loved seeing some old clients and meeting amazing new ones, too!
As a new year begins, I have never felt more in control of my business, or more satisfied, and I am so happy to say that I am well on my way to being booked through June of 2019. I can’t wait to keep creating images that clients will love and cherish forever