Episode 219: Make Money With Your Photography Business with Jane Goodrich

Game On Girlfriend Ep219

Ever felt like there is a missing link between being really talented at something and actually making money doing that thing?

Jane Goodrich is an accomplished newborn and family photographer and a photography seasoned expert. She mentors professional photographers about the business side of photography, and is the visionary Founder of Picsello.

 

Picsello is purpose-built software designed to provide the tools and support for photographers in the management, marketing, and monetization of their businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or hitting new levels of success in your business, it's so important to be reminded of the mistakes that take you down or drain your revenue.

Journey into photography business

Jane worked in corporate advertising for a decade before she decided to start her own business. She found her joy in photography and knew she wanted to move to New York where her twin lived, to start her business.

 

Thirteen years later, she has two photography businesses in New York and her latest venture piggybacks off that experience in the industry. Jane knew there had to be a better way for photographers to figure out their pricing, run their businesses easier and find a supportive community.

Pricing photography services

There are nuances that only service providers within the industry understand. Part of the challenge for some service providers is removing the block to charge what the work is worth.

Jane says unlike in 2010, when she started her business, there wasn’t a wealth of information out there. And access to that information can be either good or bad. Now, you can see posts of photographers and can copy what they are doing without actually running the numbers.

 

“The thing about it is, is you can price yourself to make $10,000 or $100,000,” says Jane. “It doesn't matter as long as you're pricing yourself to actually profit.”

 

Like many creative services, photography has a lot of hidden work. For every one-hour photoshoot, there may be 12 to 13 hours of back-end work. Jane suggests sitting down with an accountant or checking if your local small business association offers mentorship – because you will receive a different perspective than an arbitrary number from another photographer who you have no idea is profitable or not.

Creative mindset shift to make money

In the photography space, Jane says she thinks every photographer always has imposter syndrome. But after investing in the education and equipment you have to rip off the band aid and push through the idea that you’re not good enough and can’t make money for your services.

 

“I think that we can also, as creatives be like, ‘but I only like to do this,’” says Jane. “But there's no market for that.”

 

She recalls when she started, she only wanted to take photos of babies and children, not adults. But she realized she wouldn’t attract any business without some marketing some photos of families.

 

Similarly, she knew she wasn’t the photographer for maternity shoots, but she was missing out on that market.

 

“It's a business decision around my craft,” says Jane. “I didn't love just taking photos of a belly. It's not me. I can take pictures of a toddler hugging a mom with a belly, but like, not those gorgeous romantic ones. So, I end up referring those.”

 

For those struggling with pricing, Janes suggests removing yourself from your business. Your business has costs, then after that hopefully there’s money left over to pay yourself. Reframe to think of pricing as your business is charging, not yourself.

 

Providing a service for people that they're happy to pay for is what business is – and you can remove yourself from that.

Avoid these photography business mistakes

Jane says some of her early mistakes involved setting boundaries and scheduling. She says photographers need to set their own schedule and they do not need to be available 24/7 or on the client’s time.

 

Another tip is to charge a different rate for weekends versus weekdays. People take time off to see the dentist or get their hair done – why should your service be any different?

Her other consideration is a travel fee. When she started, she lived outside New York City and didn’t charge one. But when she had her daughter, she realized this had to change. Her expenses now included parking, gas, tolls and childcare. She added a $250 travel fee for her services.

 

Despite the pushback in an industry that doesn’t like to talk about money, Jane says answering the money question is key. She had returning clients ask her why her fees went and why she had a travel fee. She says you don’t have to justify it, but you can explain it. The more you can take the emotion out of it and talk money to money, the better, says Jane.

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