But I started my wedding photography business in 2007. 2007. The beginning of the Great Recession! I didn’t need a wedding photography business plan—I needed any plan! Period.
Unemployment rates were at 5% and grew to 10% by the peak of it in 2009. That’s about the same rate that they are now.
But starting my business during those years gave me a gift that I wasn’t aware of at the time:
The unpredictability, uncertainty and turbulence of the economy forced me to rely on the most valuable assets I have:
> my commitment
> my grit
> and my mind.
What I want you to know today?
Did you hear that?
Yes, there is a LOT pushing against us. Often, the loss, heartbreak and economic fallout of these times overwhelms me. It catches me off-guard and I have to give it the space it deserves. That is a normal reaction to the devastation the pandemic has caused.
But here we are.
What will we do with what we’ve been handed?
Yes, your weddings were postponed. I know, some of them were cancelled. Yes, your contract has been through the wash cycle five times and yes—you have lost revenue in 2020.
You’re feeling stuck. I get it. Believe me.
But trust me when I say, now is the time to position yourself to come back stronger than ever.
Now is the time to:
> make the changes to your website, contract and marketing materials that you’ve been putting off.
> get crystal-freaking-clear on your vision and goals for the next 6-12 months.
> finally—finally—get a handle on all those numbers (you know the ones I’m talking about).
So let’s dive in! I’m going to share how you can take action right now towards a wedding photography business plan that will help you to come back from 2020 stronger than ever.
Remember this past January when you were looking at your calendar and tallying all the wedding revenue you would bring in this year? And then POOF! Gone. Just like that.
None of us could have planned for it. Not even me! I’ve lost 85% of my 2020 wedding photography revenue, but I’m not panicked. Why?
Because weddings are just one of the ways I earn my money. Yes, there are other, smaller sessions a photographer can fill her time with. And maybe you’re doing that… but are they bringing in the revenue you had planned on?
My point is: just because you aren’t shooting weddings, doesn’t mean you can’t reach your revenue goals. (You have revenue goals, right?)
Now is the time to transition your business and diversify your strategy to reach those goals. Don’t get stuck on the how of not being able to shoot. Focus on the outcome you are reaching for.
This time next year, where do I want to be?
What do I want to be reflecting on?
What do I want my business to look like?
These are the questions I want you to start asking yourself.
You might be thinking, ok… I’m totally game for ‘transitioning’ and ‘diversifying’ but how do I do that? Which brings us to:
Are you ready for some tough love? Oh, you thought this was going to be easy? Maybe you were hoping there was a ‘quick fix’ or easy tips that wouldn’t require any effort from you.
Wrong. I did not build my business on easy answers and sliding by. I’m the biggest dreamer you’ll ever meet, but I stand firmly rooted in this truth:
Hard work pays off.
As Thomas Edison so wisely said:
Ultimately, it’s time to get creative, even a bit scrappy. Let yourself dig up those projects or ideas you’ve thought about doing ‘someday.’ The ones that will bolster the foundation of your business (your website, marketing, contracts and agreements) and the ones that will skyrocket you ahead of the pack when the gate opens next year.
To speak plainly: it’s time to work hard.
I love what a mentor of mine used to say: don’t get it right, just get it going.
So here’s your permission to get it going. Don’t be afraid of the hard work. I promise you it will pay off in the end.
When I’m needing to fuel that creativity or idea bucket, I…
I’m continually amazed at the amount of free information that is available to us as business owners. From blogs to podcasts to newsletters and guides, we have more of a ‘leg up’ than any generation that has come before, merely by the information available to us.
Beyond the free resources, I am an avid reader and a forever student. Books are my BFFs.
And there’s no better time than now (with all that time that you aren’t shooting) to take advantage of what’s at our fingertips. Now is the time to invest in your mind, your most valuable resource.
There is no end to what you can learn and implement into a wedding photography business plan, and I hope you truly believe that. So get busy filling in what you need to know to grow your business and check out some of my recent recommendations here.
So you’re over the pandemic, you’re aching to get back to your element and shoot again, and you’re ready for steady, abundant revenue and work. But—are you prepared for it?
> What about your systems and processes? Are your workflows streamlined for an influx of work?
> How about your home and personal life? Is it organized in such a way that you can accept the work you’re wanting and not create overwhelm, clutter or chaos?
> And finally, what about you? Are you healthy and fit—mentally and physically—to sustain the abundance you hope for? What daily habits are helping you to prepare for the success you want?
When the work comes—and if you commit now, it will—there won’t be time to get all of these things in order.
You must prepare for abundance now.
For 2021, I am already booked to work twice as much as I’d planned for in 2020. You can bet your bottom dollar that I am on a daily routine to prepare myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for a very busy year.
So, ask yourself: How can you set yourself up for success now and ‘future proof’ your business?
Ok, embarrassing story: For the first seven years of my business, I didn’t even look at my statements.
And—it cost me thousands of dollars in unrealized revenue.
Is that happening to you? Do you even know what your numbers are doing? The margins, the patterns, the costs vs. expenses.
It’s time to get cozy with math. You cannot manage what you don’t measure.
And I’m not just talking about money either! There are a number of possible things you can track in your business to determine if you’re getting where you want to go.
So, can you assess where your business is in terms of measures? You can no longer afford to be in the dark on any of it, so give yourself a baseline to track.
* * * * *
If any (or all) of that felt overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to even start, I lay out concrete, actionable steps in my free digital guide 7 Ways to Future-Proof Your Photography Business.
I created it just for you, just for this moment. Because I know you’re ready to take action on a wedding photography business plan that works. That’s why you’ve read this far.
This moment is a gift. You are in the perfect position to come back better than ever. Let this pattern interrupt serve you and your business. I promise—if you commit to even half of my 7 Ways to Future-Proof Your Photography Business you’ll be miles ahead of the pack.
And then let’s toast to your future!
've spent the past decade capturing love and chasing beauty across the globe, and I believe every story like yours is different and special, and deserves to be told exceptionally.
Drawing on years of experience in the fashion and editorial photography industry, my photographs are graceful, honest and boldly natural, while completely intentional. Whether it’s the opportunity to narrate the retelling of once-in-a-lifetime wedding days, or the ability to communicate issues of global importance, or all the stories in between, I look at photography as the method by which I get to leave the world a little better than I found it.
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