Monday, October 21, 2013

Going pro

One of the things that's kept me so very busy this fall is my growing little photography business.

...And I'm pretty sure that's the first mention of Christina Keddie Photography I've made on this here blog.  Which is a little absurd, since I've been legally in business since May 2012!  So let's backtrack just a bit, shall we?

When I left my last law firm job, a dear friend of ours, who is himself a photographer and also works at the University communications office, mentioned that he might be able to throw some freelance photography work my way, as a small way of supplementing our family income.  So I went through the process of making myself a legal small business owner, thinking I would take the occasional job from the University but not do much more than that.  I registered myself with the state and filled out all the appropriate forms, did a little bit of market research to figure out a fair quote for freelance event work, and slapped together a portfolio.  Which was thankfully pretty diverse and full of Princeton-related event photos already, thanks to being the unofficial PEF photographer for so many years!

I got to do a few paid gigs for the Princeton Alumni Weekly and the Ivy League Christian Observer, and had such a blast doing them.  I found, to my surprise, that not only did I enjoy the photographing and post-processing work, but I also really liked thinking about the business side of things and being an entrepreneur.  Slowly, I started diving into the world of running a business -- writing up a basic business plan, learning how to market myself, painstakingly figuring out a good and sustainable pricing model, drafting contracts (for myself, not for a corporate client!)... I found myself voraciously reading everything I could get my hands on about pricing, client relations, photography business structures, and following all kinds of rabbit trails through this exciting new world -- usually while I was up late at night nursing Sophia.  ;)

So last October, I officially launched my business Facebook page.  I ran my first mini-sessions special, and started putting myself out there to attract portrait and wedding clients.  This past April, I shot my first wedding as the primary photographer.  And over the summer and fall, I've had a steady trickle of bookings -- referrals from friends of mine, and, excitingly, people who just found me via a Google search and decided to hire me!

I'm consciously keeping this a part-time venture for now (you know, while I have another part-time job and two very young kiddos at home!).  My goal is to have an average of two portrait sessions per month and two to three weddings per year.  And this fall, during the photography busy season (October into November), I'm booked solid!

So I just wanted to share a few of my favorites from this year.  I feel like sharing them here makes it even more real that I am, in fact, a professional photographer.  ;)  I'm so thankful for work that I love and that fits well with our family's needs in this season of life!