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It’s De-Lurk Day!

When I started this blog – 

I made it a point to go and “Like” the Facebook photography pages of anyone who liked the Psychology for Photographers Facebook page.  I like staying on top of what’s happening and how you all are doing.  But eventually my fabulous readers referred so many people my way that I couldn’t keep up with the amazing avalanche – so I’m feeling some distance from a lot of you who jumped on board more recently.

And that’s not okay with me!  So it’s time for a De-Lurk Day.

What is a De-Lurk Day, you ask?

It’s a magical day in which all the awesome folks who lurk around reading this blog – but never wave hello in the comments – get to introduce themselves!  Yaaaaaaay!

The reason is simple:  The more I know my audience, the better the content on this blog is.


Leave me a comment, and tell me:

1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located

2) Your photography details (what do you shoot?  do you have a business?  do you want to have a business?)

3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now.  Can be anything.

Guys, I really need you to do this for me.  Right now, today.  It’s just a blog comment – it takes less than five seconds to fill in your info, and probably less than 30 to typity type your reply.  And it’ll make this blog more relevant to your lives.

You can also head over to Facebook and leave me a hyperlink to your facebook page.

To sweeten the deal:

When I get back from vacation, I’m going to draw randomly from the blog comments and one happy winner will get a 30-min Skype chat with me. 

We can talk about whatever you need – business, life, really great recipes, etc.

You should also know that I tend to make friends with people who comment on this blog frequently.  Sometimes I send them pretty snail mail.  I’m here because I love photographers, and I want to help them straighten out a few difficulties and connect more deeply with their clients.  So help me help you!

Hit me up in the comments.  (If you’re reading this in your inbox, click here and I’ll whisk you over to the blog.)

Here’s to you,


P.S.  I was serious about the really great recipes.  I know *the* secret ingredient that makes chocolate chip cookies to DIE for.  Just sayin’.

Posted in


Keep reading:


  1. pam on June 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Okay, I’ll delurk! My name is Pam and I live in Chattanooga, TN. I am a special education teacher, hoping to retire soon, and I started my photography business last summer with the hopes of having it be successfully running when I retire from teaching. I do portrait photography – families, babies, children….no weddings – I’ll leave those to the younger photographers!

    My biggest goal right now is education. I am taking photography classes, reading business and photography books, shooting anything than moves~

    • Jenika on June 22, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Hi Pam! I was in your neck of the woods on a road trip last summer and it was GORGEOUS! Wish I could have stayed longer!!! Stay hungry and keep learning….that is so wonderful. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Janell Wood on June 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    My name is Janell. I live in the Seattle/Tacoma area. I have a photography business that focuses on weddings & glamour. The biggest thing I’m working on right now is trying to market myself/reinvent myself. I started out as an “everything” photographer and now I’m trying to specialize to keep myself sane, but it’s hard. Thanks Jenika.

    • Jenika on June 22, 2012 at 3:49 am

      I have such fond memories of my visits to Seattle and Tacoma (my grandma grew up in Tacoma). Best of luck as you figure out your niche and style. It IS hard but good things come of it. Thanks for de-lurking!

  3. Laura on June 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    1) Laura Vink, 25 and located in The Netherlands.
    2) I’m in business for almost 3 years, of which the last one fulltime. I mostly shoot children and families and just absolutely love this. Also teaching photography workshops, which I love too. I’ll stop photographing weddings after september to specialize more in the first two aspects of my business.
    3) My goal now: getting my sales up up up… more and more…
    * I really want to hear about your secret ingredient for choclate chip cookies*

  4. Elizabeth MacKinnon on June 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Hi from Canada! I’m located in a small town on the south shore of Nova Scotia, and I’ve recently decided to take my lifelong passion for photography and transform it in to a business – not nearly as simple a task as I imagined it to be! I’m also a mom to six terrific kids, and a student of digital media and graphic design…phew! I get tired just thinking about all the “hats” I wear. lol I found your blog and Facebook page by linking around from site to site, and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve learned from you so far. Thank you for caring about us enough to give us a hand!

    Much admiration and respect,


    • Elizabeth MacKinnon on June 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Oh! I forgot to mention the types of photography I do…mornings *sigh*. lol My favorite sessions are outdoor portrait with a more candid feel to them, and less of the traditional posing style. I also love doing landscape and macro work, and really enjoy playing around with those types in post. I’d really like to give maternity/birth/newborn photography a try, but have yet to secure any jobs as such. Hopefully someday soon! I think that might end up being my favorite.

  5. Krzysztof Glowacki on June 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Nice Idea 🙂
    It’ll be quite organized 🙂
    I am from Poland, located in Pozna?, just starting to treat photography as an income source but doing it for awhile.I am also studying psychology – so I’m happy to see the junction of the topic.
    My biggest chellenge I guess is to believe that what I do is good, and someone would like to pay for it, as well as getting the customers. Although I try to concentrate on having fun from it…
    Keep the great work you are doing!

  6. Rachel on June 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    1) Rachel Abrahams & I am in Merritt Island, FL

    2) I work full time and do my photography stuff at night or on the weekends. I was mainly photographing landscapes, travel, etc but have been slowly moving into more portraits, events, etc. It’s been an evolving year for me.

    3) My current biggest goal is learning the “business” aspect of photography. I’ve had a couple customers who challenge me expecting free photos, not buying anything after, etc and would like to learn how I can prevent this and improve the situation.

    I am now officially not just a lurker but a commenter P.S. I also left my Facebook business link in your Facebook post. 🙂

  7. Becky on June 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Hi! I guess I qualify as a “lurker”. My name is Becky and I Love your site! I’m located in Knoxville, TN. My “business” name is RSPhotography. I am in the portfolio building part of my business, or at least I was, now I’m trying to get the guts to market my business. I have done children, seniors, maternity, newborn, infants, a wedding… my fave so far has been newborn and infants. I’m still finding my groove as to where my business will take me. My goal right now is to find 1 person that will pay for my services and go from there. That doesn’t seem like a hard goal since I’ve been told people would pay for them… but it’s stinkin hard! ;0)

  8. Kelly on June 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Ok ok 🙂 I’m Kelly and I live just north of Boston. I’ve just opened my photography business in the past year, after second shooting for about two years. My biggest goal.. only one? I suppose it’s figuring out how to find, attract and best serve my ideal client.

  9. Emma on June 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I’m in Gloucestershire, in the beautiful Cotswolds in England. I’m building towards being a professional photographer. That is my biggest dream! I am working on a blog/website at the moment, hoping to launch in the next few weeks. There i will document my journey to becoming a pro photographer. I love to photograph lifestyle portraits – engagements, maternity, friends, seniors, children. No weddings! 🙂 I have a styled shoot next week with a model, MUA, hair stylist and a HORSE!! 😀

  10. Janet on June 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I mostly photograph my family and friends, but I have a fascination with the business side of things. We are Americans living overseas, so I can’t really shoot professionally, but I find it all so incredibly interesting. Maybe someday!

  11. Kelly Benton on June 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    1) I’m Kelly Benton and I’m located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    2) I shoot mostly weddings, families, and children. My business is just over a year old.

    3) My biggest goal right now is booking more weddings. I have a very small network in the town I live because I haven’t lived here long, so very few people know who i am.I’d like to change that.

    • crystal miel on June 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      hey kelly! i am not far away, ligonier indiana….and just starting out in business (maternity/birth/newborn/children)….i’ve been asked a couple times about weddings but i don’t do them (unless it is a very small wedding, people getting married are someone i know quiet well or something)! maybe i can send them your way!!

      • Jenika on June 22, 2012 at 3:51 am

        What a nice thing! I hope you two can work that out!!! 😀

  12. Ellie on June 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t delurk very often LOL! Just lurking in many places (evil laugh). I’m Ellie my business is Dandelion Photography and I’ve just started a year ago. I’m based in NW England, near Manchester. I shoot Nikon D700. I do families, babies, children and a few other things when people ask, but not weddings! No motivation to do them – I did one for my best friend as a favour and it was great, but no plans to do another. My goal at the moment is to keep improving my photography and raise prices to start making my business pay me some income – very hard in the UK where people are clueless about paying for non-wedding photography.

  13. crystal miel on June 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    i am located in northeastern indiana. i just started out in business….maternity, birth, newborn, children and family. but i am trying out anything. birth and newborn are my favorite things to shoot! my short term goal is to just to try MORE and learn MORE (esp. more editing!), saving up some money to hopefully do a newborn workship next year. 🙂

  14. Jodie on June 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    1) my name is Jodie and I’m from Perth, Western Australia

    2) I have my own business, Samantha may photography. I shoot portraits, weddings and products for other small businesses. I’m also a full time mummy and the delivery girl/book keeper for my husbands business!

    3) right now I’m working towards moving away from weddings and building my name in newborns and children’s portraits because that’s where Im finding my real love for photography lies :0)

  15. Mel on June 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    My name is Melissa, I am currently living in Queensland, Australia.
    I shoot maternity, newborns and families. Also LOVE to do creative concept themed shoots. They were mostly done for my University Degree but now that I am finished that I haven’t been as motivated to do it even though I love it.
    I do have a business but haven’t been doing much lately due to moving to a new location.
    Biggest goal I am working towards right now is getting up and running properly in my new location! And continuing to educate myself as much as possible!

  16. Caitlin Reyes on June 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Hi! 🙂
    1) I’m Caitlin, living in east Texas but SHOOTING in east Texas, MN (where I’m from; I’m a teacher and go home for summers & holidays) and Guatemala (my husband is from there; we are traveling there for Christmas)
    2) I shoot portraits, favorite is maternity/newborn/little tot, and I do weddings occasionally but am trying to phase it out and maybe only do it by special request by friends/people I know, because I don’t have money (or mental stamina, haha!) to invest in and learn about all of the lighting equipment I feel I’d need to effectively shoot an indoor dark reception (that equipment intimidates me…I have a Speedlite now but that’s it). I do have a business, and am working on a lONG list of goals right now to be able to phase into full time photography in 2 years when I’m done teaching full time and am (I hope) being a stay at home mommy 🙂
    3) Goals include changing my pricing and doing in-person portrait sales/offering products for the first time (I was giving away the CD….I know, I know, TERRIBLE!) and having confidence in doing so! 🙂

    You are awesome!

  17. Sabina Lorkin on June 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Hi, I will too. I’m Sabina Lorkin an English Graphic Designer and Photographer. I moved to Normandy in France 8 years and am now developing the wedding photography side of my business. Exhausting as it is I love being part of a family’s special day and love the pleasure of seeing their faces when I present their photos.

    My goal at the moment is upgrading equipment and restoring a small barn on our property to have a more presentable reception area for potential clients and presentations. I’m not looking to include a studio as I prefer to do outdoor location photography.

    As I’m here I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your posts that I’ve been following for a while now on facebook 🙂

  18. Lisa Della Bella on June 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Just started my photography business in November. I haven’t really specialized in anything just yet, but I do mostly portrait photography for children and families. Having a hard time getting clients. Not sure if it’s because of the summer, the economy or both.
    My goal is to have at least one or two sessions a week. right now, I have none.

  19. Carolyn Ann Ryan on June 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Hi! I’ve commented a couple of times, but I’m Carolyn Ann Ryan from Fanwood, NJ. I specialize in making chaos and craziness look sweet and adorable (aka family portrait photography). My business goal is to grow my business – increase my inquiries and bookings and have a full schedule on a regular basis. Thanks so much for all you do here!

  20. Stacy Crosby on June 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I’m an on-location photographer, working out of Foxborough, MA and the Ottawa, Ontario areas. You can find me here: and

    Currently I do weddings and all styles of portraits.

    My goals:

    1) switch business entirely to “romance” photography… engagements, dating milestones (or “just because”), anniversaries, boudoir, and couples boudoir

    2) primarily b/w :), with colour upon request

    3) go full-time when I relocate permanently to the Ottawa area (in a few years)

  21. Suzanne Mellott on June 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Delurkers unite!

    1. Suzanne Mellott, Berkeley Springs, WV
    2. I shoot mostly high school seniors and families (maternity, children, etc)
    3. My biggest goal is to take my business to a place where I can first, be following God’s will for my life and then, second, support my family financially so that I don’t have to work another part-time job.

  22. Kelly Chiodi on June 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I’m Kelly from Pittsburgh, PA. I’m a hobbyist photog and homeschool mom. Though I don’t necessarily have a business in my (immediate)future, I enjoy reading your blog as I find psychology fascinating. I also find chocolate chip cookies fascinating, so would love to know that secret ingredient. 🙂

    I’m amazed at the progress I’ve seen in my work this year from participating in a 52 project and committing to blogging my photos and talking about what made them work/not work. So my goal right now is to keep going with that and expand my subjects from *mostly* my kids, to other people and subjects, including street photography.

  23. Ashly Covington on June 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    1. I’m Ashly Covington & I bounce between Richmond, VA & NYC.
    2. My focus has been rock & roll and live events though am shifting more towards weddings/portraits as I found I really love those moments.
    3. My biggest goal right now is more bookings. Trying to figure out how to market and get paying clients.

  24. Kristi Fiske on June 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    My name is Kristi Fiske and I live in the northern Maine woods. I’m in the process of just launching my business after being a preschool teacher for nearly 10 years. I’m striving to photograph mostly children and families. My biggest goal right now is marketing and getting the word out about my work to the local area. Thank you so much for your advice/help/info. Love your work!

  25. Cyndi on June 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Hi! My name is Cyndi and I live in Somerset, PA. I’m currently a stay at home mom, a nanny, and a part time photog. I started taking pics about a year and a half ago. I’m just starting up a photography business. I have done newborn, engagement, family, and pet portraits so far. I have a wedding scheduled for next September 2013. My husband and my parents got me my Nikon D3100 DSLR for my birthday in January. Since then I have been in overdrive as far as my photography. I take my camera with me everywhere. I shoot daily. And, I try to capture all of the little moments before they’re gone. My biggest goal right now is getting to know each of my clients enough to shoot their special and unique moments. I’ve done pretty well so far. But, I’m thinking about adding a little Q&A form to my prep-time.

  26. Brooke G on June 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Jenika! 🙂

    1) I’m Brooke, and I’m in Olathe, KS. Right near your neck of the woods!

    2) I shoot mostly kids and families. I want to specialize in newborns. I am on my way to starting my business… slowly but surely. But I can tell you that your blog has already helped me immensly, and motivated me to get this thing going! (I found you through DPS, and having my BA in Psychology I was immediately drawn in. I haven’t looked back since!)

    3) My current goal is to get a website set up (I’ve started it at least!) and some business cards printed so that I can start shooting more. I have plenty of family and friends that I’ve been shooting for the past year or two, but I really want to branch out. I’ve had friends ask for my card to reccommend to others, so I know I need to get on it and take advantage of that! My ultimate goal is to get my business up and running, and be able to quit my day job within the next 5 years.

  27. Taryn van Rensburg on June 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Hi the lovely Jenika
    I am Taryn. I am located in beautiful sunny (though not-so-sunny today) Ballito, South Africa.

    I have been photographing hobbyist for around 10 years. Starting taking it pretty seriously about 3-4 years ago, and went full time in September last year.

    In SA, though possibly worldwide, it’s pretty tough in the photography market. Every man and his bunny is a photographer. Mostly charging a pittance, and the ones who are making money are wedding photographers. I swore I would never do weddings- mainly because that’s my time away from my family, and being a mother of 4, that time, is, well, precious! But now I am considering it, because I would also like my business to at least cover my bills!

    But I love what I do (newborn, children).. I also love the Beloved concept, and I love giving people gorgeous pics that make them feel beautiful inside and out.

    My main goal is to start focusing more on the ART of photography. I have spent ALOT of time on the technical side, and I want to really delve in deep to find who I AM. And to let that shine.

    Love your blog!

  28. gwen on June 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Jenika!
    Loooooove your blog. Seriously. So much good in here.
    So I’ll de-lurk!

    I’m Gwen, and my business is Gwendolyn Waite Photography. My focus is newborns, kids and families. I’ve been established for about 9 years now. (seriously, has it already been 9 years??!!) But in the beginning I wasn’t serious at all. Now I am recently a single mom of three, and photography is my sole income. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that I work smarter and make sure I’m consistently turning a profit. My biggest goal is to find a way to make more time for working on my marketing, which I haven’t recently. I’ve been primarily focusing on keeping up with clients – shooting, editing, fulfilling orders – which is a good thing, but I need to make sure that I’m also focusing on how I’m getting the next client, ensuring that there is a next client, building my newsletter & fan base etc. It’s even more of a challenge now that I am a single mom, making sure that I’m not working all the time, keeping time with my kids sacred, so it’s really a focus of working smarter, not longer hours. Thanks again, Jenika! Love your blog.

  29. Lee Butler on June 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    1) Lee Butler based in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, England
    2) I love landscapes, in particular North Wales but I’m trying to learn more about portraiture. I am in the process of setting up my first business site selling my landscapes via an online printing co.
    3) I’d like to start making a little from my photography but I’ve only been shooting for a few years and always have a lot to learn. My 3 children and wonderful wife take up most of my life and my photography fits around them and our interests as a family (I do swimming, Karate and coach a soccer team with them!)

  30. Tricia on June 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hi I’m Tricia I am located outside of Chicago IL in a corn field called DeKalb.

    I have a small but busy business named Wigglebug Photography. I shoot Wigglebugs also known as children. I also shoot their mom’s and dad’s if they will let me.

    My goal…. I don’t know. I have met most of my goals for the year. I guess the one I have been thinking about the most is phasing out my “friends and family” discount and hitting my referral program a little harder.

  31. terri on June 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Jenika! I love reading your blog posts and they always seem so relevant to what is happening in our little corner of the photography world in Hampton Roads, Virginia!
    !) Hi there, my name is Terri Hughes and I live in Norfolk, Virginia.
    2) My photography business is Simply Human Pictures and I specialize in Maternity, Newborns, Children and Families.
    3) My business is about 1.5 years old and my biggest goal is to keep it growing and thriving.

    I look forward to keeping in touch with you! 🙂

  32. Melissa Hawes on June 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    My names’s Melissa Hawes and I started my business Honey Bee Photography almost a year ago. My focus is mainly on Families and Children. It has been slowly growing but my goal is try and get my name out there a lot more. I have just held some family mini sessions at my daughter’s school and while there is 350+ families in the school I only booked 12. I did get a fair bit in after sales though which was a pleasant surprise. I am hoping for more word of mouth referrals from this.
    I;m currently in your facebook group and enjoy reading through the posts. Thank you for setting it up 🙂

  33. Trish on June 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Lurker #2! Confession time….I am not a photographer and have no hopes of ever being one. ( you would agree if you ever saw any of my photos, mostly taken with an I phone). I love reading your posts however because in each one I not only enjoy the gorgeous images that you share but glean wisdom that pertains to my dealings with clients and to the growth of my business as a Makeup Artist. Thanks for sharing! My guess is that I may not be the only Non photographer that has lurked quietly in the back of your classroom!

  34. Soly on June 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Hi! my name is Soly and I’m in Miami, Florida.
    Just started my business and I’m not set on what I specialize in but children and families most probable.
    just started my facebook last week so all the “likes” would soooo be appreciated!
    thanks and God Bless!

  35. Jason T. on June 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm


    My name is Jason, and I am a hobbyist photog and an IT professional.
    I shoot 100% B&W. My subjects are mainly ‘urbex’ (urban exploration), landscapes, and architecture. In other words, I really like rust and texture 🙂 I don’t have an actual business, but I am working towards it. I’m a newb when it comes to business and marketing…especially trying to do it at minimum cost.
    My biggest goal is to start selling my prints on a larger scale than just friends and family, and to be able to get into more abandoned buildings to shoot.

    Thanks for making me ‘de-lurk’ 🙂


    • David Mesarch on June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Yay! It’s great to hear that there are other IT geeks that read the blog out there. I’m an IT geek gone pro photographer. (let’s face it, IT work is far more stressful than shooting….)

      • Nicholas N on June 24, 2012 at 4:53 am

        Another IT Guys free fallin’ to photography here 😀
        I’m from Indonesia ( yeap 🙂 )..
        I’m starting to learn “amateurly serious” photography..
        this site really helps me starting, specially when there’re hundreds
        or thousands other site already telling you the technical pov from photography,
        not many teaching you on the psychological part.. 🙂
        Thanks and i’m already subscribing to your feed !

  36. Caitlin Gerres on June 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I’m Caitlin and I’m located in Hampton Roads, Virginia. I started my photography business this year and currently shoot seniors, families, and couples. My biggest goal is moving into the wedding industry.

  37. Janis on June 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hi My name is Janis. I am in Barrie, Ontario, Canada originally from California.
    I have a business Three Gifts of Heart Photography.
    My biggest goal is to bring in more clients I am having such a hard time with this.

  38. Megan Gaedtke on June 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    HI Jenika!
    1) I’m Megan and I live in Paola, KS.
    2) My photography business is MK Classic Photography and I mainly shoot portraits and some action. I would like to get into weddings some day!
    3) I just started my business about a year ago so my biggest goal right now is to get my name out there! I really need to crack down and find the best ways to network/market my business.
    Thanks! 🙂

  39. Maureen on June 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Hi, I’ll join in the “delurking” as well. 🙂 My name is Maureen and I am a pet photographer in and around St. Louis, MO. I’m always striving to further my photography skills, however my biggest goals right now are educating people on why good photography of your pet is important, re-working the experience I provide to the customer to WoW! them with excellent service and communicating this in a clear, concise and fun way on my website and through my marketing materials, as well as on the phone and in person.
    I’m learning to cook vegetarian, with my hubby leaning toward vegan, and since I’ve been a life long avoider of vegetables – it has been, and still is, quite the journey! BTW – my absolute most favorite food in the whole entire world is a good choc chop cookie! Seriously, check out the bits about me section on my website (cus if it’s on the web it must be true, right? ;0 ) Cheers!

  40. Justine Kilkerr on June 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Jenika. I’m Justine and I live in Brighton, UK. I shoot film (I love love love old cameras!) and digital (Canon EOS 40D for now…). I’m a published novelist who earns a crust by working at Sussex university as a programmer (weird, I know) and have an almost overwhelming passion for photography. I’ve recently been taking courses and am planning on going full-time freelance once my contract at the university is up on March 31st 2013. So a photography business by March 31st is my goal. I’m excited, terrified, and everything in between! I’m currently shooting events, bands, portraits, and I love landscape. Your blog is both and inspiration and a fantastic resource for me.

    PS. I have some *great* recipes from England!

  41. Maria on June 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Jenika! My name is Maria, and I’m a senior portrait photographer in western Massachusetts. This is my first year in business, and it is slow but could be a lot slower, so I’m not complaining. Trying to feel out everything, get a sense of the market, and get things set up for a bigger entrance next year. Thanks for your dedication to this blog! I just found it recently through Kristen Kalp, and I really like the way you write and how you break down the daunting aspects of business into simpler, less scary ideas.

  42. Lori Ivey on June 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located:

    Lori Ivey – Gilmer, TX (Northeast Texas)

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    I shoot families, children and seniors! Yes – I’ve been in business for 2 years.

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything::
    Very specifically, I’m working on my first collaborative and styled shoot next week with local businesses.

  43. Judith Chauvette on June 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Hey there my dear! My name is Judith Chauvette, I live in Virginia Beach and specialize in Family and Wedding photography.
    I would say that my biggest struggle as a small business owner is that I have a hard time balancing personal and work life.
    I feel like if I have free time, I should be working on whatever project I’ve got at the moment, getting the session finished so the client can have their pictures that much faster…

  44. doug on June 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Hmmmm, looks like I’m the only guy that lurks..

    I too, am from Indiana, but I’m in New Albany, IN.

    I shoot a lot of stuff, but my main desire is sports. I freelance for two local papers, but this is my slow time of the year due to high school sports being idle.

    I’d like to someday move up in the ranks and have enough of a portfolio and have enough credit to obtain creds for major events such as college basketball, NFL and motorsports.

    Although my business isn’t 50% of my income I don’t consider myself an amateur, but by most professional standards I am just an amateur in their way.

    I follow and read your blog, because it triggers thought processes and makes me dig deeper and not be discouraged when a door is closed in my face.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and inspirations-

    BTW, I’m a chocoholic and am salivating at making a new chocolate chip cookie :o)

    Thanks and take care-

  45. Sara on June 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    1. My name is Sara Jefferson and I’m located in Denver, CO.

    2. I own a photography business specializing in just children and families.

    3. The goal I’m working towards right now is two-fold – building up a bigger client base and moving towards in-person sales.

    Thanks for all you do! I love this blog!

  46. Annemarie DeSmet on June 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    1.) My name is Annemarie DeSmet and I live in Scituate, MA (located on the South Shore between the Cape and Boston).

    2.) I own Mimi & co. Photography ( I mainly shoot maternity, children and families in my home studio. I love studio lighting, but am delving into natural lighting as well. Although my town has about 5 beautiful beaches, I do not love doing beach shoots, go figure:)) It is a control issue.

    3.) My plans for this summer are to stretch myself into learning more about beauty/glamour photography.

    And, I am a big lurker on your site. I love your blog. Thank you.

  47. Brittany Salay on June 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I LOVE your de-lurk day! So to answer your questions, I am Brittany of brittany lauren photography in NYC. I shoot newborns, families and high school seniors! My biggest goal right now is building my brand and working with my target clientele. Thank you so much for such a fun post.

  48. staci dietz on June 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Hello my name is Staci I am a family photographer I live in Clarks Nebraska ( a very tiny town) I own and operate Staci Dietz Photography out of my home, my biggest thing I really want to work on is finding and getting to my style I know what I like but I am just a hair off at being there also I want my images sharper

  49. Megan K. on June 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm


    Here I am! My name is Megan, and I’m in Kansas City, MO.

    I really like photographing children, families, and doing maternity and engagement sessions. I haven’t ventured into the wedding business…yet. I’m in the process of transitioning out of the portfolio building phase to starting my business. I’m finishing up my website (please disregard the opening couple of photos that are for some reason pixelating…I’m on it!), and have been working on pricing, too. I’ve been trying to overcome my fear of charging more, even though I’m totally surrounded by “shoot and burn” photographers that do sessions/CDs for $200.

    My biggest goal at the moment is to just get started, and continue to learn! And hopefully I’ll be able to quit my FT job in a year, and do photography full time because it’s what I’m passionate about and love doing.

    I have started a FB business page, but I’m still getting it together before it’s published. Once it’s published, it will be http://www.facebook/megankuglerphotography

  50. Joanne Flood on June 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    After starting a family I decided to turn my passion for photography into a business. I specialise in maternity and newborn photography. I found the perfect location for a studio, so I went for it, and have just opened a studio. I am a self taught photographer and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my craft and grow. My goal is to use all the skills I have gained from owning previous businesses to move my new venture forward in the right direction.

  51. Courtney Haney on June 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Hi, my name is Courtney! I live in Spokane, Wa. I’m a pro photographer gone amateur so that I can pursue my love of baking. Even though I’m not in the photography business anymore, I’ve found this blog to continue to be exceptionally valuable. The concepts talked about are usually easily transferable. My major goal right now is to jump through all the hoops to get my bakeshop legal. On the heals of that goal, I would like to implement a successful marketing strategy that I’m currently working on as well. I’m trying not to dwell much past those two goals. I’ve found that taking one step forward usually changes what the next step will look like. 🙂 Thanks for all the time, effort, and love you put into this blog. It shines thought and is infectious!

  52. Erin on June 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for this blog and all you do! I’m Erin, located in Atlanta, GA. I recently started a small on-the-side photography thing with my boyfriend, where we do a little bit of everything, photojournalistically. My main goal right now is to complete the business license/insurance side of things, and then have enough money to set up the banking 🙂 All that boring business stuff.

  53. Lillian Stevens on June 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Jenika,

    I’m Lillian and I’m an American living in South Korea~ we’ve been here for almost 11 years now! 😉

    I’ve been shooting for about a year and am trying to establish myself and my small photography business. I love what I do and it’s so nice to find a ‘kind’ place to go to be encouraged and mentored! I have to admit there is a great deal of fear in putting myself out there but I’d like to overcome that!

    Glad you encouraged us to delurk! I’m headed over to your facebook page to post my link. Thanks!

  54. Mark Hopkins on June 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Professional photographer, as of 2 years ago, hobbyist for the 30 years prior… 🙂

    Senior Engineer by day, shutterbug by night and weekends…

    Mostly portraits (of walking age or older), weddings, events and fine art.

    Still doing just enough work to keep the flow of new equipment steady, while building the clientele in preparation for the great ‘quitting day’ of retirement where I can take photos 7 days a week! 🙂


  55. Christi C on June 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    1) I’m Christi, and I live in North Carolina. My husband is in the Army, stationed at Fort Bragg.

    2) I have had a huge interest in photography for years. I’m finally taking a professional course and am about halfway through. I work full-time right now, but hope to eventually quit & start my own portrait photography business.

    3) I’m working to finish the photography course I’m taking and to make it through the next 3 months until my husband returns from deployment 🙂

  56. David Bier on June 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    My name’s David Bier and I’m in London. I make black and white children’s portraits. My biggest goal is to attract more of the right clients…which it probably always will be!

  57. joanie schwarz on June 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    hi Sweetie-
    My name is joanie schwarz… I live in Westfield NJ. Have been working forever as an artist.
    I’m a big fan of yours….I think I posted to you early early on on FB that you would be FABULOUS and you are much needed here in this community of image makers….
    My thinking is in this family portrait work that many of us do is 80% psychology and 20% photography but the photography has to be SPOT ON and perfect in timing and composition and emotion..
    I do lots of babies kids families, work for grandmas and what I do NOT do are events.
    I want to create Joy. And live a happy life. and do a lot of yoga. Come visit me on my FB page joanie schwarz portraiture… Lately I have been embracing the mayhem of kids- they create the work- I’m just there to catch it. XOXO joanie

  58. dee perrin on June 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hi! I’m Dee and I’m in Kansas City. I’m a part-time photographer and recently started a business (which I then took about a 6 month break from to have a baby so now I’m pretty much starting over). I shoot primarily kids and families, but would love to build up a specialty in newborns. My biggest goals right now are building up a more attractive portfolio/web site and making sure I have everything set up correctly on the business side. I was a little lazy about this before and want to make sure I’m doing it right before I start trying to grow the business.

  59. Cathy on June 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hi! I’m Cathy. I run an on-location photography business in Galena, IL with my amazing partner/right hand/best friend, Jeff. We focus on weddings and high school seniors, but also do families, babies, and event photography. I’ve had the business as a part-time thing for 6 years now, but just decided to go full time. Our biggest goal right now is making connections here in Galena both with vendors, other photographers, making friends, etc. We only moved here (from NY) just 3 weeks ago so that we could be closer to our families again and we’re trying to get to know people and almost re-start a business here which is hard, but we’ve gotten to know a couple of people in that short time and hope that soon we’ll pick up some speed. Thanks so much for this blog! Hope you have an awesome vacation!

  60. Rebekah on June 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Helllllloooo!! I am Rebekah and I live in Allen, Texas — a Dallas suburb. I photograph families and seniors, anything but weddings 😉 My biggest goal right now is trying to reach my target market… I’m really trying to tap into those young, fun, fresh, energetic Dallas families (that want to spend money!!) 🙂 Your blog is really great!

  61. Christina on June 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Christina, from Portland, Oregon. I’ve officially been a pro photographer for a year now. I’m still searching for my true niche – I’ll shoot just about anything at this point. I need the practice, and to build my portfolio. A couple of my goals for this year are to break into the Senior market, and be a more consistent blogger.

  62. Nicole Begley on June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hi, I’m Nicole and live in Pittsburgh PA. I have two divisions in my business, pets and families/kids, and love them both for different reasons. What I’m working on currently is launching the horsey side of my pet photography business and hoping to create a few more marketing partnerships, which are well underway thanks to your awesome webinar a little while ago! Thanks!!

  63. Troy on June 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    1) Troy Foster – Dallas, TX area

    2) Been in business about 2 years now part time. Shoot families, kids, and senior portraits. Contemplating weddings. Not sure if I want to make that jump.

    3) My biggest goal right now is transitioning to selling in person. Tired of being a shoot&burn tog with minimal profit.

    (link to the fb page: )

    Pretty cool of you to do this Jenika. So many photographers out there scream, “Look at me!” Refreshing that you are giving back.

  64. Laura on June 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    My name is Laura and I’m located in southern-ish Illinois. (An hour south of Springfield and an hour north-east of St. Louis, MO.)
    In August I quit my daycare job and started pursuing photography full time. I’m not a legit business yet, but that is definitely one of the goals I’m working towards.
    This isn’t really a goal, but I wish I had a photography mentor of sorts. I’ve tried asking local photographers for time to pick their brains about their business, a chance just to ask basic questions, but it never worked out. I have a friend from college who is also pursuing photography, but he knows as much as I do about the business side of things, which isn’t a lot. Having a mentor or just some way to know I’m doing things properly would be my biggest wish.

  65. Victoria C on June 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Okay, I’ll bite since I did just link some people to your blog!

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located.

    Hello! I’m Victoria and I live in beautiful Naples, Florida!

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)

    I shoot people, things, travel, and anything I find interesting. I am trying to transition from digital shooting to film shooting. I currently use a Nikon F100 but I am looking to get into medium format film. I do have a business called Loving Care Photography, however I do not have the time to devote to it and I am thinking about closing it and just keeping photography a major hobby. Just because I love it doesn’t mean I have to get paid for it! But I’m still debating this.

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.

    I am engaged and trying to plan a wedding as well as buy a house!

  66. Victoria Hershman on June 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    My name is Victoria Hershman, and I’m a lurker. 😉

    I own Barefoot Photography, which was started last year. I deal mainly with maternity, birth, and newborns, with a good dose of kids and family mixed in. I live in a military town (Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state) so things can be quite challenging. I’m natural light/lifestyle. I’m not huge on poses, especially for kids. I don’t currently own a studio but I’m hoping to soon to help with Newborns. I’d much rather be outside, though. 🙂

    The biggest goal I’m working on right now is getting paying clients. Yup. I’ve done four (soon to be five and six with a birth and newborn session coming soon) and not one has been paid. It’s coming though… I have faith…

  67. Lydia Myers on June 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Hello all! Your posts are so helpful, Jenika, keep it up!
    I’m Lydia and I run Lydia Lynn Photograhpy. I’m located in Colorado Springs (any other CO photogs?). So far I have shot mostly families and weddings, because they are what is available to me, but I have a passion for graduates, weddings and engagements! My biggest goal (besides shooting more seniors and weddings)is to take my business full time…and all the little smaller goals that come with that! Again, thank you for blogging! You are awesome 🙂

  68. Erin Brem on June 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    1. Erin and I’m just outside Albany, NY
    2. I’m interested in shooting newborns, seniors, & maternity. I want to start a business in Photography
    3. My biggest goal is getting it started. I am taking it slow as I’m trying to dot all the I’s and cross all my T’s. I want to make sure I have the skill. I’m an accountant by day so I think I got the business part down, at least I hope so..
    PS Love reading your blog. Thanks!

  69. Lauren on June 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    My name is Lauren and I live in the Baltimore, Maryland area. My favorite things to shoot are family portraits and senior pictures!! My goal right now is to learn more about my flash and about marketing myself. Thanks Jenika!

  70. Michelle J.N. on June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Hello! I’ve commented on a few posts and have been blog stalking since I found your blog this year. It’s been great reading the previous comments! I am Michelle with MJNolte Photography in Fort Worth, TEXAS. I’m a 26 year old work-a-holic and this is my part-time (takes all of my time) weekend job.
    Photography has been my chosen outlet amoung so many available creative options (I really chose an expensive art). I chose this path about four years ago and have been in business for 2.5 years. Over the last year I’m excited to say that I’ve seen significant improvements to my style and technique.
    My goal has been to be a family’s photographer. Having a great relationship with families from Wedding to Newborn to Family. I’ve found that I don’t like big groups and I prefer having small units or one-on-one.
    Now I’ve been diving into the business side of photography. I swore to myself about five years ago that I never wanted to be a business owner beacuase I’m an introvert. Here I am now trying to learn sales, image, and marketing. All for the love of photography!

  71. Tabitha on June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Hellooooo photogs! My name is Tabitha and I’m currently located in Toronto, ON (from a small town just west of there). I’m enamored with my dSLR (Canon T2i) and learning all the ins and outs of photography. I’m currently a hobbyist, but hope to one day shoot people’s memories for a living! Right now I’m focusing on portraits, building my portfolio, and hoping to translate a better understanding of post to my portrait photography. I love, love, love your blog and all the lovely & helpful information you take the time to share. Keep on shining! xo

  72. melissa stover on June 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    i’m from arkansas and have been in business about 3 years. i started pricing my photography a bit higher than the area’s newer photographers from the beginning because i have 4 children at home and want to build a boutique business with a low volume and high sales. i focus on families, seniors and just added births this year as a new challenge to myself. my biggest problem is finding the right clients for my business. my goal is to have 4-5 sessions per month, but that only happens a couple of times a year.

  73. Ciera Knabe on June 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Hey there! My name is Ciera Knabe and I’m from Texas. I have just started my own business Ciera Chante Photography. My biggest goal right now is to put myself out there and let people know that I’m a photographer now! This blog has been so incredibly helpful to me! Thanks!

  74. Tyler on June 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I replied to your Facebook post, but I guess I’ll go into more detail here! I don’t actually know any other photographers (which is really a shame), so I’d love to help de-lurk!

    I’m Tyler, and I’m located in Worcester, Massachusetts. (about an hour west of Boston)

    I run a small business specializing in senior portraits, although I’d like to branch out into lifestyle photography on the side. I’m sure weddings are somewhere in my future, but the thought is terrifying since I haven’t been to many weddings and have no idea what goes on at one.

    I’m technically a high school senior, but since I’m homeschooled/self-educated/working I think of myself as an adult. Starting my own business is both a way to save for college (in addition to my real job as a museum educator), challenge myself intellectually, and find lots of people to photograph!

    My goal is to expand this business past my friends and people I know in person. With no money to buy advertising, a belief that ads don’t work for teens anyway, total lack of knowledge about starting a business from scratch, my marketing strategy is pretty much cold-calling my friends to recruit them for my Senior Ambassador program. After a few years, I’m going to run out of high school junior friends to recruit.

    My business is an emotional roller-coaster, from the lows of having no clients signed up, trying to improve my website’s SEO (Page 15! Woot!) and cold-calling my friends, who ignore me, up to the highs of three photo shoots in a week and the giddy joy of shooting what I know is going to be an absolutely gorgeous photo and the pride of being able to identify myself as a professional photographer.

    I’m missing a lot of background knowledge about what it’s like to be a traditional teenager (I sort of skipped that stage of my life, minus the teenage boy metabolism =D), school, marketing, and any form of guidance. My parents think that I’m taking this whole business thing too seriously, so I’m usually just sailing alone, guided by my own intuition and whatever people write on the internet.

    So, that was a bit rambling. I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that I LOVE being a professional photographer and running my own business, but it can be terrifying at times.

    Keep up the great work! I always enjoy your blog posts and attempt to apply them to my own work.

  75. Nina Podlesnyak on June 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Hi, my name is Nina. I’m from Russia, but very soon we are moving to Seattle, USA. My profession is software engineering, but my real passion is photography. I learned photography by myself, with help of books and practice. Sometimes I do commercial shootings. I’d like to have a business, I’m child and family photographer, and my dream is my own studio, cozy and full of light, and every session has to be unique and happy for every client. It’s hard to achieve this with rental studios, when you only have two hours and everything is in a rush… I have two children and I’m trying to do my best in parenting and my work, to balance everything just right 🙂 I hope our moving will be my chance to start my own business!
    I have my web-site, but it doesn’t have any rss feed, so I’m trying to set up my facebook page, but it is not ready yet.
    Thank you, Jenika!

  76. karly on June 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    my name is karly and i live just east of seattle, wa. a friend and i are in the early stages of setting up our dream business: a boutique high school senior girl natural light photography business. (whew what a mouthful!) we are so excited about it, and working hard on all the prelims (license, tax id, insurance, blogsite.) should be an interesting partnership…..shaliena shoots with a nikon D800 and i am a canon markII! see, canon and nikon peeps can get along! 🙂

  77. Shanna on June 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Shanna from Salt Lake City, UT – long-time reader, first-time commenter. I know how it is to have ninja-blog readers, so I’ll emerge from the shadows (for today at least!)
    I have had my photography business for about a year and a half now, and I do that part-time to my “day job.” I love shooting families, children, and pets. I find that the more I advertise and put myself out there, the more business I get, but there are days when I feel insecure, so the pep talks you provide are MUCH appreciated. My main goal is to increase my business – get more clients – shoot more photos! Sometimes I worry I’ll get too much business and neglect my family and other work responsibilities – just my fear of the unknown getting in my own way. So thank you for all your encouraging posts – they really do help!

  78. Angie Whitaker on June 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Hi! My name is Angie.

    I live in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    I started my business in November 2009 in Tucson, AZ. I sucked. I’m getting better. At the time I was mainly a Family and Children Photographer. I started pursuing weddings in August 2011. LOVE weddings. I am SLOWLY growing my business here in California.

    Business-wise my goal is to average about 12 weddings a year and to hit senior portrait photography hard for a couple months a year as well. I’d like to cut back on family and children though I still love that part of my business.

    Photography-wise my goal is to learn more about light and use it better and make it hard for my clients to decide which photo(s) to enlarge for home display because they love each and every one.

    I have 2 children with one on the way, so growing my business in the areas I want and raising my prices are important to me. (It’s expensive to live here! Sheesh!)

    Thanks so much for all you do for all of US!

  79. Steve Holmes on June 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Great idea! I live in Keene, NH, and I photograph weddings and portraits of families, children and high school seniors. Weddings are a little over half of my business. I’m working on expanding the portrait business.

  80. Lindsay on June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Hi, I’m Lindsay! My husband and I are stationed in Elizabeth City, NC. I’ve always loved photography but just got serious about it a little over two years ago. I don’t have a business mostly b/c I don’t the money or the time. (I have a little boy about to turn 1!) I love reading other photographer’s blogs and learning as much as I can so maybe one day in the future I’ll be better prepared to start a business. I started out just shooting landscapes and anything I thought would make a cool picture to hang in my house. In the last few years I’ve started photographing families, babies, and a few Seniors. Love your blog! 🙂

  81. Dee Keller on June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Newby lurker here. Just started learning and practicing using a DSLR last fall. I mostly take photos of local flora and fauna, but sometimes catch my husband playing guitar or my gorgeous Maine Coon cat being a cat. I have taken some classes, but I think practice is the main thing for me right now. Glad to have found your blog.
    Dee – Columbus Ohio

  82. EE K. on June 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Hi there –
    I actually commented a few posts ago – love your blog and the info you are sharing.
    I am EE and live in Houston, TX. I am a serious amateur photographer who has been thinking about the whole professional photography thing for a year or two, but is being held back by fear and a day job that I enjoy (not passionate about) and pays well.
    My biggest goal right now is to hone my photography skills and learn to shoot more in manual on my new camera.

  83. Hannah on June 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Jenika, I’m in the UK and love following your blog. I have recently started and take family outdoor photos. This is a 2nd job and I am studying photography at college. I aim to move into weddings in a year or two, but ideally a small number of valuable clients! H x

  84. Lucia on June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Jennika, also hi to all of you fellow photographers

    My name is Lucia, I´m 25 and I´m from Mexico City (anyone else?). I do mainly product photography, eventually I also do portraits, sometimes even parties or events. I´m also working on an independent research project about instant photography (I´m working mainly on Instax and FP100, but I look forward to work with Impossible project film) underwater in a pinhole camera. Here is the link to my blog: the other link is to my commercial photography website, althought they´re both fully written in spanish.
    Right now my main goal is to finish my research project. Other goals I have is to book a mayor product client by the end of this year and, since my BFF is currently pregnant, to develop a package that includes both a maternity and a newborn session with a photobook (any thoughts here).

    See you, love your blog!!

  85. Addie on June 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located
    – My name is Addie Talley, and Im located in Columbus, MS

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    – This is my 6th year to be a photographer… and I still love it… my specialty is families and small childen.

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    – Business is really sucking this year and I have no idea why… hoping to turn that around.

  86. Chung on June 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hello! I don’t remember how I found this site but there’s great content, so I keep lurking, silently. My name is Chung and I am a (part-time) portrait photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nowadays, my biggest struggle is just finding time to work on my business. A day job is both a blessing and a curse…. OK, that is all. Carry on.

  87. Alesa on June 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Alesa Larsen
    Farmington, UT
    I want to have a business. I am not sure what I really want to shoot, although I am leaning towards seniors.
    My biggest goal is be more consistent in my shooting. I want to be able to minimize my editing time and to feel more confident.


  88. David Mesarch on June 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Good Afternoon, Jenika!

    You never cease to amaze me. Keep up all the great work helping other photographers strive towards building their businesses!

    1) Clearly I’m your only lov-ah (not literally) from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis / St. Paul MN). Which is unfortunate, as I like to network with other photographers.

    2) I shoot Nikon gear, primarily the D700 (but lusting towards the D800). I DO have a “business” but I’m horrible at the business side, so it’s run a lot like a hobby right now. I am working towards BUSINESS and not hobby.

    3) Working towards looking, acting, feeling and operating like a BUSINESS and not a hobby.

  89. Lea on June 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I think I may have commented once before, but I read every post – sometimes twice. Okay, usually twice. I heard about you from Elizabeth Halford and now, along with her, you have become one of the most awesome resources I have come across in my self taught photography journey.

    My name is Lea and I’m an Army wife. I have lived in NC for the past year and will be moving again (we call it PCSing – permanent change of station) before the year is out. I left a pretty good client base at our previous station and made the decision not to set up shop here in NC, knowing we would only be here a year and a half. So, I’ve been shooting just for me. I do plan to get myself established as a business again when we move and I’ve gotten my family settled.

    I’ve shot a little of everything and the only thing I really dislike shooting is weddings so they’re a no go for me. I would consider myself a portrait photographer and I focus on families and also women’s fine art portraiture. I would love to shoot births but with my youngest being only two, I don’t think that’s very practical for my family, at least not until my children are older.

    Goals…right now I’m just trying to enjoy photography. Nice to meet you!

  90. Michele on June 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Hi! I’m an amateur photographer in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I’m ambivalent about going into business, but I’ve been studying and practicing photography as much as I can in the last couple of years. I shoot all kinds of subjects, but like people the best. I’m starting to label my style as photojournalistic. I dislike telling people to pose.

    My biggest goal right now is to consistently take good exposures without fumbling with the settings.

    p.s. I earned my B.A. in psychology in ’93, so this site intrigues me.


  91. Meg Burke on June 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I need to be better at de-lurking. First step! I’m Meg and I’m in Pensacola, Florida. I shoot mostly families and recently started doing weddings. I have a business but I feel like it’s still very much a baby. I’m really pushing to get the business growing. I’d like to be able to do it full time in the future. The more I spend doing it, the more I want to do nothing but it.

  92. Lorna on June 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Hiya Jenika! I am Lorna, Muma of three gorgeous boyo’s and I am Welsh and living in Cardiff UK. I do, do, do typically love Tom Jones and I have daffodils in my garden. I love to read your blog, my hubby is starting Psychology degree in September, a fascinating subject. I just started in my photography really, I have photographed children for 13 years as a hobby. I really just started out as a business a year ago and right now I am in a learning zone and trying to drink it all in. My head is exploding and I love it! I love to shoot newborns and toddlers the most. LOVE, LOVE them. They make me smile and I just enjoy the whole process from shooting to selling and shopping for products. Although I am impatient and I want to be doing more everyday.
    Goals are: to get really good at it. I want to be a better photographer really find my “STYLE” and to always come from a place of love when dealing with people, even when a 4 year old is throwing acorns at my lens! I sometimes find that a bit challenging because like my son Iam waiting on a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome! There are so many goals for me and I look forward to the climb.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing the wealth of knowledge that you have already given us. It is a gift that we lurkers are truly grateful for and thanks for calling us out. I promise to comment more often because I love receiving feedback and comments on my blog and I should know better.

  93. Lillian on June 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    -I’m Lillian and I live in Lancaster, PA.
    -My business:
    I shoot kids, babies, families and I’m just getting started and taking it one day at a time1
    -Biggest goal right now: Getting my business going enough to replace the job I lost this spring!

  94. Caitlin on June 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm


    I’m Caitlin, from Philadelphia. I am a newborn/family photographer!

    Biggest goal is balancing family while maintaining a kick-ass business!

  95. Stacey Dunlap on June 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    My name is Stacey Dunlap and my business name is Little Baby Blue Photography. I am located in Virginia Beach, VA and I specialize in maternity, newborns, babies 1st year and am starting to do more family sessions as well. I am always trying to better myself and my business and your blog is very helpful! I am starting to do more custom sessions and in-home ordering, which has taken a lot of guts, but is working out well! I am always trying to work on confidence!

  96. Cathy R on June 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I’m Cathy. I live on the south Oregon coast. I assist another photographer and do my own projects. I’m leaning toward kids and newborns right now. I’m re-honing my skills ( I have an art degree and did film work back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and learning some new ones in the digi age. My goal…to be proud of my work, show some soul, & make mamas cry.

  97. Christy White on June 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    De-Lurking!! My name is Christy and I live in the HOuston, Tx area. My company is TNG Photography and I focus mainly on children, family and seniors. Although, I do love me a good wedding!! My goal is to build my business so I only have to work ONE job. Thanks for all you do!! It’s appreciated!

  98. Lucy on June 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I LOVE receiving your blog posts!!! You have such great advice on how to deal with all situations that may arise, thank you!!!

    I do have my own business in Huntsville, AL for about 2.5 yrs now. I love it! I mainly shoot children and families but am getting more into weddings and seniors recently. I too, am working on establishing my “brand” with logo and packaging.

    Please check me out at or to see my work.

  99. Amanda McCaffrey on June 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Oh ok fine… I’ll de-lurk.

    1) My name is Amanda McCaffrey, and I’m located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

    2) I’ve been second shooting for weddings with a friend for a while now. I don’t have a business yet, but it’s something I’ve been considering. I just want to make sure I’m really ready for it before I get into all the financial sides of things, and the stress that comes with running an actual business. I think I’d be happier second shooting for someone, but it would help if I got paid for it. lol

    3) The biggest goal that I’m working towards right now is just educating myself and gaining confidence in my abilities as a photographer.

  100. Nate on June 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Ok, so I could stand to do a little de-lerking of my own. (Love the Idea!). Truth is, I feel like a bit of an intruder here as I can see that I am in the extreme minority being a guy. I feel like I set foot in a sorority without a wing man! But I absolutely love what you have to share.

    About myself – I reside in Castle Rock, Colorado with my beautiful wife and two fur-babies. My wife and I are starting a childrens portrait photography business, though it has been a VERY slow process and we both get discouraged often. We both work full time jobs, so that helps in the fact that we can grow it ‘organically’, but the catch 22 is we have very little time to work on, and IN, the biz.

    I love reading your stuff as I can relate from my time as a financial recovery counselor / Money Coach. the Psychology behind why we do what we do is so interesting to me!

    Thanks for giving me a reason to say ‘Hi’ to you and everyone else here at your blog!


  101. Maira Martins on June 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hej hej! I am Maira, Brazilian, married to an Estonian, living in Stockholm, Sweden 🙂 I am one of those persons who likes to read everything but rarely comments… I am just taking my first steps as a full-time portrait photographer (started in April). I love photographing people – couples, families, babies… I started taking a look at pet photography too. I love to shoot outdoors, in big parks or in a forest, I use natural light only (sometimes a reflector), I don’t like props. I like clean edits, but I need to improve a lot my editing. My motto in photography and in life is: simple and beautiful. That’s how I feel and that’s how I want to make people feel. My biggest goal now is to define good marketing strategies. Oh, and thank you for your amazing blog! It helps me a lot 🙂

  102. Natalie on June 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    1) My name is Natalie Young I live in South Carolna.
    2) I am just starting out and trying to learn the business (and Lightroom):) I love to photograph children and families so that will probably be my main subject.
    3) My biggest goal right now is to make sure I have a good enough consistency in my pictures to make a booming business!
    Oh and your blog is by far my favorite! I actually find myself checking my inbox everyday to see what might pop up!!

  103. Kim Larsen on June 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I’m not sure I qualify as a lurker…I’ve commented occasionally, but not often. 🙂

    My name is Kim & I am a professional photographer in a tiny town in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. I’ve been in business for about 6 1/2 years. I started out working very part time alongside my full time, year-round job, and gradually grew the business as I transitioned to working for our local school district & had more time off. I was finally able to take the business full time last June!

    I shoot primarily Seniors & Families, but in my small town, I have to be willing to do just about anything to keep the bills paid, so I do everything from Newborns to Weddings, plus school dances, portraits for the local ballet academy, high school performances (music/drama) & local events from car shows to fundraiser events.

    Right now, my biggest goal is to complete my home remodel that will give me a permanent studio/office space! So excited that I will no longer have to use my living room for studio sessions & client meetings!

  104. Melissa on June 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Jenika!
    I’m Melissa, from sunny southern CA! I’m in the desert area, near Palm Springs, it’s about 109 degrees outside today 😀
    I’m mom to 3, and I’ve loved photography for years, since the film days…I’m in business, now shooting Nikon D700, specializing in newborn babies! I have the best job ever!!!
    I’m constantly working to work smarter, not harder! And I’m always looking to improve my customer service and client experience. I love reading your posts, I always learn a little something! Thanks!

  105. Sarah Leigh on June 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    1) Sarah Leigh Photography, based in Suffolk, England

    2) Mainly families, babies and some weddings. I also photograph products, houses and accident damaged cars. I like variety 🙂
    I’ve been photographing other people’s children for 4.5 years and set up my business around 4 years ago as a spare time venture. I was made redundant from my day job 2 years ago & now spend most of my time balancing between looking after my children & doing photography work (or learning about photography) .

    3) Getting my business off the ground properly. My youngest will start school full time in September so I’ll have a lot more time to concentrate on marketing my business.

    I only found this blog recently & think it’s fab!

  106. Miki DeVivo on June 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi hi. My name is Miki and I’m in Phoenix, AZ. I work with families who want to capture the every day details of their lives together. I’ve been in business since 2008, but I’ve been reassessing things so it’s been awhile since I’ve taken on clients. The biggest thing I’m working on right now is creating a prototype and ironing out the details for the new photography experience I want to offer. I’m new hear from SWOS. Thanks for such straightforward information and helpful reframing of photography mind-knots.

  107. Brian on June 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Hey Jenika,

    I’m a lurker, from Toronto, Canada.

    I shoot mostly events and concerts for a local media outlet. I suppose I technically have a “business” but I don’t do much to develop it as I work fulltime in another profession. I’m not sure what my biggest goal in photography would be – I just love beautiful images.


  108. Nicole on June 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Hi! I’m Nicole and I am definitely a lurker since I read you in my inbox every morning;) I have been photographing people since I was a teen. Then I became a journalism teacher and my love for photography exploded! I’ve had a camera in my hand (or in front of my face) for 20+ years, but this spring I took a deep breath and stopped pretending I was still portfolio building. I’m in it for real! Children, siblings, teens are my favorite subjects but I also shoot families and newborns occasionally (OK, I shoot any subject I’m asked to;)

    Right now I need logo design, branding and marketing help! I’m only using facebook and word-of-mouth and I know I need to do more. But, it’s pretty overwhelming! A skype chat about those items would be amazing! Thanks!

  109. Ginger_79 on June 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Well, hello then. I commented before, I think. When I found out you were also one of those, who have irrational fear of being late for planes. BTW, I totally tried to master your approach and almost didn’t get onto an overbook flight! So much for that. 🙂
    I’m Inga, located in the West of Germany near Cologne. I love shooting nature and I’m trying to do more portraits now. Not in business.
    Hm, my biggest goal is probably to be a better person. Especiallybeing being less judgemental. I instantly judge everything and everyone.

  110. Wendy on June 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Wendy here on the sunny Treasure Coast of Florida. I am a portrait photographer- newborns, children, families, and furbabies. I am just starting out my business officially this year. It is my goal to make a living solely from my photography passion. Thanks for the blog. It is SO helpful! Heading over to facebook now to also wave hello. You rock, Jenika!

  111. Michelle on June 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    All right, I’ll cave 😉

    1. I’m Michelle from southeastern PA.

    2. Right now I sort of shoot everything. Well, except landscapes. And large groups of people. And animals. 😉 I have a very small business – Italian Lane. I sell notecards and prints, and also do some photo shoots.

    3. My current goal is to try and figure out exactly what my niche is!

  112. Jeremy Davis on June 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Hi, Jenika. I’m Jeremy and I live in New York City. I’ve been working as an actor here for 13 years, and as the time has passed I’ve found that photography can give me another creative outlet which is away from the theater world. About a year and a half ago, I started my business which focuses on headshots for actors. I’ve also done a good amount of work for dancers and yogis. My immediate goal is to continue to grow my headshot business, and also expand into weddings. I’ll be doing my first wedding in October, and I’m really excited and totally terrified by it.

    I only recently started following your blog, but I wait with anticipation for each new post. I dig what you say! 🙂


  113. Jenn O'Tool on June 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’m Jenn O’Tool — from St. Paul, MN.

    Recently declared that Photography is my profession and the other stuff I still do for money is now considered my supplemental work…My Business is called Captured Confidence (website live, but still in development and not offially launched yet if you happen to look). I consider my niche to be “Self-Image Photography” as I plan to specialize in working with people who have traditionally been very uncomfortable in front of the camera. I will also be combining Coaching in my business as well.I will do mostly Adult Portraits and Seniors if they fit the right criteria. Families and kids will be on request, and I won’t necessarily be marketing to that group specifically. As a Hobbyist – I love to shoot anything nature related…landscapes, flowers, trees, birds, animals…Sell those on Etsy, but don’t plan to make a living off of that.

    My biggest goals at the moment include setting up the business right so I don’t have to do a lot of re-work down the road, as well as moving from portfolio building to full-paying clients…meeting with the first potential paying client in 2 hours. They still want to meet even after seeing my pricing which I did not set at the low end of the spectrum. One of the ings I’ve learned from all the great photogs out there is that it’s difficult to raise prices if you start too low. I am pricing myself “mid market” and making sure clients are clear onthe value they are getting.

  114. Christin Kreml on June 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    1) Christin Kreml and I’m in San Diego, CA!

    2) I run Sweet Pea Design Studio – a web and graphics design studio. I also have a photo business on the side (Christin K Photography) that offers lifestyle sessions for families and children. I’m just now starting to offer newborns this summer.

    3) I would love to just solely do photo sessions and only take on a super limited amount of design work. Right now it’s the other way around 🙂

  115. Richard Harrison (@RGHGlobal) on June 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Hi! I’m Richard Harrison – a practiced lurker on this blog. Found it on a reference from Elizabeth Halford (Photography).

    I live in Reston, VA. I don’t make a living doing photography; don’t even attempt to. I’m a ridiculously well-equipped hobbyist. When I’m on the road (about half the year) I like to shoot landscapes, cityscapes and old decaying things – Barns, trucks, abandoned towns. I also enjoy street photography. I’ve been known to do a wedding or a bar mitzvah. If I ever do form a business I’ll call it ABW! Photography (Anything But Weddings!). I’m the unofficial photog for Oldies But Goodies, the local Cocker Spaniel Rescue group. I’m getting good at dog portraits. And I got credentials for the Rolex Three-Day at Kentucky Horse Park this past spring. That was a wonderful learning experience and I hope to get invited back.

    Love your blog Jenika! I find your observations on how to make friends with your skin continue to help me make friends with mine. It’s a good feeling. Left my WordPress address on your FB page. Keep up the good work! We’ll all try to do the same.

  116. Heidi on June 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Kia Ora, I’m Heidi Young – I have made one comment previously…but otherwise lurk big time.

    I am a part time photographer in Hamilton, New Zealand. I have been in small weeny business for the past year- I only shoot when it suits me, as I have a full time office job which I one day hope to ditch for full time snappin! And I have two children and another baby girl on the way 🙂 So am pretty busy.
    I shoot similar to a lot of other ladies who have de-lurked before me…babies, children, families…I do wedding’s too tho.

    My biggest goal at the moment is fixing up my website- its very new and I don’t REALLY know what I am doing…but I am currently gettign ready to take all my images off and replace with better and more similar styled ones that are much more recent. Trying to get a “style” presented!

    Love your blog and the images that come with each post – love your website too its beautiful.

  117. BessieAkuba on June 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Hi there! I’m Bessie and I’m a full time Portraiture photographer in Atlanta (relocating to Germany in a month). The biggest goal I am working on right now is getting published aaaannnd really attracting the type of work that I want to create.

  118. Melanie on June 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Jenika,

    I’m Melanie and I live in Southern California. Right now I mainly photograph small children and families. My biggest decision right now is to decide whether to keep my business going.

  119. Kristy on June 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    1. I’m Kristy, located in Ontario, Canada
    2. I studied photography for 3 years at Fanshawe College and have since been doing jobs (for 2 years) as often as possible. I currently work at a restaurant, but shoot when I can in my spare time. I mainly photograph families, maternity,newborns and love shooting creatives. I have just started shooting weddings and am getting a little more comfortable with them.
    3. My biggest goal right now is to officially start my business and to get print sales up.
    I read your posts as soon as they go up and have learned a lot so far.
    So thank you!

  120. Nicole Harrison on June 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Hello! My name is Nicole and I am based in Shellharbour, NSW Australia. I have recently started my photography business after many years of thinking it was not possible for me. I am still learning and am unsure as yet which area of photography I wish to focus on. So due to that I have weddings, newborn shoots and product shoots booked for later in the year. I don’t feel the images on my site portray my true capabilities, so I am working on that at the moment. My main goal right now is to educate myself more and market my business so that people are not just saying they want me to photograph them, but are actually getting me to do it! Thanks for your fantastic site. I enjoy getting your emails so very much. Nicole 🙂

  121. Stephanie Macera on June 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Official lurker. My name is Stephanie-I live in Wichita, KS and I am in love with photography. I am married to a talented, but lazy “ametuer with pro potential” photographer. He has talked for 15 years about going pro. The psychology aspect of your blog has helped me to understand and encourage and participate with him in fulfilling our dream and setting realistic goals. We work as a team -probably more for romance than anything. What I learn here, we talk about and try. And he is reading, and practicing (now has business cards and an upcoming session for his portfolio -and I get to be the stylist). Our favorite style of photography is outdoor more spontaneous than posed – personality driven. We love “beloved”! We work with families, kids, teens and their pets.
    Thank you for all that you do!! You are a huge inspiration! It is the mind behind it all – talent is just part of it.

  122. Allison on June 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I’m not really a lurker at this point, and I would feel bad for taking someone else’s spot in a Skype appointment when I so recently talked to you… however.. I would like that choc chip recipe! 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your vacation.

  123. Taylor Preston on June 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Hello, my name is Taylor Preston and I am in the Oklahoma City metro area.

    Currently, I own Yellow Hair Photography and I am shooting portraits and a few weddings while

    I am working on getting more clients, and upping my sales.

    I really appreciate that you are trying to get to know your followers! I really enjoy reading your posts. Thank you!

  124. Erin McNulty on June 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Erin, a pet photographer from Melbourne, Australia who is just about to finish my first year of business. My biggest goal at the moment is finishing a 2013 calendar for a local dog rescue – they are an organisation very close to my heart and I hope they raise a ton of money from it.

  125. Raechel on June 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Hi. My name is Raechel and I am based in San Diego, California. I work full time at a hospital, was a second shooter for a couple years on the site, and just recently decided to jump in and start my own business and see where it takes me. I prefer to shoot weddings and fashion shoots. I have to say thank you because just recently, thanks to your blog, I have realized why I am doing this photography thing and where I want to go with it. A few of my small current goals are things like learning how to back button focus and learn different metering modes. And of course, like everyone else, learn how to balance life and photography 🙂

  126. Erin McNulty on June 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Erin, a pet photographer from Melbourne, Australia who is just about to complete her first year of business. My biggest goal at the moment is to complete the 2013 calendar for a local dog rescue that I’ve been working on for months now. It’s almost done and I’m so excited to launch it out to the public!

  127. Christine David on June 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I’m stepping up to say hi today too from the Seattle, WA area. I’m a momma of 3 boys, a 7 week old, a 4 year old and an 8 year old. I’m in the budding stages of creating a photography business. Right now I’m doing all the research and preparation to start out the right way (ie licensing, insurance, etc).

    It was the beginning of summer break today and I’ll admit that I was a wee bit overwhelmed with a crying baby and two rough and tumble and very loud boys at home. So, my biggest goal today is believing that I can do this and can do it well. Believing that I’ll be able to have the time and energy to do it.

  128. Sarah Starr on June 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    My name is Sarah. I live in Salem, Oregon. I have a small business photographing children and families. I also take a lot of nature photos, just for fun and sharing. My current two goals are strengthening my torso muscles and becoming more confident in photography.

    • Kim Larsen on June 22, 2012 at 4:11 am

      Hi Sarah! I’m just a little over an hour south of you! There’s an excellent workshop opportunity coming up on July 15 through the Professional Photographers of Oregon that you should check out through the PPO website or facebook page (you don’t have to be a member to go)! There are three different locations for the workshops – Portland, Bend & Bandon (I’ll be at the one in Bandon) & all three will be amazing!

  129. Lanie Sims on June 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    My name is Lanie Sims, I live in a beautiful spot in Perth Weatern Australia. I have been taking portrait photos for about 5 years but only seriously for about two. This year feels like I have grown a lot in my work and am in the process of taking business to the next level, charging appropriately, expanding product range and starting to brand and market myself more. I am finding that taking photos and interacting with clients is the easiest part. it’s the whole trying to create a business and maintain/juggle with the family, kids etc when I am not really sure what I am doing.
    Love your work by the way. Your pearls of wisdom always come at the right time.

  130. Pam on June 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Howdy, I discovered you a few months ago & read your posts & love them. My name is Pam, I live in Albuquerque, and I’m a part-time photographer – full-time mom with my own business. The things you talk about are, at least half of the time, things that I’ve wondered about or had problems with. Thanks so much! I shoot a lot of babies and families, I’m working on doing more high school seniors, and keeping really too busy. My biggest goal? I’m not sure. Maybe keeping it together as my oldest goes to middle school this fall.

  131. Jacqui on June 22, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Hi Jenika! So much love for this blog going on here – all deserved too, it’s helped me out many a time when I’ve got into sticky situations with my business. I just take a moment and think “what would Jenika do?” 😀

    I too am not a photographer per se, I run a retouching and post production service here in Melbourne, Australia. It’s been up and running for about a year now, and luckily I found your blog not long after! I’ve also started to get back into shooting a little after a big confidence knock a few years back, which is really nice. Wasn’t sure I’d ever get the love back again.

    The biggest goal I’m working towards now is to get my business organised, to get processes in place and streamline my workflow. It’s a work in progress, to say the least 🙂

    Keep up the good work!! xx

  132. Jeanine on June 22, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Hi! I’m from Burlington, ON, Canada. I am a beginning photographer. I’ve loved photography since I was a teenager, however, it’s not until recently that I’ve had the courage to pursue it. The main reason I decided to pursue it was due to my disappointment with my wedding photographs, then my child’s first photo session (6 months at a same-day studio). I thought photography was “easy” only to learn that it is much more than a fancy camera (I was as ignorant about photography as the next person before I began shooting for “real”). Slowly I am learning more and more and love the challenge that comes with photography. I love catching “that shot” – the emotion, the moment. I am astonished that others often don’t react to photographs as I do. One day, I’d love to teach photography (I’m also a teacher) but that is probably still out of reach. So, I’ve begun a small business photographing children and families mainly. We’ll see what the future holds though – who knows what will happen!! 🙂 Thanks 🙂 Jeanine from 🙂

  133. Laura Hanis on June 22, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Hi, I’m Laura of Laura Mae Photography and I’m a native of Washington, but now live in Strongsville, OH. I officially started my business this year and I love shooting weddings. I guess I just really want this. I’ve been wanting this for 5 years and finally got the courage last year to begin making it happen. I love that this is a place dedicated to the psychology of photographer’s, because I think my mind might be my biggest hurdle 🙂

  134. Caroline Maryan on June 22, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Hi! I’m actually in the process of moving from Seoul, South Korea to Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. My 5 years in Seoul gave me the time to learn photography and explore ways to turn it into a business. I shoot fine art and stock photography, primarily. I love working with models (I’ve even modeled for myself…) and creating concepts with my shots. I also love shooting travel photography. My return to the States will allow me to take this further. I’m just not altogether sure what direction I will take… Finally, I teach workshops for beginner photographers in Seoul. I absolutely love that!!! I have so much fun playing with my students! They are women from countries all over the world. I teach in English and many of them are just learning the language. I have so much respect for them! I’m going to start a blog to keep up with them, now that I am leaving. Finally, on the subject of that blog, I’m trying to learn the fine art of selling my own photography online. I don’t have a business Facebook page yet, so no link…

  135. Bethney on June 22, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Well I guess I will come out of my lurking hiding place haha. I LOVE your blog and find it so helpful and incredibly well written and interesting.

    1. My name is Bethney and I am located in the Orlando, FL area.

    2. I am currently in the portfolio building stage of starting a business. I LOVE shooting newborns/children/families and I think that is what I would like to specialize in one day.

    3. My short term goal is to achieve better white balance in camera and nail focus more. Of course my long term goal would be to quit my day job and grow a successful photography business.

    Thanks Jenika!

  136. Sandy on June 22, 2012 at 2:53 am

    OK, no more lurking! I’m Sandy Young from Western Michigan – the lower peninsula.

    I’m not sure I want a business yet. At least, not a portrait photography business. I’m doing clients, mostly friends, or friends of friends. And getting busier, but I’m still standing on the fence about it. Not sure I like the posing thing. Not sure I want anything to do with the business aspect. I don’t like standing firm on the prices I know I should be getting. Always feel apologetic, etc. Not sure why. ???

    The biggest goal I’m working toward right now is my post processing skills. I’m reasonable good with shooting images, but my PP sucks yet. Not consistent. Not sure what style I like really. I’m slowly feeling my way. So my goal is that I identify my editing style, and get better at it.

    P.S. I LOVE your posts. They’re really helpful for me. 🙂

    • Tiffany on June 22, 2012 at 3:58 am

      Hi Sandy! I’m from the East side of the state (Ann Arbor). I feel the same way about PP!!! I haven’t found the right “fit” for me yet! We’ll get there! Good luck to you on the west side of the state!

  137. Angela on June 22, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Hi I’m Angela! I’m in Queensland, Australia…and I always LOVE reading your blog! I started my family/children portrait business almost a year ago. My main goal is to market myself more- I really need to get my business name “out there”. I’m always looking for unique ways to find more clients. Thanks so much for everything you post here!

    • Lyndal Forrest on June 22, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Hi Angela, I’m Lyndal from Oz too & also find it difficult to market myself. Whats your business called???? Maybe we could feed off each other as I also have been in the business for only 18 mths. Mine is called Lyndian Images on fb if you care to take a look. 🙂

  138. Julie Whitlock on June 22, 2012 at 3:36 am

    First time caller, long time listener. Wedding photog in Atlantic Canada. Working on carving my own path and leaving happy clients in the wake!!

  139. Kara on June 22, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Love your blog!

    My name is Kara and I’m from the Sioux Falls area in South Dakota. My husband and I are passionate about photography and marketing. Our specialties are wedding and relationship photography because it allows my photo journalistic sensibilities to go nuts! 🙂

    Our biggest goal right now is getting our name out there and booking more weddings. We’re really focusing on marketing and branding right now.

    I would love it if you’d like us on Facebook! Our page is We also have a brand new website ( and blog ( that I would love for people to visit and give feedback on.


  140. Tiffany on June 22, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Hi there! I have been lurking for a few months now (I added a blog feed to my igoogle home page and have been following from there). My name is Tiffany Cornwell and I am from the Jackson/Ann Arbor, Michigan area. I have had T. Marie Photography for two years now and since graduating with my Bachelors in photography have I begun to go legitimately professional (do the whole taxes/license thing). I don’t have a specific focus yet, but I mostly shoot family and young children, which is fine by me because little kids are hilarious!! They always put a smile on my face! And of course, I cannot forget photographing my adorable kitties too 🙂

    I told myself I would never do photography professionally because I didn’t want to get burnt out…but since starting my business, my love for the art has grown exponentially!! I can’t get enough of it!

    Just in the last year I have seen myself grow and get better and better with every shoot. There will always be times where I will compare myself to another photographer and worry if I will ever be as good as he or she, but then I have to remind myself how far I have come!

    Nice to see where everyone is from and to lurk on comments now 🙂

  141. Lauren on June 22, 2012 at 4:12 am

    You’re a brave soul to request comments from your many followers! I’ve recently had a baby and cut back drastically on the photography blogs that I follow…but yours is one that I take the time to keep up with! Not surprising that you’ve gotten such positive feedback from the photography community. Quite a breath of fresh air and honest, insightful comments.

    I’m Lauren Shinn of Shinn Shots Photography located in Sugar Hill, GA. (How’s that for a southern sounding location?) I’ve been in business for 5 years now, but only officially claim 2 of those years since I drastically raised my prices and branded myself part way through. I use a Canon to shoot kids and family portraiture. (Ha! A can(n)on to shoot…)

    My biggest goal right now is balancing the business with life. I recently outsourced my editing which has been a huge time saver and a necessary leap given my new little one. It is challenging to maintain a business where I am the only one who can do the job…and I’m on maternity leave.

    I also am focused on giving my clients the best possible experience from start to finish. Client experience is how I keep clients and gain new ones. I often struggle with the monetary cost of things I want to do to keep my clients feeling valued. Divvying up the funds is a tough one between customer appreciation, equipment, samples, etc.

    Lastly, taking a temporary step back (to have a baby) has allowed my mind space to breath in. I’m slowly turning over new ideas in my head and allowing my creativity some room to expand. I am really interested in moving more towards lifestyle portraiture and finding a way to take my business in that direction, which will involve some struggle with my clients since many of them came to me for more traditional portraits. Not an easy transition since clients are number one for me!

    Once life settles down for me and I can get some more screen time, I hope to be less of a lurker and more of a commenter. Thanks for sharing yourself and your ideas with the rest of us 🙂

  142. Ellie on June 22, 2012 at 4:15 am

    I’m a hardcore Lurker!

    I’m a transplant Kentuckian from Indiana. I’m a WAHM with a part time photography business. I do shoots primarily on the weekends and spend my weekdays editing, working on marketing and taking care of my three wild kiddos. I am officially launching my business on July 1st. Huzzah! I shoot families, children, newborns, maternity, births and lifestyle. I’m trying to get some seniors! My big goals right now are to get my name out there with some serious advertising. I’m constantly working on marketing plans/ideas. I’m ready to execute!

  143. Carrie on June 22, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Lurky here, I catch up on reading posts way late in the day and don’t think anyone would read that far down in comments anyway! I’m Carrie and just starting out. In fact I just applied for my business license and sales tax stuff the day before yesterday. Seniors are what I would really like to focus on for now, and eventually break into the wedding market here in Austin, TX. My biggest goal now is to finish up my logo and get my website together. Great idea getting everyone to come out of hiding! Looking forward to hopefully getting to know a few other newbies…we might need a support group!

    • Jenika on June 22, 2012 at 4:38 am

      I read all the comments 🙂

      Congrats on getting the ball rolling on the legal stuff – it’s an exciting hurdle! 🙂 I’ve been to Austin and loved it – great restaurants as I recall. I had some knock-it-outta-the-park Cuban food. YUM. Ok now I want to go back 😉 Best of luck on finishing your logo/website!!

  144. Allyson Ilardi on June 22, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Hello. I have been Lurking for a while. Commented a few times, but am stuck in such a rut I just like to read and listen. Until recently I have decided to take my photography career, which hasn’t even really started yet after 7 years, into a new direction and focus.

    I thought I wanted to be a family photographer, a true no fanciness, fly on the wall photographer. But, I was reminded of a passion I had that got lost in the shuffle of my life and 3 little kids and am feeling JOY. I want to pursue Birth Photography along with becoming a Birth Educator. Yes, I still want to photograph families but in a whole new, raw way.

    I love families and pregnancies and births and photography and that is that. Now, all I need is to find some good resources on how to get started to becoming a Birth Photographer and how it works with having a young family.

    Thanks for the push to not Lurk!

    • Allyson Ilardi on June 22, 2012 at 4:48 am

      AND, I am De-Lurking from Central Illinois. Originally from NY.

  145. Sanna Griffin on June 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Hey I’ll play too 😉 My name is Sanna Griffin and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I started my portrait photography business last year. I photograph mainly families, children and babies but wouldn’t mind getting some experience on weddings as well. My biggest goal is to keep learning and build up my client base.

    Just want to say your blog is fantastic – lots of good info about the business side of photography. Keep up the good work.

  146. Anastasia on June 22, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Jenika, you are brilliant! I am a regular visitor here and to your Jenika’s Lens website, I absolutely love what you do!
    My name is Anastasia, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I started my business 5 months ago after spending 6 years doing photography as a hobby. I offer wedding photography and family photography services but would like to specialise mostly in weddings later down the track as it gives me so much joy (and adrenaline!) to document those precious moments in my couples lives.
    My biggest business goal currently is to sucessfully market myself and start getting regular bookings so I can rely on income from what I love doing and not spend half of my life stuck in the corporate world. I am also constantly trying to educate myself in both the business and art of photography so my head is always spinning from all the information that is to be processed, so another goal for me is to reorganize my life a bit so I can fit more of photography and less of mundane stuff into every day.

  147. cecile b on June 22, 2012 at 5:47 am

    my name cecile b
    i am in FABULOUS
    i am an emerging portrait photographer: families/kids/couples
    i just started my photography b

  148. cecile b on June 22, 2012 at 5:53 am

    my name cecile b
    i am in FABULOUS las vegas, nv
    i am an emerging portrait photographer: families/kids/couples
    i just started my photography business in april after much contemplation, and enjoying every minute.

    goal: establishing clients for a successful business. by success: have the means to purchase and utilize photography equipment that i want, and to be able to afford the continuing education to improve my photos.

    i am a new subscriber. thanks for sharing some great info!

  149. Caitlyn on June 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Hello…I will come out from undercover! My name is Caitlyn and I live in the boring Midwest. No I don’t live on a farm just in a little town in Iowa. I just changed my business to be only kids and seniors and i am super excited. My goal this summer is to crack down on the business side of things and get some massive business…part of this will start with more confidence. My ultimate job would not to be here in the states but to do something with adoption photography…we will see…i am excited for the future and thankful for this blog! Have a super week!

  150. Kismet Jewell Nakai on June 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I was so happy to find you-I can’t remember how though! It was just nice to find my two favourite subjects combined-psychology and photography. If I wasn’t trying to run my photography business full time, i would be using my MSc in Psych for sure!

    My name is Kismet and I live in India. I have been getting your posts in my email and have enjoyed reading them thoroughly!

    I am trying to get my website and facebook page together (though I have another blog The Unreal Bride I want my photography page to take off!) and I shoot weddings primarily and other stuff like food,interiors etc. Don’t know which direction I want to go in! Isn’t that always the case?

    Happy to be here and read everyone elses stories!:)

  151. Diana on June 22, 2012 at 7:54 am

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located
    Diana Sanderson

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    Company Diana Sanderson Photography
    Shooting children, weddings, Steam trains, Events, Lifestyle

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    Making a successes of my fledgeling business and growing my business. Hardest part for me is mastering the business skills and selling skills towards making me business more successful. Would love posts on the psychology behind closing a deal, making the sale and getting the clients to sign up.

    Thanks for an informative and interesting blog which I have found very helpful since I started following.

  152. Lyndal Forrest on June 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

    My name is Lyndal from Old Bar Australia & I started my photography business 18 months ago. I love shooting newborns, toddlers, children & families… I live in a small coastal town with limited amount of work. I was on the wedding circuit for 1 year but as a newie… didn’t charge enough & got burnout. Thinking of trying again but this time putting up my prices… love reading your blog & placed a link on fb. Thanks for taking the time to read this. x

  153. Matthew Kunce on June 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Hi there. Love your blog. I live in Cedar Rapids, IA. I don’t have a photography business but would like to one day. I like to photograph portraits, tabletop studio, and would like to learn more Photoshop techniques to do compositing. I am self taught by reading, watching videos and practicing.

  154. Diane on June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Hi, another de-lurker here.

    I am Diane from South Yorkshire, UK, and I have been subscribed to your blog feed for some time. I think I found you via Elizabeth Halford.

    I started my photography business over two years ago after losing my job when the company went bust (along with my husband who also worked there), but I have had photography as my hobby for near-on 30 years. I have had to move from landscapes and flowers to learning how to shoot people and pets, but it’s been a slow process due to the tight financial situation we’re in – neither of us have been able to get jobs. Everything at the moment has to be done on a very tight budget, so I haven’t been able to progress as quickly as I would have liked. I’ve been on a few workshops, and read lots online, including this blog, and I think it’s slowly sinking in now.

    My biggest goal would be to learn how to market my business in order to get clients who see the benefits of professional photography – and also to increase my skills in preparing for and managing the sessions so that I can give those clients the top quality images and products they deserve.

  155. Jamie Willmott on June 22, 2012 at 11:58 am


    I’m Jamie from St Helens, UK. I found your blog a couple of months back via Elizabeth Holdford’s blog (who I found via a post on a goldendoodle group on facebook).

    I’ve been into photography for a little over ten years, including a stint working as a portrait photographer at a Venture studio (my other jobs, including the current one have always been software/IT based).

    My main goal is to figure out what I would actually like my ideal job to be so I can start to find a way to get there. I know that it isn’t what I do at the moment.

  156. Lynn Burgher on June 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Jenika, I’ve had a photography business for about 4 years. Started out landscape/fine art, then hesitantly ventured into portraiture, now I’m hooked. I live in both MO and IN and am from MT. When in IN I work at the hospital taking pictures of all the newborns….LOVE! I spend all my time (and money) trying to educate myself. I love learning everything photography. I studied psychology for years and thought that I would do something in that field but life took me down different paths and when I found you “psychology for photographers” I was beyond excited. Psychology and Photography….together….perfect!

  157. Jennifer on June 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Jenika,

    Love your blog, I think i first found it through Elizabeth Halford’s In Plain English. I have to admit I often post links to your blog post on a popular photography forum.

    So about me, I am Jennifer, I live just outside of New Orleans, although I grew up in the city. I am techancically in business, but it really is in its infancy and my first two paying clients are not until next month.

    I greatly appreciate all the great advice you giver here.



  158. Regina Marie on June 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hello, darling. I’m not really a “lurker”, but it’s been a while since I checked in!

    So… I’ll cover it again…

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located
    I’m Regina Marie (Steed-Ford), and I’m currently in North Fort Myers, FL… though by the end of the summer I’ll be in the FL Keys.

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    This is actually some of my issues… I have been playing with different kinds of photography. Where I am now, I found my calling (glamour/beauty photography) and a group of amazing women that have been being my inspiration, cheerleaders and also referral sources! But with the move, I’m also thinking of getting into vacation/destination photography and I don’t know how to do them both, as they’re two totally different business models!!! And yes, I do have a business, though it’s really small and fairly unestablished at this point.

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    My biggest goal is finding a better boat for my family and I to live aboard (yes, we live on our sailboat). And getting to Key West. I want to try to get a business going down there so I can work toward my 5 year plan of working 6 months and sailing the Caribbean 6 months each year…

    Whew… Anyway, sorry I haven’t been around as much lately. But I get the blog to my email and haven’t missed one, even when I couldn’t get to the internet to share! You’re amazing darling, Keep up the great work!!!

  159. MikeC366 on June 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Response #2764:
    Hi there Jen, been reading you for a little while now. Some interesting things you have to say. I don’t always agree with you but always find your point of view interesting.

    I’m Mike from raining and blustering Doncaster in England.

    I tend to mainly focus on landscape and street photography being the most easily accessible. However business wise, I see a gap in the market over here in the UK in regards to pet photography. So I’m looking in to that area.

    As for goals, by biggest one is to overcome my binge eating disorder. It’s only in the last few weeks that I have discovered it as the cause of my long term depression. Consequently my 2nd largest goal is to lose 10st.

    Keep us the great work you do here.


  160. Starla Wise on June 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Jenika, I am a newborn photographer in Northern California, (East Bay Area between Sac and San Fran) My goal right now is to market (This is sort of my Grand Opening Year)
    I read your blog EVERYDAY, when there is nothing new I read something old! Your insight, advice, and most importantly your delivery is Fantastic!!
    Thank You

  161. Starla on June 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Sorry if this is a second entry but the blog gave me an error the first time?!
    My Name is Starla
    I am a Newborn Photographer in Northern California (East Bay Area, between Sac and San Fran)
    My biggest goal right now is to establish my business (I am in grand opening mode and trying to market)
    I absolutely LOVE your blog. I read it everyday (when there isn’t something new, I read something old!)
    Your insight, advice, and most of all your delivery is fantastic!
    Thank You Jenika!

  162. Peggy/ on June 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Jenika –

    Although I’m officially not a lurker, having posted a couple of times, I thought I’d chime in with my own 2 cents : )-

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located
    I am Peggy Mundell of Pet Photography. Based out of Southern California (Santee, in San Diego’s East County).

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    I started shooting as a hobby some 30 years ago (sports photography in high school, “Ally Art” in my 20s and now I’ve merged my two passions: pets and photography. I specialize in dogs – studio portraits and dog shows, but I love turning my camera on all species. In Feb 2009 I started and I supplement my income as a massage therapist.

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    My current goals are to increase my average sale order and to attract more clients (for photos and for dog show advertising work). My first in-person sales session is being scheduled – it might even be happening tomorrow (waiting on the client’s return email)! I am very excited at this prospect, thanks to Jenika and this blog!

    • Alisa Hayes on June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Jenika!

      1.My name is Alisa Hayes and I am located in Central Oregon. I am a wife, mother, third grade teacher and photographer.

      2. I launched “Alisa Hayes Photography” a year ago this August. It has been a year and the learning curve has been HUGE (in the best way). Due to the fact that I am a teacher I am seeing a huge trend in my love for taking images of children, I just love it. I am giving myself time and exposing myself to all different genres of photography, hoping to nail down my style in the process.

      3. The biggest goal for myself is to become CONSISTENT! Plain and simple, I want to produce the same crisp, clear wonderful photographs every. single. time.

      THank you so much for your amazing resource… I just love it: )

  163. Rebecca on June 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I’m Rebecca Peifer and I live in the mountains of western North Carolina. I do not currently have an business, but would like to once I find the confidence to take that step! I’ve shot weddings, maternity, birth, newborns, kids, families, portraits, and more over the last many years. I’ve been paid for some of it and do a lot of it out of my own interest. My current goals include completing a 366 project on my 18 month old and learning everything I can about setting up a strong photography business so that when I am ready to take the leap, I have the resources and confidence at hand!

    • Rebecca on June 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      I should add that I’ve really appreciated stumbling upon your blog and being encouraged to de-lurk! I also like the idea of having 30 minutes to talk with someone who may be able to help me process some of my photography business thoughts and decisions. 🙂

  164. Stephanie Madeline on June 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Jenika! Love your posts and all of your insight. I’m Stephanie Madeline from NJ and I’ve been specializing in pet photography for about a year and a half. I’ve been marketing like crazy since I redid my branding. I guess my biggest goal right now is to reach my target market.

  165. Tessa Stuckey on June 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Hi!! My name is Tessa and I am a boudoir photographer in the Houston, TX area! I am a new business owner but a lifetime photographer! Still getting things going! I’m absolutely loving the excitement of this new journey! Thank you for this de-lurking opp! I have many goals but right now my goal for the rest of the summer is to continue exploring my style and establish myself a little bit better as a business owner! Ready to get this thing kick started and running! Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂 (i love feedback/critique..i can take it well!)

  166. Miah on June 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Hello! I’m from Dallas, and I started my business officially in May. My big goal that I’m working toward is making my first sale 🙂 Thanks so much Jenika for all your encouragement!

  167. Guy on June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Hi, I’m Guy and I spend the summers in the Chicago area and the winters on the Gulf Coast near Tampa, Fl. I am a retired social worker and mainly an outdoor photographer. I love taking pictures of flowers and places that I visit although I will play around with taking pictures of almost anything except weddings. I post lots of my pictures on Facebook and am in the process of setting up a blog. I don’t have a business although I do make some of my pictures into cards. I would like to develop that into a business. My major goal right now is to continue to improve my pictures by practice shooting

  168. Ana on June 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Hello, my name is Ana. I am originally from Brazil but Bahamas has been my home for the last 20 years.
    I have been taking pictures for a while but decided to take it more seriously about 3 years ago. One year ago I left my banking job to follow my passion full time.
    It has been challenging but really happy with my choice: creating a business, building my clientele and finding better ways to please them, improving skills, fine running techniques, the whole nine yards.

    I do portraits and love to capture families, children and animals. For easier inflow, I also freelance for other photographers covering large events.
    As I establish myself a little more I want to get into artistic nudes.

    The biggest goal I am working towards now is to finish my website (to outsource or not on photo editing?) in order to put myself “out there”. Ah, also, trying find a way to balance my life being a mom and working from home.

    Love your blog, learned a lot since I found you through Elizabeth Halford Photography.


  169. Tammy on June 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Tammy, Ata-Girl Photography Co., South Texas

    I primarily shoot sporting events, but also do portrait sessions and events (weddings, parties, births, etc.)

    My biggest goalSSSSS right now are:
    1) Getting booked for more events
    2) Pushing my brand hard… to get booked for more events
    3) Networking with other photographers to establish myself as an “expert” with my customer base and situate my business with like minded people… to get booked for more events

    I’m just looking for ways to market myself, network with others of similar skill and experience, gain credibility with my customer base, help others gain credibility, make friends and have fun.

    I’ve only been following your blog for a while, but do enjoy it! It provides valuable insight.


  170. Ana on June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Hello, my name is Ana and I live in the Bahamas.
    I have been taking pictures for a while but decided to take it more seriously about 3 years ago. One year ago I left my banking job to follow my passion full time.
    It has been a challenging but really happy with my choice: creating a business, building my clientele and finding better ways to please them, improving skills, fine running techniques, the whole nine yards.

    I do portraits and love to capture families, children and animals. For easier inflow, I also freelance for other photographers covering large events. Want to get into artistic nudes.

    The biggest goal I am working towards now is to finish my website (to outsource or not on photo editing?) in order to put myself “out there”. Ah, also, trying find a way to balance my life being a mom and working from home.

    Love your blog, learned a lot since I found you.


  171. Karen Galli on June 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hi! I’m Karen Galli in Scottsdale, AZ. I started my family photography business in April 2011. Right now I’m working on taking photos everyday, making connections, and learning ad much as I can 🙂 love your blogs!

  172. Allison on June 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm


    I adore your words of wisdom & hope anyone just starting out takes them to heart!! I read every post.

    I run a boutique newborn photography business just outside of Houston, Tx. I love babies & kids & feel happiest photographing their details & nuances. I struggle with work/life balance (who doesn’t;)), taking on too much, organization, and setting and following my own policies. I love to change my Collection prices & offerings way too often just to see what clients choose. I worry I might drive my clients nuts with my tendency to make changes so often! I’d love your advice on being more consistent in my business practices.

    Thank you for all you do!! Xoxoxo Allison

  173. lynsey forbes on June 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    hello!! new fan here. I live in Scotland and am currently trying to build my portfolio with a view to starting a small business. Im focusing on mainly children and families for the time being.

  174. Carrie Teutenberg on June 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Hey Jenika!

    We spoke by email the other day! But I figured I would “de-lurk” anyway!

    This is my 2nd year in business. I am in St Catharines, ON Canada. I am looking to get a more steady stream of clients and always upgrading my skills!

    Love your blog!

  175. Liz Ruest on June 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    What a delightful way to pull us out of the shadows! I’m Liz in the Pacific NW — I use my photography as the basis for my digital collage, a tiny business that I’m working on growing without losing balance. I appreciate the psychology angle and the acknowledgement that building a business is tricky stuff. Thanks!

  176. Tiffany on June 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Tiffany/South Carolina

    Currently shoot events, bridal showers, family..started out as hobby shoot at church events, people have viewed my work and requested sessions so I’ve moving toward the business side of things.
    The biggest goal you’re working toward right now is turning this into a profession, learning my camera and learning my shoots styles. i want to be able to shoot with little to no editing.

  177. Ed Runyon on June 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm


    First off I really appreciate all the great advise you give here on this site.
    I am from Grand Rapids Michigan
    I shoot a Canon T1i, currently using a Tamron 17-55 f2and Canon 100mm f2.4. I have a glorified hobby for a business. I have a website but still working on gaining more shoots. Right now it’s just fun and cheap! Here is the link to my site:

    I could think of several things for a goal, so I will focus on Photography goals. I am really trying to gain more knowledge of Light, and ways to change my shooting styles. I am trying to find more time to play with low key photography, I love how it looks when done well. I would love to do a nice low key shot for the wedding I will be doing this year.

  178. Nicole Cross on June 23, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I’ve commented only once before so I figured I would lower my lurk status and comment. My name is Nicole and I live in San Francisco. I studied photojournalism, so I have shot a lot of different assignments, but since school I have been focusing on lifestyle portraiture, weddings and food.
    I don’t officially have business, so working on a plan and figuring out the logistics is my biggest goal right now. I went from full time to part time at my office job at the beginning of this month to have more time to work on my business, luckily everyone I work with has been very supportive. I’m also adjusting to working at home (I’m extremely extroverted) and to trying to wrap my head around everything I need to do and learn.
    Thanks for all your thoughtful posts!

  179. Lisa Keeney on June 23, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I’m Lisa Keeney from Chesapeake, VA. I am a full time photographer and shoot kids and families (mostly with small children). I began my photography career by shooting weddings and still take on a handful of small weddings a year. My husband and I have four kids and I developed gestational diabetes with the last two, so the biggest goal I’m working towards now is to get off the sugar!

  180. Angela Cardenas on June 23, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Hello! My name is Angela wedding and portrait photographer from NYC. I’m a graphic designer and also working as a freelancer in the field. One of my goals is to hopefully book more clients this year and make photography my FT job. Also, learn how to market my business better, which is where I need to work on the most because Social media and word of mouth is not enough. Thanks! Ang*

  181. Chance on June 23, 2012 at 4:13 am

    What a great idea! Because I read most of the blogs I follow through Google Reader, I’m a notorious lurker. At least once a day I find myself thinking “I should comment on that post,” but then I move on and forget to come back.

    1) I’m Chance and I shoot in the Washington, DC area.
    2) I shoot portraits, landscapes, and architecture with my D90. I’ve just barely started to make money at it, so I my business is still new.
    3) Biggest goal: growing my client list!

  182. kamm on June 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Howdy Jenika!!

    I love lurking on your site! 😀 This is my favorite blog, and my heart flutters every time I see it pop up in my Google reader! I normally see a new post, and make a cup of coffee, and take my time to read every word presently. You are a goldmine of information, and I am so thankful that you share it with the world!

    I’m Kamm, from the Chicago suburbs. I’ve been shooting for about 10 years, for the enjoyment of creating, and in the last few years really had a goal of starting a photography business.

    I’ve only worked with family and friends so far (maybe that’s the problem) doing portraits and product shots, and most of those experiences have been horrible! When I finally found your site, I read back through and felt like EVERY POST was written for me!!

    Not charging enough? Yes, that’s me.
    Avoidance? Pshhttt, everyday!
    Feeling ‘not worth it’? Often.
    Taking critique personally? How could they say that?! It’s perfect!
    Photographing friends and never speaking to them again? Several times.
    Feeling like crap from internet meanness? Yep.
    Facebook sharing woes? Me.
    Working for free? Ugh.
    Without a contract? ::hanging head::

    I’ve had such a struggle not even being an official business, that I’m scared to death of actually going through the whole process if what I’ve experienced so far is what it will be like. I haven’t done a shoot in months, and I’ve been dragging my feet on the business ‘to do’ list because I’m paralyzed with fear of failing.

    Biggest goal right now: Getting over the fear, and having small successes that keep me moving forward.

    Your blog helps so many people!! You should be so proud looking through all these comments from all over the world!!! 😀 I appreciate you sooooo much!! You’re the best!
    Thanks for listening,


  183. ErinLeigh on June 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Jenika, my name is ErinLeigh! I live in Murray, UT and do shoots in SLC & Utah County mostly. Sometimes in HI when I go visit. I love shooting nature- that’s where my passion for photography started, but I am starting to get into Lifestyle photography. I have done a few weddings and family shoots, one maternity shoot and I have a newborn shoot coming up around the corner. I am trying to start my business, and a.n.y. advice would be absolutely lovely! I am trying to get into second shooting for a few people to gain more experience and to learn more techniques. My biggest goal is to have my business up and running succesfully by this time next year…which means I need to learn how to market myself something fierce! I want to learn how to get a good rapport with my clients, so that we are super comfortable and have a fun no awkwardness shoot…I am trying to get into the He Said She Said Workshop in Raleigh, NC in August, that would probably help so much. I read forums and watch tutorials, if you have any advice/critique I will gladly take it.

    pee.ess. iloveyourblog! seriously, it’s great! thanks so much for taking the time to help those you don’t even know! You’re awesome!

  184. Jules (Julie) Kenward on June 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    1) I’m Jules and I live in Kansas City, Missouri.

    2) I don’t have a business yet but am hoping to get there in a few years. I’m still trying to discover what area of photography I love most. I primarily shot nature images from 2008 until recently but have now turned my attention towards city/architectural images (’cause I love the graphic look of them!)

    3)My biggest goal right now is to photograph all the great places around Kansas City in order to find my groove in architectural photography. I’ve also bought some studio equipment and have been tinkering with it as well. My goal is to learn both natural lighting, on camera flash and off camera flash so I can control my lighting in any situation.

  185. Melanie on June 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    1. I’m Melanie from Omaha, Nebraska.
    2. I just started my business and have been busy trying to keep up in just my warm market! I love capturing memories in families and kids, newborns, teenagers, the works!
    3. My biggest goal is overcoming the fear of failure and gaining confidence. I am on a hunt for a local mentor since I’m kind of pushing my way through this adventure on my own. I’m excited for some workshops I have lined up this summer. Right now I live and breathe photography, so I know I have the passion to become successful! 🙂

  186. Melissa Skorpil on June 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Hello! I’m a big fan of your site. Thanks for bringing up the tough topics that we face as photographers (pricing, customer satisfaction, inspiration) and helping us to see a deeper dimension to our craft.
    I am a commercial and food photographer in Austin, TX. I’ve been photographing for two years, after leaving a corporate banking job of 11 years. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life and am looking forward to honing my skills and business.

  187. ashley matteo on June 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    hey, im a lurker. a recent lurker. i think i found you through elizabeth halford. anyways, im grateful for your info. i am just starting out. i do have a business but im not really marketing myself much yet because i am still in a learning phase. my goal for now is to improve on my consistency and on another note to get a professional looking blog and facebook page up and running by september. im taking an online class in july about wordpress so hope that helps. one of my main reasons to actually start charging for my services is to help give back to the missionaries my family and i support. i am a stay at home mom so our income has been cut which makes it harder to give. with my business i am giving 25% of all my profits to one of 3 missionaries (i switch quarterly between the 3). thanks again

  188. Alisha Norman on June 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Jenika!

    Still loving your page! Still in Killeen, Texas (next to Ft, Hood).

    Focus: Children & Families, been in business about a year and a half now!

    Goal: Make happy clients and get referrals!

  189. Georganna on June 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Jenika-
    Today was the first time I visited your site. I came over from a video I was watching from Elizabeth Halford. I’m very happy I did! My name is Georganna and I live in Chandler, Arizona. I just recently started shooting (I got my camera in December 2011) and have taken an on-line class and have taken a couple day classes from professionals. I have two young sons, so right now that is what I am shooting and enjoying the challenge. My biggest goal right now is to have consistency in my shooting and creating more opportunities for practice sessions.

  190. Marie on June 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Well, I am only a semi-lurker but a total fan, so….
    –Marie from Denton, Texas
    –An aspiring photographer, still skill building (I don’t have a photography FB page or site); yes, I would someday like to sell my photography.
    –My long-term goals include PPA certification and earning the title of Master Photographer.
    –My short-term goals center around the power of images: understanding it, employing it, sharing it.
    Don’t know that this helps at all, but there it is.
    Hope you enjoyed a lovely vacation!

  191. Shelby on June 24, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Hi Jenika! Well my name is Shelby, and I’m a photographer in Wyoming. I shoot just about everything, but my passion is in senior and engagement photos. My current goal is trying to establish myself as a specialized photographer. The problem is that my two passions are pretty different! So currently the hard part is making a website and marketing campaigns that do double duty AND go hand-in hand! Thank you so much for being more than just plain awesome, but awesome with some caramel and sprinkles too! 🙂

  192. Megan Hodge on June 24, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Hi! I am Megan and I am a family photographer in the Corpus Christi, TX {Sth TX}. I have been in business for about a year. Weddings and Seniors are my favorite sessions. My main goal is to keep learning and keep growing. I love photography so much. Started with a Frisher-Price Camera.

  193. Jeet on June 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Why HELLO there Jenika 🙂

    I’m Jeet, currently in Dubai, U.A.E.

    I like to think of myself as a hobbyist photographer, using the camera whenever I get the time from my desk-warrior job and family – weekends, get-togethers, etc. I probably inherited the hobby from my dad when he gave me my first camera – it was a 24-exposure-cartridge using, unbranded, autofocus P&S with a lever for ‘Normal’ or ‘Panoramic’ (top n bottom cut off) shots. Having progressed through various hand me downs and my own high-zoom P&S, I currently use a Canon DSLR with a few lenses.
    Having re-found my hobby after some time off, I use it as an outlet, as my expression, as a means of getting rid of stress and a lot of other things, in addition to taking lots of snapshots. It makes me feel ‘free’. Dunno if this makes sense.

    I can use the camera in manual modes, and mostly prefer Tv to avoid shakes and blurs. There’s a lot I would like to achieve, starting with slowing down and thinking a shot through before pressing the trigger fully. I still take most pics as snapshots, and I KNOW I can do better.

    And I really appreciate the chance to read this blog.
    (I’m prolly late in replying, as I’m ‘offline’ on weekends)

  194. Teri on June 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I’m Teri Klinger from the burbs of Philly, so southeastern PA
    I’m a wedding & portrait photographer
    My biggest goal is to book more weddings. I’ve got a great niche for Seniors & families, but looking for more weddings.

    thanks for all you do – it’s much appreciated! 🙂

  195. Teri on June 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    p.s. I’m not sure why my comment linked to “Teri recently posted”. Sorry! I wasn’t trying to market, it did it on it’s own!


  196. Sara Barnett on June 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m Sara Barnett and I live in O’Fallon, Illinois which is just outside of St. Louis. I am not in business and have no intention to start. I am working on my PhD so I don’t have a lot of time for my hobby, but when I shoot right now I am working on posing/composition.

  197. Maureen on June 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Maureen,Boston, Nikon D90, Serious armature. I shoot my kids, sports, family. I even teach an intro class which I will be offering again. I would love to start doing this part time, but my biggest issues right now: posing & patients, I always feel like I need to rush, that I am bothering people. I know if I don’t slow down, I can’t get the shots that I want. Also I want a new lens, and can only afford an off brand one, and have heard such mixed reviews I can’t move. I have the 50 1.8 and thought I wanted the 85 1.8 but a recent indoor event made me realize that I should get the 24-70 2.8 but can’t justify the cost of then nikon. My third thing is post processing. I like a good image sooc and a light touch in post, but haven’t really figured out my style in that area. thanks for asking, hope you had a great vacation!

  198. sarah on June 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I’m Sarah, and I’m in Helsinki, Finland.

    I’m a natural light portrait photographer. I have a business- Pikku Arkki Valokuvaus : Little Ark Photography.

    Right now I want to be solvent. I finally want to be in the black…

    Love your site! Thanks so much for starting this blog! I have so much to learn about the business end of things (not to mention, always improving my craft!)

  199. Briana Gray on June 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Hi there! I’ve really enjoyed getting your blogs, they’ve been very helpful and enjoyable to read =)

    1) I’m Briana Gray with Shades Of Gray Photography and I’m in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

    2)I’m on my 4th year of owning my own photography business. I do all types of portrait sessions and weddings, although my main focus is on weddings.

    3) The biggest goal I’m working on now is building a sustainable business that allows maximum time with our family while still financially supporting us. My husband is planning on quitting his job at the end of the year and we will both be doing this together full time!!!!

  200. guinevere on June 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    (this may be late but..)My name is guin, and i live in liverpool, england. Atm i’m exploring all different kinds of photography in an attempt to learn and explore all my skills. I don’t own a business but i have set up a blog to go alongside my photography( and i am in the process of setting up a website to sell prints of my work.

    my biggest goal in life right now is to get to university tho im not sure whether i want to study psychology or photography
    my photography goal atm is just to improve and improve til i am atleast 95 percent of the time producing images that i love and hopefully other people do too 🙂

  201. Diana on June 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Hi! My name is Diana. Recently I relocated from Cleveland, OH to Houston, TX. I’ve been photographing families, weddings, and anything that came my way since the summer of 2010! But I’ve been specializing in Weddings and families for a year now. One of my goals as of right now is to market myself in my new city! Another of my goals for this year is to create a new brand and update my website! 🙂 Thanks!

  202. Diane Wallis on June 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Hi I am Diane and I live in Australia. I love photographing babies and children. Had enough to give it serious practice.. lol.. It is now grand-babies and friends of friends. Once I thought I really wanted this to be my business but just don’t have either the confidence or maybe ability!! so just continue to shoot the grand-babies on a regular (ok daily) basis and think that maybe one day I will have to grow up and seriously give some thought to what I want to be!!!!

  203. Amanda Hansen on June 25, 2012 at 12:06 am

    My name is Amanda, I live in Southwest Wyoming. I discovered you by a miracle. I wasn’t going to purchase the “Sales without shame”, because I felt I have spent too much money already on my business. But I am so glad I did. I want to shoot mostly babies and children. Struggling with balance between home and business. We’ve already been in contact for some one-on-one. I can’t wait. Thank you!

  204. George Powell on June 25, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I’m a photography addict who got started way to late, but it has no bearing on my enthusiasm. I shoot a Nikon D7000 and keep my D90 in the bag so as to not open either body when pursuing nature! I enjoy shooting portraiture, nature, landscape and macro. I never leave my home without at least one of the cameras within reach and have been fortunate to get a few shots I would not have had the opportunity to shoot if I didn’t subscribe to this philosophy. Turning 66 this year has caused me to not pursue the “business” aspect of my passion once I retire, but I will shoot until unable to do so because of physical constraints, and I enjoy your blog!!

  205. Kate on June 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Kate from Boston, MA. I don’t have a business yet, but I’m hoping to get started soon. I love shooting portrait, newborn, toddler and families. I’ve been doing photos for some friends and family members for practice and portfolio building. I work full time in another profession altogether, and my goal is to get things going by the start of next year. Right now I’m working on getting all of my research done, and your site has been an absolute godsend! Keep up the good work!

  206. Erin S. on June 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Great idea! =)

    1 – Erin, Newport Beach, CA & Arlington, TX
    2 – I’ve spent the last 3 years doing portrait and event photography, but am currently transitioning to food styling/photography.
    3 – I’m in a goal-setting phase for the new direction of my business.

    Thanks for your articles. They’re always helpful. =)

  207. Amanda on June 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    My name is Amanda. I have dabbled in photography for several years. Some for profit but mostly for practice. I’ve had experience with lots of different venues. My baby is going to Kindergarden in the fall so I am looking to kickstart the business side more seriously. I love outdoor natural photography whatever the venue. I do edit some but not too much to change the originality of what I see. I am trying to branch out and try new things. And to soak up as much knowledge as possible. I’m very overwhelmed! Daily! I live in a small town in southeast Georgia!

  208. Michelle McDaid on June 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    1) Michelle McDaid – Sacramento-ish, CA

    2) Memories by Michelle photography. I shoot mainly families, children, newborns.

    3) Biggest goal I am working on right now is quitting my day job which is quite literally affecting my health, and completely transitioning the direction of my life. Which includes, among many other things, being a full-time photographer.

  209. Brad on June 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Name: Brad Stillwell, West Texas.

    Skill: Freelance automotive photography. I’d love to do it full time, but I live in real’ville. 🙂

    Goal: I’d love to get on with a major automotive publication and shoot cars and trucks full time. I’m up to 7 published features, but I’m always looking to increase that number. I figure that’s not too bad for a freelancer.

  210. Lauren Lopez de Azua on June 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    My name is Lauren Lopez de Azua- or just Lauren Lopez. 🙂 I live in Atlanta, GA. I do have a small photography business which I started last year after five years of freelance and studio shooting.

    After a really successful senior portrait summer, I had to take a break and focus on finishing up my degree- beginning a small business while finishing school proved nearly impossible on top of a family- besides, I lacked focus and marketed myself as a generalist, “specializing” in everything.

    As of midnight tomorrow, I am finished with college and my number one goal is my business. The break I took proved worthwhile because I have clarity and focus for what it is that I want to do with my photography- contemporary portrait. Re-shooting a focused portfolio and developing a clear business plan and marketing strategy are at the forefront of my goal list and I am SO thrilled to be back with more passion than ever.

    I am new to this blog but I see there are great things happening here and I am looking forward to continued reading and sharing!

    ~Lauren Lopez Portrait

  211. Ashley on June 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    1) I’m Ashley Heim and located in Sioux City Iowa
    2) I started my business about 4 years ago. I’m young, 25, and am taking things slow at the moment. I also co-direct a daycare and am attending college.

    3) The biggest goal at the moment is slowly aligning myself with businesses that have my same target market.

  212. Ashley on June 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    OH..I forgot to mention I shoot children, families and boudoir. My son (almost 2 years) really makes me want to specialize in just children’s photography.

  213. Dianna Cullen on June 26, 2012 at 1:43 am

    After loving photography and taking pictures since I was 12, I decided at 43 to take the plunge and do it professionally. Did my first wedding yesterday and rocked it, if I do say so myself. I read your blog through my rss reader and am a little behind but wanted to tell you that I find a lot of good advise from your blog. Thank so much!

  214. Dianna Cullen on June 26, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Oops, I live in Newport, RI

  215. Amy Lemaniak on June 26, 2012 at 1:54 am

    My business is Ten Tiny Toes Photography and it just turned THREE years old, yay! I work out of my home studio which is located in a suburb of St. Paul, MN. Just over a year ago I quit my day job to do this full time and so far, so good!

    I LOVE the business side of things and so my biggest goal is to continue to hone in on my niche of maternity, newborn and baby’s first year photography and grow my client base.

    LOVE your blog!

  216. laura on June 26, 2012 at 2:08 am

    hi jenika 🙂 my name is laura – located in abq, new mexico. i currently have a business, shooting engagements, maternity, newborns, kids, families, and boudoir and also volunteer my time doing pet photography at a local no-kill shelter and a rescue as well. my biggest goal right now? build my business. i’ve put in the time and effort into building my style, being comfortable behind the lens and in what i produce…
    i hope your trip is fab! you’ll be swamped with blog comments for sure!

  217. Beryl Young on June 26, 2012 at 2:45 am

    De-lurking — sort of! I was a commenter when you first opened shop but I haven’t been around much in awhile. So here I am! I love your intention here and I agree it’s so important to know the faces behind the fans. I’m Beryl, photography teacher who is teaching mamas to embrace their cameras and truly allow them to nourish their mind, body, and soul with photography. I want to empower them, hand them they confidence they need to shoot out of auto and allow them to explore photography as a beautiful way to heal the soul and explore self-care through imagery. My biggest challenge right now – BALANCE! I teach others how to seek balance but then fail to find it for myself. In any event I wanted to share – I was a psychology major in collage, I am a teacher by trade, and a photographer by passion. Love what you offer here, thanks for encouraging us to share!

  218. Blaire Ring on June 26, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Hi Jenika!

    I’m Blaire, born and raised on Long Island, NY, but have been in Northern Virginia for the past 5 years and 10 months (but who’s counting?) I have been a hobbyist *forever*, but today I officially announced publicly that I am moving in a professional direction!! I’m super excited but equally, if not more so, nervous. My primary interest is in food photography, but I’ve been really enjoying boutique-style photography for Etsy shops and lifestyle photography. I also love landscapes, particularly in B&W. No interest at all in shooting weddings and those kinds of bigger venues. My FB is 🙂

    My biggest goal right now would have to be, working on my confidence and feeling like a “real” photographer. Is that weird?

  219. Amandalynn Jones on June 26, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Hiya! My name is Amandalynn, I live in Middleton WI where my husband and I just bought our first house 🙂

    I’ve been a working photographer for 6 years, and have a college background in Fine Art. I run a business that focuses on all forms of portraiture, but I also do freelance commercial/corporate and documentary photography by assignment. I also volunteer for photography orgs: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, The FILM Project, Flashes of Hope, and am the lead organizer for my area’s Help-Portrait. In short, I keep myself pretty busy!

    Biggest goal right now is organization in all forms. Mental, environmental, personal, & business. When I’m organized I feel like I’m really on top of things in my life & work… when I’m not I fall through on projects and let my standards slide. Unfortunately it is a very hard habit for me to solidify.

  220. Fayth on June 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Hey there, my name is fayth. Im 32 years old and do have my own photography business…Your blog is one of my favorites i have EVER read. Every post really speaks to be both professionally and personally. Mostly I struggle with the balance of this business and my life of motherhood and wifing. An even bigger struggle for me is finding what area oh photography do i truly want to invest myself. I have been in business going on 3 years now and I have done everything from newborns, to weddings, to corporate events to real estate. I cant seem to decide what my niche is. I love a different part of everything! I love the variety but i know that is not the smartest option. Anyways, thank you for all you do!

  221. Mette on June 27, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I wish I got this many comments on my blog posts… 🙂 Love your blog!
    1. I am Mette from Norway, living in China, moving to Abu Dhabi in a matter of weeks.
    2. I shoot family and kids&babies portraits so yes, I have a business. (scary thing to say still…) And I do a lot of street photography for my own pleasure and for my blog.
    3. My goal is to have my very own studio soon. I have most of the equipment, just lacking the space at the moment.

  222. Becci Ames on June 27, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Hi! I’m Becci Ames. I live in Durham, NC. I’ve been a wedding photographer for four years and really need to hone my marketing skills. Oh, and make myself believe I can charge more.
    p.s. I love your blog and frequent it quite often.

  223. Melissa on June 27, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I’m Melissa Haws. I do want a business but something is keeping me from just doing it. My biggest goal right now is to be able to learn to capture subjects at a photo shoot comfortably. How do I get them to feel at ease and me to feel at ease, and loose the awkward. And to be able to feel ok with calling myself a photographer and not feel like a fake.

  224. Frank on June 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    1) I am Frank and I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    2) I have plans for a business, shooting portraits, weddings, products and the lot. (I know I should focus)
    3) Starting a business, part time or full time, in photography, enjoying it a lot.
    It seems me and Doug are the only males here. Wonder why …
    Greetings to you,
    read your posts with joy since one week!

  225. Debs on June 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I’ll de-lurk too 🙂

    I live in England and I’ve been in love with photography for a few years. I shoot mainly portraits and still life and I shoot mainly for fun (though I’ve done a couple of photo-shoots as prizes in school and village raffles and been commissioned to take still life shots which are hung in a few places)

    I’m very happy in my own profession, I’m a part time Optometrist and mum to two young boys, but I would love to set up a photography business and divide my time between optometry and photography.

    My husband is setting me up a website (it’s what he does for a living so I may as well make the most of him!)

    I have two goals at the moment. The first is finishing my Masters, and the second is taking the plunge and actually creating the life I want. It’s so much safer to keep photography as a hobby 😉

    Thank you for producing such a lovely site by the way. I often find your advice – though aimed at photographers – translates into my ‘real’ job!

  226. Angie on June 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Hi 🙂 My name is Angie and I am from Kentucky. I do photography as a hobby. I stumbled across this blog while searching for more ways to better myself in photography.I have so enjoyed all the info you give! I have learned a lot. So I am one of those “Lurkers” :)I visit your site everyday seeking new information!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  227. Catherine on June 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hi 🙂 I’m Catherine, I’m from South Africa. Well, I’m getting paid to do family portraits, and to help bulk up modelling portfolios. I’d like to do more conceptual work. I really love fashion photography… I’m in the process of designing my website.
    I’m working towards creating films and web series. But I’d rather write and act than direct or be the cinematographer. I also want to create music (I sing).
    Can I consider myself de-lurked?
    Also, it’s quite late at night here. Words aren’t… I’ve just… I’ve forgotten how to use them.

  228. Ashley Votaw on June 28, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Ashley Votaw with AVEnue Photography here! I’m located in Edmond, Oklahoma. First (real) year in the business and just learning the ins and outs of owning your own small business. I love shooting people, primarily wedding related and am trying to gain my confidence with Wedding Photography. Current struggle/goal: Taxes!! It’s so confusing and so scary. Also struggling with legal documents such as contracts. Love your blog. Thanks for the awesome advice and generosity of your knowledge!

  229. Bob Kubiak on June 28, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Hi Jenika,
    I have been operating my business full time for 2 years. I shoot portraits, and Weddings. Even though I thoroughly enjoy capturing Weddings my subjects of choice are infants.
    What I really need is to develop a more productive marketing plan and develop a stronger business sense. Also find myself questioning the quality of my work, especially when the clients aren’t breaking down the door to schedule sessions.
    So, I suspect there are several areas I am hoping to improve upon. I have learned much from your posts and look forward to more of the same in the months ahead.

  230. Tatum Hartvigsen on June 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located
    Tatum Hartvigsen- Eastern Nebraska

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?)
    Newborn, child, family, senior

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    Grow the business but not be overwhelmed.

  231. Jenn on June 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I’m Jenn…I live in lil ole Delaware, I am a newbie, self taught, photographer. A mommy of 2 (2yrs, and 3 months) and a pediatric, mommy baby, neaonatal RN ;0)

    Been learning and playing with photography for less that 2 yrs, I guess I have a business since I get paid to photograph ;0) I still have lots to learn! My goal would be to grow my business into a higher end boutique so I dont t overwhelmed…only shoot what I want…. and have all the time in the world for my sweet daughters!

    Oh yea… I shoot EVERYTHING…. but only want to be doing Maternity, Newborn, children

  232. Jenna on June 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Hello Jenika!

    First off, I love your blog. I can totally relate as I earned a business degree and then went on to study a masters in counseling, so all the psychology stuff really hits home. I LOVE how you connect it to photography, one of my other favorite things 🙂

    1) Your name and whereabouts you’re located:
    My name is Jenna Bishop, and I am in Gilbert, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix.

    2) Your photography details (what do you shoot? do you have a business? do you want to have a business?):
    I shoot a variety of things. I started off with stock and now do portraits, weddings, children, and some commercial photography. I do have a business that I started about two years ago, and just resigned from school counseling to raise my daughter and do photography full time. I am SO EXCITED for this new opportunity to really put a lot of time and effort into my business!!

    3) The biggest goal you’re working toward right now. Can be anything.
    Biggest goal – Getting everything about my business organized before my little girl comes. I want as much of it that can run itself to do so, so that I can focus on our new baby. I’m also working on streamlining my website and developing more stock photos. And, I’m trying to get the entire house cleaned from top to bottom 🙂

    Thank you! Have a lovely vacation!

  233. Amy on June 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    My name is Amy. I am located in northern Utah. I have recently (in the last two years) started taking photographer a lot more serious. I shoot kids and families and a few weddings. My goal is to learn everything I possibly can about photography and to become the best that I can. I love learning new things.

  234. Jenna Mayer on June 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Hi there! I’m Jenna Mayer of Jenna Mayer Photo and I have been in business for about 4 years. Shooting portraits, Weddings, Boudoir and Fine Art. I recently started selling prints and products and my biggest goal right now is to make MORE and shoot MORE!

    Love your blog!


  235. Maria Sauerbrei on June 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I’m Maria of Maria Sauerbrei Photography. I mostly shoot kids and families.

    I do have a business but am struggling profusely with pricing. :-\

  236. Sara Garcia on June 30, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Hi! I am delurking today 🙂 My name is Sara Garcia and I live in Colorado. I currently shoot children, families, and seniors and am also very interested in the wedding business side of photography. I opened my business in May of this year and am obsessed with everything photography! The biggest goal I’m working towards is how to effectively market myself to the right people, gain exposure and connect with loyal clients. Thank you for this post. I love networking and I am a HUGE fan of your blog. In fact – I stalk it daily 🙂

  237. Brenda Faulkner on June 30, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Funny you use the term lurkers…I call FB friends who are on FB but never post, comment or contribute in any way, that! And it’s not a complement:-) Hehe.

    I am Brenda Faulkner, amature photographer in Portland OR. I do have dreams of going pro…someday, maybe…when I am good enough. For now I am studying, practicing, learning, learning, learning, eating up everything photography. That and rasing three beautiful little girls, 5yrs, 3yrs and 1. I am very grateful to FB which has connected me to so many amazing photographers and blogs, such as yours, which are just invaulable. I have come along way, but have a really long way to go. At this time, my love is newborns, children and families.

    Whether or not I make a business out of it, I am just so nuts-o-in love with photography. Creating an image that envokes emotion and can last forever(ish) is so amazing. Thank you for all you do and thanks for asking about us!

  238. Katie on June 30, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Hi there! Love your site! I’m Katie, from Sacramento(ish), CA. I really just plundered into the world of photography in the last 6 months when I got a new camera, but I’ve always been a bit “snap-happy.” My favorite things to shoot are my two kiddos. I’m a full-time teacher and a full-time mom, so I’m really not sure how far I am wanting to go into the business side of things, but I have recently started taking pics for other people and I really love it. Time will tell where it will take me. Right now I’m willing to just go with the flow. My biggest goal right now is to learn to use my speedlight! 🙂

  239. Darci on June 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    My name is Darci and I live in Denver. I started my portrait business in 2009 and went full time only photography just last year. I LOVE high school seniors and Boudoir. I do basically everything but weddings but these are the 2 that I only really market for. The goal I am working on right now is trying to book the right clients. I have no desire to do 30 sessions a week for $200 each, I want to do low volume and high average sale sessions. My biggest struggle is finding them and getting them to book with me.

  240. Patrick Oconnor on July 1, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Moving to full time is my largest hurdle. I’m a wedding shooter primarily.

  241. Mollie Tobias on July 2, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Hello. My name is mollie and I am a wedding and portrait shooter in Pinehurst, nc. The biggest goal that I have right now is that I am less than a month away from relocating to northern Virginia and I am trying to use this time of huge transition (building a new clientele from scratch, making all new friends, trying not to have a nervous breakdown) as an opportunity to be really brave and make my business be about who I really am, not the me I think won’t scare people away. Putting yourself out there honestly and with no safety net is really scary, but I know it is the step I need to take to bring myself and my craft to the next level. I want to be honest to myself and my clients about what I do, don’t do, and what I am passionate about.

  242. Linden on July 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Well, I think I’m late to the party, but here goes…

    I’m Linden, and I live in Raleigh, NC. I only recently made my business official, in January of this year, and I focus on children and families. Wow, I have a lot of goals, from really identifying and mastering my style, to figuring out how to market, to improving interaction with my clients while shooting. My current biggest hurdles are confidence and time. Love your blog and have been lurking for a while now. Happy to de-lurk for you!

  243. Christy on July 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Well, I think I’ve commented before but… in case I haven’t. I do have a business. I am currently in my 3rd year. Senior portraits are the focus of my business however I do shoot families and small children on occasion. Right now my goal is a small studio on our property. We are located in a very rural area and I’m going from a location in town (35 miles) to property close by for location shoots. One spot would be wonderful!

    I get so much inspiration from your blog. You make me think, which is hard to do because I’m a creative. 🙂

  244. Liv on July 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    1) I’m Olivia (Liv please) and I’m on Florida’s Space Coast (eastern coast, about an hour outside of Orlando).

    2) I have a fledgling business, I shoot portraits (right now a little bit of everything because I can’t afford to specialise). I also have a separate branch of my business shooting show dogs. Dogs are my passion and dog shows are easily my favourite thing to shoot – not that I don’t LOVE working with my slightly less hairy clients. On the human side of the business, couples are my favourite subjects. I love shooting love – it always comes through, no matter how novice my coaching skills!

    3) My biggest goal right now is just to establish a client base and upgrade to a full frame camera. I know it’s sacrilege to bemoan your gear, but I do feel I have reached my personal potential with my amateur body, and when I have had the opportunity to shoot with a full frame camera, I fall madly in love with my work again. A novice’s complaint, I know!

  245. Michelle Kirnan on July 3, 2012 at 1:57 am

    My name is Michelle Kirnan and I’m located in Moyock, NC, between Norfolk, VA and the Outer Banks of NC.

    I have a portrait business which is still fairly new. I just lost my part time job in banking and am now trying my business full time. 🙂 I shoot mostly families, children, couples and an occasional wedding. I mostly shoot on location but I’ve recently set up an in home studio as well.

    My biggest goal right now is to run my business as just that – a business! It’s time to get serious and reach for my dreams! I’ve always been a dream chaser, so I know I can do this with time, patience, and lots of hard work.

    I love your blog! You really get me thinking, something I don’t always take the time to do. Thank you so much! <3

  246. Sarah Wamuhiu on July 3, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Oh, I forgot to De-lurk 🙂 I love your blog.

    I’m Sarah Wamuhiu and I currently in Kenya (my husband is a Kenyan). I’ve been in photography for 4 years now, mostly as a hobby until last year, when it turned part-time business, and this year full-time business.

    Last year we did mostly weddings, this year we threw in portraits.

    Our biggest goal…don’t get me started we in the midst of some major dreaming and dream implementation over here 🙂 But right now – off-camera flash is the next big thing I’m learning (I did all natural light until last year).

    Love you blog!!!

  247. Denise Karis on July 3, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’m late! But I wanted to contribute for sure to the conversation! 🙂 I have a business in Phoenix AZ… My name is Denise Karis….My biggest goal right now is simply booking. I want to have a full schedule for this fall and Winter (the nice weather seasons in AZ) and I’m really not one to search out brides… so, of course, I need to get better at that.

  248. Janet on July 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    hi i’m janet in syracuse ny and am in a state of flux. i do have a photography business which i’m making progress in building. My main subjects are families, children and pets. I don’t do weddings which is usually the first question I get asked. I started several years(2004)shooting nature, which I still do and enjoy very much. Love creating in the digital darkroom. My biggest challenges right now are pricing and getting clients. So much information available.Makes my head spin! I’m also trying to learn off camera lighting. I use Canon speedlites and umbrellas. I wish I had some willing subjects to practice on. Some days I feel so confident and gung ho and others I just feel overwhelmed and start doubting I should even be doing this at all, but I’m still doing it so I guess that must say something. I know I have the goods. I just need to learn the intricacies of it all a bit better. I also want to change my website to a wordpress format and am going to tackle the in person ordering technique. Just found this blog today through Elizabeth Halford(who is also awesome)so I’ll be devouring as much info from you as I can. Thank you! Janet

  249. Janet on July 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I just found your blog. I live in Rhode Island, USA and am trying to change careers at 54. I am a social worker in a nursing home (same one for 30 years!!) but in my heart I am a photographer. I love photographing people. I have been blessed to photograph families, children, newborns and weddings (as a second shooter on weddings). I absolutely love it. BUT, after putting two children through college I don’t have the financial resources to leave my “regular” job for my “dream” job. I am trying to build a business. All the people I have photographed have loved their photos. A few times I have gotten referrals through these people. But it quickly peters out and I am left with no clients, or several weeks between clients. I don’t know how to market myself in such a way that people will contact me. I have a facebook page (janet gerbutavich Photography) and a blog ( But I am stuck and don’t know what my next most productive step would be.

  250. Christy Johnson on July 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Hi! Sorry to be so late to the party, but I thought I’d join in anyway! I’m Christy from Raleigh NC, and I’ve been in business since January 2009 (full-time since January 2011). I photograph kids and their families and (mostly) love my job. I’m usually a pretty shy person but have had to come out of my shell and do a LOT of growing in the last year and a half!

    I’m big into learning – almost to the point of inaction – so I love that your blog teaches so much but always includes a little kick-in-the-ass to go and DO IT as well. Thanks for living inside my brain! Ha!

  251. Jen on July 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I realize I’m a little late to the game on this, but here goes!

    1. My name is Jen and I’m located in the Washington, DC, area.
    2. I have always loved photography, but I started doing it as a sort of side business back in February. I wanted to find a way to channel my creative side into something I really love and to help bring some balance into my life because I don’t much care for my “real” job. I have done a lot of shoots of kids but would really like to get into engagement/wedding photography.
    3. Goals: get better at networking, shoot some weddings, figure out the best way to balance out my life so I can grow my business without sacrificing other things that are important to me as well

  252. Cassie on July 9, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Just starting up a photography business in Port Hope, Ontario. I love it, I really can’t help myself! I love the beauty of a captured moment, I appreciate the work of other’s so much, especially the youth because they are not afraid!! I need to open my mind more, I need to go deeper with my work. I want more from myself but as Keith Carter says, photography can be a selfish career, it can consume you. Part of me wants this, but the other part… 🙂
    I have never been one for settling for second best, I have great expectations. I need to fine-tune my eye.

  253. Ali Peterson on July 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Jenika, I’m Ali Peterson, owner & photographer at Skyy Blue Photography. I’m currently located in San Diego but on the move to Colorado Springs. My focus is on pet portraiture…what can I say, I’m a bit of a dog fanatic! I realize the Lurk contest is over, but I wanted to comment anyways because I enjoy your blog. It’s been a little while since I lurked, but I’m glad to be back. My biggest goal for my photography business right now is to keep up with my blogging and social media in an effort to grow my audience. I’ll be a newbie again soon (once I’ve completed the big move) so I don’t want to lose my focus or my fans.

  254. Molly Henson on July 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Hello! Just found your blog today and I’m loving it!!
    My name is Molly and I live in Augusta, Mo outside of st. Louis. I have a small business on the side of my full time time job as a nurse.
    My goal right now is to start selling prints/canvases instead of digital prints…grrrr!
    Thank your for the wonderful info!!

  255. Tiffany on July 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    My name is Tiffany and I live in SW Washington state. I love to shoot all sorts of things, including portraits and weddings to landscapes and nature photography. I have recently started a (very) part time business and am still working on getting it all set up. My biggest goal right now is to get my website up and running completely, set up my full pricing (to offer products instead of just digital files) and to start to feel comfortable marketing myself. (I know those are multiple things, but that’s what I’m working towards)

  256. Sarah on July 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I’m nearly a month late on this but I just now saw this post!

    My name is Sarah and I’m from Huron, SD. My main passion is creating senior portraits, but I’ve recently been doing more children’s photography, and I LOVE it. I started out my business when I was just 19… I turn 21 come early September. With that being said, my biggest goal is to still have prospective clients take me seriously once they find out my age. I have run into this situation time and time again… Someone will fall in love with my work, and then none of that matters when they find out I’m only 20 and suddenly I’m not a “professional photographer.” That aside, my goal is to constantly improve the experience my current clients have with me all the way from booking a session to ordering prints.

  257. Jennifer Ramler on July 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Name: JP
    Location: St Paul, MN
    Details: I found your site through Elizabeth Halford’s blog and am so glad that I did. I have been a hobby photographer since getting a photo minor years ago (pre-digital). I’ve done a few weddings as favors to friends and relatives over the years. I had my first child last year and rediscovered my love of portrait work.
    Goals: I am now looking at working my hobby into a business. I am currently working on educating myself about the photography business as well as building a portfolio and learning how to chase around the tiny, moving subjects I so adore taking photos of.

    Thank you for such a great site!

  258. Carmela Chavez Liberman on August 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    A little late to the party…but de-lurking!

    1) Hi I’m Carmela Chavez Liberman. I’m in Albuquerque, NM, aka The Land of Enchantment (and yes, it does live up to its name!)

    2) I just started my own mostly boudoir photography business. I also shoot maternity and engagements.

    3) I’m working on getting my business from the just-started sloooow trickle stage to a steady clientele while building up the engagement and maternity sections of my portfolio and weeding out older, weaker picutres. (Mouthful right? Brainful, too.) Also, I’m trying to figure out how to stay in my preferred areas without turning away business I need to get started (for both word-of-mouth and incoming cash purposes). I’m also thinking about a business Facebook page, how to use social media and how to use a blog so that it’s not redundant or boring to write.

  259. Robin on August 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I missed the boat on this one but here’s my “de-lurking” nonetheless 🙂

    My name is Robin Leyde. I’m a South African Horticulturist turned Photographer based in Dubai. I moved here a year and a half ago and, after having a hard time finding Horticulture work in the desert (who’d have guessed), decided to use my 10 years of amateur photography experience to try my hand (and eye)at making a living out of it.

    It’s been tough and slow but things are starting to look up. I’ve recently jumped on the social media bandwagon and started a facebook page ( ) and so my efforts have recently been focused on marketing, creating a “brand” and building up a portfolio. I’ve also started to delve seriously into Photoshop (after relying solely on Lightroom for the past year).

    I started with the most widely available work here, event coverage, and have slowly been working my way up to things like corporate portraiture, commercial interiors and product photography, all the while shooting and improving on my first love – nature, landscapes and macro.

    I was directed to your facebook page by a friend yesterday and, after finding my way to your blog, have been solidly hooked! Insightful, constructive and motivational all-round! I love it.
    Thank you!


  260. Tara Eveland on August 19, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Hi there! Im Tara, located in Southern Illinois. I just found your blog yesterday when searching for good marketing tips. I am a portrait photography, I WANT to specialize in just maternity and newborn but I just am not there yet. This is a small town and I just moved here not to long ago, sadly there are about 5 ‘fauxtographers’, one over priced/long standing/old school family studio that no one really can even afford to go to, and then one other genuinely good and qualified photographer and she and I get along pretty well. Just building clientele right now 🙂

  261. Katya on August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    My name is Katya, I’m living in Moscow, Russia and also founded your page through Elizabeth Halford’s blog. I started to work as a freelance photographer this summer, but generally I’m fond of photography about 10 years. I love to shot women portraits and weddings and this is what brings me some money. It is huge competition in this area of business, bearing in mind the affordability of high quality gears, for the moment I have only 2-3 clients per month, but still I understand that this is my life and I cannot even imagine to come back to “office work”. I’ve already read a lot of articles on your blog and other photographers all over the world about the business and it is very very helpful and new for Russian marketing, unfortunately I cannot apply some ideas like present boxes, postcards, covers for iphones just because there are no such service (only purchasing the huge bulk of it), still trying to implement ideas which are not required much investments. I have two goals but they are for the nearest future: to have wedding clients once a week (not more, otherwise the quality will not be well) and I understand that I still have to learn the photo process itself in order to achieve the higher quality).
    I would like to express my appreciation for the knowledge you are sharing on your blog, it is great!!!
    Thank you!

  262. Kat on July 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Alright – I’ll de-lurk as well. 😉 I’m Kat and I’m a wedding photographer in Vermont/New England. Absolutely love what I do, the clients I attract and the venues I get to photograph at. Also insanely happy with the price point I set (finally!). The only thing I’m struggling with is balancing family life & work although I’ve already outsourced the editing process as well as accounting/taxes … I still haven’t been able to take a vacation in about 7 years with the entire family because somebody has to be here to “be holding down the fort”.

  263. Paul Chislett on July 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm


    I studied photography at Algonquin College way back in 1976. That make me an old guy. HOHOHO. I drifted away from photography to follow different career paths and now I teach it full time at the high school level. When I retire in a few years, I plan to return to photography as a business. Currently, I take scads of photos around town and in my travels. Plan on doing portraits, events and some commercial. I found some commercial black and white photos I took in way back 1986 online the other day. What a surprise.

  264. Adam Cotton on December 22, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Hi Jenika! Love this Blog! My name is Adam Cotton, I am from Pensacola, Fl and I am a wedding photographer. My goal right now is to get my name and personality out there where the brides that I would love to work with can hear me!

  265. Simon on April 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Hi, I’m Simon and I’m a pet photographer based in Melbourne. I think I came to this page via some random photographers blog rabbit hole that I fell down. Since then I have found some of the advice and articles very useful for me and my business over the last few years. Keep up the good work!

  266. Stefan on February 26, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Hi from 2020 Jenika! Love your blog, please keep it up!

  267. Johny on August 22, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Hey! nice blog, thank you for sharing it. Please keep posting such wonderful articles!

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