We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
If you are ready to go on an adventure, feel empowered, or learn how to level up your business, we are your girls! So.. what are you waiting for? Let's do this thing!
Running a business is not as easy as it may seem! As Indiana Wedding Photographers for the last 5 years we have learned soooo many new things! There are also endless concepts that we didn’t even think about when we started. So of course, we learned on the way! But today we are sharing the 10 things we wish we knew when we started, so that hopefully, if you are JUST starting your journey, you can figure out sooner than we did! Ha!
Many of these are not specefic to photography and could work for any entreprenuer! So whether you are just starting a business or are somewhere in the middle, grab your chai tea latte, and dig on in!
I spent countless hours judging my work against other photogs. Which also means I spent countless hours getting down on myself because I wasn’t as “good” as others. Our journey is SO different then others and everyone is in a different place. Don’t compare yourself! You are right where you are meant to be!
Honeybook would have saved me HOURS in organization. If I would have started with HB sooner, I literally would have so many hours of my life back! Plus I would have been way more organized. And if I was more organized, my client experience would have been WAY better and I would have more time to spend on shooting or developing my skills.
If you want to try Honeybook, I have a 50% off code HERE for your entire first year! Seriously, HB is THE BOMB DOT COM!
You don’t have to HUSTLE everyday all day. Life is waayyy to short for that. And YOU WILL get burnt out! Take frequent breaks, and better yet, SCHEDULE those breaks. Because, I don’t know about you, but if I don’t plan them, they don’t happen! So instead of shooting every single day, plan at least one to two days OFF so that you can focus on your family, significant other, or even yourself!
Bryt and I try to be purposeful about scheduling breaks when we can. We love to go hiking, travel, and of course play with our pups! I also like to drag her out to every coffee shop known to man kind 😉 Clearly Starbucks is always on our radar but we love to shop local and visit local coffee shops as often as we can!
We also like using Airbnb to find unique experiences and cute houses whenever we travel! I love how Airbnb has the new expierence tab! Did you know you can camp out on the side of a moutain while in the Rocky Mountains?! Sign us up!
Remember, it isn’t actually about YOU it is about your clients! Make their experience seamless. Communicate regularly and WOW them when you OVER DELIVER! Tell them they will get their photos back in 4-5 weeks and then WOW them when you deliver them back in 2-3! Anyone can take a pretty picture, but it truly is the experience that keeps them coming back for more!
Other things that can make their expereince better is small gifts, thank you notes/letters, Video calls, hanging out and getting drinks (did we just become bffs?), and so much more! This one truly depends on your personality so it can be different for each person, but YOU HAVE to make sure their experience is an amazing one!
I know this one seems like a “duh” one but the more you actually DO THE THING the better you will get! If you are a photog. bring your camera everywhere and capture ALL THE THINGS. Ask your friends if you can practice on them, reach out to everyone and just go shoot! If you are a florist, volunteer to create arrangements for styled shoots, or small events! Just get yourself out there!
Narrow down your work to the things you enjoy the most. Then pour ALL your efforts into this thing! Get hella good at it and watch yourself GROW! Sometimes we try to take on anything and everything and we don’t see as much growth! But if you niche down you can get really good at one thing and then move on from there to develop another specefic business aspect.
Reach out to your local community and find someone who is willing to take you under their wing. Ask for an internship or see if you can help them in exchange for learning! When I was in college, I worked with 2 amazing photographers that helped me develop my skills. I shot with them for free and then once I was more experienced they started paying me. I learned the ins and outs of business and everything in between. Working with other entreprenuers is truly a gold mine!
If you have the means, invest in online courses and in person workshops. MANY people have already done all of the hard work and research, and have it all in one place. If you invest in yourself I PROMISE YOU you will not regret it! Your business will grow tenfold! One of our favorite workshops is The Heart University workshop.
Another way you can invest in yourself is by joining Facebook Groups. There are thousands of great groups out there where other entreprenuers help each other out and answer questions. Some groups even have HOURS and HOURS of videos for you to watch! Soooo much content is readily available to you for free if you just do a quick search on Facebook or Youtube! Our favorite Facebook Group is the NO BS Society by Bree + Stephen!
Another way to invest in yourself is to read! There are tons of great books on starting buisnesses or helping your business grow. Click HERE to see our Amazon list of favorite business books!
As you are growing and learning, remember to give back to your community in any way you can. Not only does this help you in the long run but it also feels so damn good for your soul! As an Indiana Wedding Photographer, each year we do free mini sessions for public service members. We also donate our time and help to other local photogs on Facebook Groups. In addition, you can have some of your earnings from sessions go to National Parks or even animal shelters!
Don’t worry about failing! Because here is the thing. You will! And it is OKAY! We learn through failing. We learn through making mistakes. And if you don’t take risks, will you even learn?! So just get in there and go for it! Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Don’t be afraid of what others will think. Who CARES?! Get out there and SHOW THEM UP!
WHEW! I feel like I could share sooooo many more but that’s a great start right?! Being in business is and can be overwhelming. As Indiana Wedding Photographers, we have learned many different things throughout our time in the field! But you WILL DO amazing things! So go ahead and dream BIG! Shoot for the stars, and I bet you’ll end up surpassing even the craziest of your dreams!
If you are a business owner, what is the ONE THING you would share with someone who may be starting a new business?
Sam + Bryt
Sam + Bryt are Indiana Wedding Photographers who specialize in elopements and intimate weddings including lgbtq weddings. If you’d like more business tips, check out this blog over 10 tips for making an inclusive website!