Lessons I Learned in My First 2 Years of Business

photographer headshot for lessons learned in business

They say time flies when you are having fun and that couldn’t be more true. Two years ago I launched my photography business. It was fueled by a dream, a lot of coffee and the strongest desire to truly invest in something I loved.

Fast forward to today, I have a business I dreamt of – one that gives me the financial freedom to be at home with my kids, make my own schedule and the immeasurable benefit of doing something I truly love.

Although there are so many technical tips, tricks and lessons I’ve learned – but today I’m sharing the intangibles. I’m sharing with you the lesson’s I learned in my photography business that surprised me!

Lesson 1 | Family Photography can be a full-time career, and not just a hobby!

When I started my business – I swore to myself and everyone around me that this was just a side business. I truly believed that was the case. Coming from the corporate world – I didn’t believe that something I did for fun could replace or translate to a full time position.

When I combined big dreams and a growing motivation to make this business work, the outcome was better than I could ask for. My business is lucrative and consistent. It’s no longer just a side business.

Lesson 2 | Don’t stop dreaming. You can be anything you want when you grow up.

Do you remember when you were growing up and everyone told you “you can be anything you want when you grow up?” This idea is still relevant no matter what stage of life you are in.

So many of us go to school, choose a career and find ourselves going through the motions down a path. I’ll be the first to say that I loved what I did prior to photography but something was missing. I was missing the passion. I was missing the purpose and deep love for what I did.

Once I stepped away and began pursuing photography, I found clarity in what it means to truly love what you do.

I spent 15 years in the business and marketing world before I made this leap.

Was it scary? A little. Was it worth it? 1000%!!

The moral here is that life is too short and dreams aren’t just reserved for little ones.

Lesson 3 | Owning your own business is hard – but so rewarding.

Running a business is hard. Period. As a photography business owner, you will wear many hats. And not all of those hats will be your favorite. You will be more than just a photographer. You will be an accountant, a bookkeeper, a sales person, a marketer… and the list goes on.

However, at the end of the day, when you love doing what you do, your “work” will not feel like work.

As your business grows, you can begin to scale to make the business work for you. You can begin really taking advantage of the benefit of owning your own business.

Lesson 4 | The intangibles are worth their weight in gold.

When I chose to pursue photography full time, I was doing so with the intention of being home more with my children. I know these years are short, even when the days feel long.

What I found was better than I planned on. It’s the little things I have gained that were otherwise missed when I worked in the office. It’s getting to see my daughter’s excitement when she gets off the bus. It’s being able to share a lunch with my son every day before he goes to school. It’s these little things that I didn’t expect that I cherish so much.

Another bonus to all of this that sincerely warms my heart is being able to show my children that you can be successful doing something you love. Life is too short.

If you made it this far – thank you for listening to my overshare! In conclusion, I’m grateful for what I have every single day. Sometimes when you find something this good, you want to share it with the world.

My desire at the end of all of this is to share what I know and what I’ve found to work with any other photographer that wants this as well. Whether you are just starting a business, considering it — or perhaps you have a business that needs a little makeover – I’m here to help with resources just for you.


Why You Need Courage, Not Confidence

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome in Your Photography Business

Can You Make Money with a Family Photography Business?


about Danielle Blewitt

Hi, I’m Danielle. I’m a Pittsburgh, based family photographer and marketing expert. I help family photographers build and grow successful businesses using simple, organic marketing strategies. This space is designed to give you some of my best practical tips to implement in your business.

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