Insert eyeroll here. Unfortunately I don't just get to run around taking pictures all day........ More than half of my job is all about the business side of things. This morning I had the joy of being in a teleconference/webinar (yes in my car) about qualified business deductions. I run a legitimate business, I collect & pay sales tax, and I do everything on my own. Running an actual small business is pleasant as well as challenging (sound familiar future farmers?). What's so challenging about being able to work for yourself, and make your own schedule? EVERYTHING. I didn't just pick up a camera and all of a sudden the money started rolling in. I researched, studied, observed other small businesses, and researched more. I set up a legal business first then went to work on a plan to help make MY business successful. I developed many marketing plans. Some worked, & some we're complete flops. And that's ok! I learned from every marketing flop, and from every customer who tried to take advantage of me. I learned to stand my ground and be confident in my business & my abilities. You can't build a business in a day, but if you work hard and fully invest yourself you can be successful. I stay up late most nights working, wake up in the middle of the night to jot down a design that popped in my head, and cram 4 hours worth of work into my kid's 1 hour nap time. Everyday. I wanted to write this to help others understand what actually goes into having a legitimate photography business. Your session may only be 45 minutes long, but so much more time & effort go into than that behind the scenes. There are the countless emails & messages prior to booking, scheduling, the contracts and invoices that must be drawn up and sent (and sometimes multiple reminders of the contracts & invoices), designing & prepping for the shoot, travel, set up, insert 45 minute session here, load up, travel again, download & sort images, edit images, create & set up a gallery, upload images to said gallery, send gallery link to clients, walk them through the download/ordering process, & repeat with the next client. This doesn't even include all of the day to day marketing, social media & website upkeep, tracking of income and expenses, calculating taxes owed each quarter, etc. It is a lot of work. It is exhausting. But I LOVE it! I love meeting and creating these friendships with people who I may not have otherwise met. I love capturing moments for clients that they will be able to look back on & cherish for years to come. I love it all, even if that means having to complete the not so fun business responsibilities.