Here’s a little about me, my life, and my business…
I’m Carissa, owner of Photograph Minnesota. To shed some light on my background in photography, I was film-trained in high school and college. But, I did not do much with my skills until five years ago when I made the decision to truly LIVE my passion! I started with a pop-up-flash & a “mobile studio,” which involved taking photos in kitchens and cat-pee-smelling basements (ugh, what was I doing?!). This has since changed….
Along with my photography business, I am energetic wife and mother who manages a salon full time (4 days a week). That leaves me with nights and weekends (and bathroom breaks) to run my photography business.
I’m a people-person and a born sales-person. I’m business minded but I have a strong “what-would-I-as-a-consumer-want” approach. My main clients live in my neighborhood and have similar incomes, and because of that, I try to price photo sessions and packages accordingly. I’m not making millions (or thousands! ha!) but I’m growing every day and making life-long clients while doing it.
When you can’t quit your day job…
I’m currently in a “transition” period. I can’t quit my day job, because I just took on a HUGE studio with HUGE costs. Therefore, my photography business income is just supporting my business costs. I am able to keep costs down by sharing my space and making my own backdrops/props, but it isn’t enough to let go of my salon job. My ultimate goal is to slowly transition from this business costing me money and finally be able to support my family with just my photography business.
Until I reach that point, there are major time management challenges with running a family, a full-time job, and a photography business. Here are some time management tips for you that help me keep my crazy life in order:
Be efficient with your time and calendar
I manage my shoots and calendar in sections, depending on the week. For example, if I have six hours available on a Saturday, I’ll schedule 3 (2 hour) sessions back-to-back.
Edit your photos when you have chunks of time
Photo editing is completed throughout the following mornings and evenings to make sure my clients receive their photos in a short time frame.
Keep one day for family/personal time
To keep my family sane, we set aside Sundays as “family days.” I don’t shoot or meet clients (unless it’s a special event or circumstance), and it’s made a huge difference in my personal life. We all deserve a day “off.” I’ll admit, I still end up emailing between things and getting prepped for my week, but it’s still so nice to have a day to put myself back together.
Delegate and hire out tasks and projects
There are projects I’ve learned to let go of, which has led to supporting my community by hiring out. I always contract my graphic design needs to local college students. They make money, build their portfolios, and network, and for me, I am able to save some time (and sanity!) and can offer my clients unique finished products. I also have 2 interns that assist with sessions, set up, editing, etc. (They also remind me to eat some days.)
Creating a photography business from a dream and a passion is possible for anyone with ambition and willingness to involve their community in the process. If you’re looking for a “hobby” then owning a business isn’t for you. If you’re looking for long-term blood, sweat & tears with countless blessings… you’ll do just fine!
These days my main work is in kids, families & boudoir (known as Lavish). I don’t “specialize” only because I love to try new things, embrace creativity, and I would never want to turn away a supportive client. What else? I drink lots of coffee. I love snow. I have orange hair…this week. To learn more, please check out my newly renovated website and blog: