One year on

So, it’s about one year since I sold my first portrait, and its been fun, hard work, and has given me a sense of achievement. I feel I have come a long way from driving round my area in a clapped out Ford Focus, dragging my sorry ass up to apartments in tower blocks, trying to take the best portrait ever, in rooms where there wasn’t enough room to swing a cat, and trying to sell great products at reasonable prices to be told, “that’s too expensive”.
I am now settled in my lovely studio, where people come to me. As soon as they walk through the door, and get offered a cup of tea, they seem to realize that they are here to spend money after they have had some wonderful portraits taken.
Oh, yes, and I am now a proper portrait photographer, having achieved my Licentiate with the MPA. The certificate is proudly hanging on the wall in my studio,acting as a constant reminder to work towards my Associateship in a couple of years, but that’s going to be a lot tougher.
The figures for the first year came in just under plan at sales of just over £20k. My expenditure was a lot higher than expected, so I didn’t make any profit, but at least I can mitigate the loss with a tax rebate. Having a good accountant is a great thing.
My targets for the next year include: increasing my average order to over £300, getting onboard at least 5 more corporate partners, aiming to win some awards at professional photography competitions, achieving 15% of my sales from referrals and achieving at least one sale in excess of £1,000.
Am I going to give up my other job? Not yet, and not in the foreseeable future, a good salary, which acts as a safety net and a great pension scheme are the handcuffs which keep me working there. But that’s not the point of it all, my life has changed so much, I haven’t been to my local pub in over a year, I have met some great people, I have seen tears of joy and smiles of happiness when people see the photos I have taken.
However, taking the photos is only a small part of the whole package, there’s marketing, networking, sales, bookkeeping, processing, ordering photos and other stuff, repairs to equipment, managing cash flow, oh yes and cleaning up after babies and other customers. I have learned a lot of new skills. So this Saturday I will be raising a glass of Prosecco to another year of even greater success.


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