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How to Cut Photography Business Expenses

Running a photography business is expensive. Really expensive. Between marketing, gear, client experience, prints, insurance, second shooters, and coffee (just me?) things can really add up.

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There’s no getting around business expenses. In fact, you want to invest. Spend money to make money right?

It’s not about spending a lot, it’s about spending smart.

Here are a few ways you can cut down on unnecessary business expenses, and reallocate that money to the things that will actually lead to growth.

1. Start Tracking

First, you need to keep track of how much you’re spending, and what you’re spending it on.

There are lots of great tools out there, Wave Apps and Quickbooks, to name just a couple. These apps keep track of your expenses by integrating your bank accounts and credit cards. Most importantly, they break it down by category, so you know how much of your monthly budget is going to transportation, studio rentals, gear purchase, etc.

2. Are Paid Ads Worth It?

In this industry, if you want my honest opinion, the answer is no. Most of the time.

You have probably already been approached by about 100 different wedding directories and magazines asking you to pay a lot of your hard earned cash to get exposure. In my experience, these sources fail to attract the volume of clients that they claim.

There’s so much free advertising to be had out there if you’re willing to work for it. Collaborate with other vendors and cross promote, write guest blogs, and get your hustle on with social media.

If you go the paid ad route, make sure whoever you’re paying will reach your target client, not just any client.

3. Don’t Fall Into the Gear Trap

It goes without saying that you need the appropriate gear to conduct a professional photography business. Professional quality cameras, lenses, and back-up for everything is required.

But we photographers can get a bit carried away. Do you shoot weddings? You probably don’t need the new 500mm 1.2 lens. Love natural light? That new beauty dish will likely just sit in the trunk of your car.

New products might be exciting, but ask yourself if you’ll actually get a return on your investment.

4. App Audit

At one point a few years ago, without really meaning to, I discovered I was subscribed to all these different applications that I didn’t need.

Album designing software, social media organizers, and cloud back-up subscriptions can get out of control if you love new technology like me, but don’t necessarily keep track of them.

Have a look at your credit card statement, and see if there’s any fluff you can get rid of. You might be surprised!

5. Where shouldn’t I cut corners?

I’ll make this one easy for you:

  • the people you work with
  • client experience
  • the quality of your work

Your team members, including second shooters, editors, marketing professionals, and assistants should be top notch.

The investment you make into your client experience should always be a priority.

Above everything, and I really can’t drive this home enough, is to invest in yourself and anything that makes your work better. Take that workshop, rent that studio space, organize a style shoot, and upgrade your albums.

Investing in the quality of your work will only ever lead to good things.

Interested in learning more? Have a look at my Mentorship Programs here!

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