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Starting a photography business sounds like such a fun, easy pursuit! I remember thinking, “cool, I have a camera, people pay me, I take the pictures, I edit them, and I deliver them. Sounds easy!” In my three years so far of running my business, I have learned so much. There are always new photography skills to learn. There is always business education. Goodness knows I’ll never completely understand search engine optimization. Luckily, there are hundreds of photography educators and resources out there. Unfortunately, there are so many that finding who to follow and be inspired by can be a challenge. If you’re inspired by my work and want to know more about who I’ve learned and grown from, here are my favourite educators and resources.
I just want to take a moment to talk about education and courses in general. I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on photography education since I’ve started. Probably over $10,000 since I’ve started. For perspective, I paid less than $14,000 for my bachelor’s degree. However, unlike my degree, C’s don’t get degrees with photography education. No amount of money will make you better if you don’t put the work in. If you buy a course and want to learn from it, make sure you have the time to commit and follow through. Buying it is not enough.
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I have to start with Kyle. Kyle has changed the way I look at my photography business and the way I look at all photography businesses and websites. His mastermind has encouraged me to keep growing, even when it is hard or uncomfortable. I have learned more about photography itself (even though the mastermind is focused on business), SEO, pricing, marketing, and life balance. If you’re looking to truly grow your photography business in a sustainable, profitable way, schedule your one-on-one call.
Photographer Michelle McKay has created the Facebook group We Are Memory Catchers – Newborn + Family Photographic Artists and website We Are Memory Catchers. We Are Memory Catchers is also home of the course Telling Stories, which I took in 2022, and learned so much about photography as a whole. The group, the blog, and everything in it has taught me so much about photography, growth, and beauty in the everyday. Michelle also sells Lightroom presets to make editing simpler and more consistent. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, I recommend joining to learn more about how to capture your own everyday beautifully.
While Katelyn James and I have different styles (and until 2022, she was primarily a wedding photographer where I am… not), I respect her photography immensely. All of her free webinars are full of value, and her Lighting and Location course has taught me so much about lighting evenly and consistently. If you’re looking for an educator to follow and start with, and you like Katelyn’s photography style, she is a great educator to follow.
When I first started my business, one of my friends recommended CreativeLive, and it was a great recommendation! CreativeLive has education from every niche you can think of. It is an exceptional resource if you are just starting out and want to learn more about multiple niches before settling into something. You can get started at www.creativelive.com.
If I wrote about every single educator I’ve learned from since I’ve started, this post would be 4,000 words long. Other notable educators who have influenced me are Elena S Blair, Carolina Hanna, Rebecca Rice, and so many more. One of the most important things is to consider your sphere and community. I have made so many photography friends along this journey, and my phone calls and meetups with them to discuss hopes, dreams, and plans have been so valuable to me and my photography growth.
No matter who you receive photography education from, give it your all. Go in with an open mind. Try something new, even if it breaks a rule you learned somewhere else. You don’t have to work it in to your sessions forever (or even at all). There are always new things to learn! Have fun, and don’t forget to take photos for you and not just for clients all the time.