What I do on the days I am not shooting sessions

Believe it or not, I actually do more than just take photographs in my business. Honestly, most photographers, including myself, only take photos 20% or less of the time in our business. I wanted to explain to you what the other 80% of my business looks like.

Accounting & bookkeeping

Never have I ever claimed that I am a bookkeeper or have an accounting background. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my dad having a background in business finances and giving me tips and tricks I would be VERY lost. I mean, I understand basic personal finance, but having to do it for a business is a completely different story. This includes balancing my books, keeping and documenting every single expense, prepping for taxes, keeping all invoices, and understand profit and loss statements.

Administrative

I answer phone calls, I reply to emails, I correspond with vendors, and even hand write thank you notes to my clients. Anything an administrative assistant does, I do.

Research

Taking time out of my schedule to research trends, different client portals, labs, and to see what works best for my clients is important. I want to make sure everything I do makes the clients life easier. I also use this time to research for any of the blog posts that I write.

Education

I have to learn about everything that I am talking about throughout this blog post because I had NO idea what to do (and still sometimes have to Google some things). I have to make time to not only learn these things, but get better at my own craft. I go to conferences, take online courses, and read personal development and business books constantly.

Email Marketing

My business has it’s own newsletter that goes out monthly called Snapshots. So I have to prepare this and make it visually appealing. I also use this for any flash sales as well as any freebies that I offer!

Social Media Marketing

This one takes up a LOT of time. Learning trends in the social media world, and what to post and making up content for it to go along with my website, sessions, and blog posts is some of the things that go into it.

Editing

This is what I do after every single session, plus my own “for fun” photos. This takes up a big chunk of time as I have to go through every image and alter it just right.

Setting up programs

This includes prepping for programs that my clients will be using. I try to make each and every step easy for the client, so I am constantly looking for new programs and tweaking them to make the experience better.

Consultations

This is when I am either doing an on the phone or in person consultations. Since I offer this to anyone that I get a request from, this can add up with my time. Plus, I do research and take the time to get these set up.

Blogging

I blog every single week. I have a blog up every Tuesday at 10 am. This takes a LOT of time. I want to make sure the content is valuable, as well as interesting, well thought out and researched. Creating something that can actually be of benefit to anyone is a lot. I also try to come up with some freebie that can go along with it and make Pinterest graphics.

Analytics

I have to study my analytics for my email, social media, and website to see what performs the best. That way, I can make more things like that for my audience and for my clients. When you add up all of those platforms, it can be intense.

Ordering

This includes ordering supplies, ordering gifts for clients and their products. This could also include me getting an order ready (coming up with albums, wall art, etc.) for the client.

Are you surprised? I am not sure most people see what this side looks like, so how could you know? I am going to start tracking my time by “clocking in & out” when I am on certain tasks, just to see what my actual time is. I would be curious to see this. Would you?

Behind the scenes of my session days

There is nothing like a session day. My adrenaline is running. I am fully energized. It’s go time. I could tell you all about it, but I would much rather show you. So, take a peek into the behind the scenes life of my photography business during a session.

Check out some behind the scenes during Lauren & Bailey’s session.

5 of my favorite BBQ recipes you HAVE to try

Summer calls for BBQ. BBQ is one of my favorite food categories. I have always been fascinated with the grill, even as a child. My father taught me how to grill at a young age, and showed me on a charcoal Weber grill. I now own that grill, but it sits unused as I have upgraded to a much bigger machine.

I felt the need to share with you some of my all-time favorite BBQ recipes. Now, not everything has BBQ on it, but it goes into that category. I hope you get to try them out and enjoy them as much as I do.

Recipe 1: BBQ Chicken

(https://foolproofliving.com/mexican-street-corn/)

Recipe 5: Instant Pot Pork Ribs (finished on the grill)

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYxQSt58zmA)

Now, it’s your turn. Take these, print them off (or watch the video), go fire up the grill and make you some amazing BBQ that you will thank me for sending them your way. I hope you enjoy. If you do end up trying one, leave me a comment on what you thought! What was your favorite ones?

A letter to myself - what I wished I had known in my business starting out

This post is going to be different. It’s very personal. I wanted to share with you a letter to myself. It was part of an exercise to help me realize how far I had actually come. Sometimes just this simple thing can show you that great things take time. So, here is a letter to myself, letting me know what I had wished I had known when I was starting out as a first-time entrepreneur to a photography business.


Dear Kaytee,

I just want to start out by saying that you are about to be on a journey. It’s going to feel like a never-ending roller coaster. It may feel like there is no end to the track and that most of the time you are heading down. You will make mistakes, you will have anxiety attacks, you will feel helpless and worthless. No one ever said this is a glamorous adventure.

Sounds scary? It’s far from it. It’s terrifying but in the most satisfying way. No risk, no reward. You are going to have a lot of highs and lows, and what feels like mostly lows. Just know, that you are making a difference and people believe in you.

You are going to feel like a failure. But then someone is going to recommend someone meet up with you because you are doing such a wonderful job.

You are going to feel like you aren’t good enough. But then someone is going to tell you that your work inspires them.

You are going to feel like the world is against you. But then someone tells you that you make them want to start their business because you make it seem like a dream is worth pursuing.

You are going to feel defeated, time and time again. But then someone is going to hire you and say they were so ecstatic when they received their photos.

You are going to feel like you are good enough. But then someone tells you they preferred your photos and your work and recommended you to so many people.

You are going to feel like this is too hard. You’re going to feel like there is a huge weight on your shoulders. You are going to feel like you can’t please everyone. You are going to feel broke. You are going to question yourself when you realize how much money you put into this business and that you don’t feel like you are really making your life better.

It. Is. Worth. It.

Do not give up. Do not give in. Don’t let the people who bring you down discourage you. Don’t let the situations that leave you hopeless get to you. I repeat, do not do it.

You are better than that. You are worthy. Your work means something to people. You are giving people the chance to have their story heard and felt. You are giving someone else something that no one else can give them.

It’s going to be tough, but you have thick skin. You have what it takes. (Just get some more patience).

Just keep doing you, and the rest will follow. You’ve got this. I want you to know that everything and everyone has a purpose. This is yours.

With all my love,

Yourself in a few years

27 things I have learned in 27 years

With my birthday pretty much here, I wanted to do something a little different than my normal posts and tell you the 27 things I have learned in my 27 years of life

1: Don’t take life for granted.

2: Bring your camera with you everywhere.

3: Little kind gestures go a LONG way.

4: Start your day off with the mindset that today will be a good day.

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5: Travel, travel, travel. Even if it’s by yourself.

6: Take care of yourself. You only get one body to carry you through this life.

7: A few minutes of meditation can make a significant difference in your day.

8: Never say you don’t like it until you try it.

9: Eat all the food. Always be trying new foods.

10: Dream big, and go after it.

11: Never underestimate the power of yoga.

12: Face your fears head-on.

13: Never stop learning.

14: If you don’t like something, do something about it.

15: Dogs make me very happy and I would have 1,000 if I could.

16: Slow. Down. - Stop & smell the roses.

17: Make mistakes. Learn from them. Keep going.

18: Admit when you are wrong.

19: Learn about yourself as much as you possibly can so you can use every part of you to your advantage.

20: Surround yourself with people that lift you up and encourage you to continue up.

21: Use please and thank you.

22: Everyone is human. Be gracious and understand that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Be slow to anger. And ask for forgiveness when you make a mistake and own up to it.

23: It’s okay to be wrong.

24: Let go of things that are toxic. If someone or something in your life does not bring you joy or causes you constant pain, remove it from your life. It has no place there.

25: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be curious. (Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat).

26: Constantly remind yourself of your dreams. Make vision boards, have daily alarm reminders, and even make yourself accountable. This way every time you make a decision you can have your dreams in mind.

27: Be unapologetically you.

A lot of these sound like advice, but it’s everything that I have been taught that really has stuck with me and means a lot. I try to remind myself a lot of these things daily and I challenge you to at least one of these things. Which one are you going to choose?