Over the Years

Posted: October 23, 2009 in Rants

Work Smart NOT Hard

I have been working for a Professional Photography studio for the past 3 years and the last year of that I have being the owner. With working for some else I never though much about the little, big things that go on that I brushed off as employee.

It has been a year now with me working for myself and I have loved every moment of it. Everything is rewarding. But it has opened my eyes a lot in the past few months ever since I got back from my summer holidays.

When I took over the studio I wanted to have a community of friend/photographer that we go hang out all the time take photos collaborate on shoots, learn new things, and so on. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But if you finds your self doing that all the time you mite as well close your doors and just shoot photos as a hobbyist or get a fulltime 9-5 and shoot on the weekends because most collaboration only benefit your mind not your wallet or your businesses bank account.  I love the though of collaborating working with other photographers, different shoots, new Clients, and so on but if it only really benefits the photographer that set everything up what’s the point? At the end of day I love my Job, Career, Lifestyle, and everything Photography bring to the table. But I have stepped up to the plate bought a business, paid my due to the city and my clients, with that said you can’t shoot for free. This will just ruin the industry.  Figure out what you are worth as an Artist/business person. NOT a Photographer, why do I say this? Because of the digital age of camera’s every one thinks they are a photographer and will do work for free or a few hundred and give you the disk of uncorrected, Un-sharp, overexposed, underexposed, grainy/noise, shot on full auto let the camera do all the work images. An take your money and run, if you don’t like what they gave to you to bad you paid $200 for everything for your wedding/family photos.

OK I know that was a little over the top but it is true. I thrive on quality to its highest form. I have gone to conferences; I currently belong to PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada), WPPI (Wedding Portrait Photography Institute), and looking for a few more that will benefit my Studio and my Clients. I’m in this industry because I’m an artist and love what I do because it puts a smile on Peoples faces and fules my mind. The weekend warriors just does it for something to do or to put a few more bucks in their pocket to get that flat screen TV at the big box store.

So what I have learned this past year of being a studio owner? I am no longer a Photographer I’m an Artist/business owner that displays and sells my work with a Camera. With being a one man show I have found my self pushing 14-16 hour days when I could delegate things to web designers, graphic designers, accountant, and do what I need to do more Shoot photos and deal with my clients. Then once that is all done I can spend time with the things that are close to me in life, my wife, my dogs, my family, and friends. This is the hole reason I am working for my self to a some freedom in my life, not to be stuck behind my desk, after studio hours updating my website, doing my books, while the things in life that matter most to me are wondering where I am and when I’m coming home.

So to end this all off find ways to work your business Smarter not harder. It took me a year to figure key things out and most likely I will learn a lot more next year and the year after that. Always keep your eyes open and if you want to do something don’t do it half way. Go all the way get that business space, get that business license, register that name, and quit that 9-5 and do what you love just don’t do it on your free time. I have been doing what I love for the past 3 years now and love everyday no matter how stressful some days can make me feel.

Get out there and do it right, Work Smart not hard, Enjoy the things in your life,


Shutterbug Photography

Owner and Artist with a Camera

  1. Tanya says:

    Free weekend shoots during off-time: A chance to fill your portfolio with images your clients have not yet been “trained” to accept and pose for. Though I agree, you can’t fill your time with those. Frankly, I miss having time during the summer to do personal work, to just be free to pick who I want as a model and make the images I want. That free work can sometimes be very revitalizing and help your creativity. You can’t focus ALL your energy on the money-making part of the business 😉

    • cbelter says:

      This is true don’t get me wrong i do my own free shoots on my terms and my time. So i can try something new. I would never take a clint on that comes in asking me to shoot for free or pennies, that shows a low self worth.

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