Do I have to get a shot today? Lil Jack asks the Doctor with worry in his little voice.
We'll see! She replies.
Umm how about not today! –Lil Jack
Good news, you just have to get a TB test done today... –Doc
He turns towards his daddy with his big brown eyes filling up with tears... Daddy tells him not to worry, that this is a test to see if he's the real Spiderman! So you have to be brave, itll just be a little prick, as he holds his hand and tries to keep him from looking. (Is it normal to fall in love all over again?) He seriously amazes me with the ideas he comes up with on the spot! He's such a great dad!
Lil Jack took the test like a champ! He was so excited when the nurse came in to reveal the big results that he is the real Spiderman! So don’t be shocked if he tries to shoot you with his web!
My baby has grown into a big boy! I can't believe 4years have already gone by!
I can’t even believe that my first year of photographer is already over! There has been sooo many highs & lows, successes & failures... I thought it might be cool to start a series of "What I’ve learned in my first year of Photography".
Let's rewind to the very beginning... "The Investments!"
Everyone says its pretty pricey starting a business, but its SUPER DUPER PRICEY!!! You definitely have to take a chunk from your savings, a leap of faith, & hold on like heck! There are many investments that you have to make in order to start making money! I decided to share some of my investments with you to help you understand that this is no joke!
In 2010 I went from being a stay at home mom with my cake business on the side, to working at a bakery to help save for our wedding & a "fancy" camera! In July of 2011 I left my job to go to photography school & in September 2011 I decided to take on photography as a full time job. Read more about how it all began here. During these events my husband was working as a Paramedic and was the sole provider for our family. In early 2012 he left his job to go to school. So money was definitely tight! I mean TIGHT! But luckily we had paid for all the gear before all of these changes occured. Thank God he was also getting paid while he was attending school so that's how we kept afloat. I threw in what I could when I booked lifestyle sessions & weddings here & there. We try to live very modestly & don't like to charge money that we don't have.
So now that you have the behind the scenes story, here are the investments we’ve made so far...
September 2011- I bought a Canon t3i rebel with an additional kit lens with the money I saved up from my old job! (We also got a homie discount which helped out a lot!) Then I found out within a week that the lens that we bought wasn't as fancy as I had thought! It was very limited :( But I was grateful for having anything at this point! Click here to see some of my first photos
December 2011- Jack bought me the 50mm F1.4 for xmas! read more about it here. I outgrew the kit lenses quick, it wasnt giving me the style that I wanted in my photos! But this lil baby is definitely my go to lens... Probably because it was my only pro lens for a while!
Feb 2012- I rented a 70-200mm 2.8 & 580exii & external flash for my first second shooting gig. Then soon after we spent some of our tax return $mula$ to buy the 70-200mm 2.8 (a wedding must have) & Markii which were both discounted at the WPPI conference. Read more about the MArk II purchase here
March 2012- I booked my first wedding & rented the 580exii flash & I now use my T3i for my backup camera.
April- July 2012- started second shooting more & booking lifestyle portraits then used the profits to payback our savings account. Its better than taking out a loan -No Interest! I raised some money to buy the 580exii flash! So now I own a flash & two lenses a 50mm 1.4 & 70-200mm 2.8 and these are what I use for weddings! I also rent a 35mm or 24-70mm, depending on what kind of mood Im in :)
October 2012- Finally bought an external hard drive to store all the wedding photos since I was taking up all the space on my mom’s pc laptop.
The above doesn’t mention the cost of classes, workshops, and other little things that are essential for the business.
In my first year I booked 3 weddings of my own & two hand fulls of lifestyle portraits, so the profits go right back to our savings account! I'm yet to pay back the cost for all the equipment (and I'm already itching to buy another lens to add diversity to my photos) but I'm definitely working on repaying as fast as I could, cuz once I'm caught up then I want to get a 35mm lens! Until then I gotta rent rent rent!
I’ve also saved money by using things that we've already had, like...
Our desktops until they decided to take a dump on us. Now Im mooching off my mom’s laptop for all my business needs, which is getting old for her cuz I'm taking up all her space! I also created my own website and logo -off of a free platform, that I've changed the design a million times! Instead of spending money that I don’t have on branding and packaging Disc’s, I offer awesome Online Galleries for my clients to download, share, & print their photos! I will elaborate more on that in another series.
I know that some photographers are lucky enough to own all the coolest lenses and I wish that I was included in that batch but I'm going to have to wait & work with what I've got, rent, and rock it out as much as I can until I can afford to buy my own gear! I don't like spending our savings on business when it could be spent on other things like family vacations! It makes me feel guilty. So anywhoo this is how we invested in my business! It might not have been the right way, but everyone has their own path! I am so grateful for my Husband/Best Friend Jack for supporting me and making this journey possible! I love him more every day! He's the one that has always inspired me to do what I want to do!
I hope this help those of you who are interested in getting into photography, or following a different dream! You can do it! Unfortunately it's gonna take some money honey! This is the unfun part of this business!
I'M JANELLE MARINA
Wife, Mama Shark, + Photographer.
Most days, you'll find me in mismatched socks and a top knot, working behind my computer with a smile on my face, listening to Zac Brown Band and R&B
--or, dancing in the kitchen with my 3 littles and hunka husband, seeing who could come up with the coolest dance moves. I'm a wedding photographer, West Elm lover, aspiring advocate for our buddies with special needs, and a Certified Dreamer since 1986. We live in a cozy city in Southern California and are always up for a good adventure. I enjoy telling stories with my camera, grubbing on spicy food, and solving the latest Dateline case.