Hey there! Checking in for the month of February with an on-time publishing of the monthly highlights report. This month was a little light in terms of the total number of photo shoots and overall blogging project. But it was largely successful on a personal level as I reigned in some important things such as monthly expenses. Without further ado, here are the stats.
February 2017 Photography Business Stats
with comparisons to January 2017 – Monthly Highlights Series
Photo shoots completed
*3 less than January
Business miles driven
*66 less than January
Hours worked for the month
*21.84 more than January
*58.11 less than January
*13.6 more than January
Resources Used for Monthly Stats
What Went Well
Fair amount of photo shoots.
February is still part of the annual photography low season. The spring weather isn’t the best, and there just aren’t a whole lot of events or photo opportunities happening. With that said, there is some opportunity in the food and restaurant scene, especially among eateries with seasonal menus. As a result, I had a decent amount of food photography work in February as restaurants were getting ready to switch out their winter menus in favor of spring items.
A chunk of these were regular commercial photography clients that I work with on a regular basis, but a good portion of them are brand new clients. This was thanks to a very important referral I received at the beginning of the month. A fellow food photographer reached out asking if she could refer some clients to me as she was transitioning out of her photography business into a full-time tech job. We had never met before, but had lots of contacts in common and had followed each other’s work pretty closely on social media. This was a huge referral that I’m still reaping the benefits of.
Along the lines of referrals and getting new clients, I’m also wrapping up a long negotiation process with a dream client. I’ll be working a major food festival as the official photographer, a position I’ve always considered to be my dream job. This job also came as a referral as a result of networking and attending the event many times before as a hobby photographer. These two examples are perfect illustrations of why networking is so important.
Reigning in expenses
Thanks to having a monthly mortgage and also wanting to be smarter with my money, I’ve done three things in particular that have really cut back on my monthly business expenses.
Using Uber to get to photo shoots.
This doesn’t work when I have to travel far outside of town, but when I’m just going one or two miles away from my home office to a photo shoot in downtown Seattle, I’ve found that using Uber or Uber Pool has saved me both time and money. It eliminates the skyrocketing parking fees, and also saves me the time and hassle of navigating traffic and finding a parking space.
Cooking at home with Instant Pot.
Along with higher parking fees, the cost of dining out has also gone up here in Seattle. As a result, I purchased an Instant Pot pressure cooker during the holiday season. I have to admit, the food blogger hype about it is real and I use it at least 3 times a week. It’s like a faster version of a Crock Pot where you throw things in, press a few buttons, and have whole meals ready in an hour or less. Perfect for people who hate to cook (like me), and want to save time and money on food costs.
Canceling gym membership.
As a fitness fanatic, I’ve been an avid gym goer since I was 16 years old, so this is the first time in over a decade I’ve been without a gym membership. But gym membership costs have been going up, so I chucked my $60 a month gym membership and invested that money into three objects: a set of kettlebells, a doorway pull-up bar, and a stability fitness ball. Thanks to the plethora of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout videos on YouTube, I use these three tools to get a pretty good full-body workout. I turned my hour of physical fitness at the gym into short 20-minute intervals 3 times a day of strength and circuit training. In the end, this new approach keeps activity levels up and prevents sitting for hours on end behind the computer.
On a more personal note, my fiance and I finally got our engagement photos done in February, on the same date as our five year anniversary! While we have made zero wedding plans so far, it’s nice to have professional-looking photos that capture us during this time in our lives. Big thank you to my fellow Seattle photographer Jonathan Gipaya for executing the shoot.
What Could Be Improved
My main disappointment for the month of February was not spending enough time on this blog. One of the hardest parts of running a photographer blog is balancing paid jobs with feeding the blog content. Sure, I stuck to my commitment of writing a new post (almost) every week. However, my bigger project of writing a comprehensive e-book that details how to start a photography business didn’t make any progress this month. Part of the challenge was having to dedicate more time to my money-making photography projects. And the other challenge is having so much information that I want to cram into the e-book or this blog and not prioritizing new content. With that said, I appreciate the new reader surveys, blog post comments, and email messages. I ready every single one and try my best to respond as quickly as possible, so please keep them coming!