How Do You Find Balance?
Before we get too far, you need to know that I am “one of those” photographers.
First of all, physically, I’m not young. I don’t like to consider myself “old” but I’ve been around. I remember the original Michael Jackson as well as Donny Osmond before he won, “Dancing With The Stars”. I also “did” film, back when it wasn’t trendy, but necessary. To date myself even more, I learned the craft on transparency film and supported my habit by mowing yards and shoveling snow.
Lastly, the only time you’ll catch me referring to “passion” is when I’m talking about the bottom line. The numbers in black. The cash in the bank. I love what I do, but I love it even more when I turn a profit.
Balancing the business/art/management is a juggling act but one that can seamlessly melt together, not unlike a great casserole. If you understand that first and foremost photography is a business, not a hobby, then you’ll treat it like a business. You have to imagine that this photography studio is, for example, a widget factory. You would want to make the very best widgets and you’d be a widget-maker while you’re at work, but you aren’t going to take the widget-making machinery home with you. That’s why you don’t take work home with you from the studio. You get it done during the business hours and enrich your life with other hobbies when you’re not at work. That way, when you’re at work it is more fun because you’re not overlapping your work and your fun time.
As the business manager, you have to put a dollar amount on every hour you are at work. If, for example, you had to pay someone to do everything that you do, you would want them to be the best and most efficient employee out there. If that employee is you, then how much time do you waste surfing the Internet, writing on Facebook or using Photoshop to draw a mustache on Kim Kardashian? You wouldn’t tolerate your employees wasting work time like that, so why do you allow yourself that luxury?
In a nutshell:
- Work at work. Relax at home.
- Find a hobby that isn’t photography. Run. Read. Garden. It will actually enhance your creativity.
- Time is money, don’t spend it foolishly.
All that being said, I’m still a mom. Still a female with a soft side for sleeping babies and the shy giggle of a two-year old.
Through the years I’ve seen trends come and go and dozens of competitors come and go. I watched my film cameras collect dust on the shelf and have more versions of Photoshop in boxes than most people have had cars in the garage.
All this is why – when a good idea comes around – I can grasp it with both hands and hold on tight. What we have in Pinhole is a good idea and I knew that within five minutes of the first telephone call. A printing business that understands the care with which professionals create digital files AND will reward them with a share of the profits was something I had been looking for. If you sell your digital files to your clients, then you’re going to be glad you’re here reading this because this is one company that is working for you in two different arenas.
First and foremost, they know how to print. This isn’t a one-hour kiosk outside your local chain store. These are printers who understand color, file size, pixel depth and all the other technical terms we enjoy tossing around. If you sell your digital files, you’re going to rest assured that if Pinhole prints them, they will look as fabulous as if you had hand printed them yourself. On top of that, they use quality products to print on which makes it only better. Just like finding no-calorie cake WITH frosting.
And secondly, they go to the bank for you. Because for every product they print for one of your customers, they are going to send you a commission. Just point your customers in the direction of Pinhole, provide them with a customer code and when they order, you get paid.
This is who I am and why I believe in the business Pinhole has begun here. As a professional photographer/business person/mom/consumer, you’ll be hearing more ideas from each aspect, whether it be sales ideas, product ideas or technical helps. In the meantime, open an account and point your clients in that direction – you’ll be glad you did.