About Author

Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, photographer and business consultant for photographers. She is currently helping creative industry professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction. Disclaimer: I am a lawyer but I'm not your lawyer! View my entire disclaimer here

48 Comments

  1. Alisha Pendergraff on

    Rachel, as always you with your heart, business and your self out on display for the sake of sharing your business lessons so that others might not have the growing pains that you did. I HOPE that people quickly realize what a wealth of information you have to offer, but more so that they REALLY grasp what you are “giving” to them. You are an amazing young woman and I admire that you are willing to put yourself out there time and time again…. You get NOTHING but love from this Okie!!!!

    <3 Alisha

    p.s. Thank you and you are SUCH a positive, wonderful addition to this industry!!!

  2. Angela Asaro on

    Thanks for going out on a limb to post this Rachel. I completely see what you’re coming from and since I am starting up this year I have made the conscious effort to save all my receipts for tax purposes, now mind you I haven’t gotten my EIN yet. This is actually where I wish someone had something Photography 101 related. Taking the love you have of photography to the next level…like a beginners book/booklet. Something as simple as starting with the purchase of your camera, to 2 weeks after you should have this, 1 month later you should have this, etc. I tell you this is the one thing for me that I would be the most grateful to have. I am going to check out the blogs you added to this post, but I want to thank you for all the guidance you give and all you give of yourself to not only help you grow, but help others with the same love of photography to grow as well. :)

  3. Nicole Proulx on

    I just LOVE YOU! it seems every time im wondering about something, or have questions; there you are with another post to answer all my questions 😀 THANK YOU. thank you. thank you! You have been so helpful to me in this process. <3

  4. Great post, so many important things to consider. Also, wow congrats to you on your progress and your gumption to put yourself out there like that. Your work is beautiful!

  5. GREAT POST! Nice, but to the point. Not saying “you have to do it my way” but generally advising the best way to get into the business. I started completely free. I uploaded photos to mpix.com and provided a link for people to order. I also did CDs (very cheap method). Once I got some experience I started offering prints at a VERY low price. Now I’m still probably not pricing myself high enough, but I’m still not to the point yet that I think I need to charge that much – we are our own worst critic. I’ve had other pro’s tell me to raise my prices… but I personally just don’t feel I’m there. Like you said, this is a personal decision, but it should be a well educated, properly made decision. :)

  6. I’d also like to add – I shot my first wedding as a second shooter. I don’t think anyone should shoot a wedding as a primary without experience… too much is at stake.

  7. Your post was so informative. And there are so many in the position of “how much?” “When?” “Where?”. I’ve seen many photographer friends struggle with this. So many people limit themselves and allow themselves to be limited by others’ thoughts on “when am I…?”. Thank you for this post! <3

  8. Very informative and should give people looking into getting into this or any other business a lot to think over before hand!

  9. I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc. 525685

  10. Susan Freeman on

    Photography has been my passion since about 7th grade and I am getting ready to retire from teaching after 32 years. My youngest son is going to school for photography and has aked me to go into business. I am flattered but not sure if this is the answer. we could be good together as our strengths tend to complement one another and we both have a “good eye”. Still pondering…..

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  15. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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  19. Such great advice! I’m just absorbing it all bit by bit. I have a couple questions – when do you get a watermark on your pics and how do you accomplish that? Do I have to have fancy editing software?
    Although I’m no professional I would like to have credit for the pics I do take and post online, etc.
    Have you had anyone pick apart your pics? I.E. Just the other day a person said they didn’t like the little bit of goober (I thought it was cute) on a baby’s chin in a pic I took. It kinda hurt! Do we have to be super tough to do this professionally? Thanks! :)

  20. I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I have wondered how to really open the door to starting my own business. I’ve had so many questions in the back of my mind that have been brought to light and answered on your website. THANK YOU for being willing to share your knowledge. I’ve run into so many friends who’ve had success with their photography, but they won’t share ANYTHING, from the lens and settings, to how much they charge (unless of course I’m paying them). It’s all been a big mystery and it’s something that I love so I’m very grateful for your willingness to be open and honest.

    THANK YOU!

    Sara

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  24. Rachel, I have read (very possibly on your own website) that it’s always necessary to have an attorney in your own state to review contracts such as those you sell on here, I am just now noticing you are based in Texas, are these contracts made to abide and follow within laws in Texas? Basically, if I am doing business in Texas is it still necessary to have an attorney review these. Thank you!

  25. Rachel Brenke on

    Hey Monica,

    I always recommend review by an attorney to ensure it suits your business policies and local laws -but I am barred in texas yes :)

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