Fill In the Blanks Contest Question: “I Want to Make a Side Income with Photography so I Can __________.”

Let's talk about money.


“We're creative artists! Leave the boring money talk for the accountants…”

Now I know you're a photographer. And you're probably a pretty darn good one at that. That's awesome.

But I also know you're reading this blog with the hope of making a little (or maybe even a lot!) of extra cash with your camera on the side. That's awesome too.

But let me ask you a couple of questions

  1. Why do you want to make extra money?
  2. And what exactly do you plan to do with this extra cash once you land some paying gigs?

Having a powerful why and what can be a huge motivational factor that ensures you push past your hurtles to success or decide “this photography business stuff is just too hard” and give up.

When I decided I wanted to make money with my camera, it was so I could afford a $1000 lens (the game-changing, jaw-dropping Nikon 18-200mm VR, to be exact). [Read more…]

How Do You Know When You’re Good Enough to Charge?

I hate to tell you this…

But it doesn't matter if you think your photos are good enough to make you money.

And it doesn't matter if you don't think you're photos are good enough to make you money either!

There's really only one way to know if you can make money with your camera – someone (anyone) will tell you that they want to pay you to take some photos.

It might go down like this:

“These photos are really good! Will you do a photo shoot of me and my kids next weekend? I'll pay you for it.”

I'll pay you for it. [Read more…]

The Simple, Ridiculously Useful Guide to Earning a Living from Your Passion

Photography PassionThe personal development blog, Zen Habits, has over 237,000 readers.

And I'm one of them.

It has a massive following because its author, Leo Babauta, is a talented, passionate writer and his blog has a crystal clear message – simplify your life; do what you love.

Do What You Love

“I’m lucky — I’ve found my passion, and I’m living it. I can testify that it’s the most wonderful thing, to be able to make a living doing what you love.” – Leo Babauta [Read more…]

Pinterest: A “Visual” Social Bookmarking Tool You and I Can’t Ignore

Pinterest Logo

I value my time. Which is why I'm rarely an “early adopter” of new social media tools.

Twitter and Facebook both had to prove their worth to me before I decided to get on board. I'm still undecided about LinkedIn, MySpace (ha!), and even Google+.

But when I heard about the rapid growth of this new “visual” social bookmarking site,, I had to check it out. [Read more…]

My New Years Resolution & The WPG “Let’s Get Organized” Contest!

Happy New Year 2012Today's post is a little bit special.  To celebrate the New Year I'm giving away a copy of the Evernote Essentials ebook to one lucky reader!  Read on to get the details…

2011 is coming to a close.

Thinking back, 2011 was a wonderful year for me.  I achieved some pretty big goals — one of them, of course, was to launch this blog and connect with fellow photographers who have a desire to shoot weddings. So yeah…I'm glad I'm writing this post on this blog and I'm glad you're reading it!

But this post isn't about the past year, it's about looking forward to 2012 and making sure we're improving ourselves to give us the best chance at reaching our goals.

That's right – it's time for some New Year Resolutions!

This year I'm going to stick to one of my most elusive (and thus recurring) goals – to get more organized.

And I read somewhere that you're more likely to stick to a goal if you share it with others.

Something about accountability, I guess.  :)

Ah heck, let's just make this thing official then…

I, Ryan Oakley, resolve to use Evernote, a tool I know and love, to help me organize my ever expanding digital life. [Read more…]

Introducing Marketing 2.0 with QR Codes

QR Code Scanning Image

Photo by The Daring Librarian

Today's blog post is going to get a little geeky. But bare with me, because I'm going to talk about something that has the potential to really boost your marketing as a professional wedding photographer.

If you couldn't guess from the title, I'm going to be talking about QR Codes.  It's the latest and greatest in offline marketing.  By offline marketing, I mostly mean marketing on print.  You know…like paper. Gasp!

What the heck are QR Codes?

QR Codes (aka Quick Response Codes) are those little square bar codes that you might have seen in the oddest of places recently.  Just this week in my small mountain town I've seen QR Codes in newspapers, magazines, realtor listings, and even on wine bottles!

The concept is simple, but a little mind-blowing. [Read more…]

7 Things Every Wedding Photogapher Must Do the Night Before a Wedding Shoot

[Edit: An astute reader pointed out that my list actually contains 8 things, not 7. So, I suppose you can consider the 8th one a bonus.  Enjoy!]

You've had this date circled on your calendar for months. Every time you glance at it, your mind and body are filled with exhilaration (and maybe just a bit of nerves too).

Now that it's the night before the wedding, your mind is in over-drive making sure you're going to be ready to do the job you've been hired to do – as best as you can possibly do it.

Minimize the nerves and the mistakes by using this 7-point checklist the night before the wedding.
[Read more…]