Let's talk about money.

What!?

“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).

A Thousand Dollar Toy

That's what a lens is to a hobbiest. A thousand dollar toy.

And with a baby on the way, there was no way my family could afford a “Thousand Dollar TOY!”

“We Can't Afford It”

I have always cringed at those four words.

And I have nothing against my partner for saying them. It was absolutely true – we couldn't afford a $1000 anything!

But I couldn't let it go. I wanted that lens SO bad.

Then, a really wonderful question popped in my haed. I asked myself…

“So…how could I afford this lens?”

The answer was to EARN it…but NOT with my regular 9-5 day job which pays for the roof over our heads and the food on the table.

My partner and I agreed that any money I made with my photography “hobby” could go directly to fund my “toys”…completely guilt free.

Guilt-free toys!? Game on!

That's the day I became a pro

…and opened my doors for business. It wasn't easy. But it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be either.

In just a few months I had booked a couple of weddings (with friends and family who loved my photography and my prices) and I earned enough to purchase my dream lens with the deposit money.

So for me my part-time photography business has never been about “making more money.” It is always about “making more money so I can ________.”

How 'bout you? How do you “fill in the blanks?”

If you need some inspiration, here's a small list of why's and what's you can use for some motivation.

“I want to make more money so I can __________”

  • Pay down my debt
  • Take that much needed vacation
  • Buy a new lens (or bag, or tripod, or body)
  • Buy a new computer
  • Save for my kids college

Nail down a specific goal for your photography income and you'll find you have some SERIOUS motivation to get your butt in gear and land some clients (or just start by building your website).

But there are two more money tips I need to tell you about before you go hit the streets and the cash starts rolling in:

1. Open a separate checking account to track your business finances. Trust me, it'll make your life WAY easier.

2. Start and stay on a personal and business budget. What's the point of makeing more money if you don't have control over how it's spent now?

And with that, I want to tell you about the budget tool that I use. I love and promote it cause it's the first personal finance tool that I actually enjoy and have stuck with for any length of time.

It's called – You Need A Budget (gasp!)

This isn't a review post and I'm not even going to try to list out all of the benifits this piece of software can do for you.

But if you have ANY money problems at all, please do yourself a favour and check this program out.

Watch their video then download their full-feature 60-day free trial.

It's life-changing.

With just my photography business income I have been able to:.

  • Build up an emergency fund
  • Pay off my credit card debts (both personal and business)
  • Pay for my photography gear and software
  • Take my partner out for a nice dinner once or twice. :)

You won't know how powerful this stuff is until you try it.

CONTEST! Win a FREE Copy of “You Need A Budget”

It's contest time! (I'm so excited…can't you tell?)

The good people at YNAB have given me a FREE copy of their software and I want to give it away it away to one of my blog readers.

All you need to do to enter the contest is leave a comment below and answer the following question:

“I want to make a side income with photography so I can __________.”

One entry per person, and I will randomly select a winner in one weeks time.

Good luck!

(I'm so excited!!) :)

Update: And the winner is………..Max! Congrats on winning a free copy of the YNAB budget software.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. Though you didn't win the contest, I hope that you lit a flame in your belly by figuring out your strong “why” for trying to earn a little income on the side. :)

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