How I Grew My Photography Business

How I Grew My Photography Business: Joy Michelle Photography - I wanted to share some of my top changes on how I grew my photography business.

I had a suggestion from a fellow YouTube Subscriber who wanted to know my business game changers from software and gear to experience and growth. I have reflected on the past five years and wanted to share some of my top changes on how I grew my photography business.

Joy Michelle Photography Wedding, Joy behind-the-scenes at weddings, business game changers


There are three different experiences that helped me grow my photography business:

  1. Become a second shooter for a couple different photographers consistently throughout your first year. It helps you to understand the feel and vibe from a wedding and to nail down the timeline. I was a second shooter with the same photographers for about 10 to 15 times while booking my own weddings.
  2. Give different couples free sessions. Why? This will help with finding your own brand and style of editing. Giving free sessions helps take the pressure away of expectations from your clients. Everyone loves free photos!
  3. Attend business focused workshops for photographers. I took some great workshops and was able to understand where I wanted my business to be at each day, week, month, and even a year. The workshops help you to set up goals for you and your business. This is how I grew my photography business!


A few tips and advice that helped me was to have a full framed camera body and an 85mm 1.41 lens. The camera body was able to handle a higher ISO and the lens helped give me a look that I loved. That soon became my personal brand. Having my own brand really helped my business take off. Try out different gear sets to find your own brand and style!


Editing can be a difficult piece to try and find your style. I used Lightroom at first, but quickly found out that I could have a better platform that worked with my editing style. Lightroom is great, but it was tedious and took forever to edit. I soon took a class by Jared Platt on Creative Live. This was a huge game changer in my editing style. The class guided me on how to become organized with my gallery along with achieving the edits I needed. I would highly suggest this class.


Here are three softwares that helped me grow my business:

  1. Photomechanic. Please go and watch my Youtube Video on this. It will explain further.
  2. Honeybook was a client management software that I was missing from day one. It helps track and create contracts and invoices and keeps you organized from a bookkeeping standpoint. I thought I was saving time by using a simpler software, but realized it was more work to switch everything over from one platform to another. Start out with Honeybook and save yourself the headache of switching!
  3. Mile IQ is an app on your phone to track mileage. It helps track what is business travel vs. personal travel. It also itemizes everything out for you at the end of the year for taxes. This piece of software was a life savor on time.


Here are three of my top book suggestions that helped me grow my photography business:

  1. The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz
  2. START. by Jon Acuff
  3. Fine Art Wedding Photography by Jose Villa & Jeff Kent


Mindset is a tough thing to overcome, but if you can switch the way you think to a more positive outlook, the more you will go forward with your business. My mindset was holding me back. I had to remember that everyone I looked up to, whether it’s other photographers or people in general, are also human. Another hurdle I had to overcome was asking myself “Why not me? Why can’t I do this?”. That helped me to believe in myself and to have the grit to grow and become successful with my business. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!


Lastly, I wanted to share with you advice that will hopefully go a long way. The Compound Effect helped me realize that everything that I do everyday adds up to something. It helped me to not get discouraged about putting in time for the smallest thing, or if my blog wasn’t growing at the rate I wanted it too. Remember that everything you do each day will be put into effect somewhere in your business. It doesn’t just stop at one experience, but continues to grow with many experiences.


That’s it! Here are all of my secrets on how I grew my photography business and continue to be successful and thrive. If I can do it, I know you can too! Be sure to check out my Youtube video on my “Photography Business Game Changers” and tell me about your biggest game changers!

How I Grew My Photography Business: Joy Michelle Photography - I wanted to share some of my top changes on how I grew my photography business.



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