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Carrie Wildes: Engineering a Profitable Photography Business - PPA Today

Carrie Wildes: Engineering a Profitable Photography Business

wildes_carrie_2012.JPGOn a 2004 mission trip to the Philippines, Carrie Wildes was dubbed the "official photographer" because she was the only one with a nice camera. But she had skills, as her fellow travelers soon saw. Back in Chicago, Carrie Wildes struck up a conversation with a studio owner about an apprenticeship. She started assisting at weddings on weekends, while sticking with her "real" job--an industrial engineer in the pharmaceutical industry--as her passion for photography grew.

Building It the SMS Way
Carrie was still doing wedding photography part time when her husband was transferred to Florida in 2007. The move was the catalyst for asking herself if she could make a decent living as a photographer.

"Then, one of my friends gave me the Professional Photographer magazine subscription as a gift, and I was hooked," Carrie notes, saying she joined PPA shortly afterwards. She knew there were (and are!) so many photography businesses out there--some successful, some not so much--and she wanted to avoid the pitfalls and learn from best practices.

She was hard-nosed about the money, too. "Being a photographer is wonderful, but I was making good money already and didn't want to go backward financially."

So, she talked her way into PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) Business Breakthroughs workshop to figure out her plan. "I didn't meet one of the qualifications for the class, but they made an exception for my work experience and it was exactly what I needed. SMS helped me apply all the things I already knew about business to studio management, and they taught me everything I didn't know about wedding photography."

Most importantly, SMS mentors helped Carrie build a sales and financial plan that convinced her she could make a go of it as a full-time photographer. 

Read the full article here.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on April 4, 2012 1:56 PM.

Money-Saving Software & Equipment Discounts was the previous entry in this blog.

Starting a Studio on a Budget: How to Establish a Professional Presence Without Breaking the Bank is the next entry in this blog.

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