Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Business As Usual (Or Unusual Because I've Never Done Something Like This Before)

I've been really torn lately on whether or not to take out a small loan to jump start my business here. It's difficult to carve out a niche for yourself when you've just moved somewhere with very few contacts and we've been exploring options on how to give me an extra edge. I don't think I've ever mentioned it before, but I'm an incredibly simplistic photographer equipment wise. I have a fantastic camera (really, I could talk your ear off on how much I love that baby), but it's not quite my dream camera. I have some nice lenses, but none of them are top notch. I'm a big believer in working for what you get, which is why I didn't throw myself into debt when purchasing any of my camera equipment. But starting a full-time business is a totally different ball game than buying equipment to learn on and experiment with. I'm no longer interested in booking a few sessions a month. I plan on working full time the entire time we live in Arkansas (and later, if I'm not too swamped with babies). Obviously, I'm just setting up here since I'm new to the area, but that's the plan and we are going for it.

Anyway, I finally met with a bank agent today after avoiding it for weeks and afterwards? I just knew it wasn't the route I wanted to go. Not gonna lie, I cried a little afterwards because I had my heart set on some new equipment that would really help me step up my game (namely this professional staple, a 2.8 version of this baby, and this pulled-from-my-dreams lens). We have enough money in our account to pay for my business expenses, but I don't want to use family money to pimp out my camera bag- at least not in bulk. Does that make any sense? Mr. C. and I are both fine with buying some equipment out of our family account because we document our lives with photography, but aside from dates and Chick-fil-a family nights, we like to leave the family money for food, clothing, rent, and Christmas presents.

So, after meeting with the agent, I decided to just let the chips fall where they may be, wiped up my straggling tears, said a few prayers, and went on with my day, even though I felt incredibly discouraged. And then? Then! A few hours later, I remembered that B&H Photo lets you pay for equipment in installments so I decided to click on over and check it out. Which is where I saw a 6 month no interest payment plan. Awesome? Yes! You better believe that the first lens on my list was in a shopping cart as soon as I ran the idea by my ever-lovin' hubs. And you better believe that the hefty sucker will be paid off in a few short months (at no interest!). This works so much better for me than taking out thousands of dollars from a bank for a small business loan! (ps. I am not advocating buying things without the necessary funds. I easily could have paid for this in one little button click, but I didn't want to swipe most of the money from my family's bank account, especially when I have sessions booked that aren't paid in full yet but will quickly help me pay off the expense.)

This post is probably extremely boring to someone who isn't a small business owner or a photographer busy scrounging up enough respect to step up from part-time to full-time but, seriously, this little B&H Photo deal was such a blessing today that I couldn't help but share! Things have been a little rough lately with the business set up, from deciding about loans and equipment to a fellow photographer turning me in for tax evasion, something that was really awkward because I'm registered and legal but, when they turned me in, I hadn't made any money in Arkansas yet.

Also joining the Lissa Clair Photos equipment family this week?
New spare batteries, a new battery grip, and a new set of reflectors. I'm not a big fan of lighting equipment- I use a speedlight and diffuser when necessary (which is hardly ever) and I have no interest in softboxes. BUT. I am extremely excited to mess around with my new reflectors (especially the gold one!), particularly because they cost me a whoppin' fifteen bucks. I'm also getting a Lensbaby for my birthday and I am really, really excited!

PS. If you're a photographer, what are your favorite lenses?
My favorite is my 85mm 1.8 (I am in love with it), but I'm pretty sure my 24-70 2.8L is gonna shimmy up right next to it! Ah!