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janelle joy is a team of private 1-on-1 photo editors to wedding photographers all over the world.

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janelle joy is a team of private 1-on-1 photo editors to wedding photographers all over the world.

Book A Consult


If you’re reading this you’re likely a photographer and looking to bridge the gap between having a hobby and having a business. It’s one thing to fine-tune your skillset, build a portfolio, and serve clients, but to create a brand and develop a company is an entirely different feat. This is why today I am taking you through 3 steps on how to turn your passion into a business.

Before we get into this I want to express that although the concept of running a business can feel really intimidating, it is actually so much more feasible than you’d think. Yes, there’s a learning curve, there always is when you’re learning something new, but it’s all about doing the work and taking baby steps that get you to your goals. With these three tips, I am going to give you exact, actionable tips that you can utilize right now to start turning your passion into a business. Are you ready?

Step 1: Define your niche/ideal clients

The first step to creating a business is figuring out who you want to serve and how you’re going to do it. You’re a photographer, so you need to decide on what kind of shoots and services you’re going to offer. It’s not enough to simply say that you’re good with a camera, if you want to be able to build a business around what you love to do, you need to be able to market your services to a niche group of people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer.

Here are some questions to answer to help narrow it down:

  • Do you have a studio or do you shoot on location?
  • Are you a local or traveling photographer?
  • Do you shoot weddings, boudoir, newborn, seniors, family portraits — who is your ideal client?
  • Do you offer single services or packages?

Just by answering these few questions, you can get an idea of what kind of photography business you’re going to build. From there you can start doing some market research to figure out a baseline for how much you can charge.

Step 2: Exchange your passion for money either via services or products

Without cash flow your business is just an expensive hobby, so now that you know what you’re going to sell, you need to assign pricing to your services and have a way for people to pay you. This is where a lot of new business owners get tripped up, but trust me, there are tons of tools out there to make this process easy and stress-free.

When going about this process there are a few things you can do to get that official stamp of approval. 

1. Create an LLC — even if you’re not planning on going “all in” on your business right away, having an LLC allows you to get an EIN number for your business taxes.

2. Get an EIN # through the IRS website

3. Set up ways to capture payment (here are some common platforms)

  • Honeybook
  • Stripe
  • Venmo Business
  • PayPal

4. Keep track of your income and business write-offs

  • Quickbooks small business is an *amazing* resource for this!

5. Claim your income on your taxes and have an accountable help you with business write-offs

NOTE: I am not a lawyer, financial advisor, accountant, or business advisor, this provided information is for general use purposes and you are encouraged to do your own research and abide by the laws and taxes in your state/country.

Once you have this set up, it’s time to assign pricing to your services. Make sure you do market research and don’t undervalue yourself. Even though this is your passion, it is still your time and effort and you deserve to be paid. 

Step 3: Market yourself

At this point, you have the bones of your business. You know who you’re going to serve, how you’re going to serve them, and how much it costs, now it’s time to share your business with the world! When it comes to marketing it’s important to have a sturdy foundation that you can grow from. If you have clear messaging from the beginning you’ll have a lot easier time gaining exposure, staying consistent, and attracting ideal clients.

Here are the first things I would do if I was starting my business over again:

  • Start with a website. 
    • Buy a domain from GoDaddy and build a website that you own. This way you can have full control of your brand and message, plus you can drop your link everywhere for people to easily click on and share.
  • Define exactly who your ideal client is.
    • There are tons of resources out there to help you clearly define your ideal client. Do the work from the beginning and you’ll messaging will be so much stronger and more magnetic to the people you really want to work with.
  • Utilize social media.
    • Social media remains to be the most impactful, free way to market your business. All it takes is for you to set up an account and start posting about your work. You have to let your potential clients know that you’re out there and ready to serve them!

There you have it! My 3 steps on how to turn your passion into a business. Now, if you’re looking for specialized help on how to optimize your photography business and streamline your editing and workflows, I invite you to check out my 1:1 mentoring services

Janelle Joy 1:1 Mentoring Services

This is an opportunity to speak directly with me, one-on-one and I can walk you through any specific pain points within your photography business.

This can look like establishing a more productive workflow so you can take on more clients without spending all your time editing. Or I can help you define an editing style that you love and helps you stand out from the rest. If you have a question about editing or Lightroom, this is where you go to get expert-level help and advice.

If 1:1 mentoring feels like the right fit for you, click this link to contact me! 

*Note that availability is extremely limited.

I would love to support you in any way that I can, we need more passionate people like you in this industry!

How to Turn Your Passion into a Business


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