Last year I spent a lot of time working on up leveling my business in every way I could think of. And reflecting on 2020 I wanted to share some of the best things I did to really put back into my business to create a much more successful Dahlia Orchid. By no means am I anywhere near where I want to be, but I’m getting there and would love to share what I have found in the last twelve months that has helped me along the way.
Not all of these investments have been money, some of them have been time (and lots of it) but if you’re struggling to get your photography business off the ground and the thing I’ve been doing could help you then I’m more than happy to share any knowledge I have 💕
Investment #1: The Heart & Hustle Podcast
These two bad ass boss babes have a ton of knowledge to share and I have learned soooooo much just from listening to their podcast over the past few months. If you’re an entrepreneur then this podcast is a must listen. Evie and Lindsey have taught me how to master social media (even though I’m still working on it). They’ve encouraged me to do the damn thing and have confidence in myself and I’ve never even met them.
Investment #2: 85mm Lens
This lens is seriously my favorite of all the lenses I’ve ever purchased. The bokeh on it is honestly dreamy and is so mesmerizing. This guy stays on my camera 90% of the time during my sessions since I got it just a few months ago. It’s really upped my game as far as creating those shots with gorgeous blurred out backgrounds or even shots with depth and blurred out foregrounds. Some of my favorite images from 2020 have been taken on this lens.
Investment #3: Styled Shoots
I photographed my very first ever styled shoots last year. I not only got some amazing content for my portfolio, but I also put on my own styled shoot which helped me network with other vendors in the wedding industry. If not for styled shoots I would have never met Deanna, one of my favorite photographer friends, who gave me the opportunity to photograph a beach wedding and have a wonderful weekend in a place I had never been! I would have never met Kelsey, who’s an awesome wedding planner and has pups that are the sweetest and a ton of fun to watch! Or Joy from My Joyful Event who runs a wonderful business planning weddings and renting out tuxedos with her husband Al. There are so many benefits to styled shoots I seriously don’t have the space to write them all out, and they’re such a great way to break into the wedding industry 🥰
Investment #4: Facebook Groups
I have invested a ton of time into joining Facebook groups for photographers, wedding vendors, and just people in my area. There are people who are looking for photographers in those groups almost daily. Or who are wanting their perfect fit. I can’t tell you how many wonderful clients and opportunities I’ve seen or been able to participate in due to those groups. I’ve watched my social media following grow and become more engaged BECAUSE of those groups. I’ve built a more solid foundation and connection in this last year since moving to Nashville than I ever had when I was building my business back in Minnesota. Facebook groups are seriously amazing!
2020 was such a difficult and tough year for so many small businesses. If you’re a small business and you’ve struggled and felt defeated due to COVID or any one of the many things 2020 has brought to our lives please know that you are NOT alone. There are some struggles that you can’t control, I saw so many weddings get rescheduled or changed due to the events from last year. Even though I put a lot of effort into the behind the scenes of my business, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t struggle from time to time and feel hopeless as I navigated rescheduling not only my own wedding but my client’s weddings as well.