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leigh ann burdett

Leigh Ann Burdett Blog

Timeless photography to capture your love story. Celebrating couples & marriages throughout Washington, DC & beyond.
 Based in Arlington, Virginia. Available for travel.

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THE BLOG

Starting Out // Full Time with a Biz on the side

I am just going to start by saying that I am absolutely NO expert. I am learning as I go. I’m hoping & dreaming to continue to improve my skill as a photographer and a business owner tremendously over time. I have poured through blogs, social media accounts, Pinterest boards, and other outlets of top professionals in the wedding industry. I am constantly absorbing as much information as possible. I want to start sharing content about what it has been like to start out, manage my full time job, and work effectively and efficiently when I have the time.

It has been easy to find content about how other photographers start their gear collection. It’s been easy to find out what education they invested in from the start, but it has been hard to find what things looked like in their early days. I am going to start sharing tips, lessons learned, and information about how I’ve started and how I hope to improve.

So, with all that being said…what does a typical day look like? I usually leave our apartment around 7:45 in the morning to catch my bus to work. The bus ride lasts for about 30min and I always get a seat (this is key to actually accomplishing anything on the ride). I use this time to plan out my Instagram schedule for the week and brainstorm new ideas. During the work day I frequently have opportunities to put my earbuds in and listen to some podcasts. I listen to a few different creative business shows and plan to share my playlist in a later post. When the work day is over and I get home for the evening I answer emails and usually set up a details shoot near my windows. Over the past several weeks these shoots have helped me practice lighting, styling, and camera settings. They have also given me new content for my blog and Instagram.

 

WHERE TO START

It may seem overwhelming to start out. There are business tools to consider, legality to manage, and money to invest! I have been photographing friends and family since my junior year in college. I would say in the last 8-9 months I have taken things more seriously. However, this does mean that I have been doing research and making minor investments over this extended period. The following is a quick list highlighting where I’ve put my money to start and what has helped me.

 

Business Tools

  • Honeybook -I recently started using this business management platform and I have only begun to skim the surface with all of its capabilities. It’s been wonderful! So far my favorite tool has been the Questionnaire form. It is extremely helpful to categorize information from my brides in one location.
  • LLC Certificate -the key to being legit!
  • Legal Contract
  • Gallery delivery system -I am currently using PASS Plus to deliver edited image galleries to my clients. The interface is new with a fresh upgrade from PASS. I am anxiously awaiting the mobile app.
  • Website! -as soon as I launched a more professional webpage last year the inquiries sprung up immediately! This has been one of the best investments to date.
  • Blog!¬†-I’m working on it! But I’m hoping to continue to maintain a regular, weekly, blogging schedule
  • Social Media Accounts¬†
  • Logo & branding

Education

  • reading blog posts
  • second shooting
  • meeting new photographers

Gear

  • Invest in good glassthis is advice I heard early on and I’m so happy I’ve listened. Rather than buying lower grade lenses I’ve worked to save and invest in the lenses I want to use long term. My gear lineup is small right now (Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 105mm 2.8, Sigma 35mm 1.4, Nikon D610 Camera Body)
  • Flash set upa recent, but absolutely necessary investment, for upcoming indoor wedding receptions (2 Nikon SB-700s, an avenger flash stand, and 2 yongnuo radio transceivers)
  • Renting new gear

 

HOW I KEEP UP

  • Stay consistant
  • Reply immediately
  • Keep an organized calendar
  • Write To Do lists…often!
  • Organize your photo session delivery workflow ASAP

 

STAY TUNED…in the coming weeks I plan to share

  • How I manage my social media schedule
  • My go to Podcast Playlist
  • Creating new content weekly
  • How I track new ideas

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