BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Jen Orbistondo

In-Home Studio - Reality Check

I am a stay-at-home mom with the aspiration to open an in-home photography studio. I'm very new to photography and have a lot to learn, so this is 2-4 years out. My goal is to have a part-time income. I've been reading the postings and it seems that a lot of stay-at-home moms have done this. I'd love to hear other stay-at-home moms advice and/or recommendations.

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2/23/2006 4:09:05 PM

Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
Hi...I reccomend that you visit the studio photography thread by debby, it is on #18 now I beleive, there is ALLOT of information there, you can go and read all 18 of them, and it is a great group of talented photographers sharing themselves...give it a try, I am sure you will find more info than you can process...

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2/23/2006 8:27:27 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  My advice would be to do a lot of reading and research BEFORE you spend any money on equipment.

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2/23/2006 9:08:18 PM

Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Jennifer, there is an informative book out there called "the business of studio photography" by Edward Lilley. It covers everything about the business aspect, from picking a name and a place to pricing charts and a lot in between. It covers all business aspects. I would also look at related books, studio lights, etc.

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2/24/2006 7:27:05 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
I want to address your question, but first a Thank You to Tonya, for her suggestion. It is a good one.
On this thread you will see a lot of others prepareing to do the same as you.
Most there having the same idea, to keep their "Day Job" while building and collecting the Items to complete a venue for thier passion.
I Had been with major portrait companies for most of my childrens life.
A combination of my Son starting 6th grade and me missing one of his major BMX races (he got his first trophy)
led my Son to saying "I just can't do this with you any longer Mom, I need you more"
Well ya know!
Yes I gave my 1 month resignation .
It has been almost 3 years now and I don't reget it at all.
It takes time to collect the exact equiptment you want-so while working,this is the time.
If you go to the thread Tonya has mentioned and back through the others you will find most of us are very willing to help you get the information you need.
All my best for your success in building your dreams,

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2/24/2006 8:26:51 AM

Jen Orbistondo   Thanks for the advice. I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to be at home with my daughter right now, but will eventually have to go back to part-time work. That's why I want to explore this possibility as much as possible because it's what I've always really wanted to do. Now that I'm not tied to a job, I have more freedom to do that. Debby - I've been reading the threads for a while and you somebody who has inspired me to look into this more. Thanks!

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2/24/2006 8:45:06 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  WOW! Thank you so much, Jennifer.
That is so nice to hear.
you know it just took me so far into my life to get where I am today, I really don't want it to take others so long to get thier dreams.
Especialy women, We do so much and the world can cheat our kids,so any time you can murge home and work -our family benifits.
Congradulation on the New baby, this will certinly help you build beautiful albums of her life if you never even make a dime.
Again all my best to you and your family,

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2/25/2006 7:34:38 AM

Nicole Thurman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2005
  Hi. Where can I find these threads? I would love to read them. I too am a sahm looking for parttime income soon. Thanks so much.

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8/15/2006 8:21:27 PM

Kendall L. Noland
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Here the first of the threads. Hurry catch up.

Grab a cup of coffee(or...) and catch up and join us, here are the other links:

PART #6:

PART #7:

PART # 8:


PART #10:


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8/15/2006 8:28:46 PM

Pat Worster
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2004
  I have some very inexpensive and easy to make backdrops in my gallery. Made from sheets and spraypaint. I also had a backdrop stand made from PVC pipe that works great.

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8/16/2006 9:52:37 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I don't want to be a wet blanket on anyone's plans or ambitions, but aside from what Chris said about equipment and what Becky mentioned about familiarizing yourself with the business of photography, you shouldn't do a thing until you have worked out, in writing, a flexible, reasonable, affordable, business plan.

Being a professional photographer isn't so much about buying equipment or making photographs these days. It's much more complex than that and really photography is very little of what a professional photographer does. It's sales, marketing, advertising, taxes, accounting, calculating and keeping track of expenses, buying and maintaining insurance, association membership dues, licenses and registrations, copyrights and usage agreements, customized contracts that fit your own particular business and a gazillion other details that comprise most other businesses.

I've said this before around here but for the record, I'll say it again: You shouldn't even think about opening a business, especially one in your own home wherein you intend to have people visiting for you to perform photographic services, whether it's your owned home or one you rent until you know how much liability insurance is going to cost you and who to get it from. And, if you happen to be renting, you need to notify your landlord, check your rental agreement about prohibitions against running a business on the property, city/county zoning requirements and regulations and of course, get a written approval from your landlord. Without those things, you're just asking for grief. All it takes is a single light to fall over on a kid. Seewhatimean? It really isn't just about buying equipment and making photos.

Good luck ;>) and take it light.

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8/16/2006 2:41:07 PM

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