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WElcome to THE 

And we know this for sure: You can't do it all.  After experiencing what it's like to run photography businesses while wrangling little ones (and living on fumes), we knew there had to be a better way. That's when Harbor Creative Co. was born...

We are photographers & mamas, just like you. 

& from one mama to another, we want to help!

Time Management

What They Don’t Tell You About Running A Photography Business

We're co-founders of Harbor Creative Co., photographers, and Mamas of two littles each.  We share a love for coffee, yoga pants, and empowering women to run thriving portrait photography businesses without the overwhelm.

we're laura & cait

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Scroll through Instagram and you might be under the impression that running a photography business is all Pinterest-worthy photoshoots and dreamy clients.

The reality…taking photos is just a small percentage compared to doing all of the other things as a business owner. 

Running a Photography Business - a graphic breaking down everything that goes into it. Graphic by Harbor Creative Co.

Here’s what they don’t tell you…

You are a business-owner first

You can take the most beautiful photos in the world, but if you do not have a strong business foundation it won’t matter. Before you even get started, you will need to have the appropriate license(s) for your area, set up insurance, and have an understanding of your local tax laws. We cannot stress to you enough how important it is to make sure your business is set up legally. 

Did I mention, that is just the beginning? 

There will come a time when you will need to establish business policies. Some you can establish right away and others you will learn as you encounter different things. 

Perhaps at the top of the list, you need to know how to run a profitable business. Do you know what it costs to run your business? The truth is, a lot of people don’t. But knowing what it costs to simply operate your business, along with how to pay your taxes and save for other expenditures, is so important. And oh yeah…you need to know all of that so that you can make sure you’re paying yourself a living wage. 

Half of small-businesses fail within the first five years, with 20% being within their first year. Here’s the thing, you can let that number scare you or you can let it motivate you to make sure that you have a strong business foundation and are set up for success from the start. 

Education is key to success and longevity

We are huge advocates for investing in education. Whether you just purchased your first camera or you’ve been a photographer for years, there is always something to learn. 

Be smart about it. Don’t purchase every online course for it to just sit there. Do your research, determine your learning style and determine if that course, mastermind, workshop, or coach is going to help you move the needle forward in your business. 

People will tell you no – you can’t let it paralyze you

We have all received an inquiry and gotten really excited only to find out that they went with another photographer. This can be paralyzing for some, but you cannot let it stop you. 

Here’s the thing,…you are not a perfect fit for everyone and likewise, everyone is not a perfect fit for you. Your why is different than my why and my why is different from another photographer’s why. And our why is what connects us to our clients and their stories. 

So while I know that a no can be really hard and this sounds so cliche, but that no is making room for the right yes. 

Community is everything

Day in and day out, you’re sitting in front of your computer and unless you’re with your clients, it’s just you. Meeting others in the industry, specifically in the motherhood niche, and building your community is so important. These people will celebrate the highs with you, be there on the days you need support and honestly, will become some of your closest friends. 

We know this because it’s how we met and what motivated us to start HCC.

You will get a point you cannot do it all

As your photography business grows, you will inevitably reach a point where in order to continue to grow, you will need support. This may include building a team and/or outsourcing certain tasks or areas of your life to free up more time. We know, letting go of control is HARD. Your business is your baby. But we promise, there are people out there that are excited to come alongside you, cheer you on and help you continue to nurture and grow your business. 

Outsourcing can be scary, but it can also be really liberating. You no longer have to wear all the hats- photographer, blogging, graphic designer, Pinterest manager, etc…As we like to say here at HCC, that’s where the magic happens. 

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charleston, SC