Today’s post is for my photography peeps! Whether you’re just starting to take photos with your new DSLR for fun and on the weekends or maybe you’re new into a part-time or full-time biz! This is for all interested in continuing to GROW + save time and money in the long run.
One thing I think all photographers start to pick up on after they’ve purchased their first DSLR and lens is that the expenses to grow and get jobs done does not seem to stop. Tallying up expenses month to month can sometimes lead to a gut wrenching feeling. Over the last five years, I’ve bought/returned/and compiled a lot of these expenses and now have a pretty good hold on what is necessary for me to keep and what really benefits me.
SO FIRST. I’m going to share FIVE of my favorite “I can’t get rid of these expenses” expenses with you and then at the bottom of this blog post, I will list the rest of my constant expenses too for you to take a look into, if you’re interested.
1 – Rechargeable Batteries | Charger
I don’t know why this took me SO long to figure out guys. But my first three years as a wedding photographer, I spent HUNDREDS a year on double AA batteries for my flashes. It was also a big time suck and annoyance to stop by a CVS before wedding days to go grab another pack or two (JUST INCASE!!). It was ALSO a guessing game each time, wondering when these batteries are going to be DUNZO. The days of having twenty+ loose double AA’s in my bag are NO MORE!
I finally changed my ways two years ago and got this battery pack and a couple packs of its batteries. Guys, sweet relief. I now charge the batteries up the day before every wedding while my camera batteries charge and I have never ran into a problem! There are all kinds out there – but this is what I use – CLICK.
2 – SD Card Bundles
If you’re not on the BH Email Newsletter, what ya doing?! I hate online newsletter spam but everytime BH sends me an email – you can bet I glance at it to see what’s on discount or special that week. A few times a year I stock up on SD and CF cards usually getting 3-4 at a time, because it ultimately saves me upwards $50 bucks and I don’t have to buy for long while.
Also, if you aren’t purchasing new cards every now and then, you need to be. File cards in this biz are no joke. They are to be taken care of just like you take care of your lenses and camera body. They get old and tired and a card can go bad anytime (yes, nightmares). So rotate these babies out a few times a year.
Here is the SD card holder I use to keep them safe on a wedding day – CLICK.
And here is another popular one that holds SD + CF. – CLICK.
3- Join your Camera Companies Membership/Support Program
I get it – this can be viewed as an “extra” expense. Let me tell you why I’m a member of the CPS (Canon Pro Services) program. Not only am I covered and my phone call is considered priority if I drop a lens/have a camera freak accident.. I get a huge discount and perks every time I send my camera in to get cleaned. Yep – I get my camera cleaned twice a year. A few times, I’ve sent my gear in to just get cleaned, and learned that there actually was something wrong with it that THEY CAUGHT! Yep – even more reason to view your gear as your children. Take them to their check ups, parents!
I’m pretty sure just about ANY camera company has a pro member/repair team. I know Canon and Nikon do. In the Canon system, the more Canon product you have, the more perks you get as a member, such as : Repair Discounts, Expedited Shipping, 24/7 Support, Free Cleanings, Etc.
If you’re Canon and want to learn more – CLICK.
If you’re Nikon and want to learn more – CLICK.
4- Cloud Storage
Again, my first three years of biz.. I did everything the hard way. In the bottom of my desk drawer, you will find SIX physical 1-2 TB hardrives from my first few years. Partly because I keep everything. Raws and Edited files. It was last year I filled another up and my desk drawer whispered…”NO MORE, THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.” So I switched to a cloud storage plan that has been the easiest thing EVER. Now, when I import files onto my computer, I go ahead and duplicate a folder into the cloud storage. There are so many different types out there that may suit your needs best – but I have been loving SYNC.Now I save money, time, and SPACE!
5 – Quickbooks
PRAISE THE HUMAN THAT MADE QUICKBOOKS. New biz owners or seasoned biz owners that are stubborn and stuck in your ways.. your future self is about to hug you real tight (and your cpa). My first three years of business I had ZERO system for my profits and expenses, except bank statements and scribbled notes in a notebook. Each year at tax time I was forced to take a week to go into old emails and bank statements to figure stuff out and it was ridiculous. Quickbooks has changed everything for me. Not only has it made life 10x easier at tax time, I am so much smarter about just business in general now that I have a constant close up and birds eye view of my profits and expenses.
The craziest thing? I now enjoy doing my freakin finances. You can dive into Quickbooks and organize/filter through things as much as you would like. But I now do it once a week just to stay aware and organized. Takes three minutes. You’re Welcome.
I hope these five easy breezy tips give you some things to think about and try out! If you have any questions about any of them, feel more than free to drop a comment below and ask! Or if you have any systems/products you just can’t go without and care to share…. HELLO, LET US KNOW!!
A look into other constant expenses :