"So many people dream of owning their own small business but they don't realize what it's really like in the trenches… it is not so pretty man, it really isn’t.
I don't think a single person who wants to be a photographer should go to school for photography. I think they should go to business school. The biggest mistakes that I've ever made that cost me the most had nothing to do with photography and had everything to do with either mismanaging my money, not having a thorough enough understanding of setting up and maintaining a small business, tax preparation, and general tax knowledge."
"About 14 years ago, shortly after I started my photography business, I remember making so much money that I didn’t know what to do with it. I had a safe full of thousands of dollars in cash. At one point, we booked 14 shoots in one day and my studio was booked out three months in advance. I didn't even know where my business was really coming from, let alone how the business was supposed to be structured. I was just reacting to everything everyday because it felt so good to make my clients happy while making money and doing what I loved to do.
As it turned out, there was nothing really like my style of photography in the region, so things just went so well, so fast, that I suddenly found myself way over my head."
"I was more than burnt out. I had too much responsibility, too much success, all of it way too fast and I didn’t know who I could trust that understood this type of business. I started having massive amounts of anxiety, but I didn’t understand what those feelings were. It was scary and my mental health forced me to slow down.
Eventually I hit my rock bottom so I visited my mom in Florida to try to screw my head on straight. I knew I needed to make a whole lot of changes because I was in so much pain, but even though I was struggling a lot mentally, I knew that the studio had to survive because it provided for my wife and I. So somehow, 10 days later, I found myself back in the studio shooting."
"Shortly after, my wife Erin started filling-in here part time to keep the business organized and running. She would annoy me, to the point where I had to start making smart business decisions. She helped me see the big picture. I needed that, because I knew I was capable of destroying myself without her. Thankfully, she’s been here ever since."
"The feeling of responsibility goes way beyond myself and my family. It feels so good to be able to provide jobs for my editors, hair and makeup artists, stylists, and models.
When October 1st hits, that will be the start of my 19th year in this business."