It has been six and a half months since I made the huge decision to quit my full-time job in the Agriculture industry and become a full-time photographer. I have certainly learnt a lot in those months, mostly the hard way.
Not having money to pay bills is always hard although not something that I have not been through before. However, having to ask your parents for money to put gas in your ute so that you can get to a job that’s not paying you all that well because you did not quote high enough is harder.
Also, having all these grand plans to do things that you know will help get your business out there and will increase your income but you cannot because you do not have the money is even harder again.
Let’s just say it has been a tough and emotional road. There have been tears; there’s been the occasional moment of doubt as to whether I should be doing this. Should I just go back to a 9 to 5 job like everybody else?
I went from doing any job I could get my hands on to deciding to concentrate on just the Agricultural and Equine industry. Something that I’m passionate about still.
I am still learning how to quote accordingly to my skills and creative value, tending to under quote (which I am sure my clients love).
However, I have discovered the value of good podcasts, books and social media experts that show you how to market, how to get clients that you want, who will pay the money you ask.
I’ve discovered that if you know how you can put your business on automatic so that you’re not spending hours on end in front of the computer. So that you can go on holiday but still have income coming in.
I have also discovered that people do not just value my photography skills but also my dog training skills.
So I have finally made the leap and have started to set up a business called KPN Dog Training. This business will specialise in teaching working dog owners how to get the most out of their relationship with their dog, how to enjoy it and how to have their dog doing everything they ask it. In turn, this will reduce the owner’s frustration and the number of working dogs that end up in pounds or rescue centres.
This doesn’t mean that KPN Photography will be taking a back seat. Far from it! I am aiming to be able to have the freedom to get out and about this year to capture more landscape photographs around Gippsland. Landscapes are why I love photography; they give me time to clear my mind, recharge my batteries and just get outside. I would love to be able to gather these photos and put them into a coffee table book for all to enjoy.
I am also really keen to work with Agriculture and Equine businesses to help them promote their businesses. Also, to help the smaller farmers who are doing things a little differently, more sustainably, to educate their consumers.
You are also looking at the CFA’s first ever Regional Publicity Officer! This means that I will be driving around our Riverslea area taking photos of the activity that our volunteers are participating in to help educate the community and to encourage more volunteers to join up.
This role is a voluntary role. However, I will be learning a lot about marketing, using social media etc. that I am sure it will benefit my businesses greatly.
Not to mention that I am still studying Animal Studies, leading to Vet Nursing.
I am going to be very busy this year, but I am confident that it will all pay off eventually and I will not have to worry about not being able to pay bills. That is what I am aiming for.
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