Thursday Tips & Tricks | How do you know??

A friend recently ask me this question… “A friend wanted me to take their pictures. How do I know when I am ready to take pictures of other people?”

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Now a little backstory on this friend, she recently has taken up photography as a hobby. And she dove into learning. She has started reading and practicing different techniques and getting those little things down while practicing on her kiddos. It is funny because when you point someone towards learning I kind of don’t think they are serious. Then a month or so later they pop up with a question regarding ‘catch lights’ and getting them right in camera. Wow, you KNOW they are actually doing the leg work to get better!

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So back to the original question. How do you know you are ready to take photographs of other people?

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Honestly, I don’t think you are ever ‘ready’. You can be prepared but it is kind of like taking your first jump off the diving board. At some point you just have to do it.

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But, for the purpose of this blog post I am going to give you the 3 business tips to have set up before you decided on accepting money.

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What happens if our friend, we shall call her Sally, wants me to take their family photos and gives me $25.

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tax

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Before you accept any money you must have your taxes in order. You have to collect sales tax for your state/county/city. And then you must put a little of the money they paid you back for your federal taxes.

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If you aren’t collecting both sales tax and federal taxes then you are not running a legal/honest business. Sales tax is more a pass through. The client pays you a percent (here it is 8.25%) and you basically report that and pay it to the state. Federal taxes are more complicated. I would recommend a good CPA or some classes in running a small business. It really is up to you to decided if you want to be sole proprietor or a llc. Both sales tax and federal tax information is easily google-able.

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dba

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Doing Business As. When you set up a business not in your own name or in a slightly different version of your name you have to apply for an assumed name or a doing business as. Luckily since I am using my full legal name I didn’t have to get one. I could still but I didn’t have to.

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insurance

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This one is a biggie that seems to get left out a lot. If you go to a photo shoot and someone trips and breaks their leg you could be held responsible. That could cost you a lot of money. Get insurance. It may cost but it will save you in the long run. And please, please don’t think your homeowners or car insurance will cover you. If you are running a business your homeowners insurance will not cover your supplies.

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***Yes there are many, many, many legalities to set up before you ever start a business. This is only 3 of them. I am not an attorney or tax professional. You should consult with someone who can guide you in the right directions per your state.***

KMP

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Next week I will talk about how to know when your SKILLS are ready to accept money for your work.