Turning Passion Into Profits: Success Stories of 8 Female Entrepreneurs Who Are Doing It Right is a blog series featuring eight amazing female business owners who have successfully turned their greatest talents and gifts into a profitable business. These SUPER women show us how incredibly powerful it is to wake up to work that we love, each-and-every day.
MEET: SHEV GREEN!
Shev is an artist who launched a portrait photography business 11 months ago. Her work can be found on Facebook and Instagram at Shev Green Photography.
What is your passion/talent around which you created your business?
I've always loved art. Like many little kids with innocent and creative dreams without concern for practical financial sustainable income - I wanted to be an Artist. It made me feel so powerful to use my imagination to create things in "real life" on paper. Also, I was so good at it.... well, in my 7-year-old perspective anyway. And my mom would definitely concur :).
I decided to take this passion for creating art to a new level by incorporating it into a business. One that other people can benefit and get joy from. Photographing precious moments and milestones of life on film is so rewarding and also quite fun. I especially love capturing genuine family interactions that reflect a family's personality!
How long have you been in business?
I've been an Occupational Therapist for 13 years and decided 10 months ago to also pursue another passion - the art of photography. It was important to me to be professional and learn from a variety of experts who I've worked with 1:1 to hone my skill set. I'm always open to continue learning and growing in this field. Now I practice Occupational therapy AND create photographic art, honoring both my passions and being true to myself.
How did you monetize this passion? Do you sell your work by the photoshoot or print?
I monetize my art by selling my photos that memorialize people's priceless moments of life. Being young in my business, Icurrently keep the pricing streamlined and simple by selling the entire edited shoot file for a set fee. As my business grows, I plan to sell different packages with different options to order prints, canvases, and collages.
You’re new to this photography business! How are you getting the word out and growing your client base?
1) Referrals! I believe building rapport with my clients and leaving them with a feel for my professional, relaxed and fun manner on-set gains me future referrals. Excellent product also helps :)
2) Social media. Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is the perfect way to showcase my work in a public forum like an art exhibit. This has gained me many new clients.
3) Promotional offers. I have established a baby club with discounted rates if pictures are taken at newborn, 6 month and a year. Rewarding loyal clients is essential to building my photography client base. I also offer occasional seasonal and holiday sales that result in new clients. Finally, I've done some pro-bono shoots to build my portfolio and develop my photography brand.
What is an obstacle you faced and overcame when launching or while running your business?
Launching my new business was a bit intimidating as the photography field is very public, where your work is judged every time you post a photo! Being so vulnerable so fast was something I had to face to pursue what I love. The risk was worth it and I've got a lot of positive feedback from clients and the public forums on social media. Continuing to believe in myself is key! Another challenge was start-up costs for photography equipment which were high and a risk for a new business. I've been buying advanced lenses, props, editing programs and high quality lighting equipment over thelast 6 months as my business grows. My dream one day is to have my own studio, which I know will come with time.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?
My advice for people just starting out would be to push through the discomfort and embrace the experience of following your dreams! Each step of the way, focus on how far you've come. Through this business venture, I focused on seeing this experience as a life adventure, whatever the outcomes.
How has your life changed since starting your business?
My professional life has become more meaningful and overall I feel more fulfilled. I love that my kids see me develop something I'm interested in with guts and passion. My 9- & 7-year-olds regularly come over to the computer while I'm editing photos to admire my work! Love making them proud of their accomplished Mommy. All of my 5 young children will learn from example what it means to follow your heart.
Fabulous! This is a great example of a way to create a side hustle and explore a passion while maintaining your other professional gig before committing full-time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I truly believe it's never too late to reinvent yourself and follow your passions. I've learned through this process that trusting my gut and following through on it with action will continue to bring joy to my life.