Welcome to Karmen’s Korner! If you are a new reader, be sure to follow my blog via email or WordPress account to get notifications on future posts. If you are a returning reader, then welcome back. This week, I sat down with one of my friends, Ivy McCosh, to discuss her photography business as well as her pursuit as an entrepreneur.
Ivy McCosh maintains her own photography business with a supporting business license. She specializes in engagements, weddings, and senior photos. Ivy is a recent graduate from Lee University where she majored in public relations and took classes such as digital media and communications. She also worked as a digital media intern where she furthered her knowledge in running her own business as a photographer. Ivy is not a full-time photographer, but she hopes to be someday.
I got to sit down with Ivy to discuss her business as well as catch up. Ivy and I went to high school together and became fast friends. I got to see her business grow from an outsider’s perspective. She has been able to create a phenomenal business and I always love to find a new photo on my Instagram feed. Ivy and I were all set to take my college senior photos when the COVID hit, but I assure you that I will be enlisting her services for future shoots.
Why She Started Her Business
Ivy started her business in high school unofficially. She still remembers the day she sat in the kitchen with her mom discussing her need for money. Her mom then told her to start taking pictures and charging people for them. Her mom was also her biggest advertiser at the time by telling her friends about Ivy’s great photo taking skills.
Ivy always enjoyed taking photos and has held on to that goal, rather than seeking money as the end result. Her paid shoots began with senior shoots the summer after our sophomore year in high school. She says she fell into the business; she loved taking photos and capturing a moment, but never sought the idea of making it into a source of income.
Operating Under the Pandemic
She did take a couple hits from the COVID; she was not able to schedule any shoots from the end of March to the beginning of May. All of her shoots got rerouted to june and October. This included rescheduled weddings and senior shoots. She faced the struggle of being out of extra income but did not want to risk her business license by shooting during the mandated quarantine.
A positive to come out of the shutdown was her increase in client communication. She was able to transfer skills from school in order to better communicate with her clients about rescheduled shoots. She does wear a mask during shoots to protect both her and those at the events. She has potentially run the risk of losing out on money on weddings due to the COVID and the quick bookings of her open months. However, Ivy is back to her photoshoots and is adjusting well to the new standards.
The Tools Essential in Her Business
Workshops have been a big part of Ivy’s growth of her business and photography skills. She spoke highly of Katelyn James Photography and her business courses and resources. After hearing Ivy talk about Katelyn being her inspiration on Instagram, I quickly gave her a browse and a follow. Ivy also spoke to her degree in public relations and the corresponding classes she took at Lee that have helped with various business aspects including her website creation.
Ivy’s mom has become her unofficial business assistant through her knowledge of financials and licenses. With her mom’s degree in computer information systems, Ivy has learned how to keep up with her financial data for an accountant and how to keep up with her license updates. Other tools for Ivy have been her connections through networking via wedding vendors as well as her client relationship management system, HoneyBook. This allows her to send batch emails to clients and keep up with records for tax information.
My mission is to love my clients well, capture them beautifully, and bring glory to God in the process.Ivy Breanne Photography
How She Advertises
Ivy advertises through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as references and word of mouth. She holds the occasional sponsored Facebook or Instagram post for specials and discounts as well.
Location and Relocation
She has thought about relocating and moving her business elsewhere, but that would mean starting from scratch. She mainly dreams of moving to Charleston and becoming a destination photographer for destination weddings and such.
Her Advice to Others
“Don’t wait for the perfect time to take the jump. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Go for what you want to do but learn about what you are jumping into.” She suggests reading into the financials, licenses, and organization skills you will need to know about for your business idea. She strongly spoke about investing in yourself. She has invested in camera maintenance, school, online workshops and course, and equipment and has seen all of those expenses come back in client payment.
She also strongly spoke about reminding yourself that it is a business. “You have to understand that you are providing them with a service or a product that has value.” Ivy included contracts as a key tool to have as well. This will protect both you and the customer/client.
I had so much fun getting to catch up with Ivy and talk about her business. It has been so much fun to watch her business grow. Our zoom was not all interview talk. It spanned from Disney World trips, to COVID college graduation, to family events, to the Jonas Brothers concert. I can’t thank her enough for agreeing to sit down and talk to me about her business. I hope it helped any of you looking to start your own business or looking to become a photographer yourself. If you would like to follow Ivy on Instagram or view her website, be sure to check out the links below.
Be sure to leave a comment below letting me know any other questions you might have for Ivy or if you have some additional advice/knowledge to share. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post and be sure to click the like button below. Visit the links below to follow my blog via email or WordPress account to get notifications on future posts as well as to view other posts I have written. See you next time!
Thanks for reading!