Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jordan Trager, Founder of Trager Bombs Photography, located in Cassatt, SC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fledgling portrait photographer in the beginnings of branching out into promotional photography for other small businesses as well as delving into some bigger creative projects- potentially getting some boudoir work in as well, but that's a whole different kettle of fish. Generally speaking, my customers are cosplayers, models, and small businesses looking to add some style to their brands.
Tell us about yourself
I actually started photography on a whim, grabbing my camera on a discount after several years and thinking, 'dang, I bet it'd be fun to dig into.' After about... Five years, I shifted focus from taking pictures of pretty flowers and my pets over to taking pictures with models. I'd have to say my biggest motivation is a desire to get better at what I'm doing, as well as having a personal list of 'people I'd like to work with.' I do want to take a moment to give a bit of a shout-out to my 'photography gurus' that help keep my head in the game and my goals realistic. Nigel and Brandon have been incredibly important to my journey.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Oh, that's a tough question. I gauge accomplishment through the client/co-conspirator's reaction to the work we finish. Any time I have someone I've shot with who is obviously proud of the photos we've produced, I consider it a massive win, especially if it's a creative whose work I've enjoyed prior to working with them. Most recently, one of the photoshoots I did was chosen as the cover for a little local print-to-order magazine which was especially encouraging.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Just one thing? Well, there's the obvious challenge of getting exposure and finding new clients, but I feel like we all go through that same issue, so I think I want to step off the beaten path a little here. In my experience, the hardest thing about this business has been remembering that it is a business and not just my artistic outlet. Specifically, I struggle a lot with sticking to my guns on charging rather than just being excited to get out there with my camera and shooting with new people. Were money no issue, I'd be jumping into just about every photo shoot I could get my hands on without a second thought. Honorable mention to the rat race of social media management, though; remembering to keep up posting on all of them is... Whew.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- To me, the most important thing is to do something you enjoy. Obviously, all of the things we like to do can't be businesses. If you are going to build a business, it's important that you like the work.
- Keep your chin up! There are going to be slow times and hard times... Times you just wanna pack everything up and toss it out, But a key difference between those who succeed and those who don't is the will to keep pushing forward.
- Don't be afraid to try new things. I feel like that's kind of self-explanatory, but it's so important not to let your work stagnate just to keep the status quo. Get out there and jump into a project that's deeper than you're used to; you might just surprise yourself with what you can make.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.