When to Go Full-time With Your Photography Business

I've been a full-time photographer for almost 15 years now, and I remember the pain of swapping my part-time hobby to be my full-time career. Katelyn James looks at how, when, and why you'd want to do this and lists the three key steps to consider if you decide to go full-time.

Katelyn looks at the three main points you'd need to ponder when deciding to go full-time as a photographer.


It always worried me when changing my career if I'd have enough money to pay my household bills. I had a period of crossover from one career to my current career and I was still doing my previous job as well as taking on photographic jobs. I was an IT technical support contractor, and I was lucky enough to have lots of small contracts and people whose computers and businesses were my responsibility. Katelyn points out the things I was lucky enough to know when I transitioned from one career to another. These are things that, if you're working for someone else, you might not have considered. Changing your mindset from "this is play money, as I have another full-time job to cover the bills" to "how do I make enough money as a photographer to cover the bills?" Her suggestion to have a buffer fund is a great idea and something I implemented at the start too. 


One of the hardest things is managing time. I get it. Writing at 2 am. Editing at 7:30 am. You have to consider the time you spend giving attention to your new business. It's always going to be difficult in the beginning, and Katelyn discusses the right approach. I personally prefer to work when I need to. I am never going to be a 9-5 person. 


This, for me, is the main reason why I became a full-time photographer. I didn't like the 9-5, and often, I worked past 5 pm to get things finished and was still expected to be in at 9 am the next morning despite working late. The great thing about working weddings is that while it's a full day's work, you can (in most cases) rest the next morning. Katelyn does her best to advise you that "it's not all rainbows and unicorns," and I have to agree

This is an important video to watch if you are transitioning to being full-time at photography or thinking you might like to go full-time. I'd definitely recommend a watch.

Peter Morgan's picture

Peter Morgan is a professional photographer, drone pilot, writer and tech enthusiast. He has worked in the tech sector since the age of 16 and has over 30 years experience of working with technology. He also runs his own photographic company and shoots weddings, headshots and commercial projects.

Log in or register to post comments