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Building Your Family Portrait Business

Lesson 19 of 41

Understanding Loans


Building Your Family Portrait Business

Lesson 19 of 41

Understanding Loans


Lesson Info

Understanding Loans

Let's talk about loans. The hottest topic on the market right now for creatives! What's interesting to me about loans is, I try, generally speaking, to never have to do a loan unless I had to. I had to do loans for college, and I had to do loans when I got a mortgage. We've bought a couple of houses now; we do loans for that. But thinking really hard about interest rates, and how much of an impact that has on where my money's really going, has made a big difference. When we opened, when I started my photography studio, I was very lucky because we had just sold the business, and that had gone well, and we moved to Chapel Hill. But we thought about it from a financial perspective. Okay this, this part's ridiculous! We lived in San Francisco; we love San Francisco. San Francisco is a great town, but my daughter was born, we knew we wanted more children, we already knew we wanted to adopt, and we were living in Burlingame, California, for those of you who know California. We were at the ho...

use that I really liked, but there was a limit to how much we could expand on it. So we talked to, like, what if we were to expand the house and have more bedrooms, et cetera, and the square footage buildout was like, "Here's 20 chunks of gold; you'll get a quarter inch." It was like crazy. So at the time, we decided we wanted to start our own businesses. I wanted to be a photographer; my husband wanted to go into starting a magazine, and we did the math on the money we had that we thought we could safely spend and still be smart about our retirement. And we said okay, we can go for three years. We have three years to make these businesses work. They work or they don't, 36 months to see if we're going to be entrepreneurs that can make a living. And if not, alright let's go flip some veggie burgers. Get it, because we're both vegan? Flip some veggie burgers, that's what we're going to have to do, because we were burning everything else, this is where we're going to be; we're jumping in headlong. Then we backed up a little bit and said, first of all, earthquakes are scary with little newborn heads. But b) where else in the country would we want to be that would have a lot of what we love in terms of an environment and education and kind of a tolerant atmosphere for all the things that we believe. And we looked at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and realized that we could sell our 100-year-old house in Burlingame, and get three times the house for 1/3 the cost, and it's a brand new house just built. Now we could go nine years to make our businesses work. We now have a nine-year option to see if we could do what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives because we loved it so much. That is super compelling, from a monetary perspective alone. Now I'm not saying like, leave someplace you love and just stymie yourself in a horrible market that you hate to make it last longer. We love where we live right now; I'm kind of surprised at how much I love it. But Chapel Hill is a really cool town. Shout out to anybody watching this from Chapel Hill. But, let me know if anybody was, kind of just out of curiosity; it's a small place (laughing)! But one of the things that's so great about where we live right now, is we had this wonderful, open kind of ability to not feel stressed about it. Three years and nine years is really different. One year and three years is different. Six months and 18 months, whatever your trajectory is, allow yourself enough opportunity to go for it without feeling like it's about to end any minute now if you don't get there by a certain amount of time. Sorry, it just resonates, that's all. Yeah. Well I'm curious, when you say the "zen thing," what are you, I mean I know the zen methodology, but-- To me it just means that you're not stressing all the time. Yeah, yeah. It's huge. Yeah, I mean, there's no doubt no matter what you do in life, you are going to suffer. That's just the way it is being on this earth, no matter what you do right. But if you can find all the ways to be more in flow, and stop stopping yourself so much, it's extraordinary what you can achieve, in this business and in life. It's extraordinary, yeah. I mean again, it's one of my major pet peeves when I talk to people, and I see great work, great potential, and then I say, "What about this, this, and this?" And they say, "No, no, no." And I say, "Why, why, why?" And they're like, "'Cos, 'cos, 'cos." I'm like, "How about this, this, and this?" "It won't ever happen for me." "Well you just made sure of that, didn't you? "Because I see this whole path for you. "But you're not even looking at it at all, "you're just seeing, you know, "this fence and this door and this fence and this door. "That's your choice, but it's sad for me "because you are creative and smart "and you have so much talent, "but you're going to decide to stay there."

Class Description

You love photography. Now what? How do you transform your passion or hobby into a career? Nikon® Ambassador and children's portrait photographer Tamara Lackey will provide the steps and the courage to build your own portrait photography studio. She’ll cover the basics of developing a business plan, website essentials and creating a marketing plan.

You’ll learn:

  • How to set your business structure with considerations for legal, insurance and taxes
  • Social media and online marketing techniques
  • How to understand and manage finances and sales
  • Steps for building your own studio from scratch

Overcome the "I don't knows" with this incredible course that will give you the confidence to build and create your family portrait photography business.


a Creativelive Student

This course was fantastic. I learned more on what I need to improve and change in my business. I especially liked learning how she balances all the things in her life. She is a fantastic teacher who keeps you engaged throughout the course. Thank you creativelive and Tamara for producing such a great course!


I thoroughly enjoyed this class, Tamara Lackey is an amazing individual and trainer! I loved what she said about not letting ourselves be diminished by someone else's narrow view... This class touches on many business related topics, I had many "aha" moments and feel excited and committed to tackle various aspects of my business in small steps!! Thanks for sharing so much of you!!!

Dewitt Hardee

This is a great class. Tamara is such a great instructor and the subject matter is relevant and useful. Tamara is really the key, her personality seems like a ray of sunshine.

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