Behind The Scenes - Personal, Photography - manaliphotography.com
Personal

Behind The Scenes – Personal, Photography

September 8, 2017

ManaliKennedyCenterRooftopPortraits-018
I’m Manali
Brand photographer & educator based out of Northern VA & DC. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard with wine & cheese or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
Top categories
Watch This Free Class to Grow Your Photo Business! 
I Want To Tune In!

So I’m just gonna be completely honest with you, I messed up big time when I started designing my website. I had my old SquareSpace website up with the blog up and running for about the first half of designing my new website over on Showit and in true Manali fashion, I got entirely TOO excited and pulled a noob move by hitting “Publish” instead of “Preview” to see how the new site was functioning! And of course, my whole domain got switched to my Showit website design instead of SquareSpace and I had no idea how to switch it back. So I stuck up a (lame) “Construction” page and continued building the rest of the website, including the new blog, behind the scenes. This meant a lot less blogging about stuff that was going on through Friday Fun posts.

So this post is getting back to blogging on Fridays and covers a bit about what exactly I’ve been up to this summer! As a lot of you know, I graduated from UVA this past May and as some of you know, I have a job for the fall lined up with Accenture. I’ve had the job lined up since last year which was a goal that I thankfully hit during my fourth year. However, due to reasons that were out of my control, after asking to start at the end of August or the beginning of September, I got asked to start working in the beginning of November. And when I tell anyone that, I immediately get a look of shock, disappointment and surprise all balled up into one weirddd look from people. Somewhere along the lines of becoming a postgrad student, it became unacceptable to have a job that didn’t start during summer or the beginning of fall. And to be honest, this was how I initially felt when I got the email stating that I wouldn’t start until November. I felt like I had somehow done something wrong and that I wasn’t successful or going down the right path if I had so much time before I started working full time.

But about a week or so after I got that email, I decided to flip that feeling of unreasonable guilt on its head. This could be the best thing that has ever happened to me. I had six months to do whatever it was that I wanted to do. I’m thankful that my parents are supportive enough to let me stay with them until I start working and that I truly do have that freedom. Anyone I told about this extended break told me that I should travel as much as humanly possible while I still can and although I appreciate the sentiment and normally would have LOVED to do just that, I decided to do something a little bit different with my spare time over this summer and early fall.

Not a lot of people know this but for the entire summer, except for the week where my family traveled, I have been working 6-8 hours every day on my photography business. People see the highlights and results of this work but not necessarily the amount of work that goes in on the back end. It’s not something that I can explain to anyone during a quick conversation, I usually just say something like “Oh yea I’m doing a lot with photography.” But what does that REALLY entail besides taking pictures? A lot apparently!

This summer I’ve been working to create a system to stay on top of my inquiries, provide a smooth workflow that includes conveying my information and process to people, drafting up contracts and templates, coordinating with venues, building and continuously updating my wedding & couples portfolios, tracking my expenses and income, upgrading my gear and investing in A LOT of education (!!!) in order to increase the quality of service I can provide to my clients! I also completely redid my entire website after switching to a new platform, have been consistently blogging posts to increase traffic & SEO (starting to slowly understand what the heck that even is), and created a guide that helps my clients through the process of picking out outfits and styling for their sessions. Again with the upgraded experience 🙂 I developed a consistent system for backing up all of my images in multiple places, practiced & honed in my style to cut my editing and turnaround time IN HALF (woo!!), networked with other people in the industry to get more second shooting positions, learned how to work on marketing, and am still constantly reevaluating my to-do list to add in things that will grow my business down the road! No day looks the same because there are so many tasks that you do and that you COULD be doing to push yourself forward. I’m referencing ALL of this when I say I’ve been working on photography. And it legitimately takes 6 to 8 hours of work every day, meaning that a lot of times I’m doing some work on the weekend too. It’s a lot but I genuinely enjoy it and wouldn’t have wanted to “free” time over the summer any other way!

So for the past couple of months after I’ve been graduated, I haven’t been working “full time” as people would think but I HAVE been working full time for myself and in a way. It’s without a doubt been the most rewarding summer experience I’ve ever had. I’ve put in the hours of work and I’ve started to see the kind of progress I’ve always wanted towards turning photography into a full time business 1 to 2 years down the road. And so instead of seeing not starting with Accenture until November as this awful situation, I have started seeing this time before I start working as a blessing in disguise.

ManaliKennedyCenterRooftopPortraits-018

Thank you to Caroline Zhang for the wonderful headshot above!

TOP RESOURCES

Start drafting a photography-friendly timeline & get to know the couple better so you can best personalize their experience with you from the start!

TOP RESOURCES

Photographers, tune in to this masterclass to learn how to quickly build your photography business and consisntely raise your prices.

TOP RESOURCES

Thinking of investing in a branding photography session? Read about branding sessions & how to get the most out of yours!

Browse By Category

Business

Branding

Mindset

Podcasts

Personal

Search by Keyword

On the Air

Behind the Business Podcast

Helping creative small business owners overcome the perception of perfection & ditch comparison, one candid chat at a time.

TUNE IN
WORK WITH ME

How I Can Help

I help creative small business owners feel calm & confident in front of the camera or behind your business with brand photography, educational resources & online business management.

WORK WITH ME

Enneagram 4w3, cognitive & computer science major turned biz strategy nerd!

I went from charging $600 per wedding to over $5k & went full-time within 1 year of starting my biz! Now I help creative small business owners show up confidently behind the scenes with elevated brand photography, business strategy to build their dream biz & life and help managing all the logistics and details along the way! 

WORK WITH ME!

From The Comfort Of Your Inbox 

Weekly emails going BTS of my own business and sharing biz + psychology tips along the way! The MP Email Fam gets first dibs on new offerings & sweet savings sprinkled in along the way!

Leggings, top knots, and 3rd cups of coffee (or wine!) are welcome around here

Swipe My Booked Wedding Questionnaire & Join the MP Email Fam

NO FLUFF BIZ TIPS WEEKLY

    Instagram

    Catch the behind the scenes of the business & latest on the 'gram! Shoot me a DM & say hi!

    @MANALISONTAKKE

    Do a happy dance & then personalize your wedding clients' experience with this questionnaire when they book! This has helped me build a client experience that has booked me $5k+ weddings!

    DOWNLOAD THIS FREE GUIDE