Work from home as a wedding photographer? it’s ain’t common for sure but this is what I’m going to share with you today. I love wedding photography so much and get a joy living through this business since 2009 even less. I start shooting in 2004 using my old 35 mm film camera the Nikon F80 and move to Canon 400D or used to called as the Rebel, Canon 7D than Canon 5D Mark II till now I back to the Nikon system. Nowadays I capturing the moment as well using my Nikon D800 and D7100 and it was worth it!
Being different is ain’t easy for everyone and this belong to my challenge for the past decade for being a professional photographer. When I saw so many friends building their studio and start shooting for head shots, graduation, or even indoor family portrait back few years ago than I realize that I can’t afford it due to financial problem. What I believe is there is always another solution to keep shooting in wedding and portrait without owning a studio.
My friends was laugh and told me that it’s impossible cause like a doctor who have their own clinic, every photographer also must have a studio to run their business. I know it as well but the only problem that I have is, I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY for it!
I know God listens to me till I found an online internet course that hosted by Singaporean lovely guy named Fabian Lim and he teach me within 2 days together with other 25 class mates. At the first time I know him than I know that he could earn money with his simple wordpress blog for less than $100/year and it’s insane! Than I ask my mom to put me into this course that cost for $500 and continue to another Asia Internet Congress in Singapore back in 2012.
Main Reason That Push Me to be Able to Work from Home
My mom and dad getting divorce when I’m 4 years old and I growing up with my grand mother since 5 years old. It’s not an easy deal cause I only able to meet my mom once in a month cause she has to work in Jakarta, a big city of Indonesia that belong to economic city centre for whole country. We (me and my mom) don’t have any other solution back in 1990 and the only way to solve my future plan is she working in Jakarta and only go to my town once a month and I live with my grand mother for the next decades.
Do I miss my mom?……Hell Yeah!
Even I could cry so often when I see my friends hold their parents hands and walking together to the mall or any toys store in my town. After when I graduate from university with an A result I decide to not work anywhere and stay with my mom who already getting old. I’m not gonna be a crazy son who leave her alone while I’m looking for a job in other cities, it’s freakin’ idiot due to my problems so that’s why I’m figure out how to work from home and earn money as much as I can.
My first photography deal is for shooting on pre wedding, an Asian based tradition of photo shooting before a marriage and this 2008 session earn me $130 for 6 hours shooting, surely including the album, wanna see my work back at the beginning of my career, see this image below…
I’m truly grateful and happy cause during those day I only leave my mom for 6 hours and earn $130, it’s a good money at all during that time so I was thinking how to do this job over and over again. I start this business with my wife Nina (formerly my girl friend too on that first pre wedding job). And till now I still working with this beautiful angel who belong to my assistant and make up artist for my couple.
I’m a person who believe in a passion, so when I love for what I do than tons of money will come
Since I know how is the feeling for being the only son from a divorce parent and only meet my mom once a month than I found 4 (four) important things that belong to my main reasons of why I love this ‘Work from Home Photographer Living Style:
- Living and earn money from what I love a.k.a Photography
- Work with my wife
- Leave my house only for a while
- Stay close and able to take care of my kids
It ain’t easy as I said but I love doing wedding photography business together with my wife and I still believe that God still listen to me that I want to earn money while stay close with my family.
Time goes flies till in 2012 I focusing my services for high-end market and serve destination wedding for worldwide couple, I ever join an international association such as WPJA, AG|WPJA, and ISPWP and those group teach me so much about business etiquette and how to be better wedding photographer. By combining my photography and internet marketing skill than I start to dealing with overseas couple who coming from Perth, Hong Kong, and Singapore for my photoshoot and guest what! Yes I still working with my wife, leave my kids with Nina’s parents for less than 10 days in a month and still able to cook some pancakes for my kids than took them to their school, surely I hold my kids hand during way to the school like what my friends did with their parents back years ago.
And this is what happen after 6 years of horrible hard work…
I got this Maldives pre wedding session from a lovely who coming from Hong Kong and we never meet each other before the session, the only day that we met before the photo shoot in inside our bed room by using Skype meeting, thanks for the founder of this company!
If you are a couple who gonna have a pre wedding too than I welcoming you to visit Billy and Dickie Ma’s pre wedding in Maldives, here you gonna have a photo session hosted by husband-wife photographer team who already work as a partner for over than a decades.
How to be Able to Live Happy and Work from Home as a Wedding Photographer
I know that some people are dreaming to get work from home but generally people is still believe that working at the office will pay better. So today I wanna share some real action that I personally do to realize my work from home dream and I hope you can get an inspiration from this steps.
1 – Set Your Mindset
You may browse in google or youtube about someone who able to work from home and simply using internet to promoting their product or services. Believe and have a good mindset about it is the main principal to realize your dream. When I dreaming to work from home and stay close with my mom back in 2008 I attending an internet marketing course that teach me about promoting my photography services by using a blog.
Than I built my own wordpress blog, the same blog that you read now, for less than $90/year and upload all of my portfolio in it. I share a lot of information about wedding both for bride and groom and also for photographers.
The hardest thing of it is being consistent on this mindset while I saw my other friends bought a car, house, or get an overseas holiday by working in the office. I often to avoid friends meeting cause I don’t want to hear any bullying or something like that that will affected to my mind. All thing that I did is stay at home and working so hard on this blog, promoting my photography services, and share a lot of information about having destination wedding.
2 – Keep Doing for What I Love
I have two things that I love so much in this life, Photography and Traveling so in this blog I will share those two things so often. I share my experience about how to shoot for bridal portraits till the best food in Singapore where I are during my family holiday.
I wrote a new post everyday, sometimes could be one but in a good time I could uploaded up to 2 articles between 1000 to 1500 words. I still shooting destination wedding and portraits till now even I just come back from my winter shots portrait in Hong Kong a months ago.
If I don’t have any wedding or portraits than I still shoot for microstock photography and sell my travel and food photos on Shutterstock. I start to shoot nearby my house till sightseeing around my city to get thousands of photos that can be sell online.
Generally I documented my action of having a joy work from home by doing this 8 real action to keep living as a home base wedding photographer.
I’m a person who love to meet a new friends by the way so at this time 70% of my photography client is foreigner. Talk with them and share a great story about anything bring me a lot of information that matter for my future so in some part I also sign up as an Airbnb Host and I’m a Superhost right now by renting my free room for juts $12/night. This business is growing so well till from the simple room right in my house at 2013, now I can open another house from my aunty in 2014, till my uncle also ask me to develop his home stay in 2018.
3 – Gratitude
Always gratitude for what you’ve got now, if you are a person who believe in God than having a great gratitude is the key of happiness but if you’re an agnosticism than say thank you to the universe is the best thing that you can do.
You may don’t have million dollar in your bank but as long as you are healthy and don’t have any cancer disease than this is a gift. You may have only few clients in a year but as long as you can live as great as usual with your family than this gonna be a gift too. But when you have a lot of money on your bank than deliver it to someone who need it better than you than this gonna be also a gratitude, which mean you able to feel what people need.
4 – Avoid to Meet People Who Don’t Respect Your Dream
When you work so hard to realize your work from home dream than there are a lot of people who gonna bullying for whole day so avoid to meet those people in your life process, if they were your friend than just meet them in a short time or simply as say Hi but after it go walk away.
Meet some people who don’t respect about your dream will reduce your spirit and you definitely need it to be consistent in your work. As I said before I avoid to meet some friends who always look under estimate on my dream and working so hard day and night to realize what inside my mind.
I hope this article bring you some inspiration about how to get work from home, I live together with my wife and 4 kids now and when I have a destination wedding photo shoot than I will take my kids to Nina’s parent house and travel for 5 to 7 days and once I got my work done than I come back home and take care of them. I live in this life style for over than 10 years, I don’t have any house assistant and stay work to clean my house, cook at the kitchen even hosting my guest on Airbnb.
So good luck with everything that you guys working at and do as Michael Jackson well said, “Do it with Love”!