We were lucky to catch up with Alyssa Saladin recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alyssa, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. The first dollar your business earns is always special and we’d love to hear how your brand made its first dollar of revenue.
I got my first client back while I was still attending high school and was working at a Sonic Drive in . I was very shy and kept to myself for the most part at this point in my life, but I slowly started becoming more comfortable and confident in my photography as well as around my peers at work as I got to know them better so the fact that I had a side business got around. One day I was taking an order out to one of the stalls who happened to be my boss’s mother who was about to graduate college along with her boyfriend. They asked me to do their graduation photos for them. I can still remember how excited I was that someone valued my work enough to want to hire me! Since it was the first time I’d really been hired I’d only charged her $30 I was just happy to have been asked to them. We met up at a beautiful park filled with squirrels that let me hand feed and pet them. It a memory that I’ll forever cherish as it was stepping stones to where I am today.
Alyssa, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I’ve always had a deep passion for photography since I was young. I attended two years of trade school honing my craft and learning all I could to help my business succeed.
I specialize in couples and seniors taking on the occasional family session. Its very important to me that my clients have fun and laugh during our time together. I like to use prompts instead of stiff posing so that my clients are more relaxed and the photos look less stiff and unnatural.
sometimes having photos taken can sometimes feel like a chore. I try my hardest to make it feel like just a group of friends having a fun together whether you’re cuddling on a roof over looking the arch or running through a meadow holding hands. My Main goal is to create an experience when we work together.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
Networking with other other photographers has been a major part of getting my name out there. I’ve made some amazing friendships and connections. Not only do I have my own Clientele but I assist other photographers as well. I shoot wedding behinds the scenes for a friend so that she’ll have content of her in action for her Instagram reels. I also second shoot for several wedding photographers.
I attend several local styled shoots in a year so I can meet local vendors and models who are all trying to build their businesses. we all support and try to send clients to each other when we can.
Can you open up about how you funded your business?
something to realize when you own and operate your own small business is that a lot of the initial cash flow you make goes right back into the business. When I first opened I took every single job I could even if I was being underpaid because running a small business isn’t always cheap or easy especially with all the software that you need as a photographer. after being a business owner for a year now I put about 70% of my earnings back into the business so that I can better the experience I offer to my clients. I built a computer that runs faster so that I can spend more time out shooting vs editing on a slow laptop.