Monday, April 14, 2014

SAHM Income?

As a SAHM I'm not 100% a mom. I spend my very valuable time researching aka web surfing for DIY projects and experiments, writing a novel, submitting manuscripts to various agents, cooking, baking, sewing, teaching (my kids), volunteering at my kids school, photographer, and keeping my kids the ways of the world. Yes, I punish them with hard work.

So what the heck can I do to make an income from home? Let me know if you find that answer. I honestly have no clue. I know that if I had any sort of income from home, I would do it and excel at it as long as it doesn't involve other people. Ironic, isn't it? We have all these medical bills to pay off each month and to be honest, it's downright scary.

I've tried cake decorating, creating craft kits, and jewelry making for a little extra cash, but now I'm an official photographer. Is it for every stay at home mom? No. I'm not trying to dissuade you from becoming a photographer as a stay at home mom, but you need to have more than just a camera. You need personality.

Moving from the Midwest four years ago, I wanted to open a retail shop, but the costs to start one up are astronomical- on top of baby daycare. So after learning to decorate cakes, I found out I could not legally bake from home and now that California has the cottage food law, I can't have my dog or kids anywhere near the kitchen. Is that even a possibility?

Jewelry making was a joke. We have half shag beige carpet and with those seed beads getting sucked up in the vacuum, it's not a pretty sound.

On top of this all are kids. All the way from diapers to "Mommy, I want to help!" Then comes the crying and/or disasters from both me and the kids. Then hubby's infamous, "What's for dinner?" *bangs head on kitchen counter* Because I don't do anything all day, right?

This led me to photography. Hubby got me a really nice camera and said, "I know you can do something with this." Yes! A nice, great photograph-taking machine! I snapped pictures of the kids non-stop, learning the functions, researching various poses, props, locations, the whole nine yards.

You can take amazing pictures with your expensive camera. You can take amazing pictures with your inexpensive camera. It doesn't matter what equipment, props, or backgrounds you have. What matters is your marketing. I seem to know a little about everything, but yet I can't find a stable way to produce an income because I hardly leave the house. Being that one car family limits when I can leave the house in the suburbs during the day, but on the weekends and evenings, photography allows me to leave everything behind and focus on my job.

As for editing, I like to write and edit in silence, so that limits my time to nap time and bedtime. I can give 100 people flyers, postcards, and business cards with only 1 or 2 who will maybe respond. Unless you know people wanting pictures, don't waste your time saving for an expensive camera.

You need to be outgoing (and good with kids if you want to photograph kids) and get to know your community-build a network. This will block out the other photographers and keep you above the already saturated SAHM photography market.

I love taking photographs, don't get me wrong, but don't make my mistake by being introverted and almost anti-social. You have to jump right in and keep going no matter what it takes to get ahead of the game. I love taking nature photography-one of the hardest photography genres. I've never sold one nature photograph due to not meeting new people in my community who could possibly help me out.

So think about if a home business is the right choice for you. I know its not for me. I'd rather be making/creating something, not marketing and forcing sales. I would love to be able to make an income from home, but I probably won't make any if I continue to not meet new people in my community.