I became a business owner the first week of August, after several years of shooting weddings and portraits as a “hobby.” And while not a lot has changed on the surface, behind the scenes looks quite different.
You’ve probably noticed a name change, as I said goodbye to Katelyn Holm Photography and hello to Sonder Photo, an LLC owned and operated by me. The name, meaning that every person has a unique and equally important story, embodies why I love photography so much. It’s exciting, it’s a little crazy, and it’s long overdue.
Clients will benefit from booking a legal, licensed corporation for wedding photography, something increasingly important in an industry oversaturated by creatives looking for a side-hustle and turning to photography. I love that about this industry, but it can also be a liability for clients when they're working with a beginner who doesn’t charge taxes and only works under the table. So the IRS has my social security number as the responsible party for this endeavor, and it doesn’t get more official than that.
Owning a business is a full-time job, and a lot of people have asked if I quit my “other full-time job.” The answer is no, and I’m actually juggling more things than ever, writing alt-rock news, shooting, completing admin work for Sonder, and still doing marketing and events for Rice U. But even when I’m working late into the night after “work” on more “work,” I have such a peace about it because it feels like I’m pursuing something worthwhile, something I feel empowered (though probably unqualified to do), and something I really enjoy.
When I sit down with potential clients over coffee and talk about how much I love the wedding planning process, from dreaming about the shot list to helping brides pick flower arrangements — being part of brides and grooms' best day ever … that's so special. (And I’m still shooting portraits, families, maternity, and senior pictures!)
The last few weeks have been challenging, a little emotional (my iPad was lost, computer waterlogged, and car hit), but it’s been worth it. In the first few days, I challenged myself to find a mentor, utilize my network, and research tax laws that would have terrified me a few years ago. There’s a reason I majored in Journalism and not accounting, but knowing that I have people around me that have those skills has been comforting (and a huge blessing).
If you told me in college I would own a business by 25, I probably would have laughed at you and gone back to napping. But this is real, and I’m pumped to see where Sonder Photo LLC goes in the next few years. If you want to book a session or learn more about my business, check out sonderphoto.co.
PS - if you or someone you know is a CPA who needs some photos done, let’s talk about how we can make each other’s lives a lot better.