About The Road to Full-Time
The Road to Full-Time is a resource run by me, Jordan Younce, and is drawn from the process of starting your own photography business. This isn’t a “get successful quick” guide for you to follow steps A-Z. This is an ongoing collection of strategies, tips, and conversations to learn from together for turning a photography dream business into a reality.
My Photography Journey
My journey into photography didn’t start until 2007. This was the year when I bought my first “real” DSLR. At that time I didn’t even know what DSLR meant. I just knew that I wanted to have photos with blurry backgrounds. I thought to do that, you needed a camera that you could remove the lens. I have no idea why I thought that at the time but to just seemed like something the pros used. So I bought a Sony A200 and the only lens I used was the one that came with the camera. All of my photos were taken in Auto Mode because I didn’t know what the other modes meant. This is when I took to watching YouTube videos just trying to learn anything and everything about photography. I started to learn all of the basics of photography like the exposure triangle, composition, and the different types of gear.
The Learning Camera
After learning with that camera for about 2 years, I saw a YouTube video by SoldierKnowsBest where he was demoing a Canon T2i. It was just a quick review of the camera showing things like image quality but that camera had one feature that I didn’t know existed in those types of cameras, video. Seeing how great the image and video quality was compared to my Sony was like comparing a Honda Civic to a Porsche. This is when I bought a Canon T2i and quickly sold my Sony on eBay. This is when the journey into photography really took off, not to mention the process of editing a photo in a program like Photoshop or Lightroom.
In 2010, I was working at a software company as a customer support person (technology has always been a part of my life since I was a teenager) I quickly learned that this might now be the route I should be taking for the rest of my life. I was always drawn to the creative things so I decided to enroll at a local community college and study Graphic Design and Advertising. This one simple step of learning what I wanted to do changed everything. Throughout my time at in college, we studied all aspects of the creative field such as design, publishing, marketing strategies and yes, photography. Three semesters in a row were devoted to photography. The best semester by far was all about studio photography. We would have to come up with photography projects that could be used for real publications and they had to be PERFECT or you failed. It was a great learning experience and I still have all of the photos saved from those shoots.
After this point, I started a Landscape photography website showcasing my portfolio and trying to sell prints. Landscape photography will always be my first photography love. The fun of heading out into nature and capturing everything around you just seems like the most fun you can have. The website was a good starter project and working with landscape photography was probably one of the best ways I could have learned photography and editing.
PictureMonk and Real Estate
A few years past as I ran my portfolio site and continued to learn as much as I could about photography and that is when I decided to help others start their photography journey. In 2014, I started a site called PictureMonk which talked about many different tips and tricks when it came to photography. It included a great blog with various tips, a podcast that was a major success, and a YouTube channel where I covered anything and everything photography related. I also decided to venture into a new style of photography that was increasingly interesting to me; Real Estate Photography. I wanted to start a local business where I could offer my photography services to local agents and brokers and, as you can imagine, starting a business from the ground up was going to be difficult.
Once PictureMonk and my photography business started to take off, I had the idea to start a video series called “The Road to Full-Time”. This video series included vlog style videos where I would take the viewer on real-world real estate photography shoots to show the types of things I was going to grow my photography business. These videos and related podcast episodes quickly became some of the most popular content I ever put out and it was honestly the most fun content I had the opportunity to make. This was also when I was contacted by a photography company called Sleeklens. They asked me if I would be interested in making photography videos for their YouTube channel. This phase in my life turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. After working part-time for Sleeklens, a full-time job as a graphic designer, making content for PictureMonk and taking jobs for real estate photography, I had the opportunity to work full-time for Sleeklens and quit my full-time job. This gave me a chance to work in a field that I have been passionate about for over 10 years and also concentrate on my other side projects. In June 2017, I became a full-time photographer!
So where does the Road to Full-Time come in? Well, I began to work on some really great projects for Sleeklens and my photography business started to really take off. This got me really interested in the business side of photography. Anyone can learn how to use a camera or remove a background in Photoshop but developing a photography business and constantly innovating is the tough part. This is when I started to really dive deep into what makes a successful photography business. That is why I decided to stop updating content on PictureMonk and just concentrate on what tons of other photographers want to know, how do I become full-time? This is where we are now. The Road to Full-Time is a site dedicated to showing you the ups and downs of running a photography business through running my own business. If I succeed in growing my business, even more, you will see exactly how I did it. If I fail and start to lose clients, you will see why and how I try to correct it. If you are interested in the business aspect of photography or just business in general, I hope you come along with me on this journey so we can both learn from each other!