MEET SARAH CORNISH :: {Women IN Business Series}

Hi Sarah ! Thanks for taking some time to share who you are, as well as how you run your successful photography business! First off tell us a little about yourself! Are you married? Any children? 
 Well hello! Let’s see! I am a self professed home body. My ideal weekend is hanging around the house in oversized pajamas with a oversized tub of something unhealthy and watching netflix with my sweet husband, my baby sister and my four children. We recently relocated from Mystic, CT to Fort Collins, Co and starting over has been a bit overwhelming but life out West is absolutely amazing.  I love to read.. a little to much. I am easily distracted and way over sensitive. I have the imagination of a five year old and love fairy tales and happy endings. I am overly and most of the time annoyingly optimistic and I love Jesus!
For women I think it’s particularly hard to balance family life and work life…..How do you keep your marriage strong from the stresses of your business life?
 I have been INCREDIBLY blessed with an amazing man who not only supports my dreams and goals but aspires to take them as his own.  He is a stay at home dad and helps me maintain not only our household but my sanity.  We are highschool sweethearts and have been fortunate to grow together these past 13 years.  I married my best friend and it has been nothing short of a blessing to be married to someone that is not only so much fun to be around but “gets” me.

How long have you been in the photography business, and what subjects do you specialize in most?

 I have been in Business for three amazing years. I specialize in Children and families. I suppose being a mother of four and a very family oriented person shooting other families comes naturally to me.

What have you learned is the most important aspect of running a successful photography business?

 Valuing my time for sure.  I used to take everything and anything that came my way but focusing on what I was most passionate about kept things light and helped avoid burning out to often.

What are you most proud of as a business woman?

 Helping provide for my family. When my husband was able to leave his incredibly hectic stressful job of 11 years and commit to being a stay at home parent I felt that we were finally getting somewhere.  I give all credit to God though. We are truly blessed.

What is something might do differently with your business if you could go back in time and do it again?

 I would have realized it was okay to be an individual. I would have stopped comparing myself to everyone around me and just accepted my own talent and perspective and really enjoyed what I was doing off the jump rather then worrying constantly if there was something wrong with me.

When you were first starting out, what were your top three things you did in business to bring in clients?

Hmm good question! Ultimately I do not market a ton outside of Facebook. Facebook has been an incredibly amazing resource for me, being able to network with clients.  I also would say keeping my website current so my work really showed not only what I was capable of but who I was as a human being. Also trying to find good incentives for my clients through a referral program so that they not only came back but sent their friends a long!

Talk to us about pricing. Lots of  photographers struggle with where to begin on this matter. How do you put a value on your art, time & find that balance of what you should charge? Any tips?

I knew starting out from being on various forums many people started out doing either free sessions or extremely cheap ones to build their portfolio. When I was completely done practicing and was ready to move on to the portfolio building stage I made my pricing clear so there wasn’t sticker shock and extended a small discount in exchange for a portfolio release. In a digital market offering mostly prints can be tough but I am always trying to find a balance between being affordable and accessible and making a living. I know that most photographers do not become a photographer to be rich. That was certainly not the case for me so I don’t mind being a bit high volume if I have access to more people. I LOVE what I do and love to work with people in all places in their lives. We recently relocated so I am restructuring a bit to meet the market here and its been a bit frustrating but I just put one foot in front of the other and do what I can.

What is something you think women in the industry should NOT do?

Beat themselves up or comprise their vision to conform. Trends come and go but being true to yourself and allowing your art to be nurtured rather then rejecting your creativity is only going to burn you out. Its okay to be different! Its okay to be YOU and show that through your imagery!

What do you shoot with? How about a favorite lens?

I use a Canon 5d Mark II and my current favorite lens is my trusty 35L. Super versatile and a nice focal range for just about anything.

What are three things you can’t live without to keep you organized?

My External Hard Drive for one.  I can’t keep everything on my computer or it drives me nuts. My calendar on my Mac and phone because it helps sync sessions and appointments and I try my best to answer emails as soon as I get them so I don’t forget about them or they get lost in the shuffle. My smart phone has been AMAZING for that.

And finally, what are three pieces of advice or things that you have experienced you can give business owners who want to better themselves & their businesses?

Value your time and talent. Don’t sell yourself short!
Hire a CPA! I am looking for a good one now and know its going to be the best money I can spend because I am soooo not money smart.
Have a plan and goals in place. Know where you want to be in five years. Nothing happens without putting one foot in front of the other and as long as you know where you are going it will be okay!
Thank you SO much for your wise words this week in the {Women In Business Series} Sarah! It’s been awesome featuring you and your business! 
Leave some love & tell Sarah how much you loved her interview!! See you next time with a new WOMEN IN BUSINESS interview!
  • Monet Rodrigues - This was great advice. I am just starting my photography business and I love her work. She is truely inspiring. It gives me confidence that what my visions are in my photos are worth the money and my time is worth charging for. Starting out, people want you to do the work for free. It’s been a challenge to be firm and say I’m worth it. Thank you for a great interview.

  • Heather Stockett - Great advice! I admire Sarah so much! And you, too, Heidi!

  • Sasha Holloway - Amazing gal. Love this interview and awesome advice.

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