Before the High Rollers Club had a founder, and well before it’s founder was booking $50,000 in one weekend, there lived a typical American couple, working in healthcare, paying off student loan debts, dreaming of meaningful and lucrative careers.
I studied marketing and Spanish at Penn State, got my Masters in Speech Pathology, and when I started my full-time job, my husband went back to school, too.
We ended up with $200,000 in student loan debt, working extra shifts, paying down the minimum just to survive.
We built our own house and started a family. It was far more than what we could afford.
Then, in 2011, I picked up my first professional camera and had my very first shoot.
I knew nothing about posing; I shot everything in auto; and I loved messing with saturation. I shot sessions on the weekends to get better, but burnout was coming for both of us.
Then, one night in our driveway, looking up at the house that would build our family and see us grow old together, we acknowledged that we couldn’t afford it, and we couldn’t keep working this way.
I wanted to make a career out of photography. I was determined to make enough to turn it into my full-time job. It was going to take grit, determination, and duct tape.
I started with family photography, shooting on the weekends, and buying all kinds of props and equipment. It was no wonder I was in the red. My mudroom was a photography bunker, and my stuff wasn’t making money.
And then I found boudoir.
I scheduled a model call, created a bridal show booth with a few Amazon purchases. Put everything on credit cards, and got three bookings. I started marketing.
I worked harder than ever before. I was in labor answering phone inquiries with my third baby.
Eventually, my work got better and I started shooting boudoir out of my guest bedroom with yard-sale furniture and a $30.00 comforter. To this day, I use my 24-70 speed light and almost nothing else.
No props. No massive equipment. I focus on the client and not the stuff. Minimalist and organic turns into luxury and beauty.
I improved. The business grew. But I was still stuck in my job. I couldn’t close clients.
I needed systems and marketing automation.
So, every time I wrote the same email, I automated it so I could reclaim my time and book more. I invested in my business to make it look professional, and to be professional.
Then, in 2015, I made $35,000. The next year, I brought home $80,000. By 2017, I made $280,000 and quit that day job. (Oh, and just when that happened, I found out I was pregnant with our third kid!)
By then end of the year, I was shooting boudoir, 39 weeks pregnant, and closed out at $525,000. I’m booked well into 2020, trending toward $600,000.
Our school loans will be paid by 2022, and we’re making our dream home work for our family and our business.
Now, I don’t shoot on auto, I don’t rely on word-of-mouth, and I’m in the top 1 percent of photography earners.
What separates the highest-earning photographers from everyone else? First, it’s drive. Second, it’s embracing change.
It’s consistently booking high-value clients. You don’t find high-paying clients, you make them. You provide a service they value, and one that they have the money to pay for.
It’s making sure your social media and online presence is locked down. You convey luxury and professionalism; you embrace modernity and experimentation. You charge luxury prices for a luxury experience across the board.
So what would you do if you were making an extra $15,000 each month?
It is absolutely in your realm of possibility if you are willing to try. I’ve done it and continue to do it. And hundreds of my students are achieving success every day, changing their lives as they pursue their dreams.
If you have the hunger, this community will help you put the right systems in place to help you live your dreams, create a better future, and make sure that your hustle is pointed in the right direction.