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I'm Aly Kirkpatrick.

I'm a wife, business owner, and photographer fueled by Dr. Pepper and anything sweet! I am married to my high school sweetheart, and love living in the Arizona desert!

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4 Mistakes I’ve Made In My Business

March 15, 2018

business, personal

We are all human. And humans make mistakes.

Is it ok if I share a few of mine? But just promise me…No judgement allowed! LOL!

AlyKirkPhoto-4 Mistakes I Made In My Business

1. I bought equipment without doing enough research.

When I first started my business, I knew a lot about good angles, framing, and composition. I knew that I loved taking photos, but I didn’t really much about equipment and what equipment I would need to achieve a certain style of photos. I ended up buying a lens that was meant for a totally different type of photography than what I needed. This was one my first ROOKIE MISTAKES.

2. I was too scared to shoot in RAW.

It seems like a silly fear looking back on it now. But, in the beginning of my business, RAW files were so foreign to me. I didn’t really know how to manage them, or even why I needed my camera to output a RAW file rather than the standard jpeg file.

Without getting too overly technical, here is a run down of what a RAW photo is. Most people are familiar with the term “Jpeg”, which is the universal format for photos. Kind of like how .doc is universal for a Word document and .xls for a Excel file, the .jpg is the common way you will see photos formatted. When you take a photo on your phone, your phone automatically converts it to a .jpg file type.

A RAW file is a photo file as well, but it is just that – raw. It is untouched, uncompressed, and unconverted. A RAW photo contains much more data than a jpeg file, which means it handles editing much better and you can control the output file easier.

Sounds great, right? Here’s the downfall:
RAW files can be about 20-25 times the file size of a jpeg, which is why you really have to have the right programs in order to manage them, view them, and convert them. Because this area was so foreign to me in the beginning, I was scared to shoot this way. However now, after experiencing that RAW files have saved me a few times, I can never go back! I have to be more mindful of my card size and keep an eye on my storage space, but it is so worth it!

3. I didn’t back up my hard drive.

This was probably the most emotional moment of my life, and one of my most painful mistakes. I had everything on my external hard drive and I lost it all. All my photos for my business, templates, projects, and even personal photos and documents.

But the worst part was… I lost an entire folder of raw images that I had not delivered to the client yet.

My heart was literally in my throat.

After days of tears and hours of research, I found a Lightroom loophole that allowed me to get the images to the client. WHEW. But man, did I learn my lesson or what! Never again will I delete images off my cards before the client has them in their possession! I also invested in a cloud-based backup program so I never have to deal with this again!!

4. I kept doing the same thing multiple times.

If you know me, I am big on productivity and efficiency. However, sometimes it takes me a while to find my groove and realize where I could make things faster and better. I am a perfectionist, and so there are many times where I will do something the wrong way until I can find the perfect solution. Can anyone relate?! For a while, I was typing out identical emails, answering the same questions from clients, and editing each individual photo, one at a time.

Talk about wasted time!

A few things I have implemented to help streamline my processes are create email templates for information that doesn’t change and started batch editing in Lightroom to cut down on the post process time! You might be thinking, “How did THAT make your list of mistakes?!” Well, time is money. And wasted time also means I can’t focus on other important parts of my business.


I hope you’ve learned something from my mistakes, whether you’re a photographer, business owner, employee at someone else’s company, or anywhere in between!



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