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Mar 15, 2024

Why This Entrepreneur Embraced Blog Food Photography

Blog food photography and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand; just ask Robin. She’s a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses who has found success and happiness with Pretty Focused. Not only has it provided her a creative outlet, which she was sorely missing in her other companies, but she’s now earning enough money to pay her monthly mortgage and then some.

How did a lifelong entrepreneur find Pretty Focused and decide to give blog food photography a chance? Keep reading for Robin’s story and her Pretty Focused review!

Robin’s Story: How a Serial Entrepreneur Launched a Successful Career in Blog Food Photography

Robin’s story starts after over 25 years of running various businesses and being her own boss. She needed another source of income to allow her husband to retire. Enter: Pretty Focused.

  • Robin was a Mary Kay consultant for 25 years, a campground owner, and a part-time custom cake designer.
  • Then, her daughter-in-law introduced her to food blogging and food photography, and she saw another opportunity for success.
  • Robin decided to try blog food photography as another side hustle and joined Pretty Focused.
  • Fourteen months later, she graduated and started making enough money to pay off her monthly mortgage and give her husband peace of mind in his soon-coming retirement.

Watch Robin’s Pretty Focused review now. And find more reviews here!

06:22 Why did you join Pretty Focused?
08:33 How long did it take you to graduate?
12:13 When do you recommend updating your gear?
13:17 After graduation how long did it take to connect with clients?
20:48 What do you love about Pretty Focused?
21:10 What is your goal for this year (2024)?
21:34 What advice do you have for people who are thinking about joining Pretty Focused?
30:43 Do you pay for ingredients?
34:08 How do you find clients?
37:56 What are bloggers looking for?
44:35 How many hours a week do you work?
48:44 Is Pretty Focused worth it?

A Serial Entrepreneur Who Was Always Open to New Opportunities

Robin has always been an entrepreneur. Thirty years ago, she started her career as a Mary Kay consultant and has continued with the company ever since. She also owns and runs a campground with her husband. “I’ve done that for about 25 years.” And, on top of that, as a side gig for the past decade, Robin has made custom cakes for friends and family. So, the execution of running a successful business was nothing new to her.

But blog food photography was a very different path. Nothing she’d done before had been “quite along the same line.” But her daughter-in-law had done some recipe testing for a Pretty Focused graduate, and it piqued Robin’s interest. It seemed like another excellent side gig.

Joining Pretty Focused & Trying Blog Food Photography

So, Robin started researching. “And I’m like, wait a minute. You’re telling me all I have to do is photograph things I bake? I’ve always enjoyed baking, and there’s income in that!?” Robin jumped right in and went through the entire Pretty Focused Roadmap, only becoming more determined to try it out. 

At first, Robin was only interested in Pretty Focused and blog food photography because of the income. “The income, of course, was fabulous. I thought, ‘They’re going to pay me how much!?’” But she quickly realized that it also offered a way to turn something she already enjoyed—baking and cooking—into a career that allowed her to express her creativity. This was especially important since Robin’s husband was getting ready to retire, and they needed a way to replace his income.

So, in January 2022, Robin joined Pretty Focused. It would take her over a year to graduate because she was still working full-time, but that’s the beauty of Pretty Focused. You can complete the course on your timetable and take as long as you need. For Robin, that meant not graduating until March 2023, and she’s good with that.

Kelly graduated in just ten months! Next, you can read her story.

Course Work, Graduation, and Launching a New Career

blog food photography

Robin admits that “it’s realistic that you can do it faster if you’ve got the time and the focus…but I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and it took me a while to decide to work on my portfolio.” So, she took it slowly. She completed almost 30 practice shoots before even considering beginning her portfolio.

Still, she eventually graduated and then took the entire month of April to “figure out what direction I wanted to go with it.” While many students jump right into the Buyer’s Club and start selling right away. Other students, like Robin, take some time first to set up a Shopify storefront and get all their ducks in a row. Still, within six weeks, Robin had “all of my ‘I’s dotted and my ‘T’s crossed,” and less than two weeks later, she made her first sale.

“I was happy with that. I wasn’t an overnight success. My portfolio didn’t sell out the hour after I graduated, but it was a normal path…and I was still surprised at how quickly I started selling products.”

A Year Into Blog Food Photography and Continued Success

Ten months later, and business has been “fabulous! I’ve exceeded my expectations.” After going back and looking at her numbers for the rest of 2023, Robin is amazed at how much success she’s had. “Almost $16,000 in photography sales!” And that has just been the start.

Originally, Robin’s goal was to replace paying their mortgage with photography sales so that her husband could retire, but “I’ve easily done that.” Already, in 2024, she’s made $2,000 in sales in a month, and her goal is even bigger. “My goal for this year is to make well over $50,000 in income.” She’s well on her way.

And make sure to check out our recent blog, “How to Start a Food Photography Business,” for more insight.

6 Pieces of Advice From a Successful Blog Food Photographer

blog food photography

So, how did Robin find such success in Pretty Focused and blog food photography and what advice does she offer to aspiring and current students?

Don’t Be Afraid to Upgrade Your Camera

Many Pretty Focused graduates launch their food photography careers with whatever camera they already have on hand. And that’s great. Often, you do not need to update your equipment and can take incredible photos and get great results with the camera you have. However, Robin does recommend upgrading your camera if you start to outgrow it.

Within the first four to six months of working as a food photographer, Robin realized her camera was a limiting factor in her work. She was having success in her shop, selling her work, but her friends in the Pretty Focused MasterMind told her that her, “photography needs it.” So, once she realized that she was “better than her current camera,” she decided to upgrade.

Robin went from a Nikon D, her son’s old camera, to a new Nikon Z 7, and the difference is enormous. A camera is worth the upgrade if you have the budget and the success you need to make it a worthwhile investment.

If you’re ready to upgrade your camera, check out our Recommended Gear page!

Accept Every Bit of Help and Education Available to You!

“I would encourage potential students and new students to watch everything that is offered. Take all the boot camps. Invest in your business. Take in all of that education. Because that will help you along the way.”

Every part of the Pretty Focused program is designed to help you craft a successful blog food photography business. Don’t miss important information or valuable help when it’s available to you because you’re in a hurry. Instead, take the time to watch, read, study, and practice everything. The key is “just don’t get frustrated.” It may take time to figure it out, but you’ll get there. “Don’t ever give up on your photography too soon; just keep at it.”

Embrace the Season You’re In

blog food photography

It would be amazing if every photograph you took turned out beautifully. We would be thrilled if, after joining Pretty Focused, you never faced another career challenge, but that’s not the reality. Challenges are a part of the growth process. There are big challenges even for graduates who are now in the Mastermind program.

Recently, Robin and her fellow Mastermind students realized they almost all struggled to decide what recipes they’re “going to shoot for the week.” They thought “whatever sounds good” was a workable answer. But in reality, that can get you stuck. Instead, you need “Evergreen type recipes” that never go out of style. But that can be tough to figure out.

Just realize that whenever you face a challenge in your blog food photography, it “might just be the season.” Whether you’re still going through the Pretty Focused course or graduated years ago, you’ll have seasons of struggle and success. Maybe you’ll have a season of figuring out your camera and then a season of discovering recipes. No matter what, get comfortable with each season, take the lessons from it, and keep moving forward.

Check out these 11 reasons to work from home with blog food photography!

Receive and Share Knowledge and Advice

“One thing I love about Pretty Focused is that people are willing to share; people are willing to give advice. They’re not holding back. Instead, they’re very giving and willing to share their knowledge. I really appreciate that.”

The key is to get into the Facebook group right away and start talking with fellow students, graduates, and coaches. Not only will you find people who will be with you every step of the way during your Pretty Focused journey, but you’ll get advice when you need it, commiseration when you’re struggling, and friendships that will last a lifetime. “The women of Pretty Focused are so wonderful!”

Choose Your Own Blog Food Photography Path

There are primarily two types of blog food photography that Pretty Focused graduates can get into: Exclusives and Recreations. They both offer a different approach to the job.

Exclusions give you more freedom to control your work as a photographer and recipe creator. You research a new recipe three to four months ahead, looking at what’s in season, the holidays, and things like that. “Seasonal is definitely a place to start.” Then, you write out the recipe, test it, make it, take photographs, and sell the entire lot as a package to a blogger.

Recreations require you to “recreate a recipe already designed and tested.” Basically, you’ll be hired by a blogger to photograph a fully realized recipe. You’ll typically get a bulk of recipes at once and then need to plan how to photograph each set before your deadline.

For both styles of blog food photography, you’re cooking and taking pictures. It’s really just a matter of whether or not you enjoy crafting new recipes to sell or just want to cook and photograph someone else’s recipe.

Check out our blog on how much food photographers can make to give you some more ideas.

Sell Your Photos Wherever and Whenever You Can

blog food photography

“Obviously, when you graduate, you’re going to be a part of the Buyer’s Club automatically. So, you’ll have access to lots and lots of bloggers, but I wouldn’t rely on that exclusively.” Robin set up a store on Shopify, and she also sends out a regular newsletter to potential customers advertising her Exclusives for sale. You can also advertise your photos in the Facebook group.

The main goal should be to get your work in front of as many potential clients as possible. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share your work multiple times. You never know who will see it and reach out to you.

Don’t worry! You’ll find work. Here are just seven reasons bloggers hire food photographers!

Try Pretty Focused Today & Enjoy a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!

If you’re considering joining Pretty Focused and launching a career in blog food photography, Robin’s advice is to do a sleep test. “If you’re thinking about being a part of Pretty Focused, and you go to bed, and things start popping in your mind such as, ‘What can I do with this? Can I really be successful?’ And it sticks in your mind, whether positively or negatively, then the only way you’re going to find out is if you give it a try!”

If that’s not enough to get you started, Pretty Focused offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason not to try it out today. What do you have to lose?

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Copyright 2023
Code of conduct