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Jan 5, 2024

Earn 6 Figures After a Course in Food Photography

A course in food photography might not sound life-changing, but it can be! It was for Gavin— a poor college student in his second year of school. When he found Pretty Focused and discovered the difference food photography could make in his and his family’s life, everything changed. A little more than a year later—before he even graduated from college—he was earning six figures, buying a new house, and planning a new and exciting life away from hospital administration and crippling college debt.

And it was all thanks to finishing Pretty Focused’s course in food photography, which not only taught him how to take incredible food blog photos and find clients but, more importantly, how to be a successful entrepreneur!

Gavin’s Story: Food Photography Entrepreneur Earning 6 Figures

So how did Gavin go from a poor college kid working in a food court to a full-time food photographer running his own business?

  • Gavin was a full-time college student who spent his free time working in the school food court to make ends meet.
  • Then, in his sophomore year, he heard about Pretty Focused and a possible “hobby” as a food photographer. With a wife and a new baby on the way, he decided to give it a try.
  • A year later, Gavin graduated from Pretty Focused’s course in food photography and turned his new “hobby” into a full-time job.
  • Now, he’s a new college graduate, homeowner, and father who runs his own food blog photography business, earning six figures a year!

Watch his interview now for the full story!

  • 0:00 Countdown
  • 3:21 Why did you join Pretty Focused?
  • 3:29 How did you find out about Pretty Focused?
  • 6:00 How long did it take you to graduate?
  • 8:45 What happened when you graduated?
  • 9:44 What does your business look like now?
  • 10:12 How many clients are you working with?
  • 10:43 What big client win did you just experience?
  • 21:08 What has Pretty Focused allowed you to do?
  • 27:26 What do you have planned for the future?
  • 33:57 Did you know anything about photography before you joined?
  • 34:56 What gear do you use?
  • 37:13 What advice do you have for people who are thinking about joining Pretty Focused?
  • 41:15 What are some challenges you’ve had to deal with?

Poor College Student in Search of a Creative and Well-Paying Job

Gavin was a sophomore in college, going to school full-time and struggling to earn enough money to get by. He was doing anything he could to alleviate stress, even if that meant working in the school’s food court and managing a bunch of different fast-food restaurants. It was boring work, but it helped to pay the bills.

Still, Gavin wanted something better. He wanted a job that allowed him to be more creative and make more money—the golden goose. Luckily, that’s when he started hearing about food photography and Pretty Focused. At first, it was just a few whispers from a couple of different influencers, but as soon as Gavin looked into it, he was hooked.

“Even if I only just made my money back, I figured it would be worth it. So, I decided to give it a try.”

Initially, Gavin thought food photography would be a hobby. His end goal was still to attend graduate school and get a job in Healthcare Administration. He just hoped that he could make enough money with food blog photography to replace working at the food court and get through college without any more student loans. “Then obviously, pretty quickly, it turned into more than that.”

Taking Pretty Focused’s Course in Food Photography While Going to School Full-Time

food photography course

But getting through Pretty Focused’s course in food photography while handling a full course load in college wasn’t easy. With 20 hours of school work each week (not to mention studying and homework) and 15 hours of work in the food court, there wasn’t a lot of time for food photography training. Plus, it was incredibly stressful, but the stress ended up being well worth it. 

As Gavin says, “If it’s a little bit of stress now to have something fun to do that can also make some money, it’s worth it.”

In the end, it took Gavin about a year to complete Pretty Focused, “but that entire year was great growth.” He received so much great advice and help from all the coaches that he really felt motivated to get through and create a sellable portfolio. And it more than paid off. By his Junior year of college, he was working as a food photographer and making far more money than the food court could afford.

Check out just how much food photographers make!

Life as a Food Photography Entrepreneur, New Dad, and Homeowner

Gavin jumped into food photography with both feet after Pretty Focused. He got onto the Buyer’s Club, demonstrated his skills, and almost immediately started selling. Best yet, he could do all of that while being a new dad and still attending college. That’s the flexibility that a career in food photography offers. 

At first, Gavin started with a few different clients handling recreations—photos for recipes already developed by bloggers. But pretty quickly, he upgraded to exclusives—creating custom recipes and photos for bloggers. And that was a game-changer. 

Now, he works with just two long-term clients to create entirely custom recipes, and while that might not sound like enough work to earn a good salary, it’s actually more than enough. “It’s a little too much!” 

Yes, you can earn a full-time income at home with a new baby; just ask Elysia!

3 Life Lessons From a Food Photography Entrepreneur

food photography course

That’s what makes a career in food photography so exciting—the endless possibilities for growth and flexibility. You get to decide how you want your life to look after Pretty Focused’s course in food photography. Maybe it’s nothing more than a low-stress side hustle, or it could be a stepping-stone to a full-time entrepreneurial career that scales and grows to more than you can ever imagine.

The key is that Pretty Focused will give you the information, tools, feedback, and support you need to make it happen. Here’s what Gavin learned.

Be Open to Taking a New Career Path

Gavin’s new career in food photography all started with a single client whom he met through the Pretty Focused Buyer’s Club and “got along with great.” She sent over a “giant batch of recipes” to start, and Gavin was thrilled. He thought he could just plug away until the contract was complete and then, hopefully, set up some type of long-term work—even if it wasn’t as consistent. 

But the blogger was really looking to grow her blog, and that “giant batch” of work wasn’t even close to the end. She loved Gavin’s work and loved working with him so much that she decided to keep him for a lot more help. So, during a nerve-wracking Zoom meeting, instead of saying goodbye to his client, Gavin signed on for 1,000 more recipes—two years of committed work.

Here are 7 reasons food bloggers hire food photographers.

Enjoy the Freedom, Flexibility, and Earning Potential of an Entrepreneurial Life

Earning a six-figure income while still in school is no mean feat. Now, life has changed drastically for Gavin and his family. Even with a new baby to take care of and afford, he was able to buy a house during his Senior year of college. “We had the money to do it, so we just decided to go for it.”  

Plus, he and his wife were both able to transition to full-time stay-at-home parents! “It’s going to be such a blessing for all of our kids to have access to both parents—every day of the week. There’s now never going to be a time when I can’t be at a baseball game because I’m at the office.”

“And that’s what I love so much about this [a career in food photography], that it scaled very quickly to the point where it just financially didn’t make sense to continue school. For the career I was going into, it would have taken way longer to get to the salary I'm making now.”

Change Your Definition of Success

All this has meant that Gavin’s idea of success has had to drastically change to fit his new world. Before Pretty Focused, success looked like a “good high-paying degree. It was always the idea of you have to go to college to get a degree to then get a career that aligns with that degree.” 

Now, success for Gavin is “creating the lifestyle that you want to have, wherever you want to have it.” That has meant using the flexibility and freedom of being an entrepreneur to craft his own ideal future.

11 reasons to work from home with food photography.

Benefits of Pretty Focused’s Course in Food Photography

food photography course

So, how did Pretty Focused’s course in food photography help Gavin launch his new entrepreneurial life? Through constant feedback, unending opportunities to learn, the Buyer’s Club, and unlocking your potential.

Constant Feedback For Improvement

The constant feedback you get with Pretty Focused is invaluable. Even if you’re like Gavin and want to be good at everything right away, you’ll learn to appreciate the feedback. “All the advice that coaches give comes from a place of caring. They’ve been in your situation, they can see what’s wrong, and they want to help you improve as much as you can.”

The reality is that every Pretty Focused coach is a former student. At one point, they had never picked up a camera either. They were not photographers and were once on the same path as every student, so they know what it’s like. They are highly relatable, and so are able to hold your hand and really help facilitate learning.

Always Something New to Learn

“One of the things Pretty Focused has done so well is that there's constantly something new you can learn.” Whether you want to go into video recipes, learn more about artificial lighting, or get into recipe testing, “there's always something new you can do.”

In fact, that is one of Pretty Focused’s biggest goals—always giving our students something new to explore. We are passionate about helping people continue to grow their businesses in a variety of ways. We come alongside you with mastermind business classes and boot camps to make growing and scaling easy. It’s not just good luck; it’s concentrated effort.

Check out the Pretty Focused Facebook community for regular information updates, live events, and so much more!

The Buyer’s Club

“All of my work comes through the Buyer’s Club.” That’s because in the Buyer’s Club, you are able to connect with people on a more solid footing, and so you gain steadier work and clients that you can work with long term. The Buyer’s Club is really “quality over quantity.” There is really a different caliber of client inside the Buyer’s Club.

Unlocking Your Entrepreneurial Potential

Pretty Focused has helped to “unlock my entrepreneurial fire, which sounds really corny, but it showed me that I can successfully start a business and grow it to whatever scale I want.” It’s all thanks to the community Gavin gained throughout the course. Not only did he learn how to create a food photography business, but he learned how to set up any entrepreneurial business.

“The business principles I learned in Pretty Focused can be applied to other businesses.” And Gavin is ready to repeat his success. He’s dipped his toes into pressure washing and other home service businesses because when you learn how to connect with clients and offer quality over quantity, that can translate into almost any situation.

Check out these other student testimonials to learn more about Pretty Focused!

Are You Ready to Launch Your Entrepreneurial Career in Food Photography?

food photography course

So, should you join Pretty Focused and launch your entrepreneurial career in food photography? There’s no better time to give it a try!

“If you have the desire to create something for yourself and you're not scared about hard work, then it's definitely a viable option. It's a great starting ground for learning how to run your own business—a skill that's very marketable. Just don't be scared.”

And if you’re struggling to get into the Pretty Focused course, just dig your heels in and try! There were many many times Gavin struggled to do the work, but every time, it was to his benefit. “Just take it one step at a time and find one thing you’re unsure about and just focus on that until you know how to do it and then move on.”

Give Pretty Focused’s course in food photography a chance. It will be worth it!

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