August 2015 Archive

3 signs that you are actually running a healthy, professional business

Hi friends, can you believe that school is already back in session and we are headed into fall? As we move into a new month and a new season, I have a lot to share with you so I’m going to (try to) be brief here and give you some VERY challenging things to consider. I’m going to warn you in advance though, what I have to say might insult or offend you; two things that I would absolutely HATE to do. So why am I going to say them anyway? Because I love you and I genuinely want to see you managing a business that is healthy and thriving. So here’s the truth.  The truth that I wish I could go back and tell myself 8 years ago when I was two years into owning my own business as a “professional” photographer.

Amy Ellid Photography

Here are three signs that you are actually running a healthy professional business:

1.  A professional business pays its owner a salary.  No more of this, “I sometimes let myself buy things out of my business account. That’s paying myself, right?”  Not paying yourself a consistent set salary (regardless of the size of that salary) is a sign that you are not taking yourself or your business seriously OR that you do not have a healthy grasp on your business finances. This rule still applies for businesses with fluctuating monthly revenue…and thats just about all of us. You are not the exception. Guys, it took me 8 years to put on my big-girl-business-pants and start paying myself a set salary every month. Its game changing on many levels.

2. A professional business has completely separate bank accounts and credit/debit cards. Work related purchases only go in and out of your work bank account.  Every expense is clearly tracked and accounted for. Period.

3. A professional business is able to operate debt free. Now before you throw a shoe at me,  I do realize that there are a lot of industries that carry debt as the norm, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that your business probably does not have to be one of them. If you find that accumulating business debt is the norm for you it should be a giant red flag that you are trying to grow faster (or act larger) then your business can actually sustain. Slow and steady wins the race.  Make the money, then make that next investment.  Before you assume that you have to go into debt to grow your business stop and answer this question, “Is there another alternative?”  Chances are there is another alternative we just don’t like it because it often requires more time, patience or work.  What do Michael Kors, Chipotle, Whole Foods and Coach all have in common?  They are all companies on the S&P 500 that are completely debt free. #winning

The year is more than halfway over and I think that is great time to evaluate things. Are you committed to running a healthy business or are you nurturing an expensive hobby? Both are okay but you do have to choose which one you want to be. Pick just one of these steps and make this the year that you start to take yourself and your business seriously.

Shoot me a reply and let me know which one YOU are committing to the rest of this year and I will be cheering you on!!

– Shay

**This post was originally part of the SC Insiders monthly newsletter. If you want to receive more posts like this and free monthly images directly to your inbox, subscribe to the newsletter today!**

Tutorial: Using Styled Stock Photography with Simply Jessica Marie

We are so excited to share with you this amazing tutorial from our friend Simply Jessica Marie! You might have caught our previous tutorials on overlaying your products on our flat styled stock and also our tutorial on how to add your designs to our styled stock desktops.

Today Jessica is going to show you how to add your prints to our styled frame stock images! Also, for those of you who have asked for a Photoshop alternative, Jessica is using Illustrator to show you the step by step process.

A big thanks to Jessica for putting together this wonderful tutorial! We hope you find it helpful and be sure to grab your items from the SC Stockshop so that you can practice what you learned!

In the shop: Pink, White, and Gold Styled Desktop Stock

Some of you may remember our previous collaboration with the fabulous All Things Pretty back in June. If you loved that set, then we have a treat for you today! In addition to our previous navy and pink collection, we also worked with ATP to create a stunning pink, white, and gold collection for those of you looking for something a bit softer.

ShayCochrane_Pink Peonies_Styled Desktop_Stock Photography_Bloggers2smlblog

We have a new Brand Builder Set for those of you looking to get several coordinating images packaged at a discount. We have a new screen set of two which is perfect for showing off your design work or featuring your blog posts. A new clipboard option which is a fun way to show off those new prints. And we also have several individual listings for those of you wanting to add to your growing SC Stockshop collection.


If you’ve been crushing on all things blush, white, and gold…these styled stock images are the perfect fit for you! Which option will you choose to take your brand to the next level?


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