Episode 197 – A Coach’s Wife’s Journey From Burnout To $2,380 Photography Orders

Sarah Petty: If you’re burned out, a stay at home mom with a spouse who works long hours, you’ve got to meet East Texas photographer, Christian Gipson. Her life was always moving at a hundred miles per hour as she sprinted to keep up with her 2-year-old, her weekend photography sessions and her hubby’s busy coaching schedule. Maybe you can relate. Today, you’ll hear how Christian’s life has changed, how she grew her confidence and got back to loving photography again.

Welcome, Christian. Give us the scoop on what your life looked like. 

Christian: I married a coach who coaches football and baseball, so if there are other coaches’ wives or just people who know sports, they know that it’s a never ending, 12 month long process. I don’t know how else to explain it other than I was going a hundred miles per hour trying to keep up with him, trying to go to all of the games, because as a wife, you want to support your husband. I was a first time mom in 2021 and now I have a two and a half year old who literally runs wild along with the coaching world. I was also trying to grow a photography business in the middle of all of that. It was hard to try to juggle it all.

Sarah Petty: A coach’s job is a never ending job. And you were a stay-at-home mom, so he was gone at nights or you’re taking the baby and you’re trying to juggle it all, so how did you see photography fitting in your life back then?

Christian: I wanted to start a business that allowed me to be a stay at home mom. I’d always loved photography and I felt like that was my end. So I started my business at the end of 2019 when I got my first camera. My grandma gifted me my first camera.

I started and there was so much more to photography that I never knew. I had a huge learning curve. My husband worked 90 hours a week throughout football and baseball season, and it was just something that I knew that I had to do in order for me to stay at home. It was a struggle, but I started just like everyone else.

Sarah Petty: Were you doing weekends and were you doing digitals? 

Christian: Yes. The hardest part about beginning was that I had to do weekends because that’s when most everyone else was free. And I did digitals because I didn’t know any difference. I didn’t even know printing was a thing. 

Sarah Petty: How did you come across me talking about the boutique model?

Christian: I’ve actually followed you since the very beginning of my photography career. I don’t know how I found you, but I signed up for your email list and probably mostly ignored them or I would’ve joined a long time ago. But I came across a pricing challenge that you put on.

I did Boutique Breakthrough this past May, but I did the challenge first. I listened to your free tips and by that time, I’d worked every single weekend since January with a 2-year-old and trying to keep up with my husband. I felt like I was trading my time with my child for time with other people’s families and that was awful. That’s when I decided that it was time for me to do something different.

Sarah Petty: How’d that work out for you?

Christian: It’s going great. I’m a full boutique photography business now. I’d finished the first part of the class and transitioned my business and I haven’t gone back. It’s been fabulous. I have made more with three clients than I did with my first 25.

Sarah Petty: How do you feel about how you’re serving them?

Christian: I never look at the money when I go into a session or a consultation. I go into it thinking, “How can I serve my client? How can I get them exactly what they want within their budget?” Because if they’re like me and they’re a one income family, they have a budget. I feel like my servanthood has definitely gone up. I have learned a lot about myself and a lot about how to serve other people, and listen to their needs and not me pushing what I think they need on them. I really have a needs-based client relationship with all of my clients.

Sarah Petty: Do you see the differenc2,e between serving with where they end up with artwork versus serving where they end up with digital files?

Christian: Yeah, there’s nothing that you can compare to whenever you have a client receive their first piece of artwork. They look at it and they love it and they cry. There’s nothing else that I could have valued more than this, I guess is the best way to say it.

Sarah Petty: So with your first Julie, $1k or more client order, you followed the system. You presented their images, helped them narrow down, and helped them pick what they wanted to order. What was going through your mind when you added it up?

Christian: I was like, “Oh my goodness, this is happening?” This was my first client after finishing the first 30 days of Boutique Breakthrough, and it’s the first one that I had done from the very beginning to end using your system and I was terrified. I truly didn’t believe someone would invest this much money with me.

I’m sitting there and I’m going through the presentation with them and their eyes are lighting up as they see it on my big TV screen. They were so happy with them which built up my confidence before I even gave them the price of their total order.

They wanted an album and a piece of artwork and that was just awesome. They invested $2,380.

Sarah Petty: What did Hubby Coach say when you went home? 

Christian: He has always been super supportive so he told me, “I told you so. I knew you could do this.”

Sarah Petty: I love that. Did the support of the team really help you in Boutique Breakthrough, too?

Christian: Your team was awesome and everyone was super helpful. 

Sarah Petty: What about the classmates, your other teachers, the team? My classmates were really awesome and always cheered me on.

Sarah Petty: And now that you’ve done it and you trusted the process, how do you feel about your prices?

Christian: I’m worth it.

Sarah Petty: That’s amazing. I’m so happy for you. What are you most excited about moving forward with your business? 

Christian: I would like to make $150,000/year. I know that’s a really big goal for someone who works very part-time, because I try to put my son first always, so if it doesn’t fit around his schedule or my husband’s schedule, then we don’t do it. So I’m a very part-time photographer, but I believe that I can make a hundred thousand dollars doing it.

Sarah Petty: You can do that with being a mom and doing it part-time, because I did. Just keep following the system. I’m so proud of you and I’m so excited for you. Christian, thank you for being here.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

Hey, there!