Episode 82: How a Stay-At-Home Mom of 5 Overcame Her Fear of What Her Friends Would Say About Her Prices & Got a $5,000 Order

One of my favorite things to do is to share stories of what my students have overcome and their wins to inspire you to keep going.

Today that’s what I’m doing.

You are going to meet my student, Samantha Hardcastle, a stay-at-home mom of five kids who officially opened her photography business in January.

Before finding us, Samantha was really struggling over the words to say and after a few weeks of taking my course, Boutique Breakthrough, she had around $5,000 in orders!

Sarah Petty:

Sam, welcome!

I am so glad to have you here and to have you share your story with everybody because it is so fascinating.

Tell us how you got started.

Samantha Hardcastle:

Last year in 2020, I did photography on the side for fun.

I had a little crop sensor camera and I ended up photographing a bunch of my friend’s seniors, and fell in love with it.

I officially opened my business in January and was new to the business side of things.

Sarah Petty:

How were you pricing?

Were you just guessing?

Were you giving digitals?

Samantha Hardcastle:

I met with a local photographer in January and did a one on one with him.

He was a shoot and burn photographer and the most he charged was $500 for a session, so I thought that’s what you did.

If I could charge as much as him, I thought I would do really well.

But, I felt terrified to even charge that.

Then I went to your event, Go Boutique Live, in February of 2021 and thought there was no way people would pay as much as you were teaching.

I had a lot of head trash and I ended up doing the 8 week Boutique Breakthrough workshop in July.

That’s where I was.

A stay at home mom and I wanted to have a business and feel legitimate.

I decided to trust the process even though I would be terrified.

When we did the pricing, I was a little terrified of what my friends would say, because I had never spent that kind of money on photography before. 

Feeling Like a Legitimate Boutique Photographer

Samantha Hardcastle:

Having my pricing printed really felt legitimate.

That probably was the first piece that convinced me I could do this.

I had had a few photography referrals before the Boutique Breakthrough workshop with you and I was terrified to tell them my new pricing.

I kept telling myself the worst case scenario was that they say no.

During Boutique Breakthrough, you learn to change your language and to say things in different ways helped me feel confident. 

A $4,000 Portrait Order!

Samantha Hardcastle:

I got a photography referral that lived about three hours away.

I decided to trust the process and I did the consultation over Zoom.

The client paid me a travel fee for driving to her for the session and I went up there and did the session.

I had to do the in-person sale over zoom and thought that this would never work.

But it did, and they spent $4,000!

They even splurged and spent $800 more than they had planned on. 

Sarah Petty:

So after you took that order and you closed the Zoom call, you got a $4,000 order, what was that conversation you had in your brain? 

Samantha Hardcastle:

I totally ran out and told my husband.

My husband is a very supportive individual, and wants me to succeed, but he was hesitant with Boutique Breakthrough because it’s a big investment.

I actually practiced with my husband and at one point after practicing with him, he said we really should get some professional family portraits done and hang them on the walls.

If I can convert my husband, then this is going to work.

Anyone Can Take a Picture, Boutique Photographers are Different

Sarah Petty:

When your husband heard you got that order, was he so proud of you?

Samantha Hardcastle:

He was very surprised.

A lot of my friends said I was going to have to go to Colorado Springs to find photography clients to spend that kind of money.

I didn’t.

I’ve even had sales since then that were even bigger than that.

Those people that value what you do exist.

We’re providing a service to our clients, not just taking their picture.

We’re interacting with them, creating an experience for them, and getting to know them, so that they love these images.

That’s a process, anybody can push a button.

Sarah Petty:

For sure.

So what if you wouldn’t have done Boutique Breakthrough?

Where would you be?

What would you be doing right now?

Samantha Hardcastle:

I probably still would’ve booked that referral client and I would not have sold them $4,000 of products and an experience that they loved.

I would be killing myself.

I’d probably still have sessions, but I would be way more stressed out with a lot less.

A thousand dollars seemed like so much before and now it’s my minimum.

I know what I’m offering, and I know how to talk to my clients.

And do I have people tell me no?

Yes. 

Sarah Petty:

How do you feel now about what other people think of you?

Samantha Hardcastle:

I won’t lie, the fear is still there a little bit, and I’m working on that.

But, I don’t have to change what I’m doing because what I do is awesome.

I feel confident enough to tell people that I am good at what I do, and I don’t just take pictures.

Sarah Petty:

Yeah girl!

I love the confidence that you’re speaking with.

What do you say to the person listening who is telling themselves that this can’t work for them?

Samantha Hardcastle:

Listen to the people who are successful and who are doing what you want to do and are where you want to be.

You have to trust yourself and invest in yourself.

If you go through Boutique Breakthrough and do the work and trust the process and yourself it will work for you.

You have a service to provide and offer people that is valuable and will only increase in value over time, then you’ll be great.

You’ll be golden.

Sarah Petty:

I love it.

Thank you so much for taking time to come and share your story.

follow boutique photographer sarah petty on instagram to learn more about the boutique photography timeline

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!