Friday, December 17, 2010

welcome Sarah Petty

Welcome Sarah Petty to the Savvy blog! Thank you for being a part of our "Inspiring Women" series!

How long have you been a professional photographer?

I started for fun in 1998 part time and I went full time when opening my first studio in 2001.

Did you start off as a success or spend some time figuring it all out {how to make the money}?

Actually, the education and experience I acquired before I opened my doors allowed me to be profitable from the very beginning. Having my MBA and working for years as marketing director at an advertising agency were instrumental in understanding what it takes to succeed in small business.

When you first started photography, did you have a mentor that was instrumental in your success?

I studied with several great photographers: Tim Kelly, Darton Drake, Rod Evans, The Waldens, The Antisdels. My favorite business mentor was Ann Monteith (also Scott Kurkian and SMS – love them)

I'm amazed at your talent when I visit your site, The Joy of Marketing...will you tell us more about it and how the idea came about?

There is such a need for small business education. When I started speaking, I would be barraged by photographers wanting more. They wanted to use my design templates and marketing ideas but I knew that they needed to understand the strategy behind what I did or it wouldn’t work for them. It was thrilling when I would get a note from a photographer saying what he or she learned from me changed their life. With 3 small children, I didn’t want to continue to travel so much so I created a way that I could teach from home. Thus, The Joy of Marketing was born!

Honestly, how do feel about being in a field that is so saturated in photographers?

I LOVE IT! Really, every field is saturated if you think about it. It excites me to create products and services that thrill my clients. Everyone who wants to stay in business needs to embrace this also. I truly don’t think much about all of the competition because I am a believer that we will succeed or fail based on what we do, not what our competitors do.

How do you think someone can stand out in this business?

It is very simple. To stand out, you must do something remarkable. Maybe it is how you shoot, how you spend a lot of time with your clients, the end product they receive, etc. but it needs to be so unbelievable that people will refer you and talk about you.

We'd love to hear your top 5 list of advice "to inspire" other photographers...

- You can make family a priority and still run a profitable business.

- None of us can sleep the night we raise prices and that is okay.

- When you photograph your own kids, it is normal for you to have an out-of-body experience.

- To get inspiration, look outside the industry at trend setters – Anthropologie, Disney, Apple

- Treat you clients so great that they feel guilty even thinking about going somewhere else (stolen from The Waldens).

We all have our special family traditions for the Holidays, will you share with us a few of yours?

Every year, on Christmas Eve, Santa makes an appearance during about dinner time. He brings one gift for each of the 5 cousins. Then we spend Christmas Day with my husband’s side of the family where there are over 25 cousins. Lots of love and laughter. Both of our fathers have endured open heart surgery this year so Christmas will be extra special.

Please help all of those photographers struggling to keep up in this busy do you maintain a "happy" life during the Holidays?


What's on your Christmas list?

A ski trip with my family in January!!

And lastly...have you even started on your Christmas Card? :)

Yes, actually, my cards hit this week! Woo hoo

Sarah Petty is hosting a free online event to JOYSTART your year with tons of educational here to find out more and to sign up...{and it's free}.


  1. Love love love Sarah Petty and The Joy of Marketing! Thanks for sharing this great interview!

  2. i love sarah. she is such an inspiration! i feel like i'm taking a marketing class just by reading her blog.

  3. Haha...she made me laugh. Great interview!

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!