Why Work with a Mentor? : A Guest Blog Post by Jessi Metzger of Lovebug Photography

I always love opening up our little piece of the internet to guest bloggers, and this week I am so happy to welcome a fellow photographer to the blog!  I first met Jessi Metzger of Lovebug Photography last summer, and today she is sharing her heart on the blog!  

Jessi is a cheerful, colorful, inspiring mama of two; an incredible photographer whose heart is in her lifestyle sessions; and over the past year she has become such a great friend in the industry!

When I asked Jessi if she'd like to write a guest blog post about her mentoring experience last summer, she was all over it!  Actually, she suggested it before her mentoring day had even come to an end last summer.  Throughout the past year, I've loved our FaceTime calls and watching her business evolve to fit her family's lifestyle while feeding her artistic passions, so I am thrilled to share her experience with you today!  Enjoy her post!

**All images in this post are copyright of Lovebug Photography, Rochester, NY.**

Jessi Metzger, Lovebug Photography Rochester New York

Tell us a little about you and your family.  

I’m Jessi Metzger, the lady behind the lens at Lovebug Photography. I specialize in creating warm, authentic and playful portraiture for babies, kiddos, and families in the Rochester, NY area. Mama bear to my two loves, Clark (4) and Rosie (almost 2!!) and married to my handsome honey, Steve, for almost seven years. Those are my kiddos in the photos below!  I love me some coffee, the ADKs, nerdy novels, playing with my family, watching The Bachelor (haha- don’t judge me!), Children’s ministry and relationship building.  

Jessi Metzger, Lovebug Photography Rochester New York


Tell us about your business, and your favorite types of sessions or client experiences. 

I love my photography business. Deep friendships have been formed because of it. I have been entrusted with journeying through life with precious families. I absolutely adore and treasure my wonderful clients!

Every time I do a session that genre is suddenly ‘my favorite!’ But if I had to step back and choose just one- I’d say lifestyle newborn sessions have my heart. There is something so intimate and precious about capturing a growing family’s first few days home with their beautiful new baby. That sweet time passes so quickly, and I find myself treasuring these sessions. 

What were the key areas in your business you wanted to improve before your mentoring sessions?

Like most, I started my photography business out of a deep love for capturing life’s fleeting moments, and a desire to make that love a profitable income for my family. I remember when I first started building my portfolio I charged $20 a session (yes, seriously…) and felt guilty taking even that. I realize now that $20 barely even paid for the gas to get to and from the session. I slowly started looking around at what other local photographers were charging and priced myself accordingly without really knowing my numbers and cost of doing business.  "$150 for a session? Well, that’s better than $20!"  But I had a horrible wakeup call the first year tax season came around.

All those hours away from my babies? The added stress I added to my family’s schedule? The research, practice, marketing, advertising and countless hours editing? I had barely broken even. Forget about a profitable income- I was donating my time to photograph these sessions.

I felt frustrated and overwhelmed. How could I have worked so hard and have nothing to show for it? I internally battled with myself: no matter how much I loved photography I couldn’t justify the commitment if it wasn’t benefiting my family.  I knew that I needed help in the areas of time management, organization, sales techniques and brand recognition to really allow my business to grow and be beneficial to my family’s day to day life.  That was why I looked into a one-on-one mentoring experience.  

Jessi Metzger of Lovebug Photography, Rochester New York

Talk a little about your mentoring experience.

Nicole and I did two mentoring sessions together — first an online mentoring through FaceTime, followed by an in-person mentoring session.  During our first meeting we created a detailed plan of how to jumpstart my business with practical steps to put them in place. I felt confidence for the first time ever since starting my business. I still had a lot to learn, but I suddenly felt as if I had a knowledgeable friend walking along side me, helping to show me the way!

I was blown away by what a skype consultation held, but the in-person mentoring was nothing short of phenomenal. We dove deep into what seemed like every aspect of my business to unearth where I was struggling and why. Nicole was amazingly open about sharing her steps for success, passing along numerous guides, layouts and forms. I didn’t stop scribbling notes the entire time I was with her.  


How has your business & your personal life changed because of what you've been able to implement since your mentoring experience?

My confidence in myself and my business has soared. I know I’m offering my clients a beautiful, high-end experience and confidently stand behind my pricing (which is now done appropriately to account for my cost of doing business!) My branding flows well and my social media presence is much stronger. I feel much more like a successful businesswoman than a mom-with-a-camera-hoping-for-the-best. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m proud of myself. Truly proud of how far I’ve been able to come. 

Jessi Metzger of Lovebug Photography, Rochester New York

What advice do you have for photographers who are looking to make some big changes happen in their business, and who are seeking out education opportunities? 

Find a mentor whose style and business model reflects your own. I knew I wanted to offer a full-service, high-end experience to my clients so I sought after a mentor who offered that to her clients. Once you find a mentor you want to work with, GO FOR IT! Nothing has been more encouraging to me than having a business cheerleader who I know has my back and wants to see me succeed. 

Thank you so much for sharing your heart and telling us a little more about your business, Jessi!  

Are you looking to make some big changes happen in your business this year?  I'm now offering 4 unique mentoring opportunities, both online and in-person.  I'd love to chat with you to see if this might be a good fit for your business this year!