For Photographers

How to Manage Your Finances as a Photographer

August 9, 2023

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 Just your average Mom trying to keep the chaos as organized as possible! I'm an enneagram two, a coffee addict, and a firm believer that warm sunshine and salty air can cure all. 


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One of the best things about being a photographer is the ability to build your business the way you want it. You’re not stuck in a 9-5 schedule — in fact, almost nothing about this career is traditional. It’s a gift, but it also requires some extra brain power. All of those financial things that come naturally in a corporate setting (like retirement, taxes, and paychecks) are up to you. And while managing your finances can be stressful, especially for creatives, there’s definitely a way to make these processes easier. 

I love to help photographers thrive — not just as creatives, but as business owners. Even if you have all the creative talent in the world, you have to build your business on a solid entrepreneurial foundation if you want it to last and grow. And I really want to help you build it! So all fall long, I’ve been sharing my best tips and tricks for setting up your biz for long-term success. From creating your business blueprint to getting your brand squared away legally, I want to walk you through the processes that matter most in your photography business, so that you can get back to what you love most: life behind the lens. 

Today, I’m opening the books (pun intended) on the tools that I love most. Finances for photographers shouldn’t be confusing and complicated, and these two platforms have simplified everything for me. 

Novo Bank

First things first: when you get paid, where does your money go? I cannot recommend setting up a business bank account highly enough. By keeping your work finances separate from your personal accounts, you’ll be able to track your profits and spending more easily, simplify the tax process, and keep track of invoicing and accounting with minimal stress. 

But maybe you know all of that, and you’re just not sure where to start. There are so many banks out there, after all! If you’re reading this blog and thinking, “Setting up a bank for my photography business feels so overwhelming — what should I choose?”, my favorite banking tool might just be the solution you need. 

Introducing Novo Bank: the banking tool that was literally created for freelancers and small businesses. This platform was clearly designed with entrepreneurs in mind, and it has some incredible features that really help my business run smoothly when it comes to finances. Here are just a few of the reasons I fell in love with it. 

Direct Invoicing

There are some robust booking and invoicing software options out there, but many of them are fairly pricey, which isn’t helpful when you’re first starting a business. With Novo, you can invoice clients directly from your account. Even better, you can create and send an unlimited amount of invoices for free

Even though Novo is free, it still offers customization options, which gives your invoices a professional touch. Get paid and stay on brand? Yes, please. Creating your invoices is simple, too — I can send mine to clients with just a few clicks on my laptop or phone. And with lots of payment options, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit cards, your clients can pay you quickly in whatever way looks best for them. 

Novo Reserves 

Budgeting is easy with Novo. They built a Reserves feature that lets you choose a percentage of each deposit to save in customized buckets. You can “set it and forget it” when it comes to taxes, savings, personal paychecks, or any other goal you have in mind! Taking the guesswork (and the busy work!) out of savings has been a game changer for me. 

No Fees

Hello — do I even need to elaborate on this one? With Novo, you can say goodbye to monthly fees and minimum balance requirements. This is a great perk anytime, but it’s especially important when you’re beginning to grow your business and every dollar counts. 

Mobile App

Some financial software solutions for businesses are just not user friendly. When I created my Novo account, I was shocked at how easy it is to navigate! There’s a desktop option and a mobile app, so you can access your account on the go anytime. In our creative careers, it’s so helpful to access our financials whenever we need them. 

Wave App

When it comes to bookkeeping for photographers, you want a tool that gives you everything you need – and nothing you don’t. Wave is the perfect fit for my business, and I sing its praises to other photographers all the time! Some types of accounting software systems feel like they were made for CPAs and financial experts, of which I am neither. But Wave has a user friendly interface and lots of great features! Here’s why I chose it, and why I’ll keep using it for a long time. 

Free Software

Wave has a few different tiers that offer different features, but their accounting system is 100% free no matter what, which I still can’t believe! It’s such a great tool for creatives and small businesses. Think of Wave as your Quickbooks alternative — without any of the corresponding costs. 

Transaction Tracker

Tracking your income and expenses has never been easier, seriously. You can even classify every transaction so that tax time is a breeze! Wave also links with your bank and automatically pulls in transactions, so you don’t have to worry about manually inputting each invoice or expense. It’s the perfect pair with Novo! 

Simple Reporting 

Wave’s dashboard is easy to interpret, and you can pull reports in just a couple of clicks! Check your profit and loss report to see how much money you’re really making, or check your invoice report to see if any clients are late on a payment. You can also submit reports to your accountant easily whenever you need them! 
Figuring out money as a photographer can be taxing, but Novo and Wave have taken so much stress out of the financial part of my business equation. If you try them, let me know what you think! I bet you’ll fall in love with them, just like I have.

how to manage your finances as a photographer

This blog post is part of a series for BRAND NEW photographers! If you want to start your business off RIGHT, this guide will help!

  1. How to Create Your Photography Business Blueprint (aka Business Plan)
  2. How to Legalize Your Photography Business
  3. How to Manage Your Finances as a Photographer
  4. Must-Have Equipment for Starting a Photography Business
  5. How to Price for Profit as a Photographer
  6. Why You Should Start Marketing Your Photography Business
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