Many people are content to take and share pictures in their spare time. Some of us make the fateful decision to turn photography in to a career. Suddenly, we’re thrust into a whole new world of business and marketing that we didn’t really count on. It’s not pretty.

Unless you’re like Sarah Petty. She’s one of the few creatives who has what it takes to really make it in business. Like a few others, she seems to get as much creative pleasure out of (and feel just as at home with) marketing as she does from photography. It’s a winning combination for a professional photographer, and leaves the rest of us envious.

Luckily, she also seems to enjoy teaching, and presents her business model and marketing secrets at workshops. (I caught her excellent presentations on CreativeLIVE). Astonishingly, she can make it clear and simple. And she makes it look fun.

Most of us creative types view marketing with fear and loathing. Petty’s Joy of Marketing teaches photographers that marketing is another opportunity to express ourselves creatively, and to share our work with others who see value in that work.

Sarah’s marketing company, Joy of Marketing, teaches photographers to build successful professional careers.

From the Joy of Marketing website:

We’re excited to come to work everyday because we help fulfill dreams of small business owners like you who want the flexibility that having a small business allows. The flexibility to be parents, friends, spouses, travelers and passionistas at what we love.  We have that flexibility, too, so we can relate.

You see many of us including our founder, Sarah Petty , worked the corporate life. Sarah’s father successfully operated a family-owned small business for many years, but she wanted to try corporate life out. After college she did a stint at Coca-Cola Enterprises and learned quickly she didn’t want her career to end after 40 years with a gold watch and a pat on the back. She knew there was more to her career in business, like her father had figured out for himself. She just wasn’t sure what it looked like until she opened her boutique photography studio, Sarah Petty Photography.

For us, small business is about no limits on our potential. It’s about being where we need to be when we need to be there. It’s about creating something we can be proud of every single day and that others will love. It’s about doing the work that most people don’t want to do, but that we’re passionate about doing. It’s about attending our kiddos school events and being home for dinner. It’s about creating something we are so passionate about that we can’t help but dream about it every night.

Our entire team at Joy of Marketing is here to get you the marketing help and focused marketing education you need for brand building and charging what you’re worth. We love giving you marketing tips that we know will give you that small business life you crave. So that sums it up.

Sarah will be presenting live at these photography workshops soon:

Jan 29 and 30, Orlando, Florida: SPI Conference

March 2 at WPPI in Las Vegas

And finally, she has just released a new yearlong marketing coaching program designed around how to Be Worth Every Penny that includes database software and monthly lessons along with weekly marketing activities. You can get a 14 day free trial at

Thanks to Cindy at the Joy team for the information about appearances and the coaching program.

This is one profile in a series about photographers to follow in 2014. These are people who are doing groundbreaking photographic work and who teach the rest of us how to do it too. They fit the PhotographyTricks motto: spreading passion for life through photography.

About The Author

Heather Nilson was editor of from August 2012 until November 2014. She has a background as an academic geek, with a degree in biology and work history in biology research. This was followed in 2010 by a complete career switch from laboratory research to writing, photography, and travel. She specializes in travel and fine art photography, and loves spending her computer time continually learning more about photography and creativity. Heather lives in Denver, Colorado, when she is not traveling. Like her Facebook page at:

Related Posts