Do you have any tips for photographers starting to use Expensify?

Matt Allen
Matt Allen Expensify Customer, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 10 Expensify Team
edited March 2019 in Getting Started

We have a lot of photographers using Expensify, so I asked Beau Ryan (Expensify user and photographer extraordinaire) to fill me in about what he does and how Expensify helps him manage his business from a creative's point of view.

One of the greatest things about working with Expensify customers is that I get to interact with people who truly love what they do and are passionate about helping others achieve the same thing. Check out Beau's answers below, and if you have further questions for photographers, make sure to comment!


Give me the 30 second elevator pitch about you.
Born and raised in San Diego, I picked up a disposable camera in high school and I was hooked. In 2003, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue something. At the time, photography seemed so out of reach, and so I fell into acting, hosting, and producing. But throughout the process of making my footprint here, the love for photography never strayed away. I decided to focus on it the last few years and I’ve been doing it since then.

Tell me about your career path - how did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
In 2016, I went on a three week water rafting/camping trip with some friends in the Grand Canyon. Having to disconnect from everything – phones, social media, video games…. I only had my camera. This trip gave me the eye to see things and feel experiences without the distractions. It was natural and real. Right then and there, I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

How's your business currently structured - are you a freelancer, do you have your own business, or do you work for an agency?
I have my own business. I contract help from time to time and/or when necessary.

Running a photography business must take some getting used to! What do you find are some of the key challenges of the business side of photography?
Doing the things that are not creative. My place is behind that camera, that’s where I feel the most comfortable. So it's challenging when I have to be a numbers or even a marketing guy.

Like your favorite camera and lenses, you must have some business tools that you rely on. What are some of the apps, programs and tools that help you run your business, and why do you use them?
I spend most of my time editing photos in Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop or scanning film negatives in SilverFast. On the marketing side, it’s Squarespace for my portfolio. The apps I use daily are Dropbox, ToDoist, Spark, Slack, VSCO, Instagram, Instasize, Google Docs, and of course, Expensify for my business expenses.

When you're on the go, how do you deal with managing your day to day expenses, alongside your photography work?
I used to save all my receipts (and often lose them), then log them all into a spreadsheet. It was a challenge keeping all of them in one place. Once I discovered Expensify, it was a no-brainer - an app to streamline all my expenses from gas, hotels, meals, gear, and film lab fees. I could just focus on what I do best and not worry about the business expense side.

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start their own photography business?
Just start. Get the ball rolling. Don’t focus so much on how much money this will generate. JUST CONTINUE CREATING. Success is based on doing what you love to do.

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