Bola Onada Sokunbi is known for her Financial Education platform for women – Clever Girl Finance. Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves.
The platform also provides aspiring and established female entrepreneurs with advice, tips, and tools for running a financially successful small business.
Knowing all these about Bola, we assumed that everything about her revolves around Finance and Financial Literacy. And we could not be more wrong. We stumbled on her post one day, where she shared how she used to run a Wedding Photography side hustle and how she made thousands of dollars.
“Amongst the side hustles I’ve had include selling Avon to my mom’s friends, starting an online retail store for bridal accessories and becoming a part-time wedding and lifestyle photographer.
My wedding photography business, called Onada Photography, was my longest running side hustle (I did it for 7 years) and it earned me the most amount of money of all my side hustles – up to the tune of almost $70,000 in one particular year.”
Want to know how she did it?
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She got started
“I was visiting Jamaica for a friend’s wedding and I had just purchased a new camera (a low-cost entry-level DSLR from Nikon) which I took along with me.
For whatever reason, my friend’s wedding photographer was running late on the day of her wedding and she had seen my camera earlier on so she asked me to take a few photos before her photographer arrived, which I did.
I loved the photos and more importantly, so did she. This got me thinking that perhaps I had an opportunity to make some money with my photography!”
When she realized she was good at this. She focused on growing her photography business.
“I tried to reach out to more established photographers in my area to ask if I could be an assistant or second photographer for them to gain experience and to help build my portfolio but I either got no responses or flat out NO’s and so I took it upon myself to find my own way. I bought books, watched videos, practiced on my family and friends, paid for workshops and essentially became a self-taught photographer.”
Related: Lyra Aoko’s Photography Turns Black Women Into Sheroes
She invested back into her photography business
“Once I started making money with my photography I knew I needed to invest in better equipment to create a better portfolio in order to attract brides willing to pay more so I could ultimately charge more.
My goal was to build a business with zero debt and so I started budgeting for my business (learn more here) and I also started a business savings account and once I paid my business taxes whatever was left over was what I used to invest back into the business.”
She put in immense work
“I charged between $3,000 to $5,000 a wedding and $300 to $450 for my lifestyle photography sessions (e.g. baby sessions, engagement sessions, family sessions etc) and the year I made almost $70,000 (~$68k) I photographed 19 weddings and a number of lifestyle sessions.”
Read the full story here, it has business and financial tips too.