Half way in, and NEED to get out

Started Nov 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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markhayphotography
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Half way in, and NEED to get out
Nov 30, 2011

Hey folks,

I've been inching toward making a true push to start and maintain a legitimate "on the side" photography business during the course of two or three years. I've slowly built up my gear and have studied more and experimented to gain more knowledge of the craft. My Zenfolio website is http://www.markhayphotography.com , if you want to see where I'm at right now.

The issue: I WANT OUT....at lease for a while.

I do not have what it takes right now. I have two kids under 15 months old and I am a full time art teacher. I don't have time, money and energy to take on many jobs or invest in marketing. It is hard to PP when I've two babies itching to pound on my keyboard. I've been investing any photography income into my equipment for a couple years now, and I've been claiming a slight loss on my Schedule C tax form each year.
I CAN'T do a profitable business right now.

I want to keep shooting for family and friends. They love to purchase prints from my website (which I offer at near base prices). I would like to at least pay for the Zenfolio website....I don't need more gear.

I have what it takes to compose good images, but I don't have what it takes to operate a business. That being said, when convenient opportunities to do a small shoot here and there (2 or 3 per year), I'd like to accept and I'm not looking to do it for free outside of family.

What can I do, specifically regarding the IRS? Can I keep my site up, which sells prints to friends and family? Should I stop filing a Schedule C? Would the IRS bite back if I claimed a loss EVERY year? Should I put a disclaimer on my website that I am a "hobbyist?" If I pick up a word of mouth portraiture gig for an aquaintance, should I request a bartering deal or a Starbucks card?? Obviously, I would decline events and weddings.

Any thoughts are appreciated on where I should go from here.
Thx

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