December 17, 2020

After lots of requests from my Photo U students over the last couple of months, and a lot of dreaming and planning, I’m excited to be offering my first group program for PHOTOGRAPHERS who want to grow a fun and thriving business!!!  I’ve been working with photographers for years in one-on-one coaching sessions and in lightroom workshops to learn how to edit, but am so thrilled to now be taking my students on this journey of building their own businesses!

Over the past 7 years, I’ve built  an absolute dream business (with a LOT of hard work, practice, dedication, and learning) that allows me to work part time hours while bringing almost 6 figures a year home for my family.  And one of the best parts?  It’s truly my dream job!!  

But it wasn’t easy!  I dove into business knowing that I LOVED taking photos…but I knew nothing​ else.  And I quickly realized that while I could take great photos for my clients, there was ​so much more​ to running a business than I ever imagined.  And even as my business grew and grew, I found myself lost on the business side, lacking in knowledge to make my business well run, organized, and FUN …not just a lot of ​work.  ​I want to make that easier for you by helping you build your business the ​right​ way from the beginning. I want to save you the hours and hours (and years?) of time I spent scouring Google for help…and I don’t want that for you.  I took ​way too long​ to invest in business education and learn from experienced business owners who could’ve helped me set up my business for success from the very start without all the guesswork.   Instead, I want to walk you through what I’ve learned, and how I’ve built my 6 figure part-time photography business so that you can reach your goals too.

I am a hard worker and have a skill for photography…but if I can build a photography business, you can do it too!  And as a past high school teacher for 7 years and a photography teacher for the past 4 years…I can teach you how to do it, too! 


Photo U Business Builder

The Photo U Business Builder is a 6 month program for photographers who want to start or grow your new photography business!  After registration closes in January, I will send all students an in-depth survey to get to know their photography business or goals. This program will be guided by what my students need to know in addition to what I believe you need to know in order to start and run a successful photography business.  

The Jill Gum Photo U Business Builder starts at the beginning of March!!  Here is what is included:


Weekly recorded video content (following a bigger theme each month) to teach you everything you need to know to get your business started. Content is released in a sequential order that covers each step clearly to grow your business. In this program we will cover:

-The heart behind your business

-Social Media Marketing and Growing your Business

-Branding and why it matters


-Legal considerations/Insurance/Taxes

-Client Communication 

-Workflow and Organization

(and more!)


Each and every month, members will be sent away with an action plan to work on throughout the month to help you advance to the next step of building your business.  This is the tried-and-true checklist I wish I had when I started to build my own business 8 years ago that will tell you exactly what you need to do each month along with the content.  


There will be a video meeting Q+A each month for students to ask questions (on zoom or similar).  Each Q+A session will be recorded for students who can’t attend live or  to reference back to later.  These Q+A video sessions will allow ALL students to talk, interact, and ask questions to facilitate real discussion among the group!  

In Person Workshop

On August 7th (planning for in person!) we will meet in the Springfield, IL area and do an in person Q+A and check in of each student’s progress, and then photograph a session together!  At this in-person shoot along, you will be able to see me work live with clients, pose them, and interact with them. I wish I would’ve been able to take part in a guided shoot with a professional photographer much sooner in my career since the only thing as important as your final images is how you make your clients feel at their photo session!  will be given ample time to take photos of your own for their portfolios, and even practice some posing/instructions themselves if you choose to.   In addition to building your portfolio, you will receive 5+ headshots taken at this event for your own business!   4-8 PM

(*Note: If in July it is clear that we will be unable to safely meet in person in August, but WOULD be able to in September, we will bump this in-person workshop to Sept 19th. I will make that call at least 4 weeks prior to the August date.  If we CANNOT safely do this in person or you cannot attend in person, this will also be recorded and you can watch later).

Post-Session Workflow Breakdown 

From choosing, editing and delivering the final images, my students will get a complete look at my post-session workflow to learn how they can apply it to their own business!   After the in-person workshop, this workflow breakdown video will allow my students to see the entire process start to finish (along with all of my tips and tricks for an organized, consistent system that will be easily maintained in your business!).   

STUDENT LIMIT: Due to the nature of this program and wanting to serve my students so well, this program will be limited to no more than 15 enrollees.  This will not be a huge group where you are one in a sea of many.  Building a business is a lot of work, and with a smaller class size, I can focus on each one of you and give you more individualized feedback during the zoom meetings, and my students can grow in community together while you grow your businesses together.


For the value of just the in person workshop alone, I’m giving my students the entire program!  This is a tool to help my students actually make money and build a side career or a full time job!  Students will pay just: 

$598 paid all at once upon sign up

$88/month paid in payment plan over 8 months (beginning upon sign up)

This is a highly discounted rate based on value for the first round of the program, and will raise significantly next year.  The investment my students make can be made up for in just a COUPLE of photos sessions with your new clients, which I guarantee you will be able to book during the duration of the program.  I am confident that my students will make up the investment before the program is done as I walk with them step by step to get there.

Registration opens TODAY and ends January 11th or when the program is full.

If you are ready to join me on a 6 month journey that could change the course of your career, of your family, and of your life as it has for mine– jump in today before the spots are gone! Click the button below to join:


Here are a couple of my most frequently asked questions- also feel free to email jill@jillgum.com if you are wondering if this is the right program for you!

Q: What if I WANT to start a business, and know how to use my camera, but haven’t photographed anyone other than my kids yet?

J: You are in the right place!  As long as you comfortably know how to use your camera and shoot well (I highly recommend in manual), this program will cover the very next steps!!  I will teach students how to find clients, what to do once you have found them, and everything else until their photos have been delivered!

Q: What if I WANT to start a business, but am not super confident in my camera skills?

J: I have a PERFECT solution for you that dozens of other photo enthusiasts have seen great success with!  It is called the Jill Gum Photo U and it is my membership to teach you how to use your camera in a beautiful and meaningful way, all the way from the first time it’s in your hands until you can comfortably take great photos and make great setting choices in any situation!  Click HERE for all the details! It is the perfect lead in to the Business Builder course after you complete the Photo U lessons!

Q: I already have a business started, have a social media page or website, and have been photographing clients for a while but want to grow fast. Is this for me?

J: In the Business Builder, we’ll be covering these initial steps thoroughly.  If you feel like you have a firm grasp on all of the content described in Part 1, I recommend you email me to get on the waiting list for my Business Boost program coming in the next year, or sign up for a 1-on-1 coaching session with me.  Both options look at your individual business needs to help you grow to the next level! If you wouldn’t call yourself a “growing photography business yet” (you aren’t regularly bringing in clients, aren’t confident how to find them, don’t know what to price, or just feel generally lost on what your next steps are) then this Business Builder program is for you!


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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

click to learn more about me

Are you a Photographer?

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Are you a mom/hobbyist?

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You're in the right place!  As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business!  I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).

I'm so glad you are here!  Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business!  I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).  

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