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What does the IRS have to do with pie and photography?

You wanted to know, and the story goes a little bit like this:

1996: Girl starts a photography business with nothing more than A Camera and A Dream.  Married, she has two small boys.

(Sidenote:  I have a penchant for buying random urls for funny phrases I like in case it makes it big time. I purchased  after a random drunken post in a forum yelling at newbies about how “How photography was more than A Camera and A Dream” back in 2010, some 3 years before this blog was birthed.  I also own and  Please contact me for detail on how to purchase)

2003: Girl leaves her part time job at a studio as a printer/photographer to pursue her dream as a photographer for her own business.  She is at the pivotal point that she is losing business because she is working at the studio, and it’s becoming a clear conflict of interest .  She is clueless about her business and her spouse handles all of the “math stuff” that she likes to avoid.

2004:  Business explodes and Girl doubles her pricing . This is the year both her babies are  finally, blessedly, in school full time. She works like a dog to grow the business. She knows that this is her calling, and what she was meant to do.

2005: Girls marriage is failing  (married too young, blah blah blah).  They call it quits.  Ex spouse hands over the spreadsheets for the business with his usual  admonishing statements of “THE PIE IS ONLY SO BIG KIM, YOU CAN’T JUST KEEP IGNORING THIS STUFF”, which is exactly one of the reasons it didn’t work out, all his harping about that kind of thing.   I mean geez, ART, do you not understand my ART?

2006:  Girls business explodes. She doubles her prices AGAIN.  The divorce is now final and she is a single parent.

2007: She surpasses the amount her spouse used to make and feels like she’s the Queen of the world.  She’s shooting awesome weddings, taking care of her children with a killer income.

However, the Girl…she didn’t really count on one thing.  That killer income? She wasn’t paying the proper amount of estimated tax.

Turns out, the fucking pie really is only so big.

The Girl owed 17 THOUSAND DOLLARS to the IRS.

The IRS?  They don’t play.  They’d like their money NOW, thanks.  Otherwise they do most unpleasant things like levying your bank accounts and attaching liens to your home.

That year, I became a business owner.

You never, ever, know where life is going to lead you.  My best advice to anyone now who is entering in this field  would be to become a buisness owner first, and a photographer second.   For every moment you spend looking a photo blog wishing you could have a 1.2 lens to have that buttery bokeh spend the same amount of time on a marketing and sales blog.


Open your mind not just to the art, but the BUSINESS of the art.


The business is not nearly as glamorous as those 23 likes on Facebook from your friends and family for a killer photo that you post, I know.  Artists crave acceptance like pie.

Me? I now like my pie with a big ole’  serving of bills paid Ala mode.



P.S.  My favorite pie?  Coconut Cream.  Yours?  Leave it in the comments!


P.P.S.  I paid off that debt in full in 2009, the IRS gave me a payment plan. They charged me monstrous amounts of penalties and interest but they did work with me.  When I made the final payment on the phone the agent said “Would you like to know the total amount of penalties and interest you paid over the terms of this agreement? I answered “No, it’s probably best that we don’t discuss that so  I don’t kill myself” To her credit, she laughed.  To this day, I honestly do not know what that amount is.  Some things are just best left alone.



  1. Love the story, thanks so much for sharing.. Yours is pretty much the ONLY email notice I click on immediately (bah.. the toddler and the baby can fend for themselves around dinner surely).. And a good reminder to me (I tend to be a nappy-box-full-of-receipts-I’ll-get-to-some-time type of accountant for my business!) This year’s goal is to be more professional with that sort of stuff.. I’m sure it costs me money.. (and yes tax.. yipes.. although Oz is much more understanding if you make an error that the USA apparently) .. Pie – banoffee for sweet… or a meat pie with loads of sauce in winter.. num num num.. Mind you its 44 degrees celsius here today.. so watermelon and beer it is!

  2. Is Schaum torte a pie? That is my favorite. Love this post

  3. Math scares the crap out of me. I am seeing a new accountant this year because I want to make sure I’m not being the idiot I am sure I am. I pay between 20 and 30% every quarter. Sales tax is paid as well. I have a folder full of receipts for expenses. Wish me luck. I love your blog!

  4. mmmm…..pie….

  5. This is an amazing post. My favorite line is “My best advice to anyone now who is entering in this field would be to become a buisness owner first, and a photographer second.” Such good advice and I wish the photography schools would get that…

  6. Talking to an accountant but saved all my extra pennies just incase. Im a fan of key lime pie… yum!

  7. Dutch apple. And thanks for writing this. Have been meaning to sign up for the feed for awhile and now I will! Hope to see you soon and have a fantastic 2014.

  8. Pie first then taxes, always.

    1. Blackberry (my fav, the rest can be in any order, love them all) Pie-aholic
    2. Raspberry (black or red is)
    3. Peach (w/skins still on the peaches)
    4. Pecan
    5. Apple
    6. Key Lime
    7. Rhubarb
    8. Mulberry/Gooseberry
    9. Cherry
    10. Strawberry

    Thanks for sharing your story, now I have to get a piece of pie somewhere.

  9. I like to eat pie while doing my taxes. As for my favorite, it’s a tossup between apple and blueberry, both paired with vanilla ice cream.

  10. How appropriate I found this while contemplating 2013 tax season! Great post, I look forward to more!

  11. And btw, I think French Silk Chocolate Pie would be my fav, but I like most pies–unfortunately!

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