Entrepreneurship makes me thrilled to do something I truly want and believe in. It isn’t work if I love what I do. Anything I do in life can be exhausting. After doing what I love there is such a fulfillment and since of pride like no other. When following my heart it comes with fears and naysayers. It’s important that I have faith, because there are many times when things look impossible. This is when I talk to my inner voice, ” where there is a will, there is a way.”
How do I stay focus with such an enormous lack of family support? Just that, I stay focus! Growing up I’d always say, a family is what I was born into. This unstable unit will never dictate my journey. Often times during the beginning of my photography career I’d wonder why it was so tough to launch my business. Who doesn’t want to preserve memories? Sure I’ll have family members ring my phone off the hook to have their pictures created by me. Besides we are family and they’d get not only my creativity , but the family discount. Right?
Over the years of attending photography workshops; hearing the list of steps to obtaining a photography business, included step one: Ask your family if you can create their photos. ” Believe it or not, it has been the hardest thing since I received my first DSLR in 2006. The support system through strangers has been awesome! They believe in me, they see my vision. I can’t spend sleepless nights wondering why my family members don’t seem to see it. In fact, if I have to pull their legs, beg and try to prove to them why they should allow me to create their memories. I don’t want them as a clients anyway. They’ll never be a walking advertisement for me. I needed people who simply loved me because they love what I do and my enthusiasm . You’re not only buying my skills, but my enthusiasm to give you my very best. Not one photographer fits all. I may not be for you. It hurts when I have asked a family members if I could be a part of capturing their memories to cherish for life. Only to discover they used their cell phone, went to JCPenny’s studio or even better they took the time to hire a freelance photography. Yes, it still hurts, but I have not allowed it to paralyze my thoughts of being a great photographer.
I’ve been told by many people. That I’m too old, to still be playing with a camera. “Why don’t you get a real job. ” The thing is throughout my day I see photos. I see them when I drive my car, walk in the park or even at the mall. I see them in my head. I think of how an image would look if it only were framed. It’s been my passion since I was nine years of age. How do you turn that off?
It’s frightening because anyone with a camera today, thinks they’re a photographer. The latest iPhone takes great photos. Can I charge $3,000 for a wedding with an iPhone on hand? I’ve come to respect that. I realize they aren’t the clients I need. I’m looking for clients whom realizes that filters aren’t skills, and a photo with your hand elongated from a camera phone isn’t wall art. Uncle Jack taking pictures with his iPad at your wedding isn’t a wedding photographer. I’ve learned to accept that there are all types of people in the world. There is someone for everyone.
Despite all of the competition in the photography world. I stopped focusing on the people who won’t respect my craft. Instead I give my all to those who will. They love my professionalism. I can make a girl feel like a million bucks on her wedding day! My love for little babies has helped me create the most precious newborn pictures. I counteract the negativity by going on and giving my all to those who want it.
The first thing I do after booking a session is prepare for the session. I lay out what I’m wearing, get my gear packed, fuel my vehicle , check the distance to the location, plan for weather, decide if I’m staying over night or driving back home. It’s all exciting to me! It’s part of the journey. The images I create will have my heart stamped on them. Each time I see a photo that I created posted on social media or from an album. It tickles my soul. It’s my craft, my love and my story.
Now that the market has changed. Video is something that photographers may want to consider. I’ve gotten a jumpstart on creating and editing videos. It will eventually become part of my package. A short clip of from a session.
It’s not all about the money. If I worried about the money, I’d never do a great job. With the drive I exude, the money will come. There was a time when I could barely get $100.00 for a session and that was ok, because I love what I do. Realistically I couldn’t withstand a living for myself on $100.00. Therefore, I’ve learned to ask for what the job is worth. Operating a business comes with expenses. If my passion is going to be the way I take care of myself, I must earn a decent living . Once I stopped worrying about the income, I began to receive $2,500 for a session. Sure some would think that’s insane! Yet I have colleagues that charge much more. Although I’ve been told I’d never make a living being a creative. As in my dreams my supporters pay for my lonely sleepless nights studying my craft. Believe it or not, it truly is more to it than pressing the shutter.
I dream big. One day I’ll need an answering service for my photography and videography business. Don’t let anyone steal your joy.