Becoming a licensed (and eventually insured) business was the best decision I could have ever made. Once you cross that threshold, you just carry yourself in a different way. It’s something that sets you apart from all the other people ‘with a nice camera’. All of a sudden I found myself annoyed at all the photographers being recommended in groups who weren’t running a reputable business.
Since teaching was still my priority at the time, I wasn’t taking on many sessions. I was content where I was in my business because I wasn’t burned out from teaching yet… little did I know it wasn’t far away. I wrapped up 2019 with tons of Christmas family sessions, and a couple of senior and engagement sessions thrown in.
Come 2020 I was finally ready to dive into my business. Juuuuust in time for the global pandemic ?. It’s all in God’s timing though. That difficult time was a blessing in disguise for me. After jumping on the front porch bandwagon, my network grew and only continued to expand from there. In a time where everyone was tucked away, I was showing up. As my genuine, authentic self, and people loved it.
The summer went better than I expected because there was no shortage of visitors. I was fortunate enough to spend almost every evening on the beach soaking up the last rays of the day, toes in the sand and playing in the waves. I met amazing families, and hold special friendships with some of them to this day. (Susan, Katherine and Lori, I hope you come back every year!)
I wrapped up 2020 in another rush of families wanting Christmas pictures and found myself stressing about fitting all of them in. That’s why it’s August 2021 right now and I’m already planning my tree farm minis. Trying to really plan ahead for once in my life. (If you were one of those families from winter 2020, keep an eye on your email inbox for a surprise coming your way ?).
At the start of 2021, I was in my 5th year of teaching and finally reaching the point that I wasn’t in love with it anymore. At least not as much as I once was. The expectations of teachers are insanely unrealistic, and the money we were making didn’t touch how much we deserved, let alone what we needed to survive. I was starting to see my business expand and grow and thought about the potential of me quitting my “9-5” (okay more like 6:30-4) and doing the photography thing full time.
There were a couple of things holding me back, like what would we do for health insurance? Was it really a possibility for us to live on my photography income? These were the thoughts bouncing around in my head, along with all the self-doubt and worry that came along with them. One day I just reached the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t care what the future held, I just knew I couldn’t survive another school year in the classroom. For my sanity. I loved my kids. Every single one of them. I loved my school and everyone that I worked with. But my heart just wasn’t there anymore.
In 2021 I connected with some amazing local photographers. I started to develop my brand and really come into my own as a business owner. I invested in myself and started to improve my craft. It wasn’t long until I was back on my big idea train and started thinking about all the ways I could expand my business. Mentoring, educating, helping other photogs who were in the same shoes I was in not too long ago. Which leaves me where I am today.
I’m working on developing a course for moms “with a nice camera” to teach them how to take amazing photos of their kids. I’m creating a mentorship program and templates to share with other photographers to help them grow their businesses just like I grew mine. It didn’t take me long to discover that my love for teaching never left. It just evolved and looks a little different than I was thinking.
My husband and my family are so supportive of me and all my big dreams, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I’m thankful for my parents always cheering me on, and my husband for peeling me off the ground when I hit those low points. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 holds, and I can’t even imagine where 2022 will take me!
A huge THANK YOU goes to every single one of you reading this because that means we crossed paths at one point or another and I’m so thankful you chose me!
September 8, 2021