It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that last year – as of April 28th – I quit my safe, comfortable, and steady corporate job to dream out loud and become a FULL time wedding photographer! I remember the week leading up to handing in my resignation… I was a ball of nerves and wanted to throw up! That piece of paper I was about to hand to my boss would make everything REAL. I would be giving up a steady paycheck, having the weekends off, a 401K, office friends, holiday parties, the never ending battle with the damn vending machine, and predominately, job security.
For 4 long years I managed to work a full time job, take care of the house, attempt a personal life, and run a part-time photography business. Let me tell you, it was hard! But I had a system and I was comfortable. Comfort doesn’t always mean good! I settled for being part time photographer and working a 9 – 5 job knowing I would still get a paycheck on the 15th and 30th of every month. Needless to say, I was tired, overworked and unhappy.
Something needed to change… The day I decided I would become a full time photographer, so many emotions passed through me – FEAR being one of them. And there were moments where I questioned myself if this was the right choice? Was I ready? Or what if I fail?! But then remembered how much JOY photography brought me. How I never felt so fulfilled as much as I do than when I’m behind my camera spreading that joy to others. After months of financial and business planning, I was finally confident (enough) to hand that piece of paper to my boss. I instantly felt… lighter. Happier.
Since my journey of becoming a full time wedding photographer it’s been a nonstop learning curve. I remembered when I first picked up a camera, I just wanted to learn how to take great photos. Now… I want to learn how to run a successful business! This year I learned that being a photographer is honestly about 20% of the business, the remaining 80% is being a entrepreneur/hustler/boss lady/book keeper/ editor/marketer/album designer/customer service/dreamer/coffee consumer.
It’s funny, I often used the quote, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life”. Well, after this year’s of tears, blood and sweat, what that really translates to is, If you love what you do, then you don’t mind the hustle! And it’s true. Running a small business requires a lot of your time, the difference is I am happier and I don’t mind the work. I enjoy what I do so much that I can easily spend hours in the office. Now my husband would complain when I do, so I do try to keep the average working office hours!
As challenging as the year was, I am appreciative from the experiences I’ve had. Everything helped me develop into being a better photographer and business owner (even person!). And I’m more than eager to discover what paths lay ahead. I still have much to learn and grow in this industry, but one thing is for sure, I will never stop dreaming. Happy one year to fully chasing my dreams!
I want to thank everyone who I have crossed paths with during this experience. I am a believer that every person I meet serves some purpose to my life, may it be small or big. I especially want to thank my husband, family, and friends for their support, and most importantly, the wonderful couples who believed in me! Honestly, without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do! Thank you!