About a year ago, I left my job photographing about 6 little weddings a day, put together my website, and started advertising my "business".
I had friends wanting portraits, but what I really wanted was a wedding. A couple months in, I started to feel like I was wasting my time and it was never going to work out, I would encourage and discourage myself, and it was a horrible cycle for quite a bit.
Then Masumi & Chadsen contacted me. When I got a message from Masumi that she wanted me to shoot her wedding, I cried. I cried and it was great. I went to California to meet with her, and we went over EVERYTHING. I was nervous and awkward, but she booked with me anyway (victory), and then 3 months later I was back in California for her wedding. My very first wedding on my own.
It was a long day. 15+ hours. I didnt have anyone assist me, I didnt have a second photographer with me, it was just me. All alone. Werkin' it. And I loved every second of it.
Happy slightly belated anniversary to you two, Chadsen and Masumi. I love you so much and I'm so grateful to you always for trusting 18 year old me with the most important day of your lives.
Also - happy anniversary to... MEEEEEEE!!!!!!
That wedding is what marked the official start of my business in my mind. So I suppose this has been "officially" going on for one year and one week.
I was going to post this last night, but I felt like it was unnecessary, and I couldn't find myself satisfied with my writing. Then I got this message out of the blue, and it kind of sums up what I wish I could feel comfortable saying about myself. Thanks for saying it for me.
"I want to give you alot of respect as to how much you have taken your talent and grown your business into the success it is today with the incredible amount of positive feedback and reviews and hundreds of followers on Facebook. I totally trolled on you the past couple days because I want to reach that level with my company."
It took me a long time to feel like Im doing what Im really supposed to be doing. I have gotten in countless fights with people about my dreams. I have been encouraged by few, and discouraged by many more, and that is probably how it always will be, no matter how many years I'm doing this. 9 out of 10 times that someone asks me "where do you work?" or "where do you go to school" and I answer them with "I dont, I have a photography business," my response is met with a look of irritation and disbelief. I can hear peoples "...oh! ...cool!"s actually saying "okay little girl good luck with that", and those responses used to bother me a lot. But I've begun to ignore them, because I know I'm pushing myself in the right direction. I can finally confidently tell people that I'm a photographer, or that I have this little business. It took me a long time to get that confidence, and I'm so glad I have it now.
I cant lie and say it's been a totally perfect year. It's been stressful. Its made me cry, a lot. It's made me lose a lot of friends. Its made me lay in bed for full days wondering if I can actually do this or if I should wait a few more years until I'm older and people will believe in me a little more.
But it's also been rewarding, and made me smile a lot. For every friend that got tired of me constantly begging for their support and encouragement, it's gained me 2 more who are nothing but encouragement, and it's gotten me out of bed to edit and email and shoot and go to meetings and live my life.
I wouldn't change much. I love my job.
In one year I have filled my brain with a million new things, read business books I never thought I would, learned a lot of design, built a lot of friendships, gained a lot of confidence, been to starbucks too many times, and photographed 7 weddings, and 25+ portrait sessions for people. 3 of those weddings and 12 of those portraits were from just the last 3 and a half months, and it seems to keep picking up! Yay!
In the next year, I hope I continue to gain confidence in myself and in my business. I hope I can somehow manage to get my friends and family more involved. I hope I can double both those first numbers, and I hope I keep getting to photograph wonderful people.
Thank you to everyone who's supported me, it means more than you could ever know!