You guys, it’s been a YEAR..
One year ago, this month, I turned my love of photography into a business. I had no idea what the heck I was in for. I just knew I had a passion for photos and people and went for it.
I could use the "I've had a camera in my hand ever since I could remember" bit but I actually started really enjoying photography when I turned 16, completely self taught, with some friends to help along the way. (I’ll get to that in a minute )
Here are a couple things I’ve learned in my first year:
+ I went from loving pretty pictures to loving creating the moments that make those pretty pictures.
+ I went from loving taking photos of everything to having a passion for loving building a relationship with my couples to following them through their wedding day all the way through when they start their families.
+ I went from being a mom of one to a mom of two and that work/life balance can be tricky.
+ I learned running a business is HARD. Believe it or not photographers don’t just click a button and send you on your way. It’s about 20% photo taking and 80% business + editing.
+ I learned self worth. Don’t undervalue yourself based on what you think you’re worth.
I’ve learned no goal is too big and you need to set them, monthly and yearly, for yourself in order to do your best.
+ I learned you CANNOT and SHOULD NOT do anything alone. Building relationships with people and keeping creativity growing is vital to helping you grow.
+ I learned you can’t totally avoid the comparison game, but when you do play it, don’t let it get you down, use it as motivation to be different, unique and set apart. Don’t be like others. That’s what makes you special.
+ I learned if you don’t go for it you’ll live in the what if’s and if you put your mind to it you can achieve what you want. It won’t come easy, but that’s what makes it worth while.
+Lastly, invest in yourself and your business. This one was the hardest for me. I finally invested in my education as a photographer by attending a local inspirational and educational photography workshop. It transformed me and my business. I mean, if I didn’t invest in myself how could I expect anyone else to?!
This last year has been amazing and like I said I haven’t done it alone. I want to thank some of the people who helped get me to where I am because without them I wouldn’t be here!
To my past, current and future clients. THANK YOU. Literally without you I would not be here. Thank you for helping me grow and learn. For allowing me the honor of being a part of all your specials and intimate moments. I am whole heartedly thankful for you guys and for sticking by side. I cannot wait to continue to work with you and see all the amazing upcoming life events. I am forever grateful for you.
Daniel, my husband, for being my voice of reason and logic when I get too hyped or emotional about things. Helping me go for it and not downplaying my worth. Helping with the girls and being 101% supportive through this entire journey. I love you.
Amy Shonk (Bledsoe), my number 2, my personal hype girl and sponge for all my thoughts and feelings. You girl are the actual best. You have the purest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. We could literally not talk for weeks and know that we are still rooting each other on. You dream bigger than anyone thinks they could and it’s taken you to amazing places, like California. Although I am sad that you’re 1,828.8 miles away (Yup, that’s exact), I am SO proud of you for where you are and where you’ve come from and I cannot wait to see you thrive and kick some business butt! I will see you soon, promise.
Nicole Harnois, Abbi Cooley and Jayme Peters. My photography mentors for helping me with all my crazy questions. Without you guys I would probably not know half of what I know, if not more. I have a lifetime of thank you’s for that. You’re all so amazing and talented and I know you have a life of success ahead of you.
My in-laws, Kristi and Mike, for watching the girls during sessions and being super supportive of everything. You two are the best. I couldn’t have hoped for better parents.
To my parents, Krystal and Kirk, for helping me get a head start in all this. I remember the look on my dads face when we took my first camera up to the counter at Best Buy and he said “How much!?! Holy crap..” and bought it anyway, cause that’s my dad.
I love you both.
There have been so many pieces played in this and so many more people I could thank. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I cannot wait to see what next October looks like, 2 years in. See you there!