Just keeping it real, I am exhausted this morning while writing this post. I have literally been driving myself crazy trying to begin this business and I need to take a long nap. So, just to help myself organize my thoughts and get it all out there, I’m just going to list what I’ve been up to. I hope that, if nothing else, this will help other people to realize just how much work it takes to start a business like this. I hope that it will motivate possible entrepreneurs to start their businesses right, considering just how much time this can take.
So what have I been doing exactly? Well…
In the past four months, I have decided to become a wedding photographer, photographed four weddings and booked four more, made the CRAZY choice to design my own website from scratch, developed my wedding package plans, learned posing, interacted with another professional photographer to secure a second shooter position, photographed three engagements, created my own business cards, studied the proper usage of an off-camera flash, taken somewhere around 20,000 photographs at 47 different photoshoots [about 10 a month] and edited 4,923 of them.
I have worked on rainy days, sunny days, cloudy days, and even in twenty-three degree weather. I have learned how to professionally communicate with possible clients, and built a delivery system that maximizes my time and allows for the quickest delivery of my products. I have learned about and worked with new programs like Lightroom, Photo Mechanic, Pass, My Publisher, Word Press, and KISS to quickly upload, cull through, edit photos, and create wedding albums.
I have made a number of mistakes, from forgetting to eat for three days straight because… well I just forgot, to messing up the links on my website so that potential clients, instead of looking at my wonderful images… were taken to another page, which informed them that my wedding portfolio didn’t exist… Yeah… I think my website had this mistake for an entire week.
I have already encountered the aggressive father who made sure beyond a shadow of a doubt I knew the importance of his daughter’s big day, and I have reassured the scared bride that her memories were going to recorded, rain or shine, hurricane, or crying baby.
I have organized my own fake practice wedding. I have started a blog [which I have written at least one post a week for since opening] and made the brave decision to use it to inform the world about myself, my business, and educate people on how they can improve their photography with me.
I have chosen what colors and items to include in my own personal branding, with eggnog obviously being the most important.
On a note completely unrelated to photography, I have begun learning to cook for myself, starting off with eggs and now moving into omelets and cereal.
I have studied proper marketing techniques to know the best times to post on the various social media outlets and can say with complete certainty that starting a business is a TON of work. Another mistake: Did you know that you can post to Facebook on private mode and if you forget to change this to public NO ONE WILL SEE YOUR WORK.
Further, I found a mentor who has done wedding photography for twenty-five years and he is helping me work towards some goals. On that note, I’ve written down my goals!
On top of these things I have been working as a substitute teacher, completing an EMT Basic course [2 nights per week for the past four months], and I haven now begun working towards a Physician Assistant degree [I’m taking Chemistry online].
NOW, all of that to say that I am tired! And what has it taught me? Simple, you want something, go get it! I want to be a wedding photographer and be able to do that for years and years to come, perfecting my craft and building a client base that I can keep in touch with beyond even the length of my contract. And I want to work in medicine, helping to find physical healing from life’s wounds. Starting down the road of both of these at the same time is surprisingly difficult!
BUT I AM GOING TO GET THIS DONE! And ten years from now, when I am established in photography and have worked in medicine for a few years, I CANNOT wait to look back and see what I’ve accomplished. Ten years… That seems so far away but I know I will be so good when this is all done.