Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Has it REALLY been 6 months already?

I just realized that I have been "in business" for six months already - whoa! Where did the time go?! I have gained many new fans and friends in the last few months and it's been one heck of a ride. I have grown a lot not only as a photographer, but as a businesswoman.

Last summer when I decided to do this photography thing as a paid gig, I never thought that six months later I'd be booking out sessions months ahead of time, be asked to fly out of state for a new friend's wedding or be asked to take a picture of a housewife in her skimpies. I simply started off doing what I love because of the love of it - capturing special moments for people.

I'll be the first to admit that running a business is hard work. For the first couple of months, I literally was working 60-70 hours a week and couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. So I changed up the way I ran my business because first and foremost, I am a wife, mom and friend before a photographer. I am still learning the precarious balance between family, friends, work and myself ... and the laundry. Imagine if you will, me with a baby on one hip and three other kiddos running circles around me, stirring dinner with the other hand, going back and forth between my laptop and the laundry room ... yeah, it was like that for a while!!

Things have certainly calmed down since then ... a little. I've learned that sometimes I have to turn off my phone and the computer for real days off (so if I don't get back to you immediately, it's probably because I am spending time with my family!). Instead of a 2-3 day turnaround, it's now 2-3 weeks because I want to make sure I'm doing quality work while also not forgetting what matters most.

I have met so many amazing people these last few months ... some in their greatest joy, their greatest grief, old and young, civilian and military ... sometimes they're bundled up from head to toe and sometimes - not so much! And I am extremely grateful to the clients who keep coming back to me, time and time again ... it says to me that I'm doing something right, especially in such a popular and competitive career as a freelance photographer.

I've also been so incredibly lucky to add Jutone Reyes to my arsenol of awesomeness, as my go-to-gal for hair and makeup for my clients. She finally started up her own Facebook fan page, Glamorous by Jutone Rene, and we are working together to get a nice portfolio built up for her. I am so blessed to work with my best friend, she is so talented and I couldn't ask for a better person to work with.

So where do I grow from here? Well - I have decided to take some formal training (in both photography and digital editing) with the Academy of Art University and will begin courses this summer. This does mean less time for sessions, but it does mean growing as an artist (and life is all about balance, right?). I actually looked into going to AAU when I was in high school, but my path led me elsewhere for a while. I'm very excited about this upcoming adventure because I know it will only mean good things.

I plan to do more work with charities, too. I recently did my first ever charity event for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center of Minot, and it was amazing. So many friends and fans turned up and donated for such a worthy cause - it just made my heart happy. I really think that investing my time, energy and talent for a worthy cause on a regular basis is something I need to do. Coming up next? An auction for the Families of the Deployed program, where I'll be donating a print of ... (dot dot dot). I am also working on a shoot to benefit the local humane society and a few other projects I've got in mind for the summer.

I am also branching out to another "area" of photography ... birth photography! Lucky for me, my best friend is allowing me to be there with her as she delivers her first baby (a planned natural birth! YAY!) any day now. I AM SO FLIPPING EXCITED!!!!!!!!! I can hardly wait, it's going to be such an awesome experience. I am not sure if this will be a service I offer since it can be pretty unpredictable, but, we're gonna see how it goes. Ahhhh!! :)

Here is hoping that six months from now, when I'm writing my "Wow, it's been a year!" blog post that more good things will have come my way and that my journey has a photographer has taken me to new and exciting places!

No comments:

Post a Comment