June 17, 2021
If I knew these things before starting a photography business, I mean……I still would do it anyway. Yet, I think I would have given myself more grace. I expected success would be this straight linear uphill line. Oh man, that is the furthest thing from the truth. What’s even funnier is when people say things like “It was an overnight success”. What I wish I knew………was that I wasn’t going to be the only business owner putting in countless hours of sweat and tears. That I wouldn’t be the only one who felt like everyone else was doing better than me and that I wasn’t the only person who felt lonely at times.
It’s funny, because our businesses are visual. We shove all the crap in the corner while we set up those perfect shots. It’s the stuff going on behind the camera that most don’t know a thing about. The doubt, the insecurity, the fear. I wish that I knew in the beginning that there is never this point where that stuff goes away. At least, it hasn’t for me. Many times, I still feel this fear. Fear wondering if I am going to make all the bills add up. Especially when Covid tore through the wedding industry.
What you see on my Instagram is curated, beautiful, thought out images. So it’s easy to think that my business is “busy” all the time. Sometimes, it’s not. It’s an allusion at times, which is also part of the marketing. It’s just the way it is. It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing. Even though I know that scrolling through social media is not reality, my mind can still play tricks on me. Thinking that my business is falling behind. That I’m not doing as well as others. Other times, I feel like I’m KILLING IT!
Some days, I feel like I may be insane. Because I go through those emotions mentioned above a few times over. All within the span of 24 hours. Funny part? I’ve owned my business for four years and I still have these moments! Of course, I’m a lot more seasoned now and have experience that has brought about a ton more confidence in owning a business. I save a ton more time knowing where to put sweat equity into that will bring about real results.
Sometimes though, I wish I could clone myself. It’s easy to spread ourselves too thin when owning a small business. The revenue doesn’t always justify outsourcing things. When we say we wear all the hats as small business owners, you bet your bottom dollar that we FREAKING MEAN IT! I’m a marketing manager, an accountant, a customer service representative, a social media strategist, an SEO specialist, oh ya, and a wedding photographer, not to mention all the other little details. It gets lonely trying to learn all the things. What I didn’t know, is how I would get excited about learning a new aspect of business and trying to implement those new things, just for them not to really work.
So sometimes I wasted time and effort. Which is totally okay! It’s a learning experience, and with each new year I grow as a business owner. I learn what is worth it for me! I don’t say yes to everything, because I know what I can sustain as a human. Not everything is worth my time or effort.
Uuuuuuuggggghhhhhh. This is the hardest one. Especially as my personal life can effect how my business is going. What many might not know is that, I recently went through a divorce. So why continue to do weddings? Because I still LOVE them and BELIEVE in marriage. I just might have a different outlook on things in my own personal life. So, self doubt is and unfortunately has been a close friend of mine.
How do I run a business when my life and free time has drastically changed. Can my business bounce back from Covid? How do I stand out from all the rest of the photographers? Starting a photography business seemed like the biggest hurdle, but I didn’t realize that the fear I had at the beginning of “Am I good enough” still continues. The funny thing about being in my 30’s, is realizing that thought isn’t unique to me. So, if you are aspiring to be “like that photographer” you see, just know they struggle with this stuff too.
We are all human and are doing our best with what we have going on right now. It’s why I’m such a big fan of cheering on other business owners. Even if they could be my “competition“. Because I know that no matter what the Instagram grid shows……..the behind the scenes is where it’s at. Many of us don’t see those behind the scenes and assume everyone is holding it together. That could be very far from what is really happening so, when given the chance……be kind.
My best advice, is to reach out to photographers! I got comfortable with sliding into soooooo many dm’s just to say hi and offer to take them to coffee. It’s the one tactic that I think will get you far. Get comfortable with putting yourself out there. Also, get comfortable with people saying no or not responding. You miss all the shots you don’t take. You might be surprised to find there are people who love to talk about what they do and how they got there. Especially when incentivized by a free cup of caffeine 😉
I am the biggest beiliever that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. This is SO true with wedding planning. The littlest things, such as not having a wedding timeline, can turn your dream wedding into something.......not dream like!
Set up a quick no pressure 10 minute phone call with me so I can help you be sure you are headed in the right direction in your wedding planning process. I can set you up with resources such as a free wedding timeline example or be available to answer any questions you may have!
I'm so excited to be able to help you create the wedding you have always wanted!!!
You can go here to pick a time that's best for me to call you. I'll also be in touch in an email to give you some resources to take a look at ;)