When you think about working your dream job, people always say, “When you’re doing what you love, you never have to work a day in your life.” Well, you have to figure out what you’re “doing” first, even if you are doing something that you love! When I first began my photography business last year, all I knew was that I loved photography. I had thought about the different types of styles that I was interested in as well as the types of photography that I wanted to pursue such as weddings, newborns or seniors. Every time I picked up my camera (and still to this day) I learned something new about the camera, my style, posing etc. It is such an adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, with that joy of finding something that I am so passionate about comes a lot of hardships and struggles. Every day I struggle with comparison, confusion, feeling lonely in this industry and just lack of general knowledge as a business owner. These are all completely different things, and I could probably write a blog about each. But I’m going to combine a few for today and share about something that was really special for me.
Today, I really want to talk about the fact that I had no clue what I was doing when I started this business, nor did I know anyone that could help me. And I am not afraid to share that because I think it’s really important to highlight that nobody really knows exactly what they’re doing all the time. Yes, I do know how to shoot on manual, yes I know my way around lighting situations, and other photography skills necessary to compete in this market. However, when it comes to running the business side of things and learning about taxes, contracts, and any other educational tools to simplify my workflow, I literally had nowhere to go except blogs.
When I started reading anything and everything that I could find, I knew that this was something that I loved. That’s because I loved reading about this industry and would catch myself reading for hours at a time. Honestly, I can’t even tell you the last time that I read an entire book! I would find myself reading a blog, watching YouTube videos, reading tutorials and anything that I could find to educate myself on my camera, my equipment, how to have a more lean business workflow, taxes, contracts, creating a client experience and how to have a social media strategy and an online presence that really showcases who I am along with my personality. I read anything and everything that I could get my hands on, but that only goes so far. I’ve found that it is so important to create and nurture relationships within this industry. I am just beginning to meet some amazing fellow creatives, and I wish that I had met them sooner. There is so much knowledge that is being freely shared within this industry because of the #communityovercompetition movement, and it is incredible! Everyone has a different perspective to share and they are so willing to share it. If I could give new creative entrepreneurs one piece of advice, I would tell them to email and reach out to the creatives that inspires them and just ask him or her questions. They are so willing to answer anything and everything that you ask them.
I reached out to Kari last spring. She was such an inspiration to me and I had only just seen her business through the lens of her Instagram and website. I knew that she loved Jesus and was a beautiful wedding photographer, and that was enough for me to love her from the start. Fast forward 1 year, and I registered for her spring workshop! The workshop was actually held yesterday (be on the lookout soon for a workshop overview! It was amazing and you should all attend!) and we had an amazing time filled with lots of teaching and a whole lot of shooting beautiful florals, stunning models and even a man bun! I got to meet 11 other creatives and fellow photographers, learn about their techniques, get some of their advice and create new relationships as well as build on some of those whom I had already met a couple months ago. The day was absolutely incredible and filled with so many beautiful glowy images! But what I loved even more than capturing beautiful images, learning about business workflow and all of the tips that Kari gave us, was building those relationships, meeting people and coming together as a community of creatives and sharing our love for photography.
All of these photographers are part of a larger movement called the Rising Tide Society. This group of creative entrepreneurs is meant to encourage others and inspire them in their respective businesses. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and that’s the heart behind this community. Even though there are struggles that we as small business owners face every day, there’s a community of entrepreneurs out there who wants to encourage you, wants you to succeed and wants your business to grow. You just need to go out there and find them! For those of us who struggle with knowing like-minded creatives, know that they are out there; it just may take a little work to find them. 🙂
Stay tuned for more in this series next Friday!