Wow, I can’t believe that I have officially been in business for ONE YEAR!! That is seriously mind boggling to me. The Lord has been so incredibly faithful to me throughout this journey and I have learned so much. If someone were to tell me a year and a half ago that I would have so much passion, love and joy for this business of mine, I probably would have said “what business?” It’s crazy the way the Lord knits our lives together to be even better than we could have dreamt on our own. I’ve loved watching how his plan for Kelsie Lynn Photography is coming to fruition, but even more so, I’ve loved learning along the way. In honor of KLP’s first birthday, I’m sharing the top 10 lessons that I’ve learned since being in business:
1. Be confident in yourself. Photography has become the one thing that I am so confident in. Yes, I still have so much room to grow and am by no means perfect. But, in order for my clients to trust me, I need to be confident in my self, my work, my posing, my editing, my brand, etc. When I pick up my camera I am the person I’ve always wanted to be. My personality shines through more than it ever has in any other area in my life.
2. Never stop learning. When I first picked up my camera, I knew just as much about it as you probably know about yours. I’ve taught myself everything I know; I didn’t go to school for photography. I read countless blogs, watched way too many webinars to count and worked alongside other photographers. This has been the one thing that I can get lost in for hours. I used to find myself reading photography blogs for hours at a time. I stay up into the wee hours in the morning researching and learn something new about my camera every time I take it out for a session.
3. Community is key.When I first began my business one year ago, I didn’t have a single friend in the wedding industry. I didn’t know any photographers who would be willing to answer any questions or even allow me to second shoot for them. Thankfully, I found a community of other creatives and have been able to meet so many new friends. I can share my victories with them and my struggles with them. I am part of the community of competition movement, and I can ask them as many questions as I need to as I continue to grow my business.
4. There are no dumb questions.In all reality, everyone who has a successful business has asked the same questions at some point. We all started at the bottom and have had way too many questions to wrap our minds around. Thankfully, Google was invented. But also, I’m thankful for a community that won’t laugh when I ask for an answer to a question that I feel as though I should know.
5. Find your voice and yell it from the mountaintops (lol). Sorry for that corny phrase, but you get the point. I have decided that I want my business to not only produce beautiful images, but also to be a platform for ministry. I’ve had the opportunity to share about Jesus more now than ever before, and I’m not afraid to do so.
6. Defining your brand and purpose is the best foundation. This. Yes, so much yes. I can’t stress this enough!! It certainly helps that I was a marketing major in college, but defining your brand is so important. As a photographer, I am branding myself. It is so important that I am communicating that effectively across all of my platforms (blog, IG + FB) because what you see is what you get. Because I’ve taken the time to define my personality and express it through KLP’s brand, I’ve been about to build my business so much faster than I ever thought I could.
7. Network! Network! Network! As a business student, I have had my fair share of networking events. However, it is so much different when it comes to the creative world! Because I realize that I am a very introverted extrovert, this has been quite a challenge for me. But, it has been one of the best things I’ve done for my business. Networking has brought me more opportunities than I can count, and it will only continue to make an impact as I move forward.
8. It’s okay to take time for yourself.Now I’m still learning this one. But even more so lately, I’m coming to realize that everything doesn’t need to be done right now. Because honestly, there’s no way that it can be! As a business owner, I will always have a mile-long to do list. I will always have things that I want to do and hundreds, if not thousands of images to edit (at least I hope so!). So instead of constantly hustling, I need to relax, take a minute and have some “me” time.
9. Find what brings you joy and go there. As much as I wish I could, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling that I get when I pick up my camera. In all honestly, pure joyis the best that I’ve been able to come up with. Friends, if there is something or someone in this world that allows you to experience pure joy, by all means chase after it with everything that you have. Joy is from the Lord, and it is beautiful.
10. Trust in Jesus.This business of mine has been quite the journey. I had no idea what to expect, and if you were to tell me last year that I would only be one wedding away from my 2017 goal in October, I would have just laughed. 1) because 10 weddings? That’s crazy!! and 2) wait… I have a business?? The Lord provides for us in so many ways. But when things get tough or the future is uncertain, trusting in Him is the best option to take.
To sum up a year in business, all I have to say is thank you Jesus. If it weren’t for Him I wouldn’t be here. Thank you everyone so incredibly much for your encouragement and support throughout this journey of mine. I can’t believe it’s already been a year and I can’t wait to see the plans the God has for KLP in 2017!! I have a feeling it’s going to be something big 😉