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Tim and cara's winter wedding at the ballroom at the ben

Chasing Dreams

This is the year for change! Just knowing I’m about to share the good news makes me giddy with excitement but at the same time I want to vomit and cry. That’s totally a normal reaction, right? And before you jump to conclusions, no I am not preggers. Some day, just not now. Cue the drum roll please… ba-dam chah… I am going full time in Vanessa Marie Photography! Yes, I said it, and now I can’t wipe the smile that’s on my face!

Since I started this crazy dream of becoming a professional photographer, I’ve always worked a 9-6 job. At the start of my journey, balancing life was manageable — work, take care of the house, and second shoot for some photographers here and there. The second year was pretty much the same, but I had about 5 weddings of my own — still manageable. In 2014 I wanted to branch out on my own and shoot mostly for myself instead of a second shooting. I wish I had this elaborate story to share and say I was so talented that I was fully booked that year, but that wasn’t the case.  What I did have was 8 weddings of my own, and a few second shooter gigs here and there. I was growing… Slowly. Because I was so grateful to the couples who trusted me to photograph their wedding, I didn’t focus on how many weddings I was booking, instead I focused on my wonderful couples giving them the best experience I could with the little I had.

It’s not just a saying, it’s truth, hard work really does pay off. Putting yourself out there for all the world to see, having your work critiqued, and unapologetically criticize yourself — your worth — was not easy. But thankfully I was blessed with a supportive husband and encouraging friends, that it was through them that I found the support and inspiration I needed. By pouring blood, sweat, and heart into my business, I doubled the amount of weddings in 2015. And for 2016, I am completely booked!

This is by no means a, “Hey! Look what I did!”. Am I proud? Absolutely. Am I still learning? Absolutely. I’m simply sharing my experience and celebrating my hard work; who knows, whoever reads this little blog of mine may be in their first year of business, and I want you to know, you got this. Don’t give up, ever. Chase after your dreams and passions. And for the nay-sayers, forget them. It’s going to be hard. You are going to cry and feel frustrated. And I will be honest, starting in this industry can get rather lonely, which makes all the already difficult hurdles even harder. But if you need a friend, I’m here! If you truly want it… you can take your hobby and make it into your dream job, as I did. There is no secret equation, it takes heart, a few curse words, and hard work.  After 4 years of working my ass off, and building the confidence I need, I am finally ready. I’m quitting my day job and I’m going full time, baby!

Be sure to stick around for a bit! I have tons of good stuff coming this way. Aside from sharing some fabulous weddings, I’m having my website and blog redone by the lovely, Ravyn from Three Fifteen Design — that woman knows her stuff! And soon I’ll announce my launch party for when I go full time this summer. Eek! It’s happening! I’m chasing my dream!

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Photo was taken by the fabulous Katelyn James of Katelyn James Photography.

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  1. Alicia says:

    So happy for you!!! Big congrats and I look forward to seeing all your great work this year!

  2. Michelle Kalschmid says:

    Congrats, Vanessa! So happy for you. You are one talented woman! I look forward to following your work! Just fab! Cheers!

  3. Megan Chernega says:

    You’re the best! Congrats!!!

  4. Megan says:

    Congrats Vanessa! So excited to share our wedding day with you this year! Best of luck! xoxo

  5. Cindy Ralat says:

    Ahhhhh!! I’m so excited for you!!!…Your such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing this great news, really gives me some hope for my own business. Can’t wait to see all of your upcoming work! :)



Thank you for visiting!

I am so glad you came across my journal! I believe in creating images that will always fill your heart with joy. Every flower, every detail, and every person deserves to be photographed with just as much intention as it was crafted to be. 

- vanessa

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