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