my journey as a business owner
From a young age I knew that working for someone else didn't sound like something I wanted to do. As I left school & went to college, all I was sure of was that I wanted to do something creative & be my own boss. Shortly after starting college I discovered my love for photography & the rest is history! Except it wasn't a smooth, simple journey!
I started out in my professional journey as a 19 year old in London, with no money (thank god for supportive parents!) no job & no real plan other than "be a photographer". I began doing freelance work, gained some great experience & met a load of talented people. I was working in fashion & beauty, an industry that's saturated with creative talent hoping for a break! A few years down the line I began to tire of beauty & fashion. I still didn't really have a plan for the future, I was only really making enough money to survive & I decided it was time for a change. So I moved back home to the midlands to figure out my next step.
It was at this point when my photography career took a back seat for a while, as I spent a few years working on another passion of mine - music! This was a dream I'd had since I was a little girl, so when an opportunity came up to pursue music further, I threw myself into it. The reality of it wasn't for me, but I'm so glad I gave it a go & it made me even more sure of what I did want to do for a living.
Getting back into photography, this time I had no doubt it was the best path for me. I started to shoot weddings & my heart was stolen! Each wedding I shot I fell more in love with it, I finally knew I'd found my passion. Something I always felt was missing with the fashion/beauty work for me was that I didn't see the value in what I was doing. Not that I didn't see the value in fashion & beauty photography in general, but I never felt like MY WORK was worth anything. But with wedding photography I feel like these photos are priceless. I truly believe in the value of what I'm providing my clients. Once I had a clear vision of the sort of weddings I wanted to shoot and where I wanted to take my business, I've constantly been trying to educate myself more and more on the business side of things. Finding the best ways to manage all my client info, contracts, invoices, taxes, how to deliver the photos... it's all been a process of trial and error. Marketing and social media seems to get more complex as the years go by, trying to wrap my head around algorithms... It's certainly so much more than just taking photos on a wedding day! While I was building up my experience & wedding portfolio, I continued to work part time alongside running my business. It was hard work, many late nights & summers with barely any days off.. but it was so worth it! To be able to now be in a position where I'm doing something I love full time. From the start of my photography journey in London, to having a sustainable wedding photography business, it's taken 10 years of hard work, uncertainty and trying different paths. It's a constant learning curve. I wouldn't change a second of it.
I feel so empowered by being in control of my everyday life, being my own boss & making my own money. The best decision I ever made was for wedding photography to be my profession.
If you have a dream, keep working at it. Do whatever it takes to make it reality, no matter how long it might take! It will be worth it, I promise!