Welcome to my first photography blog on my brand new website! I have just spent the last five months revamping my business and immersing myself in education (i.e. online workshops and webinars, LinkedIn articles and blogs). I read about blogging and knew I needed to start a blog to reach more people. However, the thought of blogging terrified me. Honestly! I’m an okay writer and have, in the past, had my own stories published along with photo stories I shot as a news photographer. It’s been quite awhile though, and I wasn’t feeling confident about what I had to say. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to write that someone would want to read. Then it hit me. My story is probably interesting to many people, and it might just help another photographer, or anyone really, to get inspired to pursue their dreams.
I started my photo business in the fall of 2006. I had a website custom-designed, updated my photo gear with digital camera bodies, new lenses and flashes, and bought a business license. I thought I was now legit and the business would start rolling in. I was also still working full-time as a waitress. I got called for shoots here and there, but could not figure out how to drum up more business. While I was getting work, I certainly wasn’t going to be able to make a living solely from my photo business. Seven years came and went; but my business was still not booming, and I was still waiting tables. I had reached a point where I knew I had to pursue my dreams before completely burning out in the restaurant industry surrounded by people half my age. Photography is my passion, and I knew it was time to take action and seriously figure out how to make my business work full-time (and be wildly successful!)
I decided in early June of this year that I was going to give it my all. I would start spending at least two hours a day building my business. Two hours quickly turned into 5, 6, 7…I began reading blogs and articles on LinkedIn. Then I started taking online classes to learn about the business “stuff”. Marketing, business and sales are what most creatives are weak in. Online marketing was a whole new subject for me. The internet didn’t even exist when I was in college!
I started learning and getting excited about photography again! I felt inspired and hopeful that I COULD build my own successful photo business. Other people are doing it, some with much less experience. So can I! I became re-inspired to pursue my dream a second time around. I pushed away the self-doubt and fear that had crept in after years of not shooting full-time. I tried to get back the hunger I had in my twenties.
I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am determined now to make this business rock no matter what! I no longer feel discouraged or fearful of failure. Instead, I feel excited at what lies ahead. I do still have moments of self-doubt, but I am not giving up and I continue to push forward knowing this is what I am meant to be doing! I’ve learned a lot through this process. Mostly that time goes by quickly, and if you don’t get focused, your life starts happening to you. We are the only ones who can make things happen for ourselves! You must assess your life from time to time. Be brutally honest with yourself. Is this where you saw yourself 5, 10, 15 years ago? If not, do something to change it.
If you get anything from my story, I hope you get inspired. Try something new, take a class at your local college, start to look at your life with new eyes. And for anyone who feels stuck or has regrets about the path they chose in life, don’t be afraid to try again, to start over and never give up on your dreams, even if it is your second or third time around. Most importantly, realize it really is NEVER too late to start over! Just DO IT folks!