It feels sort of strange and exciting all at the same time to be sitting at my new desk. My brand new little nook of an office. So quiet. An almond milk latte at my side, and a full day to chase after the things I want to see happen. Coming from a foundation of multi tasking every minute of my day to see this business become a reality, the blank space before me is so incredibly new. I have been face timing with “my” kiddos in the morning, and am so grateful for the texted pictures from their new nanny which is making the separation easier to bear. I already cannot wait to see them at the end of the month!
Of course the super cute apartment pictures will be coming soon, but until then you will see them on Instagram, so be sure to follow along.
When I rebranded a few years back, I decided to be transparent about the process as it happened. Not coming from a place of expertise, but rather honesty in the hopes of inspiring other photographers and creatives in the same boat who wanted to be proud of their business- knowing they were finally doing what they love and only that.
This past Tuesday. I woke up to a text from one of my very best friends that said, “Happy first official day of self-employment!!!“, followed by a string of party hat emojis and hand clappers. (I truly have the best friends and support system EVER) Tuesday was my goal day to be fully moved into my new Yarmouth, Maine apartment, unpacked, and ready to sit at this brand new desk I sit at today. My first reaction to the text of course was utter chest tightening fear, questioning the past 6 months of decision making. Did I work hard enough? Did I plan enough? Did I save enough?
It was really important to me that I didn’t take this leap into full time photography until I knew that my business, and MYSELF were ready. From the part time position, I was truly able to book only what I wanted because no life threatening bills were depending on that income. I didn’t want to be full time and find myself having to scramble and say yes to whatever came my way even if I wasn’t passionate about the work. I didn’t want full time to steal my passion for what I do because finances were now so heavily involved in decision making. I watched many other photographers make their posts on social media exclaiming that they had quit their job and were now a full time photographer. And the months to follow were often filled with desperate promotional posts, and even fundraising websites to help their family get by. And I just didn’t want to be in that position where I thought I was ready before I was. Just because my calendar was booked to the brim with amazing clients, didn’t justify making such a huge decision. I needed to know that every part of my life was ready for that change.
And it is. I can confidently say that it is. I will do my best to be as transparent about this journey into full time as I can over the next few months, for all the business owners reading this who are dreaming of doing the same.
In a few short weeks I will be speaking at the annual Pursuit 31 Conference in Rome, Georgia on Building a Niche that Matters.
I will be sharing the difference that specializing made for my business, how it ultimately creates opportunities to photograph your ideal clients, and how building a brand around what really matters to you is what can set you apart and bring you joy over burn out.
Because I have been at burn out friends. Trying to be the jane of all trades and booking anything that needed a camera in front of it. Specializing isn’t just about choosing one genre of photography. It’s about knowing what fulfills you as an artist, and defining WHO that client is, not just WHAT genre they fall into. Your client may be a bride, a mother, and a brother. It doesn’t mean choosing between your love of senior portraits and families to have a great brand. It doesn’t mean you can’t photograph babies if you also love photographing weddings. And it also doesn’t mean you need a name for what you do. I used the term “Connection Portraits” to define my style and approach, but in the past year I have learned that it isn’t about a name at all that brings definition to what you do.
BUT, I can’t give away everything I will be sharing now can I?
I am so looking forward to trip to Georgia, and will be there both before and after the conference for mentoring sessions, and a handful of family portrait sessions for families that I can’t wait to finally meet in person! I am currently booking maternity, newborn, and family portrait sessions here in Southern Maine, and also the Bar Harbor area where my family is from for late fall/early winter. There is still availability for my trip to Sacramento & Redding California this November, for mentoring, head shots, or full experience portrait sessions. And there are also still spots available for one of my trips to Connecticut in October and November, but they are filling fast, so be sure to get in touch if you’re looking to book. I have also been considering a trip to the Charleston, South Carolina area if there is client interest, and as always custom travel is always available. And just to put it out there, I think Europe should happen in the next year, don’t you?
Crazy things happen in the blank space friends. Here’s to a new season.