I didn’t always love photography. I don’t have a “camera in my hand since I was little” background story in my “About Me” section. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a photographer. It all started when my parents bought me a point and shoot and I would take pictures of flowers. That’s it. Just flowers, sometimes fruit. Nothing fancy.
I don’t remember my first real photo shoot very well. I can’t give a specific reason as to why my business grew into what it is now. I couldn’t even tell you what exactly made me want to be a professional photographer.
But that’s what I am today.
I’m at a point in my life right now where I struggle with not being able to take my business to the level it needs to achieve next. With Josh in a transitional period with the Army, and me having to hold a day job, I can’t fully devote myself to my business.
And it really gets me down sometimes.
There are days when I can’t feel anything but frustration with myself and with my business. I get so focused on the things I currently CAN’T do, and it becomes overwhelming.
Other photographers always seem to have everything else going for them. Everything I can’t do, they CAN. Sites like Pinterest can be exhausting also. So many beautiful images, DIY projects, and gorgeous homes. Sometimes it’s more depressing than it is inspiring.
So I decided that I owed it to whoever reads this blog, anyone else running their own business, and anyone else who is tired of the pressure of acting like nothing in life is ever hard or frustrating, to be completely honest.
So here are some of the mistakes I made while starting my business…
1.) Over-processing my images.
I can’t even begin to describe how horrendous my very first images were. I took the “vintage” look way too far and copied anything I saw on other blogs. I had no idea what I wanted my own style to be. It was a mess.
2). Letting people walk all over me.
I have a hard time saying no. I would let people push me around because of my age or try to get something for nothing. I still struggle with this from time to time, but in the end, it’s worth it to hold up my business policies and stay strong. The stress of certain situations could have been avoided.
3.) Not having a schedule.
Late night editing, strange hours, and never taking a break can be exhausting. I used to think that if I wasn’t constantly doing something photography or business related, than I was being lazy. You need to find a balance.
4.) Not being personal enough.
I try to connect with clients, I didn’t always think this way. I used to think that just posting pictures to my blog or website was enough. Being personal lets people see the real you and gives depth to your business. My photography is about more than just pretty pictures. Clients need to know this.
5.) Rebranding, rebranding, and rebranding again.
I am very indecisive. I’m still struggling with this one. We’ll leave it at that.
6.) Taking on shoots I didn’t want.
I used to think that to be successful I had to take any shoot that came my way. I would do a session, hate every second of it, and resent it later when I had to edit it. Seniors and weddings are what I love. Shooting only what I love creates better service for my clients, and a better experience for everyone involved.
7.) Trying to do it all…at once.
I have a hard time staying focused. I would make my to-do list for everything I wanted to get done…for the rest of time. I needed to start smaller. Otherwise crossing off “clean up email inbox” seemed like pure laziness when written next to “rent future office space”. Baby steps people, baby steps.
Of course there are more mistakes, and I could go on forever talking about it, but I’ll leave it at that. So, with the new year upon us, I plan on going about things a little differently. Taking time for myself, my husband, and my family. All while running a successful business.
It’s possible. It’s overwhelming. And I’m going to make lots of mistakes.
And that’s ok.