Someone asked me the other day how I started my business and if I had any advice for them as they started out. To be getting asked for advice is definitely humbling! Remember I'm the girl who refused to buy a proper SLR camera when I first started doing portrait photography because I was so sure I would be crap and photography would be another hobby to add to the scrap heap!
When I tried to answer the question of how I started my business, my mind pretty much went blank. Like how did I even get here?? It was a hobby that I became obsessed with. I shot friends and family, I called out for models and I began learning everything I could about photography. It got to the point where I had to start charging something to cover my costs and I think my first portrait sessions were $60! That was 2011. Today I've cut my day job in half to make room for my photography business, I shoot an average of two times a week and I'm in love with shooting weddings! I had NO idea that within 4 years my life would be so different! But Matt knew. I guess he's watched me spend every free minute obsessing over photography, learning new skills and he sees the fire in my belly that I have for this. He knew and I'm so lucky that he's such a big believer in me, he encourages me every day to dream big.
Now that's not to make it sound like getting to where I am today, or even where I want to get to in the future, is a walk in the park. It's taken a lot of hard work, determination (which is one thing I have in spades) and passion! Oh and time - nothing happens overnight. I look back on my first shoots and wonder how I managed to get anyone to pay me! But I am so grateful for all the people that have trusted me, stuck with me as I've grown and developed.
While it was hard to express in words how it all started for me, I found it a lot easier to give some advice about starting out. Do it your way, just because someone else did it differently doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. Just do what feels right for you, who cares what everyone else is doing! In fact don't ever worry about what everyone else is doing, it's irrelevant to you. Have faith in yourself. One of my favourite quotes is "Jump, and the net will appear". If there's something I have come to know it is this. Have faith and believe in yourself, if you want it so badly you will find a way to make it work. Don't be too hard on yourself. There will be days you feel like giving up. Be brave, learn from your mistakes and keep growing. And lastly, never forget the reasons why you first wanted to be in business. It's easy to get caught up with day to day tasks, bookings, jobs and you sometimes make yourself that busy trying to make things work, that you can forget why you wanted to be your own boss and do things your way. Always make sure there's balance and don't lose sight of the hopes and dreams you have.
I saw this info-graphic recently and it made me chuckle. The ups-and-downs of being an entrepreneur!