Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To learn and to grow

I've had a few people ask me questions about how and why I started my business.  What I do to stay afloat, and other questions.  There are times where I even question myself on why I am doing this, and what about it keeps me going.  If you would have told me 5 years ago that this would have been my life, I would not have believe you.  But alas, here it is, and I am loving every single minute of it.

Here are a few things that I have learned along the way that helped me grow as a person, a business owner and as a photographer.

1-Equipment does not make the photographer or the photo. I know that this may be hard to believe, but it is true.  You can give a monkey a Canon 5D, and the best lens on the market, and the picture will still come out crappy since the monkey does not know what it is doing.  Now if the monkey does by chance take an awesome picture, then that is a different story entirely.  The first thing you must do, is to know and study your equipment and master it.  Go out and shoot in all the modes on the camera, especially in manual mode.  Whether you are self taught or went to school for photography, nothing beats continuous shooting and learning from your mistakes.  You make the photograph great, not the camera.

In the beginning, when I first started, I was told by another professional photographer that unless I had spent a certain amount on gear then I would never be a good photographer.  Yes, I was hurt, because at the time I didn't know if this was constructive criticism or just a personal blow, but I took that advice, and did what I could with the gear I had.  My very first solo wedding was shot with a Canon Rebel Xti.  After a while, I moved up to a Canon 50D, and now I am shooting with a Canon 5d Mk II.  And I will tell you this, my first wedding, the wedding that was shot with that old Canon Rebel Xti, those images are actually still up on my website.

2-Expect negativity. It sucks to say it, but it's true.  If you expect negativity and doubt from others, it will lessen the blow when it actually happens.  And when or if it does happen, you already have the strength to get up and move forward.  As long as you can accept that there will be those whom no matter what, will try to doubt you and see you fall, then you already have the upper hand.  Be strong, embrace the negativity and move on to more things positive.

3-Confidence. I have always been a naturally outgoing person, and with that, some people say that I exude a confident attitude.  Yes, there are times where I can be a bit shy, but in the end I know that if I am not confident in my own work, then no one will be.  Who wants to hire a photographer who is not confident within themselves and the work they produce?  No one, that's who.  I love the work that I produce, I love the couples that I work with.  I know my style, I know my market, and I am confident in what my finished product is.

4-Support. This may not apply to everyone, but it definitely applies to me.  If I did not have the support I had, I problem would have gave up a long time ago. My husband, who is my biggest supporter is probably the sole reason why I am able to continue to do this.  He was the one who told me that if I didn't jump in and do this, then I never would. And he was right. His push, his support, made this happen.

5-It's not all sunshine and rainbows. Plain and simple, it's not.  Yes it may seem like photographing one wedding each weekend is all fun, and I have a lot of time on my hands, the truth is, it isn't.  Yes, weddings are fun. I live for weddings.  But rarely does one see what goes on after a wedding.  Time. What time?  I spend hours upon hours editing.  I do all of my marketing and social media myself.  Any sort of logo or design you see on my photos, it is me.  Running a business is hard, running a business by yourself is even harder.  But I knew this when going in (hooray for being a business major!), and even with its hardships, I wouldn't trade it.

Be prepared to accept the reality of being a full time photographer.  Your income depends on how many bookings you get and what you charge.  You essentially depend on other people to survive.  If I have no weddings, I have no income. Simple as that.  Accept that not all weddings run smoothly.  Also, and this is the big one...Accept that there are some things that you just cannot control.  Understand that you give up control, and you have to work with what you have.  Whether it is a late wedding, drunk groomsmen, camera breaking at the wedding, or rain.  You have to think quick and not miss a single moment.

And in closing, love what you do and love your work.  If you look at this as job, then it becomes a job, and most people don't like their jobs.  There have been times where I have been frustrated beyond belief, but I still love what I do. And that love has gotten me through the frustrations.

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1 comment:

  1. I have the same opinion completely. What a year with so many nice weddings. So blessed with Kate and Prince William and now Zara Phillip and Mike Tindall. Great fashionable weddings with fantastic settings and many nice dresses. Bye.