Last week was Part 1 of my business journey which you can read about here : From Photo School to Fashion Studios and on to Weddings | My Business Journey | Part 1
Today we are picking up this story after a trip my husband and I took to Sweden.
I had been photographing weddings for 10 years at this point in 2016 and while I loved my work, I started to feel like I was being called to something else.
The feeling began when we were taking a train from Sweden to Copenhagen. I spent the majority of the 4 hours on that train looking out at the countryside just thinking about my business, my family and where I wanted my business to go.
One of the most amazing things about business, is that I’ve always been able to adjust it, tweak it and make it work for my life.
I was able to hang out with my kids when they were young, and be a mom instead of having to see them only nights and weekends. But the problem was as a wedding photographer, summers are insane.
Like barely can breath under all the work. Gone every single weekend. Sitting in front of a computer editing for 10 hours a day during the week, and not being able to take impromptu vacations with my kids.
I had hit a point of wanting something different than just weddings. This was 2016 when Instagram was blowing up, and the ability to start a small business, either full time or as a side hustle was real for many people.
All these small businesses were popping up, and via Facebook groups, I kept seeing people trying to figure out how to run a business. Doing the same ups and downs and “what the hell am I doings” that I did back in 2006.
Today it’s easier to start and get your name out there. You can have a website up in a minute and post about your biz to social media without having to spend any money. It has been so amazing to watch, and I realized that I could help these businesses.
I started blogging about marketing and branding your business. Sharing the info of all the years of books I’ve read and making it bite sized for folks to help creatives navigate marketing their business better.
In my goal to diversify from weddings a bit, I launched a service for branding photography.
I kept seeing people using these subpar images to market their business with, and I knew I could help create beautiful images that also would share who they are and attract clients who took them seriously.
Small businesses don’t tend to realize the importance of quality and engaging photos, but these photos are usually the first impression people have of your business. The photos are making people not even look twice at your business because it looks amateur.
As a branding photographer and blogging business tips, I found myself fulfilled again in a way that totally lit me up inside!
Through 2017 and 2018 I was able to grow my branding photography clientele. I help people by sharing the tips and tricks I’ve used to grow my business and I’ve fallen in love with helping creatives grow.
I think small businesses are the wave of the future, and being able to highlight them and help them along is my absolute favorite!
As my branding photography clientele has grown, it’s allowed me to lower the number of weddings I take a year. It’s freed up my weekends to be able to be with my kids and enjoy their summer off. I still photograph weddings, coming in at less than 10 a year. So that I can have the best of both worlds!
Now I’ve been sharing my business knowledge and photography tips on my blog for a couple years.
I realized in the fall of 2018 that there is a portion of small businesses who are not able to invest in branding photography.
I get it, hiring a photographer is an investment. You can’t do it until you have the funds coming in to be able to afford the expense. But that doesn’t stop the need for high quality and compelling images to use.
So many creatives are using their iPhones to take photos for their business. Since they don’t know what they are doing, they end up posting these snap shot, amateur looking photos. Which only hurts their business as people will pass right on by these low quality images.
Since it’s not the camera that is an issue. The iPhone these days is a darn good camera. I knew it was the education of understanding how to use the camera that was the problem.
I got to work creating an online course to help creatives understand how to use their iPhone. Learning to create images that will help them build their brand.
I knew that I could create a course that would shed light on how to create beautiful images with the iPhone. I’d teach about the settings to use, but more importantly the course teaches about how to see great light. How to use your camera to your benefit, how to style a product shot and how to edit your photos so that they are cohesive. I wanted to create something that would let these creative business owners have beautiful photos that they created themselves until their business was large enough to be able to afford hiring out for photography. So the iPhone Photography Field Guide for Creatives was born.
And now I am here, photographing a handful of weddings a year. Helping creatives with branding photography and share my knowledge on my blog. I also teach small businesses how to create compelling images on their own. So that they can succeed in their business, and I haven’t been more happy in my own business ever!
I credit my journey from photo school and assisting in the fashion world to know how to create beautiful images that sell. And I credit my years as a wedding photographer to understanding how images create connection and tell stories. How to understand where small businesses are in their journey by the time they are working with me. It’s been a winding journey, and it’s one that I would not trade for the world!