November 5, 2013
For the most part, I believe we have all had an ‘enlightening’ moment in our lives — a time where our little light bulb turns on — when we just sort of ‘get it’ — and that moment for me was yesterday. Since I started my photography business almost 1 year ago (9 days and counting until I hit that 1 year mark, woohoo!), I have invested a lot of time, energy and money into mentoring sessions and learning as much as I possibly can about this industry, building a successful business out of it, learning how to shoot all different ways, etc. I believe that no matter WHAT industry you choose to be in, education is the most important thing and if you’re not constantly learning, you’re doing yourself and all of your clients a huge injustice!
I remember my first mentoring session I ever did — and I wont name any names of who the photographer was that I sat down with and tried “learning” from, because I’m not a ‘throw you under the bus’ type of gal! BUT… it was the most discouraging moment of my photography career. I left my corporate job as an Account Executive making a really good living to pursue my passion and love for photography and it was a HUGE leap of faith for me. I prayed, hoped, wished, BEGGED for the net to appear to catch me and for the most part — it has! I came home after this mentoring session and cried to my husband. I told him I had made a huge mistake by choosing photography and he asked me why I suddenly felt this way. From what this photographer had told me during my mentoring session, I sucked, had no place in this industry, didn’t know what I was doing, and if people hired me, they obviously didn’t value photography. I was SO hurt and I felt that because this photographer had been in the industry for a long time and was successful in my eyes, that they were right. How STUPID of me to believe them!! I remember my husband telling me that this person was wrong and that I DO know what I’m doing and that I am a great photographer. Lord have mercy if it weren’t for that amazing man I married, I may have quit right there…but he continues to push me and encourage me in this dream I have of being a Wedding Photographer and for that, I am one extremely blessed lady!
After my husband picked me up from being a crying mess, I knew I had to prove this other photog wrong! I had to prove that I DO know what I’m doing, that I DO love this industry and who are you to tell me I can’t do something?! I have NEVER failed at anything I’ve ever put my mind to — literally never — and I wasn’t going to start with something I loved and was SO passionate about.
Now since that first mentoring session, I have done a few others, all with different photographers that I adore all for different reasons. My most recent one was yesterday with Amanda Hedgepeth of Amanda Hedgepeth Photography. I can NOT explain how happy I am that I chose her as a mentor. I got to her house, we shot outdoors for a few minutes, then went in and talked for hours and hours about photography, building a successful business, running my business as a new mommy (Aubree is due any day now), etc. When I left her house I felt as if I had breathed fresh, new, ALIVE air into my lungs. Holy cow, THAT WAS WHAT I NEEDED! This is the ‘moment’ I’ve been looking for since I started almost a year ago! I told Amanda before I left that I wished I had met her when I first started and would’ve done anything to have mentored with her FIRST instead of the other photog. But– everything happens for a reason! :)
Amanda reiterated a few things to me that deep down I already knew, but felt SO GOOD to hear from a photographer I look up to in so many ways. I am so thankful for my time with her yesterday — she is so fun (we laughed a LOT), real, free spirited, NICE, and so very helpful. Leaving her house yesterday and going home to tell my husband all about my new ideas/plans for JTP felt wonderful. I feel so inspired, motivated and rejuvenated!! I may not be anywhere near my goals for JTP yet, but I’m getting there. I’m moving in the right direction. I have clients that love me and that I love back because they allow me to do what I love. I DO have a place in this industry and never again will I allow anyone tell me I don’t. Nor will I ever let anyone else hurt my feelings or discourage me. Everyone is unique with what they do and creative in their own right. My photography is a reflection of who I am and a reflection of my style and creativity. That’s the beauty of photography… there are no rules. I get to make beautiful images that make people so happy — hello dream job!
I have no regrets about making photography my career. I in no way will ever look back and think that I was wrong in leaving my corporate job to fulfill my dream. My net has appeared…and I am beyond happy, thrilled, BLESSED! So thank you to photographer #1 that discouraged me — you made me want to fight for this. Thank you to every photographer inbetween that has taken the time to help teach me and help me grow. And a huge thank you to Amanda for inspiring & motivating me. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings to JTP… xoxo!
PS: If you’re a photographer that’s just starting out and you have questions, please do not ever hesitate coming to me! I will help guide you in the right direction & will never discourage you. If you have it in your heart that this is what you want to do, do it.
Here’s a few shots from me and Amanda’s time together yesterday… we both have the sweetest preggo bellys! :)