Lessons this year
What have I learned this year in my photography business?
2016 has been a really emotional year for me and my business, that's for sure!
I have learnt so many things, made so many mistakes, but had a few victories as well.
However the biggest thing I will take away from this year is getting to know all the wonderful people I have met. I might not be able to mention everyone, but here goes...
I ordered Chandler aka Sib (Standinbaby) through the crowdfunding solution, Kickstarter, where I learnt about Sandra and Brendon Moffat's journey with Sib. They were such an inspiration. Because they showed me that a little guy like me can not only dream, but we can also achieve.
Meeting Kelly Brown was the most amazing feeling! I acted like such a dork, and yet she still gave me the time of day! Doing her workshop in baby safety and posing was definitely a confirmation to me that newborn and baby photography was what I needed to do with my life, rather than being that photographer that does everything, which I was up to this point. Thank you Kelly for starting the fire in me.
On the same day that I met Kelly Brown, I also met two other amazing people. Erin Hardy - from Erin Hardy Photography and Shannon Jenkins - from Fifth Season photography. They have now become my friends, and even though we are all photographers, we support each other, like we should. Side note: I had no idea what the universe had in store for me when I met Shannon, but more of that in the new year..(see how I tease??!!)
The year started so well for me; after Kelly, I had the pleasure to meet some other of the worlds best newborn photographers: Amy McDaniel - Dewdrops by Amy, Nicole Smith - Nicole Smith Photography, Jade Goa -Newborn Photography by Jade, Nicole Druce -Life Cycle Images...wow what a line up! They were all teaching at a workshop here in Perth, I was over the moon. Again, worked out big time! Luckily my friend Erin Hardy, happened to be there too, so she kept me cool! (Haha, yeah right!)
At this point I have already decided to quit my full time employment and run with this thing. It was so, so scary, as up to this point I've only been photographing on my time off...
I opened up full time for business in March, and even though there were some stumbling blocks on the way, I learnt a great deal about myself! I didn't like being confronted by my own insecurities, it made me feel so vulnerable. I learnt that I was perhaps not as good at some things as I thought I was. I learnt I was better at other things, that I've never even considered, to be good at. Suddenly there was this new person/stranger staring back at me in the mirror, and I didn't like it.
No-one tells you how hard it is to run your own business, it's definitely not always peaches and cream.
The hardest thing and sometimes still is, is to show my works worth! It used to be too easy to give stuff away, and to heavily discount, because "I'm nice like that", then for me and my husband to fight day and night because I can't help to pay the mortgage, it was such a vicious circle.
It is hard to realise what I do is valuable. Yes it might not be for everyone, but my ideal clients who understand why I do this, they are out there, and even though I'm still struggling to realise my self worth, I'm on my way. Speaking of clients, in this career my path has crossed with so many amazing people, I'm so lucky that there are so many of them that I now call friends, if that's not a perk of the job, I don't know what is!
At nearly 30 years old, it's hard not knowing yourself. Let's just say there were many tears, but one thing I knew was that I have never given up nor am I the type to ever give up, so I plodded along, then something clicked (with the help of Shannon). The change has to come within...
Through this crazy emotional and financial roller-coaster, there has always been one person, who has believed in me when I couldn't believed in myself, has picked me up when I fell, has dried my snot and tears, hugged me and helped me up and loved me - my Husband, my soul mate, my best friend, the person I would die for.
Peter (even though grumpy at times) is my continues support and there is no way I would be here if he wasn't there to hold my hand even though I could tell his anger and frustration with me sometimes, he never - ever made me feel bad or resented me, I know one thing, I am so lucky to call this man my husband.
So my year will end as follows;
I now have the knowledge that I can change the course my life takes, it's not the universes fault.
It was necessary for me to go through all of this or else I would never have gotten to this point!
I have come to the conclusion that I'm the pain in my ass and the only way to get rid, is to "tune to the frequency" (you will understand what I mean about this in the new year!)
I will be happy and successful in 2017!
Heck, I am happy and successful now, however I will strive to better and enrich my and my husbands life.
And on that note, I bid you a Happy New Year!