Unsure… this is my how I feel at least once a month when thinking of our photography business. I have so many happy clients who love their images & I fully enjoy shooting every session. But when I have a quiet moment I sit and think of this crazy business, I have so many questions I ask myself
1. Am I good enough?
2. Will I be successful?
3. What if I book the dreaded bridezilla? –probably my biggest fear
4. Are the long hours of editing, shooting & networking worth it?
5. Should I just call it quits?
Questions like this bombard my brain, typically at night and typically when I have a huge amount of editing on my plate. I think out of all the questions I ask myself, the main one is am I good enough? One of the biggest problems most photographers face is comparing their work to others. I am guilty of that 100% and this is my biggest flaw, I look at other photographers and think “Wow .. why bother?” I have thought of changing up my editing style to one that is more popular, but when I really think about it, why would I want my work to look like 50 other photographers work? That’s no fun, my work wouldn’t stand out and I would end up feeling unfulfilled at the end of the day.
Success if a tricky word, what I perceive as successful another might perceive as mediocre. This is no longer a “hobby” or a “side job”, this camera has taken me on quite the adventure in the past 3 years. I have met so many clients who I now consider friends, witnessed numerous lifetime milestones I have lost count & best of all turned this “hobby” into a business that has allowed me more time with my family. Yes the long nights of editing or the 10 hour weddings may be difficult , but having the ability to be with my family every single day when school is over is all well worth it. The satisfaction I hear from clients when they receive their images is a true success, receiving an email from a client that she had tears in her eyes as she viewed her images made my day! Am I making six figured as a photographer and traveling the world? No, but that is not what I envision as a success, what I envision is creating beautiful images for clients to look back on years from now.
The term “Bridezilla” scares me , I am a part of a few different photography forums and I have read so many stories of brides suing photographers or sending nasty emails berating their work and bullying photographers bringing them close to tears, this is my ultimate fear. Every photo any photographer produces is so special ; we all take so much time learning and applying different techniques that when told our images are horrible it can really be hurtful. I have read photographers lists of demands from other clients and think to myself “Thank God I have never had to deal with this!” I have always been very fortunate to have the best clients on this planet. I have never come across a pushy or demanding person as a photographer and I think this is largely due to the fact that I usually try to get to know clients before booking. I could easily do everything via the internet when booking brides but I always meet face to face, we want to make sure we both click. The bride needs to make sure that she feels comfortable with me just as much as I need to make sure I can walk away feeling 100% confident that we will work well with one another. It’s more than if the bride & groom can take direction, I want to make sure our personalities and sense of humor is similar. I like to crack jokes with all my clients and if a client seems a little more uptight then we just are not meant to work with one another. I also try to set clear expectations; I am very up front with the fact that I will not edit a bride or any client to look thinner. After shooting so many boudoir sessions, I have seen firsthand just how empowering it can be to a woman’s confidence to see herself as she truly looks which is always beautiful.
Should I call it quits???? As of this moment I just can’t imagine putting down my camera, yes I question myself most days but at the end of the day I have made some wonderful friends, captured some amazing shots & found something that makes me feel fulfilled. I have found a form of art that I can share with my children, here is a look below at a session last week, my kiddos came along and played assistant for the day. They really helped out and my son now has proclaimed my older camera as his own and snaps photos any chance he can get.
So no quitting for me anytime soon, I will continue to run our photography business until it is no longer fun but I do not see that happening anytime soon. Until then I have to just remind myself to breath & to worry less. Remind myself that I have worked hard to get to this point , look back at my old work and see the improvements. Read my thank you emails from clients & remember why I am a photographer.