Soapbox Savvy - Can I just go back to a regular job now??? Nope, here’s what no one will tell you. Confessions of a Houston Wedding Photographer.

Can I just go back to a regular job now???  Nope, here’s what no one will tell you... Confessions of a Houston Wedding Photographer.

 

Yesterday I was completely taken back when I met with one of our new {ISG Brides} aka Image Studios Group LLC Bride to be, at the studio to go over her wedding day plans. As I opened the door to greet her, I extended my hand and she began professing that I was one of her all-time favorite photographers. That she was beyond excited to meet me in person and that she still couldn't believe that I was photographing her wedding. She was contagiously excited, and I was totally blown away and in major shock!  I don't see myself like that at all and well, just WOW!  I was completely speechless and so grateful for the much needed experience.

As I stuttered my way through a full sentence I tried to blow it off and invited her in. I redirected her attention off om my red face to her beautiful wedding gown, that I was honored to be the very first person to get to see it. So, how huge was that!?!

As the Bride and I sat there and talked and “my little munchkin brought us toys” I was reminded again just how special a gift I have to offer, and also how honored I am to be chosen to capture one of the most important days of her life. With wedding photography there are no second chances, there are no retakes! You simply MUST be at the top of your game for a continual 10-12 hour shift. No exceptions. No, excuses.

And here’s why……

The images you create for the bride and groom at their engagement session or on their wedding day are not just pictures.  These are heirloom images that will be debuted in homes and albums for years to come. Families will pass down stories for generations and your images will evoke loving and happy memories for everyone who see’s them. 

But, wait….. fill in car screeching tires noise _________ here!!!

Whoa, that’s heavy and scary and Ummm, I think I changed my mind! Can I just go back to a regular job now???  Nope, here’s what no one will tell you, THIS FEELING IS NORMAL.

alley shot.jpg

We see the big names “we all have them we follow on social media” making money. Speaking at conventions. Reeling you into buy their program, or purchase their ideas of how to become one of the “Big Names” That’s great if you can afford it, and yes, I have purchased some of them. But, from what I’ve noticed they are all almost the same principle or business model. Big secret here… There is nothing that will increase your bottom line like plain O’l hard work and dedication to honing your craft. There's no magic plan you can purchase. There is no mentor that can make you instant money. There is NO fast track to success! It's called a few years of dedication and building your client base.

Don’t limit yourself to just shooting what is popular or what sells. Photograph what you love. Photograph the things you want to photograph even if you don’t get paid for it. By doing this type of photography you will be learning skills that are invaluable for taking your photography or photography business to the next level. I personally Love LOVE love to shoot Macro Photography. I have never sold one image, but, it has taught me angles and manual mode on my camera. So when it comes to the details part of a wedding BAM! I’m so in the zone. I photograph our daughter almost daily, “moving target” never sold a print. So, when it comes time for the action shots in a wedding I’m prepared to capture them. I shoot in all stages of light and dark just for fun and to push myself and my equipment all the time. You need to know the limitations of your camera as well as learn to work around those limitations.  Break the rules and play, when you are not in session and teach yourself about your camera, lenses and form your own style of photography.  
I am asked all the time to mentor a budding photographer and have considered it but I don’t think I can really teach what I do and how I do it. What I can do is help you understand that

as photographers, we all have our days of feeling underappreciated or nonproductive, full of self-doubt. Frustrated that we see everyone else bringing in new clients and wondering what am I doing wrong? Why aren't I that booked or busy?  Maybe I should do what they are doing? Maybe I should lower our prices?  I call this the “what if syndrome” and it sucks!

Being self-employed or an Entrepreneur is HARD! It’s a roller coaster ride that frankly sometimes I just want to jump off and rip up my ticket!!!  But, Don’t give up! Giving up would mean letting go of the dream that you are following. Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, it’s going to mean struggling for income, Yes, it’s SO worth it. When you reach the point you are sought after and hired for images that you love as much as they do.

Remember that you have something to give. A gift that only you can offer to your clients. It’s called yourself……

So, remember fellow photographers… whether you are photographing a wedding or creating a mini session for the Holidays. Do your very best for your client. Talk with them, listen to them and ask questions. Take the time needed with them. The more you get to know your client, the more comfortable you “all” will feel around one another when your photography session arrives.  Building that trust is the most important aspect of your business. Creating better images because they will be natural and organic smiles and interactions.  

Try and remember that they have chosen you as there photographer because they like what they see already. Take this knowledge and run with it. Show them that you care about what they want. Show them that you are committed to capturing how they want to be photographed. Build your gallery of images that you can be proud of. Take your time to create images that YOU LOVE and it will attract clients that LOVE them too.  

Fads in photography will come and go, so create your own!  Win-Win situation.

 

Always remember

Peace, Love & Photography

Cheryl xoxo

 

 

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