When this photo was taken, I didn’t realize what it would mean to me 4 years later. If I’m being honest, I was just pretty excited to have a picture taken with a professional camera! I wasn’t thinking about how I would use this as behind the scenes content. Or even make a blog post about second shooting my first wedding. This is because before that day I didn’t think I would become a wedding photographer. I thought I wasn’t able to control a crowd or confidently walk a couple through their wedding day.
Although in this photo I wasn’t at the point of planning out my business, you will notice that I was ridiculously happy! Its when I realized how amazing it is to watch a bride see herself in her dress for the first time. Even how much fun it was to serve them by running around with their flowers and veil! I saw what it was like to walk through a wedding day. I was able to talk to the groom while we waited for his first look. Only to hear him tell me how much he loved her and how excited he was to see her.
I say all of this because really, this exact moment in the photo was when I thought…hm, maybe I can do this thing. And maybe this is what I’m meant to do. So no, I wasn’t business mapping, but for the first time, I was SO excited about my future. Fast forward a couple of months later, and I was walking out of my first ever meeting with a bride and a signed contract! I remember going to Five Guys after and being on such a high! It was then that I told myself in that moment that I would do this forever. I was going to do ANYTHING to get there.
That involved skipping Clemson football games with my friends just to be able to carry around a photographers gear on wedding days, snap some pictures, and soak up every bit that they were willing to teach me. In most of my lectures I was taking notes while editing sessions and emailing clients. I even drove hours through a snow storm while my mom was listed for her lung transplant awaiting “the call” at any moment. While I was shooting pictures, my second shooter was in charge of watching my phone in case she got the go ahead. I had client meetings in hospital waiting rooms, ENDLESS miles on my car, and so many sleepless nights dreaming up business goals.
The point of telling you guys all of this is to say that the goal in mind was all I wanted. The past 4 years has taught me what it is like to truly grind for something that you love so much. It taught me that anything worth having is worth giving it your all. I saw that owning a business is FULL of highs and lows. Moments of feeling like you’re not good enough and will never make it. Then the next day feeling like you have everything figured out and you are on the path success. Not to mention the lesson that success does not happen overnight.
But mostly it taught me to never become content. Four years ago, if you told me that I would be where I’m at now, I would’ve been stoked out of my mind. Yet I still feel like I am no where close to where I want to be. Honestly, I hope that I see a huge path of potential ahead of me. No matter how big or how small my business will be.
Today I took a picture of me with my camera. I hope that 4 years from now, I can write a blog with that picture. Talking about how if I only knew then what the next 4 years would’ve looked like. That very thought is what makes me so passionate about my business. It makes me incredibly grateful for everyone that has helped make it what it is today. I can’t wait for another 4 years of meeting new couples and documenting the best day of their life for them. I can’t wait to make new friends with my clients and tell more love stories through my lens. Truthfully, I hope that these next 4 years even allows me to help other business owners achieve their goals too.
So today, and everyday, I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me along the way. Even through the highs and lows of it all. I will forever cherish this picture from 4 years ago, because thats when everything changed. Here’s to the next 4 years!!