The dust has settled on my hard drive issue. All photos are saved to 2 backups and the hard drive is clear and fast again!
With that done, I started going through my sessions from last couple years and comparing my work. All I can say is that I’ve come a long way from my beginnings.
I started doing portraits of just my family, mostly the kids, about 5 years ago. I didn’t really have the knowledge of what i could really do with knowing how the settings, lenses, and composure could really make the shot. I was shooting for fun and documenting my child and my father before he passed away. She now gets to look back and see all the fun she had with him.
After 3 years of shooting, I started getting really into portraits and started branching from my small family, to my friends families. I was getting compliments on my shots, but was still shaky and not very confident in what I was doing. I just thought they were being nice because that’s what friends do, right? Therefore,I shot sessions for free and offered prints on my little website. I also covered lots of local parties and events for free, all while handing out business cards so that the attendees could go to my website and see their photos. It was great to get the website hits, but no real business came from that.
5 years later (now) I have my own website, business license, and enough people that know me via word of mouth that I actually believe in myself now! In the fall, almost every weekend was booked, and I LOVED it. My website is getting found by complete strangers and weddings and events are being booked for the summer. I just started shooting boudoir and have gotten lots of inquiries on bookings and packages. I feel like sticking with it for so many years is catching up. It’s not enough to quit my day job, but I now realize that confidence, practice, and know how have a HUGE factor in your success. It helps support my expensive passion that I have for this art form, and lets me dream where I want to take it next.
I often get asked by others how to get into portrait photography, usually to offset expenses in the landscape photography world. My answer? Practice and lots and lots of networking. Years of networking. You won’t gain success overnight. Its a long road, at least for me. The plus side to that long road, is that you find what you are really passionate for. There’s many different forms and types photography, you have to find your love. For me, it’s photography as an art all together. I am always looking for the shapes, colors, forms, and light that would make a captivating image. I can be shooting stars one night, a family the next, and a wedding on the weekend. It doesn’t matter to me as long as I get to share my joy and art with others.
I am so very grateful for where I am right now. I know not to take advantage of it and keep going at the pace I have been, slow and steady. I thank my awesome and amazing husband who lets me fill a day of the weekends up with bookings and events to follow my passion. I thank my daughter who is always trying to help me out and actually helps me come up with ideas! I truly think 6 years olds have awesome ideas. And I thank each and everyone of you that have helped me along on this wonderful road that I have taken and helped me find myself and who I really am.
So take it slow, enjoy the ride, and see where the road takes you.