This year, there would be times when I’d be sitting with a client or a potential client, sipping a steaming mug of tea, and they’d ask me that dreaded question… “How long have you been doing this?”
I’d tell them honestly, confidently, “This is my first year taking pictures professionally.” And I’d see a tiny flicker of doubt light in their eyes.
It didn’t worry me though. Because when it comes to time and experience, you can only be exactly where you are. All you can do to change it, is to keep moving forward. There’s no shame in that.
And when it came to taking their picture, well, I knew I had them covered. After all, they were already a beautiful human being, in love with their partner, or their family, or their wedding plans. All I needed to do was remind them of that and capture the magic that followed.
So maybe I feel pretty good about client meetings and shoots. And I can accept the things I know and lean into the things I don’t know. But to say my first year in business was a breeze, would be understating things a hair. Or maybe more than a hair. Maybe like… a small mountain.
This year has been a whirlwind.
It’s been golden sunsets and sandy beaches and vibrant foliage. It’s been sweet newborn snuggles and warm family cuddles and bad jokes that only kind of make you laugh. It’s been eskimo kisses and wedding day nerves. And lace and flowers and bow tie lessons and tearful toasts.
It’s been madness and late nights and bleary eyes and stressing way too much over the perfect e-mail reply or the perfect edit. It’s been falling down and dusting myself off and researching harder and trying new things. It’s been shaking off nerves and awkwardness and trying again. And again. And again. It’s been so many high fives and so much self doubt, but still knowing that even though the steps might be wrong or strange, the big picture is right. The path is right. I’m headed in the right direction.
This year has been stretching and growth and finding myself in a way I never knew I could. It has been learning to give up control a little, to love my partner better, to know and love myself better. It’s been learning about flow and giving up on self care and maybe, lately, starting to find it again.
But most of all, it’s been gratitude.
I’m so grateful that I get to try something new and scary and wonderful. I’m grateful that I have the support of my family and friends. And most of all, I’m grateful to every single person who trusted me with your love, your story, your dollars, and the privilege of capturing your moments.
Starting my own business was never something I wanted to do. And then I did it. And it’s been harder than I feared and better than I dreamed.
I’m so ready for year two. I can’t wait to see what it brings.