2015. What a year.
This year marked so many milestones for me both personally and in this business. 2015 was my first full year as a full time, fully consumed, this work is putting food on my table and a roof over my head, but I no longer get pay checks in the mail every two weeks and that’s weird to get used to, scared out of my mind but also wonderfully excited, PHOTOGRAPHER. Telling people who ask what I do that ‘I’m A Photographer’ is still so surreal to me. In the past it’s always been, I’m in sales, and I also have a big girl camera I like to play with sometimes. Or, I’m in marketing for a craft beer company, but I take photos on the weekends and dabble in wedding work. Being able to call myself a full time, professional wedding and lifestyle photographer is so damn cool. I lurveee it.
A couple reflections: Being a full time, professional lifestyle and wedding photographer is super hard. Owning a business is super hard. Being a new wedding photographer in a market as saturated as South Florida is super hard. So many emotions. SEO makes me legit cry. And not like one tear streaming down my face out of slight frustration and maybe a little PMS type of crying…I’m talking like sobbing in front of my computer screen with a bottle of wine because my page’s sitelinks aren’t coming up in a google search ((and what do sitelinks even mean)), and what the hell is alt text, and why doesn’t this come as naturally as taking photos, sort of ridiculous crying. (That happened.) PILES of receipts. Emails that never end. Driving…SO MUCH driving. Crunching numbers- really any and all business related math. On a scale of 1 – NOPE I’m about a HELL NOPE when it comes to back end business savvy. It’s just all really hard, and draining, and scary…and hard. It’s also SO worth it.
A couple more reflections: Loving what you do and getting to call it work is such a HUGE blessing. Documenting memories and being welcomed into life events and people’s families is really such an honor for me. The feeling of making people feel beautiful when they see their photos has brought me happy tears. Having clients that turn into friends is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Working with industry professionals and vendors who both inspire and encourage each other because we’re all just so damn happy to be doing what we love, is heavy when you get to thinking about it. There’s so much love in this industry, it’s really all around. In front of the camera and behind it. And I’m so happy that I get to call this my life’s work.
2016 has some big boots to fill, and as this year closes there are already big things in the works for Finding Light Photography. A new business venture, Free Reverie + Co., which I started with a past bride, turned soul sister, is one of the most exciting things on the horizon for next year. I have been asked to travel both internationally and nationally to document people’s big days, and I’m already creating client/vendor relationships that I know are going to end up in friendships. With a new year comes new goals, and I’m stoked to work on what needs help and nurture what’s going great already to make it more successful than I can even imagine. I want to be one of the greats; I want to make images that inspire, friendships that last, business and life practices that represent love and light and all things positive. Good vibes only for 2016!
To my family, friends, and clients – I can’t thank you enough for believing in me and helping me through this first year. I couldn’t have done it without you and I’m truly so grateful that you’re all a part of this journey.
Here are some of my favorite moments from this past year, in no particular order and with no particular hierarchy…bear with me, there are a lot! My heart is just so full.
Cheers to 2016! In love and light,