How I got started in photography, the vulnerable truth.
I never felt like I fit in anywhere.
From the start of 7th grade I remember taking standardize tests and answering questions from my teachers of what I wanted my career to be (um, hello I was like 13 I had no clue). But even then I would put down photography.
I worked hard in school, and was usually the top of my class academically. Now, that’s not to brag I honestly just worked hard because I had a clear path and direction on what to do next. I excelled when I had a clear plan. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere because I loved the arts, but I never really felt that creative or fit in with that crowd. On the flip side, I loved doing well in school, but had absolutely zero aspirations of being in a career like a lawyer or doctor. I felt in limbo of how I was actually going to find a career I loved and did well in. As college approached, I still had this fear and panic of not knowing what to do for the rest of my life. The old debate of pursuing what I actually wanted to do versus doing something that made money. At least that was what the mindset was back then.
My final college decision came from the fact that I received a music scholarship and got in state tuition for Wyoming’s Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming who were known for their outstanding photography program. I knew I wanted to pursue photography, but back then I wanted to work for a magazine or major commercial photography studio. I definitely did NOT want to own my own business. I saw what small business owners went through, and didn’t want to go through those sacrifices.
Fast forward, I loved my time in college and I loved all my photo classes. Again, I definitely wasn’t a stand out student in the terms of quality photography (I mean there were some MAJOR talent with my peers) but as usual I was good at completing my school work. After graduating my degree in photography I again I felt in limbo, (seriously, they do NOT prepare you for the transitions in life during school).
So there I was, I had my degree and had a solid understanding of photography and working with other mediums, but I was so scared because I didn’t feel worthy enough after seeing so many of my talented peers and their work.
So for the next two years I just survived with multiple part time jobs having nothing to do with a career I wanted to pursue because I let myself get in my own way. After two years of this limbo transition time, I finally had enough. The world of social media was rapidly growing and female entrepreneurs were popping up left and right.
I started having the confidence to dream that maybe I actually could do this whole own your own business thing. After all, it started making the most sense, since I didn’t want to work for anyone else haha. I drowned myself in research and became obsessed with asking questions and seeking out what it actually looked like to start a legit business in Idaho.
I then found my first photography business course and invested (what I felt was my entire arm and leg at the time) $1,000 dollars into this course that went over pricing and client expierence and financials of running a profitable photography business. After taking the course I knew I wanted to try.
I still remember like it was yesterday, I was still living with my parents in 2013, and I walked downstairs after finishing the course and told my mom I wanted to start my own photography business. With no working camera to call my own and just a TV tray table as a desk, in March 2013 I did just that.
Was it smooth sailing? Absolutely not, but that is a story for another day. I’m just so thankful to myself for giving me that chance. For getting over my fears and trying anyway, because if I didn’t I would never be where I am today.
So friends, please let this story encourage you to go after your dreams no matter how scary. Write down your big goals and work backwards on actual steps it will take to get there because YOU CAN DO IT. Let me know in the comments below a fear you have overcome or what you are currently struggling with so I can provide some encouragement for you!