Four years ago today, I had my first paid photo session. I was SO nervous. I had watched all kinds of photography videos. Looked up tips, tricks, posing ideas. Practiced editing a million different ways. Gone out to the location with my young son a few days prior at the exact time of the session so I would know precisely what the lighting would be. Saved Pinterest inspo photos to my phone, made a collage of said inspo photos, set that collage as my phone lock screen so I could refer to it as inconspicuously as possible.
In the four years since, I have gotten to work with so many amazing people, couples, families, businesses. The nerves are largely gone, although I still get a little amped up before wedding ceremonies start. I've photographed maternity, newborns, milestones, families, seniors, personal branding, corporate headshots, engagements, weddings - and even a birth!
When I made the first Facebook post announcing my 'business' (which was nothing official at the time, just a Facebook page), I had no idea what it would turn into. I thought it would be a creative thing to do on the side while being a full-time stay at home mom. I thought it would be nice to feel like I was contributing a little bit financially to the family. I thought it would be an identity I could have outside of 'mama.' I thought it would keep me practicing my photography so I could take better photos of my son. I thought it might be fun.
And now four years later, it has replaced my teaching income while still allowing me to set my own schedule, stay home with my son, be there to drop him off and pick him up from school every day, take time off to travel with my family. It has fulfilled me creatively in a way that I didn't know I needed. It has introduced me to people I would have never crossed paths with before. It has given me a front row seat to some incredibly special, moving moments.
On top of the client photography aspect of my business, I have also been able to incorporate my background as a teacher into my business. I now am a photography coach as well, and to see the growth that my clients make during our time together is truly inspiring and exciting! When I look at their progress each time we have a call, I am in awe of them. They are all so motivated to grow and improve and provide the best for their clients, and I am continually inspired by them. Knowing that I can still see those lightbulb moments, those successes, those steps forward, even after leaving education, has been such a joy to me.
All this to say: I am incredibly lucky. I am lucky I was able to be a stay at home mom in the first place. I was lucky I had a nice camera to start shooting with. I was lucky I had a husband who supported this dream (and still lucky for this). I was lucky I had parents who helped watch my son while I had daytime photo sessions (and still lucky for this). I was lucky I had the funds to upgrade my equipment early on. I was lucky I had a young son willing to let me practice on him. I was lucky. And now. I am lucky that I have worked with amazing clients. I am lucky that people have chosen and continue to choose me to capture their memories and special moments. I am lucky I absolutely love what I do. I am lucky I still get to play teacher. I am lucky I get to see my favorite families at all stages of their lives. I am lucky I can continue to invest in myself and my business so that I can continue to invest in my clients.
I am forever grateful that I ended up being here, owner of and photographer for Taylor Made Photo KC. Whether you've been a client, a coaching student, a follower, a supporter, a viewer, I am thankful for you. Here's to another year!