Me: Guess what! I've discovered this great new motto, "Just Ask! The worst they could say is no"
Everyone: Duh. Emily. I've been doing that since I was 13.
If you're like me, you've tied up your own hands and have chosen to sit just inches from a pair of scissors. I feared rejection, embarrassment, ruining a perception, failure, the idea of not being able to deliver what I've promised, all of it.
My whole business began by asking for opportunities. I asked friends if I could take their pictures. Many of those pictures make me want to drop by those friends homes and steal the printed copies they display on their mantles & burn them.
But I won't.
Because they are evidence of this beautiful thing called growth. I learned through the poor lighting choices, the awkward posing, the misunderstanding of the camera. OOF were there some blunders! Crazy thing though, I learned. I failed. I tried. I started to understand. I drank a lot of coffee. I had highs. I had lows. And now, people are ASKING ME to capture their most precious moments.
Ask for the opportunity, the promotion, the sale, the hard question, the depth of connection, the favor, the change. ASK. FOR. IT. Change happens when you get uncomfortable and stand up in a room full of sitters.
Also! It has been 9 months since I started this photography business. We are no longer in utero! My business has left the womb and is gasping in her first breath of air! We've emerged from the darkness and are ready for the world! If babies could verbalize their needs, what would they ask for? "Mother, dear, I need a bottle because it's been 3 hours and also I've pooped and worked so very hard doing these two tasks that now I actually am also in need of a nap." Being a baby must be tough.
What do you need to ask for?
Two weekends ago I had the honor of shooting THREE engagement sessions, two at Fort Macon State Park, and one in beautiful New Bern, NC. One of my faaavorite things about Engagement Sessions is that I get to watch people in love display their inloveness. Engagement sessions are a time to proudly and shamelessly Publicly Display Ones Affection for Another (PDA, if you will). It's also a time when I get to connect with couples and in *most* cases, get them comfortable being in front of my lens before their wedding day! These three couples were each unique and beautiful in their own way! I LOVE Engagement Sessions and find such value in them! That's why I offer them for FREE when you buy a wedding package! :)
When I jumped into the Photography Business, there was SO MUCH to consider.
I thought I had thought of everything, but you never really can plan everything, now can you? Here are three things I didn't plan for...
1) I wasn't expecting to be entrusted with so many secrets! I was always a pretty good secret-keeper (my middle school friends can verify this!), but when it came to capturing important announcements and NOT being able to share them right away, I realized just how much of an Instant-Gratification-Addict I really am! Baby Announcements, Engagement Sessions, and other forms of Super Secret Sessions are so much fun to shoot, but for a number of reasons, some clients ask me to not post anything until they give to go-ahead. I LOVE releasing a Sneak Peak soon after a session! It's exciting to watch the reactions of their family & friends, and it usually sets me whirling into a Dopamine-Filled-Burst of Productivity to edit the remainder of their images. It is exciting to play a small role in big milestones, and to be trusted with life-changing news!
2) I wasn't expecting to become passionate about Small Businesses! Until just recently, I wasn't too aware of the Land of Small Businesses, save maybe my favorite independent coffee shops and bookstores. These Small Business Owners are tenacious risk-takers who have decided to forge their own path in the business world! I, a mere newbie to the business world, have found myself connecting with some mighty business owners who are encouraging me to thrive! What? I thought business was more cut-throat? You know, shark-ey? I have yet to encounter that, thankfully! I hope to assist other Risk-Taking Path-Forgers with my photography, helping them to market & grow their businesses. I NEVER thought I would be a person who is passionate for business!
Shout out to small business owners who have helped me along the way! Keller Williams of New Bern, Wanda Kay Dance Studio, Crema Brew, Olivia's Catering, Crandaddy, Ron Howard, Sinobas Amps, Inhale Exhale Zine, Katey Engler, Katt Coleman, Meadows Farm & Venue, at other FUTURE partnerships! If you're a small business owner, and you want to partner with me, send me an email, and let's brainstorm some ways we can support one another! :)
3) I wasn't expecting to bring teaching into photography! I was so surprised and humbled when some friends asked how much I would charge to teach their daughter photography lessons. I was SO happy to sit across from Ella at Crema Brew and teach her about the camera and techniques! She picked up the information quickly (much quicker than I did, I might add), and then we were off! We walked around downtown, and she took some amazing pictures. I had such a great time, and I would love to do more of this in the future! :)
This gorgeous couple was all smiles on their wedding day! Danielle & Darren were married on Saturday July 6th at the Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Flowers, Catering, & Coordinating by Olivia's Catering. Enjoy these highlights!
Anna and I connected on Wednesday morning, and met for their engagement photos that Friday!
We met at North Topsail Beach in North Carolina and it was a DREAM location for an engagement session! They were such a sweet couple to get to know! Congratulations to Anna & Gregory!
Keith & I cannot WAIT to shoot their wedding next June in RHODE ISLAND!!!!