I’m going to level with you. My confidence, professionally speaking, has taken a swirl down the Porcelain God. This is something I want to share with you in hopes some of you can relate and we can help one another to bring our confidence out of the toilet.
When I began my photography career, I was a full-time, jack-of-all-trades, high school teacher. My hubby’s hours for his job were all over the place and we had no kiddo. I was booked like crazy and it was so much fun. Of course, I did what a lot of rookies do, and I underpriced myself, but I enjoyed it and it was extra money, not our main income.
After learning I was prego with my chunky monkey in 2012, we decided to move “back home” so we could raise her near our families. Since my pregnancy consisted of dry heaving, all day, everyday (dudes, I’m so not joking…try dry heaving every few minutes while you are trying to teach a bunch of high schoolers about World War II. It was comical and at least it got their attention. I had half of them ready to puke all day. Poor kids) and complete and utter fatigue, on top of moving across the state of Michigan, I took it easy photography wise. After my little Bres made her early debut into the world, I somehow found myself with about eight newborn shoots, (eeeeeeeeek) and not much else. If you are like me, you think newborns are sweet and adorable, but oh so difficult to shoot more often than not.
Fast forward to last fall…my hubby’s old job calls him and wants him back. We’ve missed East Lansing dearly so we moved back about a month ago. We love it here. Our hearts are here. So many amazing friends are here. Now, I need to once again find my client base here.
Like many of you, I decided to specialize in seniors (my decision came last fall), with a few weddings here and there. That is where I believe my true talent lies. I LOOOOOVE working with high school kids (well, most of them anyhow. Teeeheehee!). It’s amazing to see that not even as a teacher, but as their photographer, how I can make them see how beautiful, handsome and amazing they are. Honestly, I feel like some kids respect me more as a photog then they did as a teacher. Turds.
So now, how do I find my clients again? Especially after two moves in two years, a toddler who loves momma’s attention (or anyone’s attention if I’m being honest), raising my prices to what I feel I’m worth and not a lot of money to advertise? I stick to my guns. I have confidence in my abilities; I’m talented darn it! If I didn’t believe that, I have no business running a business. And I feel like Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams” hearing that voice say, “If you build it, they will come.” Yes, I have voices in my head, but they don’t’ usually steer me wrong. Usually.
Patience is a virtue they say. Sheesh, patience! It’s something I struggle with. In this case, I know I need to stay patient. I purposely pulled back on my business and I can’t expect to be insanely busy after 1. Not doing much shooting for two years and 2. Not living in my target market, nor marketing to my target market for the last two years.
Many kids and parents have no idea who I am anymore, so I need to change that. How? I’m still working on some stuff and I can share in a later post to see what works and what doesn’t.
My calendar isn’t super full right now, but I know with my talent and a little bit of patience, it will fill right up. Even though I get down because I’m not receiving as many inquiries as I hoped for after our move, if I give up on myself I will be in big trouble. If I don’t have confidence in my abilities, why would anyone else?
I feel like fall will be my season. It’s stunning here in Michigan with the bright, rich, vibrant colors. But it’s a short season. Perhaps I will post available fall dates and see how quickly they are snagged up.
Believe in yourselves people, even if you aren’t where you want to be. If you aren’t, find a way to get there. It may take a while, but that’s ok. Rome wasn’t built in a day.