3 years ago when I started my “business”, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I would turn on my camera, and switch it to whichever mode seemed to look the best when I took the picture.
Fast forward 10,000 photographs later, and you will find where I am today. As the quote above says, “the first 10,000 photographs are your worst” and when I started my business I did not really have a grasp on what this meant. It takes a person at least 10,000 photographs to figure out the camera, find the right angles, and discover what you want your style to be. In the last three years I have developed a love for photography; not just a love for turning a camera on, but rather a love for the people I work with and the true art that I get to produce on a weekly basis. In the last three years I’ve learned what aperture, ISO, and shutter-speed mean; how to expose a photo exactly how I want it in manual mode; what poses flatter people the most; how to deal with large groups and chaotic settings; and how to manage a business from my dorm room.
As I reached 1,000 likes this week, I realized a couple things:
1. My business would not exist without social media– Growing up in the age of technology, I quickly learned that the fastest way to find customers is to use social media. In the last three years I have never paid for an advertisement. Facebook and Instagram are the reason why my business has succeeded.
2. Feedback is why I keep doing it- Coming into college I was a little overwhelmed with driving back and forth from Bowman to Bismarck trying to fit everyone’s photo needs in. I’ve questioned if I should keep taking photos and whether or not it was something I actually loved doing. I’ve continued taking photos because the response from my social media following and community members has been amazing. There is no better feeling than spending 3+ hours on a session from start to finish, and posting the final product for everyone to see, but the most important feedback comes from my clients. When I hand over the images to my clients and I hear how they are surprised at “how good their family can look”, or hearing that a senior felt “extremely confident”, it makes every minute of my time totally worth it.
3. Find a hobby or passion- My biggest piece of advice I can give as a 19 year old is for everyone to discover and find something that they enjoy or are passionate about. Whether it’s farming, drawing, running, or photography in my case; everyone should have something. Passions act as an escape from the everyday grind of life, and keep your life in balance. And who knows, maybe your passion could turn into a business like mine!
So after hitting 1,000 likes and taking 10,000+ photographs, I would just like to say thank you. Thank you to my clients, the people of North Dakota, my friends and family, and even the strangers who like my social media pages without even knowing who I am. I am beyond blessed that my passion has boomed into this crazy little business of mine… I can’t wait for the seniors, weddings, families, and maternity sessions that are booked for Summer 2016!