I went Full Time with Photography 13 months ago. Its been a very interesting transition for me.
When I first started this business, I was working for a Bank. After that, I worked for a local Med-Spa, and then I worked for Gelati Celesti. There are lots of stories to tell from those positions, and why I changed jobs so much in 2-3 years, but they are better told in person. The last job I had, while also doing Wedding Photography full time, was as a Nanny for 3 lovely girls. (Side note: Even if photography isn’t your only job, you still may be working full time hours) I worked with that family for 1.5 years. I fell in love with them. I am so thankful that they are still apart of our lives. I get to see those little ladies every week, and their parents are some of our dearest friends/mentors. Jared and I decided I would go Full Time with Photography ONLY, in December of 2012. However, God had different plans for that family and for us. After much prayer, the parents decided that the Mom would return home to be with her kids starting in July of 2012. While that wasn’t what we thought was going to happen, it was absolutely the right timing. God’s timing is always right.
Working two Full Time jobs is very difficult. Im sure there are many of you reading right now, who want to be photographers/are photographers and are experiencing the same thing. Jared and I’s “quality time” consisted of me editing late into the night while he sat in the office with me watching TV shows on Netflix. We would come home, eat dinner, and then I would go back to work. It was draining at times, but also doable because I liked this photography thing so much. It energized me. I never would have been able to do it unless I really enjoyed myself. 6 months before I went Full Time, I started having to bring my work with me to Nannying and during naps I would work at their kitchen table. I would then rush around picking up the house, doing dishes, and prepping snacks before the girls would wake up. It was doable, but it wasn’t ideal. So, when they decided the Mom would come home I was relieved that I would be able to focus solely on my business, but also dealing with feelings of loss, fear, and anxiety.
I don’t deal well with giant life change. As you may know, I cried the entire time I was getting my hair done and getting dressed on my Wedding Day. Life change is very overwhelming to me. I was sad to not see the girls every day, and watch them grow. I was fearful for our finances as working two Full Time jobs has its perks in that department. And, I was very anxious about how to spend my time. I was about to get very un-busy and didn’t know how to handle that. I distinctly remember sitting around for weeks not knowing what to do with myself. I had just finished a run of 10 weddings in row, and only had 1 wedding in July. I was a little bored.
It took me a long time to feel completely normal again. Like I had hit a stride. Probably around 4 months. It’s also taken me a while to feel comfortable writing about this. Being FT puts you in a very vulnerable place. What if clients don’t book? What if people are disappointed? What if your projections for the year are wrong? After a year of being FT, I can happily say that I am so glad how things played out. Focusing completely on my business has been wonderful. Truly, its been the best!!
Singing along at a reception to one of my favorite dance songs…Thrift Shop!
I want to encourage anyone out there waiting for their time and turn to go FT. It will come. If your business is growing, and you are working hard at this becoming your only gig, it will happen. Hard work always pays off, don’t give up!!
If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer you in the comments!!