Before I dove into photography, I was a dental hygienist. I loved my job! The dirtier the mouth, the better! I spent 13 years in dentistry and I currently still dip my toes in it filling in for a former employer. It is hard to give up something you enjoy. I had never thought I would be anything else.
I have always loved photography. My senior year of high school I asked for a camera, and my parents bought me a little point and shoot. I appreciated it, but I also wanted something I could learn and grown on. I kept it around, but a few years later I saved enough money to buy myself a camera I could do just that. I would take pictures of things around the house or that I came across, but nothing more.
I used that camera for a while before upgrading and starting to take some pictures of people. I started out with my friends and family. I loved taking pictures of some kids I babysat, because I thought they were the most beautiful subjects. I didn't have nieces or nephews at the time, but when they came along, that was when I really wanted to document things. I took photos of them when they were born, then of the family, then a friend's engagement, her wedding, and her maternity. Then another friend's wedding. I was really loving playing the part, but I couldn't find the confidence to really go for it even with encouragement. I didn't think I was good enough.
Fast forward a several years. I had my second son and I was on the struggle bus. It wasn't until then I felt the weight of what I thought was postpartum depression that I sought out my true self. I sought out therapy and through that I found courage to dip a toe into making a dream a reality. After a few months of working together my therapist asked if I had any hobbies to help me find some "me time". I said "Not really, but I take pictures sometimes." She was like "You know you can make a living doing that right?? What is stopping you?" I thought for a moment and said "failure". She then responded with "Well, what does failure mean to you? How are you succeeding with it currently?" She was right, I was letting my fears stop me from doing anything. Now, I can get super philosophical here, but lets just say it was the key to a door of growth I kept locked up. I signed up for a photography masterminds group and announced my intentions to open my business.
The masterminds group I joined seemed to coincide with my therapy session topics which threw me into a growth spurt. I was breathing excitement into my fears and not letting it stop me. I had followed enough photographers to know it take a few years to grow a business, so I did not expect much. I expected to give a lot away, but the opposite happened. I did model calls, but for every model call I received a new family to photograph. My biggest project my first year was photographing 300 students at my son's school. I would never have thought that would happen if I didn't just take a leap of faith to promote my side hustle in order to drum up a little business with our PTO. It has since led me to other schools and other families to photograph!
I am still growing, and I will continue growing for the life of my business. It truly brings me joy to photograph families and do something that makes them smile. It's that simple! Get a therapist, sign up for a masterminds or mentor and pursue your dreams! LOL!
But seriously. Just do the damn thing! You won't regret it!