My first year as a full time Photographer | The baby that will never, ever sleep. :)

Let me stay, first off, that this has been one wild adventure around the sun. And one that has changed my life forever. If ten years ago you told me I’d be sitting where I am now, I’d probably punch you in the throat and call you a hippie.


Let’s Rewind First (Hot Tub Time Machine!): Many moons ago I was a motivated college student ready to set the business world on fire. I burned the midnight oil with homework by night and worked in a real estate office by day. I was amped up for climbing corporate ladders, wearing business attire to work with a fancy briefcase with expensive flats. I ate ramen noodles too often and had amazing roommates. I was clearly on the path I was suppose to be. I worked my butt off and walked away with a Bachelors + 2 Associates Degrees and then – I looked out on the world like a lost little puppy. Where to now? College really didn’t prepare me for that. Not good for the girl that always had a plan. And a back-up one at that.

(Sidenote – I still think cute shoes, important jobs and fancy briefcases are awesome, they are just clearly not for me.)


Now, Let’s Fast Forward: (I prefer Back To the Future Style, puffy vest and all): After almost 8 years of amazing business-y jobs, I wasn’t fulfilled. I had that fancy briefcase. I had an office, a business card and a few years of experience under my belt. I waited tables at night because I was as broke as a mo-fo. I learned hard lessens in love, in life. Paid off bills and quit said second job. I bought a house. I got married. I got a puppy. I bought a new car. I bought a used Nikon D60 and kit lens from a friend for $200. That $200 was the best money I’ve ever spent.

A hobby of taking pictures while I walked the dog has turned into my own business. A full time gig that I’m in complete control of. This is my child that never sleeps. The most adorable, amazing and inspiring child that requires my full attention every waking moment. Now is about the time I want to hug every parent and small business owner, pass out high fives and tell you that you are amazing. This is the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. This is also the best work I’ve ever done in my life. And like many parents staring down at their first child for the first time (which I’m assuming is a bit more awesome), it’s a feeling that no one can describe to you, simply an experience that must be felt.


So, it’s been a year. A year on my own two feet, terrified. Seriously, this was scary. Still is scary, but I’m learning to not be afraid. A year of learning, of blood, sweat and tears to run a business based off of art. (And if you don’t know, that is a terribly hard balance to kind of figure out. Art brains and Business brains aren’t totally compatible. Kind of like getting a Republican and a Democratic to agree on something.) A year of failing and of trying again. And again. Of being so humble and vulnerable. A year of personal growth.


So, what have a learned? Ha. This blog post would turn into a poorly written book if I tried to list them all, but here is my condensed version that is still oddly long.

1.) It becomes quite normal to go to bed past 4am.

2.) It’s about working one job that feels like 3, or a very poorly orchestrated one man band.

3.) It’s about finding balance, learning that it’s okay to put work down for a second and enjoy a sunny day. It’s okay to go on vacation. You need it. Do it. Put your camera down for a second and be in the moment.

4.) It’s about slimming down the budget, making DIY projects and props so you can afford that new lens that cost more than your last vacation.

5.) It’s about asking for help, for support. And your heart and eyes welling up because it’s given to you freely. Seeing others believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

6.) It’s about seeing your progress, your growth. Worrying about giving the best to your clients vs. what every other photographer in the world thinks of you. It’s about hearing harsh criticism and crying when no one is watching, and pulling your shit together to try harder the next day.

7.) It’s about finding self worth. YOU are valuable.

8.) It’s about learning that I can do anything, but not everything.

9.) It’s about knowing that it’s not about the money, but finding balance so you can still pay your mortgage and electric bill.

10.) It’s about making new friends and meeting new people. My life have been forever changed because of this.

11.) It’s about learning that you have a gift to give. So give it. Don’t be afraid.

12.) It’s about never forgetting that working for yourself doing something you are absolutely passionate about is a luxury – even on the hardest, crappiest days.

13.) It’s about being thankful.

14.) There’s no one right way to do anything. I usually take the long road and figure this out by failing. And failing again. Hardest part is learning that is okay. Breathe.

15.) It’s about figuring out that taxes and book keeping are a thorn in my side and I’ve never been more thankful for all the amazing accountants in the world.

16.) It’s about seeing the world completely different than you ever have before – in the most beautiful way.

17.) It’s redefining what success means to you.

18.) It’s the most liberating, amazing, fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life.

19.) That I’m doing this. Doesn’t matter how scared I am, I’m in the arena giving it my best. It no longer matters if I win, or lose. It just matters that I’m doing it.

20.) That it’s okay to follow your gut vs. follow the easy path. It’s okay to be you. One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain is so smart. And I couldn’t agree more.

Is anyone yawning yet? I’m beginning to ramble. I know. Just a little bit more. :)

Reading back through this list, this post that’s just a thrown together pot of thoughts I can say – yes, this is hard. But I’m not complaining. No no no. Not for a second. I’m THANKING YOU, ALL of you – reading this, my clients, my family, the internet for pushing me out of my comfort zone. For giving me your support, your faith when I didn’t think I could do it. For giving me the opportunity to grow as a person, as a photographer, and as your friend. For my close circle for understanding my lack of free time as I nurture and take care of this career baby of mine.


I took today off from appointments to kinda wander around the house like I did a year ago. Still in my pj’s, making something cheap to eat and smiling. To breathe, to smile, and to know that I made the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

Happy Thursday Folks! Be Awesome and do something that terrifies you. That’s where all the fun is. <3

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Currently only booking current clients for 2024. I will be sure to let you know when I start taking new clientele.