The biggest resolution for me, and for MRM Photography, in 2012 was to be completely transparent to all of the world. One of the most common bits of advice any small business owner gets when they are first starting out is to separate private and business life. Well, frankly I think that is crap. I firmly believe that people hire photographers (the person) and not photographs. So, with that motto in mind, I want to be very real with you all. My new website will completely blow you away with the amount of personal information about who I am, what I like, what motivates me, and why I do this. I also want my blog posts to be personal and to share with you any and all successes, but also to share my struggles. I am very human and we all experience ups and downs. You all support me and my attempt to realize my dreams, and I think for that you deserve to know the true story … all of it.
Today’s post is a little more about business and a bit personal at the same time. How many times have you really badly wanted something, only not to get it, and then end up with exactly what you needed?
I feel like I’m going through this right now. When I got into this business, one thing I really wanted was to be booked solid with weddings and shooting them every weekend. I LOVE weddings. I think it is one of the most amazing things in the world. All of the emotion and passion is so unbelievably amazing to capture. I love shooting them and I love being able to provide the images to clients. There is nothing better than seeing a bride’s face light up when she sees the images.
Well, given the title of this post, you may have already figured out that it hasn’t exactly worked out that way so far. The weddings have came, and there are more booked for this year, but in all honesty, not the level I initially wanted … not even close. Some of my fellow small business owners may be having a heart attack right now that I am actually saying this out loud. But, with the very saturated wedding photography market, it is UNREAL hard to get your foot in the door. I have no doubt that with time more brides will come and eventually I will be able to get the amount of weddings I want every year, but right now, if I’m honest, I’m a little disappointed with how many I have.
That being said, and to finish the lyrics from the title, “if you try sometimes, well you just might find, You get what you need.” This is exactly how my story has played out. I may not have got the weddings I really wanted in this first year of existence, but I have gotten a TON of commercial and lifestyle work. I’ve shot a good many family portraits, maternity, engagements, etc. This work has given me the ability to shoot on a regular basis, build my confidence, and just get better.
When I first launched MRM Photography, it never entered my mind to do commercial work. One day while on Twitter, a friend who I had talked to a few times on there recommended me to someone else that was looking for a photographer locally. One thing led to another and that was my first big commercial contract. They loved my work and hired me again two months later. Now I have an annual contract with them to shoot two times every fall. Not only did I get that, but I shot 18 clients for them. That gave me exposure to 18 new businesses, and lots more employees and clients who see those images, and got me published twice in Charlotte Magazine. I did end up shooting family portraits for one of those clients at Christmas time, a direct result of that commercial work.
From that first contract, I gained the confidence to really go after other commercial work. This led me to discovering that I LOVE shooting jewelry product photography. This has directly led me to the point I am now. I am finalizing a long term contract to shoot for a jewelry store weekly and that will give me some consistent income that I can count on so that I can really look to make photography my one and only career. This has also made my wedding work better. Shooting professional jewelry product photography has given me the skill to make amazing detail images at weddings. I am also in discussions about doing this type of work for a client that is outside of the Charlotte area and would require some travel. This could very well end up being amazing for my business.
I am really hoping that the weddings fill up for the rest of this year and definitely for 2013, because it truly is one of the things about this industry that I LOVE, but if they don’t, I won’t worry too much because I know that exactly what I need is waiting around the corner. 🙂
I guess the point of this post is that even though you may not get exactly what you want, when you want it, keep your eyes open and be open yourself to other opportunities. You never know where they will take you. And sometimes, as the song says, they are exactly what you need.