My photography business sort of just happened. A few years ago, a friend was chairing an event at our children’s preschool and asked me to bring my camera along.
I had always loved photography and had plenty of practice photographing my kids and other little ones. No pressure at all—simply capturing those moments we all love to look back on. I happily said YES to photographing the event.
To my surprise, after the images were released, three families from the school contacted me to ask if I did photography professionally. Each time I politely said no, smiled, and thanked them for their kind words.
Not long after, the preschool’s director complimented the photos and asked if I had ever considered starting my own business. Again, I said no, but I shared the conversations I’d had with a few of her preschool families.
The director immediately offered me the opportunity to shoot the spring photos at the school—if I was interested.
Spring photos were five months away, and my mind was racing. I had some real thinking to do. I was excited, but at the same time I tried to come up with every reason why I shouldn’t be: I didn’t know anything about starting a small business. I didn’t have the time. Nobody would actually pay me to do this. What if I wasn’t good enough? This question is likely the biggest deterrent to anyone starting out—what if I FAIL?
Thankfully, I have a great support network. That evening, while laying out all of my excuses, my husband pointedly said, “If you don’t go for it, then you’ll fail for sure.” At that moment, I knew I had to say YES. I believe this is the biggest step an aspiring photographer must take: Just say YES, and then get going.
The next day I called the preschool director to be sure I had heard her right, and to give her my commitment to the photo shoot. I had five months to prepare, and at the bare minimum, she could count on me to be there with my camera.
I started researching and calling anyone I knew who had anything to do with photography. I practiced photographing my kids, the dog—even little Lego people I found around the house.
Pro tip: dogs, Legos, stuffed animals, etc., are much easier to practice on than real children!
With no formal education in photography, and no business experience whatsoever, I jumped in. Once I got over the commitment hurdle, I worked hard, believed in myself, became comfortable with my equipment, and set up a business plan.
Of course I was nervous when the photo shoot arrived. Despite the initial nerves, I photographed 27 kids that day, sold 100% of the photos, and had some very happy parents with images they’ll cherish forever.
Fast forward a few years, and what a fulfilling job this has become! A successful business, doing what I love, creating my own schedule, meeting interesting people, and capturing those images for them forever in time.
And it all started with YES.