Why I Made The Switch From Photographer To Private Photo Editor
Three years ago when our daughter was born I picked up a camera. I won't bore you with all of the little details but I read, studied, practiced and a year later when my nursing job went to part time, I had the opportunity to take my photography a bit farther and started my own business.
I never wanted to be a business owner.
I was TERRIFIED of putting so much pressure on myself, on my creativity and my art - but something inside of me said to take the leap, and so I did.
J. Kaiser Photography was started in April of 2015 and by October of 2015 I was acting as the second photographer at my first wedding. A photographer had shared on Facebook that she was looking for some last minute help and I happily volunteered. My business was growing, my photography was improving and I was constantly looking to expand my knowledge, my skills and my business.
From that wedding, I helped at a second wedding, and from that wedding I booked eight weddings of my own spanning from January to November of 2016. It was truthfully an incredible feeling and I loved being a part of a bride and groom's special day.
My business was becoming "real." I purchased photography gear I had once only dreamed of owning, I was working with lovely brides, sweet families, and rockstar HS seniors, and yet something wasn't quite right.
Present in Business, Absent at Home
I was present in my business, and much less present in my home.
I new how much time my business took me away from my family physically, so when I was home I TRIED to be all in, but a photographer's "tasks" aside from actually taking pictures can be incredibly overwhelming. There is Facebook, Instagram, editing, blogging, client meetings, e-mails, phone calls, you name it!
Like many wedding photographers I adore following Katelyn James Photography and learning all of the incredible photography, business, and wedding tips and tricks she has to offer! Katelyn is an extraordinarily BUSY entrepreneur and such she loves finding ways to improve her efficiency and workflow in her business. I knew that if I wanted to make this "wedding photographer" thing work while still being the wife and mom I wanted to be I would HAVE to learn how to manage my business and my time more effectively.
As I was reading a recent blog post of hers, I saw what she had shared about outsourcing her editing. In fact, her own private editor Marissa Lynn was sharing everything to know about building a business as a private photo editor. I put off the idea at first, but then I kept coming back to it - again, and again.
At first I looked at outsourcing my editing from the perspective of a photographer. Maybe that is what I needed to help have more time at home. Surely that was it. God put wedding photography in my life because He wanted it to be there, right? Why else would I have met this photographer who helped me so much? Why else would I have booked eight wonderful weddings all within my first year? Why else would I even be headed down this road when 12 short months ago I was TERRIFIED of the idea of photographing someone's wedding.
Pray and Listen
Finally, I did the one thing that has had the biggest impact on my business thus far - I prayed and I listened.
My photography business was growing, but it was a growth that just didn't "feel right." So many times I had prayed, "God, you put this in my life and I have put SO much into it. I don't want to quit now, but I don't know where this is taking me." And I kept on.
But then, rather than telling God what I wanted to hear, I started praying to God to open my ears to what He wanted me to hear. I prayed a little differently. "God, just direct me if this is where you want me to go."
And He did; and I finally started to listen.
I don't know if you can ever really describe when you KNOW that you should do something. But I just knew that I should take this route. I had put so much effort into my photography and I had focused so much of my time on my editing specifically because this is where it was leading me.
A New Direction
In November of 2015, I assisted in photographing my first wedding with another wonderful wedding photographer. In November 2016, a different opportunity came back around and I edited my first wedding for a wedding photographer. Within two months, I had gained six more clients. And just three months later, here I am today.
A new business, with wonderful growth and amazing opportunities.
My evenings and weekends are my own. My husband and I can create future plans with flexibility and growth.
Within three short months, I took a leap and built a business that was perfect for me - I found the opportunity to get back to the wife and mom I wanted to be.
What makes this job even sweeter is while I prayed and listened for my own direction, I have the become and answered prayer to eight other amazing women in their lives and businesses. 100% of my clients are women. 80% of those women have children of their own or plan to have children and also dream of a business that does not consume their every waking moment and thought.
To help these women find the opportunity to grow and breathe within their own businesses has been a blessing of its own!
From here, I just look forward to seeing where this new direction takes me and growing in business, in life, and in helping others.