My first camera was when I was about ten or so, a lousy point-and-shoot that couldn’t even survive a marathon of photo-taking without guzzling down those AA batteries. Talk about a diva! But hey, I managed to squeeze out about 50 photos before the camera called it quits. And let me tell you, those photos weren’t exactly Annie Leibovitz material. I’m talking random shots of events and concerts and failed attempts at artistic expression. Let’s just say my bedroom walls were adorned with my less-than-stellar photography attempts. But hey, we all start somewhere, right?
Then, at the ripe age of 21, I took the plunge and invested in my first fancy-pants DSLR camera with a crop sensor. Boy, did that level up my game! Suddenly, my subjects shifted from lifeless fruit bowls to real-life people. Friends, their families, and even their family friends became my muses. And all the while, I was hustling my way through University, capturing events and portraits to build up my photography business while finishing up my Psychology degree. Ah, the balancing act of a budding photographer!
Now, let me take you back to a fateful moment six months later when I thought it was a bright idea to offer my services as a shadow photographer at weddings. I mean, who needs a professional photographer, right? I posted a call on good ol’ Gumtree (what was I thinking?) and to my surprise, I got a reply from a bride who was more than happy to have me tag along. Jackpot!
With hearts in my eyes and boundless enthusiasm, I set up a meeting with the couple a month before their big day, eager to connect and see how I could be of assistance. But guess what? Brace yourself. There was no other professional photographer for the wedding day. Yours truly was the sole photographer.
Shut. The. Front. Door. Panic mode activated!
After a moment of shock and restarts in my brain, I rallied myself, put on a brave face, and shot my first wedding solo with the helping hand of my dear mum. Let me tell you, I was beyond underprepared and dangerously inexperienced. But despite my rookie status, I walked away from that wedding feeling a concoction of overwhelm, excitement, and a love for capturing love. The energy, the happiness, the love in the air—it was all there, dancing away on the dance floor.
That’s when it hit me: I had found my true calling. It was like the stars aligned and I realised I could combine my passion for photography with the communication skills I had picked up through my Psychology degree. It was the perfect blend of creativity and connection. Even though I was a hot mess under pressure when it came to settings, composition, and let’s be honest, overall skill, I knew deep down that this was what I was put on this planet to do.
So, I took a leap of faith. After a few years of building up my portfolio through freelance gigs and braving the world working as a Provisional Psychologist, I finally spread my wings and flew away from the safety of a consistent income. It was a scary moment, but sometimes life pushes us to follow our passions in unexpected ways. And for me, that moment of truth came when I adopted my first “child” (I use that term loosely, my dear), a dog named Ollie. Suddenly, my mind was flooded with thoughts of branding, emails, and growth for my photography business, leaving no room for anything else.
That’s when I made the bold decision to quit my day job and become a full-time wedding photographer.
And boy, let me tell you—my journey in the first year of being a full-timer was one wild rollercoaster ride. I was this close to going bankrupt, spending more money than I was making, and drowning in zero industry experience. It was a rough time, my friend. But you know what? I wasn’t about to let my dream slip away. No sir, not on my watch!
So, what did I do? I dug deep, mustered up all the determination I had, and poured my remaining dollars into my photography mentors. I attended workshops to learn the ins and outs of making my dream of a sustainable photography business a reality. And guess what? It paid off, my friend! Six years down the line, and with another furry addition to the family (yes, Ollie has a sibling now), I’m here to offer you the same guidance and support through my online and in person coaching programs. Yep, I’m spillin’ the beans on all the strategies that allowed me to have a business that has thrived for 10 years (and counting), one that survived 260+ days in lockdown with no additional income, and multiple Winter seasons with no work.
But you know what? Along this crazy journey, I realised something was missing. Something crucial. I lacked a network of trusting supporters who would have my back through thick and thin. It was a lonely road I traveled for quite some time until I stumbled upon some genuine industry friends who weren’t just supportive, but also told it like it is! They became my absolute favourite humans, helping me out of my funk and shaping who I am today. Their impact on my life and business has been immeasurable.
And that’s why, my friend, I never want anyone to feel the way I felt when I first started. That feeling of being lost in a sea of mistakes and frustrations—it absolutely sucked. But you know what? It was all avoidable if I had just found my community of peers right from the get-go. For the first 5 years of my business, I had to figure things out by myself, with no wedding photography course in sight. Instead, I worked my booty off, fought tooth and nail, and clawed my way up the ladder of success until I found the support I was so desperately craving.
It doesn’t have to be this way for you. I’m here, sharing my hard-earned wisdom with you. I want to spare you YEARS of mistakes and frustrations, helping you fast-track your journey toward a sustainable and thriving photography business.
And let me be real with you right from the start—I’m only human. There are days when I question if I’m good enough. But you know what keeps me going? The knowledge that the expertise I have to offer will make a positive impact on others. And that, my friend, makes it all worthwhile.
So buckle up, grab your camera, and get ready for an exciting ride. I’m here to cheer you on, motivate you, and provide you with the actionable advice and tools you need to turn your photography side gig into a full-time career.
Thanks for being here, my friend. Let’s do this!