When I first began my journey as a photographer, I never intended to “own my own business”, or be a “professional photographer”. Photography was simply something I loved, something that has always interested me, and has always been a part of my life.
My idea of a “professional photographer” was a snobby better-than-thou guy toting around cases of expensive camera equiptment. Tri-pods, lights, light stands, clickers, whistles, and who knows what else. Yuck. No thank you, not for me.
And then, something happened. I found Drew B. Photography‘s blog, and I was hooked. A mom, very cool individual, and a “professional photographer”. WHAT?! I found myself checking her blog every day, constantly amazed at the beautiful images she captured. This started a whole revelation in my mind.
Then, I found more of the same/similar stlye photographers on Flickr who’s photos I drooled over.
It hit me. I don’t have to be that “image” I saw in my head. These ladies are doing it, and they are inspiring!! I want to be like THEM. Some of my inspiration in the beginning include- Jessica Claire, Leah of LilyBlue Photography, Robyn of Buttons & Bows Photography, Poppy Smiles, Rachel Devine (Sesame Ellis), Michele of Pinkle Toes, Elsie Cake, and Leigh Taylor to name a few.
What connected me most with this ladies was their photography of babies, children and families. It was beautiful. Photo-journalistic. Capturing moments, not forced smiles. THOSE were the kinds of moments I wanted to capture.
And then, I discovered Kelley Ryden and Tracey Raver, and soon after, Carrie Sandoval. OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Back then, newborn photography wasn’t as widely done, at least not to their caliber. These ladies were paving a way (in my mind) to the possible. Of course, I truly believe that Anne Geddes is the true pioneer of this art, but these ladies had skills and talents that I could grasp. Anne Geddes seemed too out of reach for me at the time.
Kelley, Tracey and Carrie were… inspiring! Of course, still completely out of my league of skills at the time, but still, they shot digital like me. And they held workshops, so other people MUST be able to learn this too!
I realized then, that maybe this was something I could aspire to, and actually thrive off of.
In the meanwhile, my work was piling up. Working a full-time job is time consuming enough, but to have people asking me to do photos for them on top of it kept me extra busy. I found myself sitting at the computers editing photos into the wee hours of the mornings when I’d much rather be sleeping, just to get people to stop nagging me about when their photos would be ready…. so I decided I needed to start charging. It was the only way I wouldn’t resent doing this.
I built a website and price list, and sent everyone there, since I had a really hard time accepting that I was charging people. It’s always been a little uncomfortable for me to quote my pricing to others… even though I know it’s totally justified in my mind.
That’s how it started.
My entire point of this entry was to explain why I shoot with natural light, and not a bunch of strobes… but it turned into something a little different, so that will have to wait until the next time.
For now, here’s a couple of images from one of my very early shoots. When I charged $50 for the session and CD. Ouch. I had a lot to learn