How I Got Started In Photography-Part 1[dropcap]A[/dropcap] lot of people end up in my DMs on social media. I get questions on everything, from business to life. And one question that I seem to get a lot from new followers is.. How did you get started in photography? And this question is one of my favorites. Because I do think that my story resonates with a lot of people. So, how did this whole business come to life? Do you have a minute? Let’s chat!
In 2016, I was a 34 year old stay at home mom in Greenville SC!! My husband Michael and I had a 4 year old son who was in preschool. Our son Jackson had just started 5 days a week preschool, and my husband was working as an engineer in a corporate setting. There I was with 3 hours a morning, 5 days a week, to myself. This was the first time in 4.5 years that I had that much time to myself. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO!? 15 whole hours a week! Only moms of littles would understand how much of a vacation that felt like. I had mastered only having 2 mornings to myself a week, 5 mornings a week sent my head spinning. I couldn’t just watch reality tv during that time. I had to DO SOMETHING! But what?
I had stayed home with Jackson for the last almost 5 years, and Mike had a demanding career, so what could I do that would allow us to maintain our home life that we had built. I was stumped! BUT I was craving an outlet. Cut to November! It was that time of year.. you know the time! It was family Christmas card time! I searched Facebook for a photographer offering mini sessions, and picked our time spot at a Christmas Tree farm. I picked out our outfits, and prepped my boys for our mini session time to get our much needed yearly picture.
The morning finally arrived and we drove to a farm in the neighboring town of where we lived. As we pulled up the photographer was saying goodbye to another family. Her husband was off in the distance chasing their toddler around the farm. She met us at our car, and told us that we would be walking down the tree line to where she had her set up. We spent 20 minutes with this photographer as we had our pictures taken, and as we walked back to our car, another car pulled up. “$200 a pop!” That thought raced through my mind as we loaded back in the car. How many mini sessions did she have today? And her son and husband were able to hang out with her while she worked? As we ate breakfast at IHop, I could not shake the feeling… I COULD DO THAT!!
I started to research into what starting a photography business would entail! I learned about LLCs, contracts, permits, licenses, tax codes, business names, websites, domains.. you name it, I read about it the next week while Jackson was in school. But there was one missing piece to the puzzle. I had never taken a professional picture in my life. I had only owned a Kodak wind up camera and a small point an shoot that Michael had given me a few years before for Christmas. HOW WOULD I MAKE THIS WORK?
Well, in true Natasha fashion, I said I will figure out the technical parts of taking a picture later. I closed my computer that next weekend and said to myself “I am going to start a photography business!” But I needed to talk to someone first.. yep, Michael! He had no idea I was considering this jump. Would he think I was crazy? Would he think I could do it? Well I was about to find out….
That Monday was Veteran’s Day and Jackson had school! But Mike was off from work, so I asked if he would want to go on a breakfast date with me! We took Jackson to his preschool class and then drove to downtown Greenville to try a new biscuit restaurant that everyone had been raving about. As we sat down with our Chai Lattes and biscuits as big as our faces, I told Mike that I had something to tell him.
“I want to be a photographer!”
If you have ever met Mike, you know that he is the practical one! He keeps me grounded and makes me slow down to think things through. “A photographer?! Where did that come from?” I shared with him my need for a creative outlet and how our experience the week before at our mini sessions really sparked my interest into doing the same. “I know I can do that!” I told him about all of the research I had done on starting a photography business and that a Black Friday Ad for Best Buy showed a Canon Rebel camera on sale for $350! I was going to buy that camera and start a business! Mike looked at me and said, DO IT! I remember walking out of that restaurant that morning and feeling like something big was about to happen!
TO BE CONTINUED….