As March quickly approaches and my first year of business is coming to a close I wanted to take a moment out to reflect on what I have learned in this past year. So, what have I learned? Can I say absolutely “Nada” and end this post right here? That would be untrue but it would make this blog post a lot easier to write 🙂
Eveslage Photography officially launched in March 2014. It had been in the works for some time but I had been reluctant to pull the trigger. My overwhelming fear was the critique of others, especially my friends and peers. Still to this day, I fear putting my work out there and it being available for everyone to critique. In the last year I have learned one of my greatest weaknesses as a business owner and a photographer is my strive and need for perfection. But at the same time, this is probably one of my greatest assets too. This strive for perfection creates a fire and passion within me that drives me to always continue learning and growing. I have learned that perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. Photography is an art, art does not have perfection. Art is messy, carefree and imaginative and this is what makes art so amazing, this is what makes photography amazing. Not one artist out there is 100% the same. We all have different ideas, styles and quirks that make us who we are.
I have learned that being in business for yourself is hard. My favorite quote from this year really sums it up.
This quote resonates with me because it is all true. This is my business, my sweat and tears, my time investment and my money. If this business fails to thrive that is on me. That was a hard pill to swallow. Photography is a competitive field. There are so many photographers in my area that you have to claw your way to the top to even be noticed. Have I sucessfully done that in a year? The answer is a resounding “no!” Have I made progress? Absolutely!! Will I keep clawing myself to the top? YES!! One song seems to push me and keep me motived is Brave by Sara Bareilles. With business you need to say what you wanna say and let the words fall out, It is time to be brave.
What else have I learned? I have learned that there is a bigger time commitment to this photography thing then I realized. The amount of time in each session takes from initial contact to the end was much greater then I ever expected. Turns out each session isn’t just taking photos and editing. Things I didn’t factor in for each session were the emails, invoicing, phone calls, drive time, uploading and ordering process. Those are just for sessions! Then there are other aspects to my daily business! There is my website (all done by yours truly), social media platforms, marketing materials (branding myself), client contracts and guides just to name a few. This might not seem like a whole lot to some but I’m home all day with a 3 yr old and do all of this in my spare time. I had to step back multiple times and realize I am only one person and when I need a reminder I remember this quote.
Looking back at this past year I am not sure what I would have done differently or if anything. I’m not sure I was 100% ready to be in business but I don’t think I ever would have been 100% ready. Last but not least, I would like to thank all my awesome clients that booked me this past year, my awesome friends and family for letting me shoot lots of pictures of them and my husband for only rolling his eyes occasionally at me. Without you guys, Eveslage photography would still be a vision and not a reality.
Thanks and with lots of love and gratitude,
Maria Y. Eveslage