Not gonna lie, I hate asking for help. I'm a big fan of doing things on my own. I like to accomplish things. I like to feel productive, like I'm making a difference. I like to be able to say, "I did this." And I think we are kind of conditioned to think that way. As if we can carry the world by ourselves. As if it means more if we do it ourselves. But I'm about to get real honest with you, because there are big changes a-comin. And I can't do this on my own.
So...drum roll please...
Two weeks from today, I will officially be a full-time photographer.
Let's just let that sink in for a minute.
Because for the last four years I have been working nearly every night after coming home from "work", and nearly every weekend, marketing, editing, shooting, networking and doing what I could to pursue this dream of mine. And I would not be here without you. So for everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, hired me, pushed me to do this - I mean you're literally making me cry right now - thank you. You know who you are.
In order to really do this thing, I will be stepping away from the amazing, full-time job I've held for the last four years at Bob Chatham Custom Home Design. I'm thankful I will still get to work with this amazing team of people as a subcontractor, but it won't be the same not being in the office with them everyday. They are really more like family to me, and I can't begin to explain the amount of love I have for these special people, and for Bob Chatham especially, who is one of the most gracious, humble and talented men in the architectural design world. I've learned how to be a better businesswoman from him. I have learned how you should treat clients and employees and people in general. I have learned that it is better to be kind than to be greedy. And I will carry that with me always.
I get to do this because of you guys. Because of the ones who told me to keep going even when I didn't think it was possible to do this full-time. Because of the ones that give me that shout-out every time they post one of my pics on Facebook. And the ones that told their friends about me. This is because of the ones that chose me to document their engagement, their wedding, their baby's first year, or capture their modeling portfolio or album cover. This is because of the ones that followed their dreams and inspired me to follow mine. You are all so important to me, and I seriously can't thank you enough.
I wanted to post some of my favorite images (my favorite moments really) of the last few years as a reminder of how much we need each other. These moments matter because they represent something important - love, life, growth, beginnings, endings...and I feel so lucky to get to capture them for you, so you can look back and remember that moment forever...This is both an ending and a beginning for me. And it is important for me to also realize that I need you. I wouldn't be a photographer if you didn't give me the honor of photographing you.
So this is where the scary part comes in. I'd be lying if I said I felt 100% confident that come January I'll have booked enough sessions to get me through the next year. Now I know God's got my back. I trust that He is in this thing too. I'm not worried. But I also know I gotta work. I no longer have a steady paycheck. I am self-employed. And, I'll say it again, I need your help.
Here's the deal: I need to book 12 more sessions by the end of the year. That's two more a month now through December. That may not seem like a lot, but it really is. As much as it pains me, I would like to ask you a favor. I know that you all can't hire me, and that's fine. But even if you can't, there are some other things you can do to help, if you want.
1) Tell your friends about me.
This could be as simple as sharing my page on Facebook, or just saying, "Hey, do you need any photos made? Cause I know a girl..."
It only takes a minute, and it helps boost my search engine standings (not to mention my morale!)
3) Share one of your favorite photos that I've taken on social media and tag my page.
I love seeing people share my work. My biggest goal through my photography is to capture moments that really mean something to you and make them last forever. I would love to see the ones that have meant the most to you.
Lastly, I plan on traveling quite a bit over the next few months, and would love to see you in one of these cities!!
July 11-15 - Nashville
July 25-27 - Auburn/Atlanta
November (Dates TBD) - Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle
Otherwise, I am here in southern Alabama, waiting to hear from you!!
You guys, seriously, thank you for all you do. I am so excited to see where these next few years take me. I can't wait to document more incredible, life-changing moments. I can't wait to keep photographing other creative professionals so I can help you do what you do. All of the people I get to meet, and places I get to go...and I know that I'm doing what I was created to do. You can't beat this feeling. Thanks again for your continued support everyone. It really means the world to me.