Ive been asked and hear other small business owners get asked alot why we do what we do? Why work long hours for in some cases less than min wage? Why take so much time away from our families? Why deal with the stress? In my case each of those questions holds its own answer.
Before I answer my why I will give a little background about how my photography business came about and my original why.
Why did I get into photography? The simple answer? We were broke! I was a teen mom and met my husband when my daughter was 3 he took her as his own and did everything for us that any father would do. We both worked but barely made ends meet. The year she turned 9 I lost my job, again, I have had bad luck when it comes to work and either contracts end for outsourced work, Departments are moved to another state, or companies close while I am working for them. So when the school photo order form came home I took one look saw the smallest package was one 8x10 for $50 and knew there was no way we could do that. So I took our little point and shoot out and did her yearly photos myself. I had a background in art (took many design, drawing and comp classes in college in an attempt to become an architect) and used what I knew to come up with some photos. When I got them home and realized that I really enjoyed the process and they had actually turned out ok I had a brilliant idea to bring in some "easy" money.... HAHAHAHA... how little did I know ;) . At that point I decided I didn't want anyone to not have photos of their kids as they grew. We took our taxes the next year and got me my first DSLR and I started doing $20 yearly photos for friends and family. That way even those who are low income could have photos. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was a lot more work than I thought and that at 20 dollars everyone comes out of the wood work and you end up working way too much for what you are getting But I had accomplished my original goal and if felt good. I had also gone back to work full time because 20 dollars a pop was not enough to pay the bills.
That brings me to where I am currently.
Why work long hours for in some cases less than min wage? This ones easy! The only pricing that ends up putting me at less than min wage is my weddings and I do it because my couples are AMAZING. I love getting to spend the days with my brides to see their faces when they walk back down the aisle with their husbands. To see the look in their fathers eyes when they dance together or when he gives his baby girl away. And then again when I get to give them their photos and they email me back with such heart felt thanks for helping to make their day. The fact that I can help them to preserve their memories of that day is all the thanks I need. Then I get to watch their families grow as they have children or adopt dogs or as they grow in their love as we do yearly family photos. I have gained so many amazing friends and family members through my photography.
Why take so much time away from our families? Even though I work full time in addition to my photography it actually allows me to spend more quality time with my family. It brings in some extra income which we can use to pay for experiences, Going out to dinner, or on family trips. However this is not the best part. The best part is through my love for photography my husband and daughter have also picked it up. So when I go on to a family session or newborn session I can take my daughter with me as an assistant. We also take our cameras with us on trips and spend time perfecting the shot and competing to see who can get the best composition. Photography has enriched our lives beyond anything that the extra money can bring.
Why deal with the stress that being so busy brings? For me being busy is a way that I distress. I have ADHD and am not medicated for it so to be able to always be doing something keeps my brain from wandering. Having a business has been such a blessing because If I find myself getting aimless I can just go to my clients photos and refocus. between my photography and renovating our house I dont have to worry about not having something to do!
Out of all of these one of my biggest whys has been and will always be my daughter! I want to be able to show her that even though it may take a while if you work hard towards a goal you will get there. Eventually I will be able to do photography full time as my "retirement" program and hopefully with in the next several years.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to message me through my contact me page.