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January 21, 2016

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Photography

Oh, there are many things I wish I knew 5 years ago when I got started with photography, but today I am going to share the 5 things that I feel are most important!

  1. You are not the best fit for every client – When I was first getting started I would shoot anything and anyone! It didn’t take long before I realized that wasn’t working for me or my clients. My client’s would’ve been in better hands with a photographer that was dedicated to what they needed. If they were looking for headshots and I was specializing in weddings, I clearly wasn’t the right fit for them. caitlyn-dan-mellon-park-engagement-pictures-54
  2. You are only actually photographing a fraction of the time – believe it or not, I’m only picking up my camera to photograph clients about 30 days of the year! How crazy is that? Right now, we are shooting about 15 weddings a year and 10-15 engagement sessions a year. So that means all those other days I am working behind the scenes editing, blogging, working on finances and mileage, communicating with clients, going to workshops, reading and learning. I never could’ve imagined all the behind the scenes work that needs to get done every week to run a small business and how little I am actually picking up my camera to take photos (except of Em – every day lol) West-Overton-Barn-Wedding-Photos-50
  3. Choose your style and make it clear to your audience – this is something I struggled with for a while. For the first probably 3 years of my business I was making my style whatever I saw others doing and it just wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t until I defined my style of shooting and editing that I feel like my business really took off. This goes along with number one, because once I had a defined style, I was attracting the right clients! aa-1-2
  4. I will never have “made it” – I would always say, “I will have made it when I start shooting weddings,” then it was “I will have made it when I am shooting more than 20 weddings a year,” then “I will have made it when I have so many followers on Facebook and Instagram,” then “I will have made it when I am shooting at the Omni William Penn.” How funny is it for me to look back see how silly I was. I will never have “made it.” I will always be learning, growing, and changing. My goals will also continue to change. But, as long as I am still loving what I am doing and serving my clients well – that it success. st-clair-country-club-wedding-photos-111
  5. Don’t compare yourself to other photographers! Man oh man I could talk about this for hours, but I’ll keep it short. You are unique, your style is unique, your creativity is unique – stop comparing yourself to every other person out there with a camera. Own who you are, know what you are working for and work hard to get there! Love the quote “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” You have no idea where other people are in their journey or how hard other people have worked to get where they are. It’s great to admire other people’s work but it’s not great to bring yourself down my comparing your work to theirs! Claire-Joe-Pittsburgh-Wedding-Photos-300-2

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