There is a whole list of Things I didn’t expect as a Photographer. Some of them are super obvious in retrospect, some are just down right hilarious, and some still catch me by surprise.
If you are a Photographer – I think you will totally relate! If you are just breaking into the industry, this can serve as a ‘heads up’ before you get knee deep.
To be honest, I actually enjoyed coming up with this list. Reflecting back on what I thought my job would be at weddings or sessions vs what it truly is, was actually kinda cool. I also enjoyed just reminiscing about some of the most incredible days I’ve been honored to capture.
So here ya go- here’s my list on Things I didn’t expect as a Photographer:
To find new friends: Sorry not sorry for the minor corniess(that’s a word) that’s about to happen. Did you ever watch New Girl? And there’s that scene where Jess is like “I just met them, I don’t know them, but I love them, okay!?” That’s me. I’ll do a session or a Wedding and I just have met the coolest, funnies, most down to earth, and awesome people. Some of these people become life long friends. And I love it. I love them.
To Travel: Seems like DUH, right? But, I just never thought about it tons. I started local and just figured that’s where my circle was. But, I’ve been all over the place. Photography has brought me to some of the most iconic and gorgeous parts of Colorado. I’ve traveled to the other side of the country. Sometimes my family comes with me, and hikes during the session and we all explore after. It’s the best.
To be fulfilled:Can I just copy and paste the first line from #1? It’s 100% true though. I feel a fulfillment in my soul in a completely different way. Photography is not just a job, or a creative outlet, it sparks something inside of me- passion, confidence, gratitude, inspiration, and the desire for constant self-development.
Energy– This coincides with the #1 & #3, but I need to expand on it. I gain so much energy from being a photographer. Hard truth: There are times I go to sessions exhausted, because I have kids, because I have other obligations, because . . . life. I pump myself up on the way there and 9x out of 10 on the way back I feel refreshed and renewed. My clients give so much energy, I would have to intentionally try to not receive it.
To lead: This one totally caught me off guard. I remember shooting my first wedding and the vendors would all come up to me asking me questions. The DJ/MC would come up to me and ask: When do you want *this* or the caterers asking me- What do you need for the night from us? Wedding guests would start helping asking what they could do to help with family formals or would help me move things out of my frame. Having to learn how to lead, coordinate, and manage stress and wedding day crisis’ was something that I learned continually with experience, but absolutely was not expecting!
To have a blast: Most of the time when you are thinking of a photographer you are thinking of a more serious type of personality who is super concentrated. And though, I am extremely focused while shooting, I have a blast- on every session! I am always laughing with my clients on portrait sessions, dancing with them on wedding days, and I love it!
Following: This has only happened a handful of times but it made me feel like a dang super star. I had a girl walk up to me at a wedding and introduce her self and tell me that she ‘geeked out’ when she found out I was the photographer at the wedding because she was a ‘total fan girl’ and had been following my work for a while. Umm. . . what?!? me?!?Girl, you just made my life. Thank you!
Critical: I am self-admittantly very critical of myself. Photography can bring out this side of me if I do not keep it in check. While editing, I’ll notice something I missed- or think ‘Ugh, I should have moved them slightly over or that tree trunk in the back is too dark I should have gone further in the park, or whatever. Again, perfection is not the goal. But, I do still have to remind myself of that.
Getting attached: Photographing an expecting mama is pretty incredible, getting the privilege to photograph that family every year is an honor. Watching these kids and families grow makes me emotional!! Then, I’ll have seniors I photograph, and go on to photograph their wedding and it gives me all the feels.
Wedding tears: If you know me well, you know I am not a crier. It is just not how I express emotion. But sometimes, during the first dance (especially father/daughter) I loose it- tactfully, but theres some tears. Head over to my cousins wedding blog where my two littlest daughters were flower girls and read about what happened to me when they walked down the aisle!! This may be one of the tops things that I didn’t expect as a photographer.
Work-a-holic: If I didn’t have kids, I would be one. I could educate myself, shoot, try new techniques out, blog, and do all the things all day every day. I need to set time frames where I work, and put it away the other times. Which, with my passion and personality, can be hard. Here’s an interesting blog I wrote about When to put the camera down and my work/life balance.
The Business Side: Talk about things I didn’t expect as a photographer. I think when I started my business I knew there would be more than just sessions. But, I had no idea HOW MUCH. Here’s a short list of what else I do for my business besides taking photos: Culling images, editing, meetings with brides/grooms/clients, blogging, blog stomping images, curating my feed and posting on social media, creating/designing/updating my website, sending out contracts/invoices, expense tracking, social media content creation, education, zoom calls, webinars, interacting on forums, updating business profiles, networking, scouting locations, traveling/travel arrangements, phone calls with clients, creating timelines for wedding days, updating pricing brochures, answering e-mails, lining up second shooters, assembling inspiration boards for clients, coordinating with other vendors, updating insurance, etc . . . you get the point.
I’m sure I will think of more things that surprised me about this career path. But for now, those are the things that stuck out most. If you are a photographer, I want to know what surprised you most when starting out? What are some things you didn’t expect as a photographer?
If you aren’t following me on IG– go and hit that button and see some of the highlights of my favorite sessions.
Photos of when my babies were flower girls and I was the most proud mamma on the planet!