I can’t believe I am 10 years into this adventure! With three kids and life and a business, I feel like moments of quiet time when I can think are few and far between. But It seems pretty appropriate to take the time to reflect a moment on being business for 10 years!
I photographed my first wedding in 2008 for college friends back in Iowa city. I didn’t have much of a clue how to photograph a wedding. I did go to college for photojournalism and fine art photography and was employed as a photojournalist, so I knew how to take pictures 🙂 I was flattered they asked me! Thanks Mel and Matt! If it wasn’t for them … I may still be planning my daily schedules around the high school basketball teams!
After moving to Marshfield and working at the Marshield News-Herald for about 6 years, I finally realized that wanted to have a career that allowed me to live the way I wanted. I wanted to build my career around my life and not fit my life in the margins around my job. I was burnt out from working too much for too little and that whole which school basketball schedule thing was growing tiresome. I was recently married and didn’t want crazy hours and such a non-schedule. There were so many reasons to switch paths.
So in 2013, I quit my job! I had started to fall in love with photographing weddings while shooting a few here and there between my work schedule. I loved the emotion of the day. I loved the challenge of all different lighting situations. And I loved working with people and photographing human connection! I liked being a fly on the wall to the most important day of people’s lives. I loved the pace of the day and moving from event to event. I am a planner and knew that I needed financial security, so it took a long time to work up to leaving a steady paycheck, but the year I quit, I booked 19 weddings.
With the risk of leaving a regular paycheck. I didn’t want any extra expnses, so we packed our things and moved mot my in-laws family cottage to save money. It was a great year living on the lake, although pretty cold in winter! The first few years of my business I photographed as much as I could and spent most days of my summers and falls editing at my computer. They were busy good years and I am so grateful to still be photographing the babies and families from some of those weddings!
Once we started our own family, having a business that allowed me to spend most of my days with my kids has been so wonderful. While my quieter winters look different with kids, way more lazy days at home and Friday story times than skiing twice a week and vacations, I am always glad for the cyclical nature of a Midwest wedding and portrait photographer. As our kiddos arrived, I made changes to my business that allowed me to not be at my computer so much. I don’t travel as far and as frequently as I used to so that I can be home in the evenings and not as tired the day after a wedding. All this flexibility was the reason I wanted to work for myself.
Ten years may not seem like that long, but I feel like even in ten years I have learned a lot about business. There were a a few rough years in there (Hello 2020 and Covid) and some uncertainty whenever I was pregnant and photographing weddings, but overall, it has been such a rewarding journey. My dad once told me that he felt his career was a calling. Although I am not sure if I was “called” into photography, I feel so lucky to be able to have a job that I love. I get to meet so many different and interesting people and photograph so many wonderful moments in people’s lives. It is such an honor to me to have witnessed so many weddings. And then to get to photograph so many sweet new babies and families too?!?! I mean, sheesh, isn’t that just awesome?
So thank you to everyone for trusting me to photograph your lives, your loves and your biggest moments! I am so grateful for you all!