As I write this I am sitting in a Toyota service center with laptop in my lap trying not to make googly eyes at a golden retriever service dog in training. The smell of rubber and popcorn fills the air. Most of the people around me are on their phones playing games or chatting with their friends or watching the large TVs on the wall. And here I sit, with my laptop in my lap working. Why? Because I love being a wedding photographer.
It fills my heart with so much joy to be a part of such a special day in peoples lives. To get to know them and their story and to be able to document one of the most important days of their lives. Most people know this about me. What most people don’t know about me, is that I still have a traditional full time job in addition to growing my wedding photography business. For a long time I kept this part of my life hidden. Almost ashamed that I didn’t have the badge of “full-time wedding photographer” that could “focus on my couples because I am not doing anything else.” But I no longer feel that way. I am proud. I am ready to wear my story as a badge of honor.
Yes, I have a full time job. Yes, I have a commute of an hour each day. Yes, I have a husband, two dogs, a cat, and a house that needs my attention every day. I don’t think this hinders my ability to be an amazing wedding photographer. I think it is a testament to how much I love what I do.
- I take long lunches to fit in meetings with couples.
- I listen to business podcasts and books on my commute.
- I do my workouts while attending online conferences.
- I use most of my vacation days shooting weddings or attending workshops.
- I stay up after my husband has gone to sleep editing photos, editing e-mails, writing blog posts, etc.
It would be so easy to jump in bed and cuddle with my husband at the end of a long day. It would be nice to hit the gym instead of doing a limited workout in my office. It would be relaxing to spend my vacation time camping away from all of my cares. But I choose to spend the free time that I have growing my wedding photography business and helping couples have the most amazing experience they can. This is my passion. And the fact that I have to work that much harder for it is just a testimate to how passionate I am about my work.
So there it is, my dirty little secret turned badge of honor. One day, this will be just another chapter in my story. Eventually my full-time job will go away, but my passion is here to stay. When that happens, I will appreciate the time I get to spend working with my couples even more because I will remember the sleepless nights, the days where I spend more time in my car then my home, and writing blog posts in the Toyota service center.