Portland, Maine Wedding Photographer :: Success + Discouragement

I’m about to get real y’all. I’ve been struggling a LOT lately with the current state of my business. To the point where I’ve thought several times about calling it quits! It’s something that I’ve been thinking about non-stop, every day, and it started to shift (THANK YOU universe!) about a week and a half ago when I registered for the Trevor Dayley 31 Gamechangers workshop.

I realized that I was fortunate enough to be able to pay for a workshop like this out of pocket. Sure, it wasn’t exactly in the way that I wanted to pay for it, but I didn’t have to go in debt over it. I realized that I still have pending money on weddings that will cover my business expenses for the rest of the year, and if that’s all that happens, then I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not having money to spare – this year. I’m thrilled to have these experiences that this first year of business has brought me, and I can’t wait to see what my second year of my photography business will bring me!

Then, just this morning, I read not one, but TWO blog posts about success and what it means on a personal level. It’s like the universe is totally speaking to my soul – not quite as well as Kelly Clarkson, but it’ll do.

I’ve been feeling pretty down about my business, mainly because my books aren’t full, and I’m not even close to being able to support my family financially with my business, or to have extra income with my business. It’s pretty bad right now – financially. I realized last week, that the rest of it (the pieces that have the greatest importance to me) are pretty damn good right now. Yes. I’m incredibly discouraged. However, I knew going into this that this first year was going to be ROUGH. I knew that I wasn’t going to be making so much money that I wouldn’t know what to do with it all.

Here are all the things that are currently rocking in my business right now:

  • I have FABULOUS clients who are in love with the photos I’m able to give them. 
  • I grow and improve each and every time I pick up my camera.
  • I’m starting to do things for my business that work for ME and MY values – not just stuff that works for other photographers.
  • I LOVE being a photographer, and I still see the world as a photograph.
  • I am able to give back to my community by photographing some community events for free.
  • I’m giving it my all. I’m researching and connecting and practicing and brainstorming all the time.
  • I am 100% legit.
  • I’m keeping my business separate from my personal life.
  • I’m still maintaining a personal life.

That right there? That’s what I call a success!

Sure, I’m not a true success in my eyes yet, but I will get there. It’s only a matter of time. The only thing that would make me feel like a true success is financial stability by charging what I feel is a fair rate, and able to pay all my bills. I know I’ll get there. I just need to be patient. These things don’t happen overnight 🙂

We all start somewhere. And that “somewhere” isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, but it’s a start!

Being a success, to me, does not mean having a million likes on Facebook. Or having the newest snazziest camera equipment. Shooting a specific number of weddings a year. Being able to attend workshops all over the country. Or being so big that tons of photographers everywhere know who I am.

Don’t get me wrong, it’d be pretty amazing to have all those things – but those aren’t what will make me a true success, they’re just really incredible bonuses! That’s not how I want to be remembered.

I want to be remembered as a rockin’ photographer who loves what she does, cares about her clients, is able to support her family,  and creates beautiful images that her clients absolutely love and adore. That is what matters. To me.


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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

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