“Worth every penny.” That is what I keep telling my husband about the recent investments I’ve made in my photography education. I was able to attend a Q & A session with Amanda Hedgepeth of Amanda Hedgepeth Photography as well as a mentoring session with her and her colleague Tara Liebeck of Tara Liebeck Photography.
I was a little hesitant at first signing up for both of these sessions. First, there was the cost. Comparatively neither was that expensive, but since I stay at home mostly, each penny already has its place in our home. But I decided to go for it. If I was going to improve, to learn, to really commit to becoming a professional photographer, I needed to invest in myself. To invest in my education. So I signed up, paid the cost and showed up. It was so worth it.
For the Q & A session I got to meet other photographers. Some had been in the business for several years and others were just like me. Some I was even ahead of. I couldn’t believe it. It was so reassuring that I wasn’t the only one out there. Amanda was awesome herself. She has only been doing this a few years herself, and yet she is successful and had so much advice to offer. And she did. Which I’m finding out in this business can be pretty rare. We asked questions, got answers, learned a lot about running our photography business and how to create structure in a home-based business. It was supposed to last only 2 hours, but easily turned into 3. I was so glad I went and couldn’t wait until my mentoring session with Amanda and Tara the very next weekend.
I totally scored on my mentoring session. There were 4 spaces available and only 2 were filled. So another photographer Brandy (B. Rutledge Photography) and I got one-on-one time with Amanda and Tara. How awesome? We talked again a lot about the business side of photography and talked about our accomplishments so far. It was pretty cool to actually write mine down and see that I had accomplished some pretty awesome things. Here is my list:
1. Taken photos of someone I don’t know (pretty awesome I think)
2. I shoot in manual mode
3. Put my business on Facebook (I was pretty terrified to do this)
4. Booked sessions to build my portfolio
5. Bought an on-camera flash
6. Got Lightroom and learning how to use it
7. Learning about sun flare
8. Began to network with other photographers
9. Invested in my education with Q & A session and mentoring session
10. Took inside photos using my flash
So these are what I had accomplished and I was pretty proud of my list. Especially since most of this had occurred in just the last month or so. Now we had to think of our goals for the next 3 years. Only 10!! Good grief, I could probably come up with a million. So here are my goals for the next 3 years…
1. Start a blog (check…already done 🙂 )
2. Get a logo (working on it)
3. Get a website (ditto)
4. Upgrade my camera (work in progress)
5. Start charging for sessions (big Yikes!)
6. Get licensed
7. Organize my business and start a workflow (sort of done, work in progress)
8. Take pictures of couples, newborns, seniors (portfolio checklist)
9. Find more locations for session (working on this and already added a few more)
10. Invest more in myself.
So I feel pretty good. Already have a few things on my to-do list checked off or working on. I feel like if I believe in myself and invest in myself then I can make this happen. It is so wonderful to have other, successful photographers believe in you and help you to become successful yourself. I also have a wonderful husband and family and friends that are cheering me on and supporting me. As Amanda says, you need your “tribe”. Well I think I’m building mine and it’s pretty awesome. Just got to keep pushing, keep learning, keep my head up and work hard. Those who know me know I don’t do anything half-way, so I’m going to invest in myself and be the best I can. Can’t wait to look back on this in a few years and see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished then!! 🙂
Here are some of the headshots we had taken at the mentoring session. All photos taken courtesy of Amanda Hedgepeth Photography and Tara Liebeck Photography.
Pictures of Brandy and me with Amanda Hedgepeth and Tara Liebeck. Thank you so much for being such awesome mentors!