Happy New Decade!
Oh my! So It’s 2020!
Can you believe that? I’ve seen a lot in my little 28 years of life. I’m a 90’s baby so I’ve gone from VHS and tapes to Netflix and Spotify! And to think I’m currently a self employed photographer is actually amazing!
10 years ago in 2010 I was approaching my final months of education. I had been studying media production since 2007 and had finally decided that I love film and loved photography.
Although pressured by my tutor to go to university and study further I had already decided not to go.
Why stay in a classroom for another 3 years only to graduate with the same degree as thousands of other people and then try to get a job? No. I thought let me continue to work and change to full-time hours whilst I develop my film and photography skills through real life work experience.
By the time I was 18 I was already in my 3rd retail job which I did on the weekends as well as studying my full-time 9am-6pm course, I also took on an evening course on Wednesdays in digital photography, so 1 day a week I was doing 9am – 9pm! Not sure how I managed to do all this and have a fully flowing social life but I guess I’ve always been good at multi-tasking lol!
When I finally left education in June 2010 I was 19. I went up to full-time hours at my retail job and most of my time off went towards my little film & photography hobby, named RELM Productions!
I really loved film and loved editing. I would do little promo videos, photo shoots for friends and family - I even did a mini documentary for the Luton Gospel Community Choir.
Although film was my first passion, I soon found it a lot of work to do whilst I was working a full-time job and so I decided to lean more into my photography which was much more easy to cope with whilst working 40 hours a week.
After a couple of years my uncle said a friend at his church was getting married and needed a photographer. Well… it had NEVER crossed my mind to do wedding photography – there was no way to study wedding photography at the time and I didn’t know any wedding photographers. I said no but he encouraged me and believed that I could do it. So off I drove to South London to shoot my first ever wedding for £100! I was so scared but I did it! I made mistakes and I took some great photos too! The lighting changed so much from the house, to outside, to the church, to the reception, which I wasn't use to and so I did what any amateur would do… set my camera to the auto setting and let it do it’s thing!
I edited the photos shortly after and delivered them via CD (old school!) the couple were SO HAPPY with the photos it blew me away. I loved the feeling that I was able to capture such an important day for them and that I brought them joy. After that I thought o myself… hmmm…. Perhaps this is something I should consider doing too…
I was determined that if I had to work for the rest of my life it would be doing something that I love and also brings happiness to others and I decided I would not rest until I reached my goal… A Professional Photographer. By the time I was 22 I had worked in two different photography studios. That’s when I really realised I didn’t like studio work and I knew I now needed a job in an office, which would allow me to consistently have my weekends to focus on my photography business.
I sacrificed going on holidays, shopping, things most people in their early twenties get up to and every time I got paid it would go towards a camera, lenses and other photography accessorises. I knew that to commit to my dream I needed to be serious because being a photographer is an extremely expensive decision to make as all the gear needed can really wipe you out financially. By the time I was 26 I was working what I think was my 12th job and had so many weddings booked for that summer that I wouldn’t physically be able to be at my job and photograph my weddings and then edit them. So I made a huge decision and left to go full-time self employed after just turning 27!
It’s been a year and a half now of working as a full-time photographer and I LOVE IT! I thank that 18 year old me from 10 years ago and all the hard work she put in over the past 10 years to take me to where I am now. I’m still on my journey and things aren’t perfect. In fact being self-employed is one of the hardest things I’ve done, but I wouldn't change it for the world! I feel that working in retail, hotels, and offices has allowed me to have an insight into all the aspects I now do in my job – sales, admin, accounts, marketing, logistics, promoting and just general people skills. Without all my previous jobs I’m not sure I would be able to run my business in the way I do, so I’m grateful for all the skills that have also led me to this point in my life.
Please see below my photography #10YearChallenge LOL
I do have to say one of the biggest highlights from the past decade is not only my business but my relationship status. I met my husband in 2011 and got married in 2017! I’m somebodies WIFE! LOL
I couldn’t even imagine my life without him now and sometimes forget that he’s not always been around, which is weird.
Now when I do wedding photography it’s even more amazing because I have flashbacks to my own wedding day. I’m so excited for the bride and groom and have even got a bit teary while trying to take photos during speeches lol.
I just love to see love!
My prayer for the next decade is to see more blessings and increase. I wan’t to have a successful business and continue to love doing what I do!