Updated: Sep 9
In the world of big dreams, our paths often zigzag before revealing our true calling. For me, that calling was photography, and the crazy detours along the way only made the journey a whole lot more interesting.
From Wanna-Be Artist to Snappy Photographer
As a kid, I dreamed of being the next Picasso or a Grammy-winning singer. Turns out, I can't draw to save my life, and my singing voice is best confined to the shower. But when I got my hands on my first camera at age 10, it was like finding my artistic soulmate. Forget paintbrushes; I was all about pixels!
The Wacky Self-Taught Expert
When I decided to dive into the world of professional photography, I was as clueless as a cat at a dog show. I was self-taught and determined to make it work. I devoured photography courses, stalked seasoned photographers (not literally, of course), and even hired mentors who didn't know what hit them.
Facing the Unknown Challenges
One of my biggest challenges early on was navigating the mysterious waters of the photography business industry. I had no idea what clients wanted, what they considered a fair price, or even what my "style" was. I mean, what's the going rate for ca
pturing UFOs in wedding photos? Just kidding, but it felt that way!
Discovering My Niche: Boudoir Photography (Cue Awkward Moments)
As I said yes to just about every photography gig that came my way (weddings, newborns, pets—you name it!), a friend dropped a bombshell: she wanted boudoir photos as a gift for her soon-to-be hubby. My response? "Uh, are you sure? I've never shot boudoir before. You might want to hire a pro." But she believed in me more than I believed in myself, and so began my adventures in capturing the most intimate, and occasionally hilarious (usually when I stumble in the studio), moments.
Pivoting to Specialization (Goodbye, Wedding Cake Crashes!)
Around the same time, I had an epiphany and a back injury. I wasn't Superwoman, and lugging camera gear around with a bad back was about as enjoyable as watching paint dry. So, I decided to focus on boudoir photography exclusively. No more on my feet for 10 hours, wrangling flower girls or dodging cake crashes!
Building the Boudoir Empire (and How I Accidentally Created a Curated Home)
With a renewed sense of purpose, I transformed my business. I sold off my newborn photography props, slapped on a fresh coat of paint (on my website, that is), and even changed my business name. My home turned into a photography studio faster than you could say "cheese!" I even became a Certified Professional Boudoir Photographer – they gave me a certificate and plaque and everything! Bonus was that my home looked like something out of a magazine after that. Score!
Building a Clientele
Starting from scratch in the boudoir world wasn't a walk in the park. But with the help of a makeup artist buddy who shared my passion for boudoir photography, we ran specials to build our portfolio. And guess what? Those very first clients are still rocking it in front of my camera today. We grew from my home to a friend's fabulous third floor loft (with an elevator and everything), to an in-law suite with a separate entrance, and finally to a 900 square foot private studio space. We've come a long way from a friend's third floor loft, let me tell you!
Overcoming Setbacks (Including My Failed Attempt at Running a DIY Workshop)
Every entrepreneur has their missteps, and I'm no exception. At one point, I decided to venture into a completely unrelated business – a Do It Yourself Workshop. Don't ask; it seemed like a good idea at the time. Four years later, I came to my senses, shut it down, and refocused on my true passion. The moral of the story? Stick to what you know best, and leave the DIY to the pros
The Transformative Power of Photography (Cue Goosebumps and Awkward Group Photos)
The best part of this whole journey is the reactions I get from clients. When a woman looks at her boudoir photos and exclaims, "I can't believe that's me!" it gives me goosebumps (the good kind). The transformation from shy and self-conscious to confident and empowered is like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. It's a bit like the "before and after" photos you see in infomercials – except it's real! My favorite reaction was from a woman who’s friend had gifted her the session. The client Facetimed her friend during the viewing portion of her experience. When she saw her photos she cried and told her friend “now I see what you guys see in me.” I want EVERY woman on this planet to have that moment!
Expanding Horizons (or How I Became the Paparazzi for Entrepreneurs)
My studio has evolved to offer branding sessions for fellow women business owners and entrepreneurs. I've become the unofficial paparazzi for badass women, helping them tell their stories through captivating images. Who knew you could find the paparazzi in a cozy studio with flattering lighting?
My photography journey has been a rollercoaster of hilarity, growth, and transformation. Photography isn't just my job; it's my passion, my calling, and my daily dose of laughter. It's the art of capturing not just moments but the emotions, the stories, and sometimes even the unexpected photobombers.
So, in this world of pixels, laughter, and "say cheese," I invite you to join me in a journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and side-splitting laughter, one snapshot at a time. Who said photography couldn't be fun?