This blogpost is also available as a podcast! After all of the amazing feedback I recieved from LFB’s first podcast, I have decided to continue broadcasting posts that are text heavy.
After my my realizations about time and how best to spend it I actually allowed myself to have a healthy amount of guilt-free me-time, with friends and Netflix Friday evening and most of Saturday. Still, as I am in the transitional phrase of moving from one career to the next, I still need to reserve some of the weekend for LFB and my photography business, as well as a new business which I will be starting here in Berlin with my business partner, Victoria.
What? A new business? Yes, you read that correctly. Now you might be thinking right now, wait Rae, isn’t switching gears all about doing less? Yes, yes it is. But doing less sometimes means having the same amount of projects but A LOT more overlap. Victoria approached me a good few months ago about her wedding business, which was still in it’s infancy stage at that time. She had originally contacted me to work as a wedding photographer, but after talking more and more, we quickly realized that we wanted to embark on the wedding planning together as partners. And while I am nervous that running a photography company, LFB, and a wedding business could get overwhelming, the great thing about all of these projects is that doing work for one is simultaneously doing work for the other. The skill sets for each overlap tremendously as well and I will have an insane amount of freedom when it comes to the decision making and direction for all of these endeavors. Once everything with our company is up and running, I will definitely let you guys in on more details. But for now, I am here to talk about wedding photography, as this will be one of my main roles in the new company.
I have wanted to break into wedding photography for quite some time now, especially as it is one of the more stable ways to pursue photography as a career, while still being able to be creative and true to my principles. Although documentary photography is my passion, it unfortunately does not pay the bills. And while I do hope that I can continue to grow as a photojournalist as well, shooting weddings still allows me to create beautiful images and (hopefully once things get rolling!) a profit. For those of you who do not know, the biggest area where money can be made for photographers is in advertising. And while I have no experience in advertorial photography so I cannot really say if I would enjoy it or not, I know that I would be too conflicted about staying true to my political beliefs and convictions when it would come time to work with clients. I mean, I am a relatively modest blog on the internet and still turn down 95% of the offers thrown my way from companies because I do not agree with most of their practices and/or ethics, so I really cannot see myself photographing products and campaigns for companies with similar less than savory practices.
Wedding photography allows me to work with individuals to help them capture what will hopefully become some of their most cherished moments in life. And due to the rising nature of documentary wedding photography, I still kind of get my fill of documentary work. Granted, it’s not the kind of photograph that is going to end up in Time magazine, but capturing happy sacred moments in a person’s life is just as meaningful.
I have been working as a freelance photographer for quite some time now, but because I am self taught, there are going to be a lot of amazing and difficult hurdles to jump in the present and near future. I’m also basically crying at the amount of overhead involved in starting my on photography business. Still, it’s the beginning of turning dreams into reality, so I really couldn’t be any happier.
Anyway, back to this weekend. As I was saying, much of my weekends do still need to be spent doing work, and Sunday was no exception. Because the first wedding that I will be photographing is quickly approaching, Victoria and I managed to organize an impromptu photoshoot this Sunday with a friend of hers in order for us to have something to show our current and potential clients as well as for me to be able to get my feet wet. The shoot was so much fun and while I was shooting and editing yesterday, I really felt that feeling of being happy with what I was doing while I was doing it. And that’s what living in the moment is all about. We are of course planning to organize a much more professional shoot with both a “groom” and bride” with a professional makeup artist, hairstylist and wedding attire as well in the future, but just getting out there this weekend and already starting to practice was exhilarating.
I would be lying if I were to say that I am not nervous as hell for the first wedding, but everyone has to start somewhere. You can never be an expert without having been a beginner first. But although I may be new to wedding photography and still have much to learn about studio lighting, I AM a photographer and should start to view myself and present myself that way. I am extremely guilty of chronically underselling myself, but that is not only a disservice to myself but a disservice to those who might love to collaborate with me but would never get the chance due to my lack of confidence. While nobody likes a cocky little shit, it’s extremely important to give yourself the fair credit you deserve when you run your own creative company. Because the truth is no one else is going to be there to speak up for your abilities and get you jobs but yourself. And with that, I’ve written a little letter and it goes something like this: Dear Imposter syndrome, There’s no room for you in my life anymore. Love, Rae.