In this episode, I talk about the learning lessons and turning point in my career that got me to my current state of success. I had to learn to start saying no, hone in on my niche and realize my worth and potential.
When I quit my job and started my business as a full-time photographer, I was kind of clueless as to what to do. I knew I was really good at taking photos and marketing, and threw myself into figuring out how to run a business. I learned a lot along the way, but there was one strategic turning point that changed everything for me.
When I first started out, I was doing every type of session – from family to newborn to animals. Looking back, I think that was necessary at the beginning while I was building a name for myself and building my rapport as a photographer. However, I reached a major turning point in my career when I realized that doing everything was ruining me.
It was ruining not only my love for photography but also my passion for running a business and I got completely burned out.
It’s not that I wasn’t passionate about what I did or about my clients, I was just exhausted.
I was saying yes to everything and there was way too much on my plate, causing me to lose track of sessions.
It didn’t matter if I wanted to or even had time to, I became a yes person. This took a toll on my schedule, my mental health and my clients because I wasn’t able to show up as my whole self for them. I realized I had to change the fact that I was saying yes more than I was saying no.
Also, I realized that I was not making the amount of money I should have been making for how much I was working. I was undercharging to the point where I was able to say yes to everybody and everybody was able to say yes to me.
I came to a revelation when I was about 24 that rather than trying to be great at everything and burning myself out, I would niche down and master one or two things.
To do so, I had to dig deep and think about what I enjoyed the most and what I was best at.
I ended up putting out a social post expressing gratitude to all of my clients for allowing me to make a life and career of my passion, and to share that I would no longer accept newborn, family or maternity sessions. From then on out, I decided to go all in on wedding and boudoir photography.
It was really hard to do, but I had to focus on what my career needed so that I could flourish the way I wanted to.
That was when my career really took off. My photography, my marketing, my time management and my passion all got better. People came to know me as THE wedding photographer or THE boudoir photographer.
I started charging my worth, and I was no longer feeling burnt out. By 2019, I won “Best Wedding Photographer in Cleveland,” which I never would have accomplished if I hadn’t made it my speciality. I’m so grateful that I did, and honestly can’t imagine where I’d be now if I hadn’t.
I hope that if you’re feeling lost and exhausted, you’ll take these steps and analyze where you’re putting your time and effort and make sure that you’re doing things for yourself and not just for other people.
Until next time my friends – Arastasia
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