There are approximately 12,367 people who will tell you how to start a photography business, but has anyone shared with you what's it's like? Let me tell you about three unlikely friends and how I came to be part of their inner circle: Vulnerable, Uncomfortable, & Incredibly Satisfying.
Vulnerable, I know you. We met (rather awkwardly) somewhere around those middle school years. For the longest time, I couldn't stand you. Vulnerable, you seemed to only show up at the whim of someone else, like the time those girls told me I had huge underwear or the time the doctor told me I should be eating less. But then I learned that I had a choice. Vulnerable, I had the choice to invite you over, welcome you in. Our friendship was set in motion when I shared my life story in book format. It matured as I mustered up the words, "I'm quitting" and blossomed when I booked my first client.
Uncomfortable, we met a long, long time ago. Quite frankly, our initial rendezvous could've been more gentle. Instead, you slapped me in the face with the betrayal of a parent, then a wink that said, "Get used to it. Life is hard." But slowly, you grew on me. Uncomfortable, you were there when crossed the finish line of the Twin Cities Marathon. You held my hand as I writhed with birth pains, promising not only relief but also wonder on the other side. You sat in silence as my husband and I labored through therapy. You've often overstayed your welcome, Uncomfortable. But I've come to like you nonetheless. And now I even pursue you. It turns out you've got this ally I'm beyond fond of:
Incredibly Satisfying, you are work to be friends with, always insisting that Vulnerable and Uncomfortable tag along. You are high maintenance, much like a marriage. But I've found the more honest I am, the closer we become. Incredibly Satisfying, the more I'm willing to give of myself, the more you're inspired to do the same.
Sharing your passion, opening up your art to critique, being willing to fail, willing to be seen—it feels a lot like sharing your life story in a book. Real. Raw. Vulnerable.
Terrifying. Exhausting. Uncomfortable. Flawed plans. Failing and trying again. Asking yourself, "Why am I even doing this?" and reminding yourself over and over again the why behind it all. Showing up.
All leading to the giddiness I felt after my first sale. The sense of accomplishment in seeing my art framed on someone's wall. The joy in sharing a family's excitement. Oh yes. Incredibly Satisfying.
This is what it's like to start a photography business.
Vulnerable, Uncomfortable, Incredibly Satisfying, I'm glad to be your friend.