Life as an Entrepreneur: Year One

A Year in Review | Shaina Lee Photography | Connecticut, NYC + Destination Wedding + Engagement Photographer | Life as an Entrepreneur

Exactly one year ago today, I walked to my car after finishing my last day at my full-time job to pursue my photography career.  I had been working for my family's store, Karp's Hardware, for just over four years.  My great-grandfather started the business in 1926, and was later run by my grandfather, and now my dad and uncle.  The excitement I felt knowing that I was now going to be able to grow my photography business full time was so refreshing!  A couple weeks earlier, when I had given my two weeks notice, I cried my entire drive home, with so many mixed emotions running through my head: I can't wait to be my own boss!  This is really happening! Oh man, what did I just do?  This won't be the steady income I'm used to!  Can I really make this a full time career?  I'm totally going to fail at this!  

To my relief, with countless hours of hard work and passion for my craft, I'm not anywhere near the rut I thought I'd be in!  After my last day at the hardware store, Arturo and I took a family trip with my two step daughters to Orlando, FL for a week and a half.  We had a wonderful vacation, and I got right to work when we got back home.  Within a month of spending 100% of my time focusing on my photography and business, inquiries and bookings started to flow in!  

In the past year, I've further discovered that I truly want to specialize in weddings, couples portraiture, boudoir and family documentary photography.  I've spent late nights editing, studying, reading and watching webinars from some of my favorite photographers and educators!  Learning the business side of things has had its challenges, but it has helped me grow as a business owner, entrepreneur and photographer.

I'm celebrating this special anniversary on my first day of vacation in of Portland, Oregon!  One of my favorite things about being my own boss is making my own schedule and having the ability to take a last minute trip to visit my sister (who I haven't seen in almost a year!) who lives clear across the country!  Though the fear of the unknown and uncertainty lingered in my head for a few weeks, the benefits of hard work outweighed those negative thoughts shined through almost instantly!  To those who are thinking about making the leap into starting your own business (whether you want to do it part time or full time), I say DO IT!  The pure joy you'll receive after doing so is unlike anything else!

Click here to read more about what drives my passion for photography!