Exactly two years ago today I began my first day as a full-time photographer. At my previous job I was the fourth generation to be working at my family's hardware store, and though I loved being part of this family legacy, I realized my passion was photography and being my own boss in the creative industry! After months of crunching some numbers and a whole lot of love and encouragement from Arturo, I made the decision to pursue my photography career full time! It's been a wild ride and I'm so thankful to do what I love each and every day!
I have to admit, the first two weeks in my new life as an entrepreneur were pretty terrifying! I was so used to hustling in the evenings and on the weekends that I always felt busy. Now that I was full time, I didn't have such limited time to work on my building the business (I had so much more!), and didn't know what to do with myself! I remember thinking, "What in the world was I thinking?! Why would I leave a stable job to twiddle my thumbs all day?!?" After beating myself up for my first two weeks of being a full-time wedding photographer, more inquiries started coming in. I had also found some local creative groups to join, and these were definitely the start of something good! It was through these local meetups that I met some of my favorite creatives in the wedding industry, as well as some of my best friends! These groups have allowed me to network with others and meet so many talented photographers, calligraphers, stationary designers, event planners and more across the country.
In the past year, I've seen my business grow to a place that I never imagined possible in such a short amount of time. We've traveled to some beautiful places for destination weddings and elopements. Shaina Lee Photography moved into its first studio, which finally allowed me to offer boudoir photography in a setting that I absolutely love! I event ventured into the art of calligraphy and design. Arturo came on as my second shooter for engagement sessions and weddings, which has allowed us to truly experience being business partners as a husband and wife team. Most importantly, we've had the pleasure of serving the most amazing clients who we love dearly!
The past two years have provided me with some of the most valuable learning experiences in both business and photography. Being able to dedicate 100% of my attention to growing as a business owner and a photographer is something I'm so, so thankful for! I learned from my mistakes and ran with the ideas that helped to build up Shaina Lee Photography. Arturo and I are so excited to see what the next 365 days bring. Thank you for sharing these exciting moments with us!
Are you an entrepreneur? I'd love to hear about your experiences! Share them with me by commenting below!