Being a small business owner isn’t something I ever envisioned for myself.
Being a wedding photographer was even further off my radar than being an entrepreneur!
To put it frankly, when I first thought of starting turning photography into a business it wasn’t because I wanted to start a brand. I started a business because something I loved was beginning to consume the majority of my free time (in the best way!) and I had bills to pay.
Now I know that doesn’t sound like the romantic “I have always wanted to be a photographer and all my business dreams have come true” kind of story you may want to hear, but it is the truth. So today I am going to tell you a bit about my life before this business began, what started it all and what the last two years have taught me. Ready?
Well yes, photography has always been a part of my life to some extent. My dad has always had an interest in capturing photos and my oldest sister and brother also shared the same infatuation. I grew up with photos being taken and capturing all our family memories on film. I remember out first digital camera! It was one where the memory card was a floppy disk. Much different than what I use now! Well, years pass and my life continues and my interest in photography is still there. Plus, I had a bit of a natural eye for it.
Eventually I was in a position where my job, as a performer, required headshots. One day I had a co-worker who needed a quick updated headshot and asked me, the friend known to often have a camera strapped to her, if I could take one for her. I did it and went on my merry way. Well, soon after I was bombarded with co workers and friends who needed updated photos and wanted to pay me for them! Who was I to say no to that?! I began building a but of a client base there. Then, family and more friends caught on. Soon I was doing holiday photos, graduation pictures and everything in between. As it turns out, I started a business without really trying to.
Eventually I though about weddings and my initial thought was “NO WAY!”. How stressful and terrifying. I didn’t want the pressure… then, I shot a wedding. It was my first wedding and I shot it as an assistant for my mentor, friend and boss, Monique. I was hooked from the get go! I work well in fast paced environments and weddings are the perfect mix of candid, posed, emotional and fun! I loved everything about it. After assisting and second shooting for a while, I knew this was the path I was heading down.
John and I were living in Chicago when I decided that the next chapter of my life, which was already in a new city, might as well have a new business title too. It was while we lived there that I started Riane Roberts Photography. Look how far I have come and how much has changed in just two years. It both excites me and terrifies me for what the next two years will look like!
So, what have the last two years taught me?
The not so glamorous side of entrepreneurship is one I was unaware existed. Yeah, you work from home. But that also means without a boss, co-workers or time clock, there are a lot of long days and long nights. A. LOT. People often refer to their business as their baby and while I don’t necessarily agree with that, the sleep deprivation sometimes makes me feel like I have a baby. The loneliness of riding solo in the business world was a shock too. I didn’t realize how nice it was to be around people who are going through the same things, feeling the same stress and working towards the same goals. I bombarded my friends and family with “work talk” all the time because I just didn’t feel like anyone knew what I was dealing with and I longed for a connection and comfort of knowing I wasn’t alone. I have since made many friends in the industry and that has helped tremendously!
When it comes down to it, this has been a wild ride and I am sure it is just going to keep going that way. Through all the ups and down, I couldn’t be happier. I have built relationships with clients who have become friends, I get to “work” doing something I absolutely love and this business has taught me so much.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and referrals 😉