Progress…

I’ve been debating about doing this blog post for some time now. Mostly because it requires me to really put myself out there. But here it goes…
Earlier today, I was talking to a friend of mine who has supported my photography business since the day I decided to pursue it as an actual “job”. As she and I were talking, I told her that I quickly forget how far my business has come, and how much I have learned. This business can be tough – as any business can be – at times. There is the fear of putting your work out there, and having no one enjoy it or see things the way you intended them to be seen. Even though that fear still exists somewhat for me, I am too excited to share with my clients the love and emotion that can be seen in their pictures. Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t care what people (mainly my clients) think of my work. I think that’s a part of who were as people – that we value other people’s opinions about aspects of our lives. In this case, I value what other people think about the emotion and the feeling of my work. I talk to my husband all the time about how hard it really is to own your own business. There isn’t a day (or an hour, for that matter) that doesn’t go by that I’m not thinking about something that is photography related…maybe it’s editing that I’m thinking about…maybe it’s my pricing structure…the list goes on. I’m always thinking about ways to make my business better and improve as a photographer. And while I’ve improved a lot since I first began this wonderful journey, I know I still have so much more to improve upon. My point is this…just keep doing what you’re doing and keep trying! If I would have given up on photography the moment I had a terrible image or a session that didn’t go as planned, I would have been done within the first month of attempting this. But each and every time I learn something new, or other photographers inspire me, it gives me the motivation and the drive to keep going.
This is my advice for new and beginning photographers…learn as much as you possibly can about everything photography related. Read articles, join forums, and for goodness sake – invest in yourself!! What do I mean by that? One of the best things I’ve ever done as a photographer is take workshops and classes from other photographers. This is a great way to network and meet other people that care about the same things you do!! Mentor with someone that you admire. I wish so badly that I would have known more photographers at the beginning of my journey…someone who I could ask a million questions to without feeling annoying, someone to teach me about Photoshop, someone to teach me about shooting in manual, booking clients, balancing a schedule, etc. If you can find someone who can do those things for you, by all means, allow them to help you!! You don’t have to know what niche or “specialty” you want to have yet. It’s like going to college…people don’t always know what they want to major in until they get there and take a few classes. Then they discover their interests. So shoot everything you can in the beginning. That’s the best way to figure out what you’re comfortable with and what inspires you the most.
Lastly, I want to share with you some pictures of my very first two newborn sessions I ever did. Keep in mind, I didn’t have any kind of training or experience under my belt for the first two pictures. While I don’t necessarily enjoy these pictures now, I was proud of myself at the time for attempting them and coming out of my comfort zone. If I wouldn’t have had the courage to attempt these sessions, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my business. Below these pictures are some of my most recent newborn work. I hope this post has inspired you in some way (if you’re still reading!), even if not photography related. If you know of anyone who would benefit from this post, please share it with them!
*Ashley Lauren Photography is available for mentoring sessions. Use the contact form to inquire.
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