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The one thing I wish I knew… Part 1

Last week I had this crazy idea to email some of the photographers in the wedding industry that I respect and ask them what they wish they had known when they were just starting their business. Not only would their answers be encouraging to me, but they would also help other photographers who read my blog. I was a little nervous as I pressed the send button on that email. I was afraid that none of them would email me back, how embarrassing would that be! However, I have learned that the wedding industry is filled with people who look out for each other and really want to help others succeed. The response was great to the email that I sent out, therefore this post will have several parts over the next several days because I couldn’t fit all of the answers in one post. Here are just a few of the responses, be sure to check out all of their amazing blogs!

I have to add a HUGE thank you to all of those that responded to my email, I greatly appreciate you all for taking the time to give your input.

What is the one thing that you wish you knew when you started your photography business?

Jasmine StarWhen I think back to when I first started, I can’t help but feel sorry for that girl. The girl who didn’t trust herself enough to take bigger risks. Who didn’t dream big enough. Who limited herself by her own experience and other people’s estimations of what was possible.

If I could go back and tell the Jasmine Star of 2007 something, I’d whisper in her ear: Believe in what you know you can do. Trust your gut. Ignore the naysayers. Dream big, but hope for more. However, knowing myself back then, I would ignore the whisper…so then I’d grab me by the shoulders, give me a good shake, then holler straight in my face, SPRINT TOWARD WHAT YOU WANT AND DON’T EVER LOOK BACK. Ever.

Katelyn JamesWhen I first started I WISH someone had told me to be just as much of a business woman as a photographer. A business can’t survive on pretty pictures alone! The BEST piece of advice that I received was to challenge myself… DAILY. If I wasn’t doing something that made me nervous and was somewhat scary everyday…then I wasn’t growing. This is HUGE for me!

Deidre LynnWow – I guess I would have told myself not to waste money on some of the lenses and “doodads” that I bought. My zooms seemed pretty darn fantastic at the time, but having all my primes 2+ years earlier would have been fabulous. That and projecting your personality out there so you’re booking brides who like both your images AND your personality.


Stacy Reeves – One thing I wish I knew when I started was the importance of light when it comes to photography.  Too many photographers focus on settings or gear or poses or backgrounds or other technical stuff, and they copy what other photographers are doing, but they don’t understand why their photos don’t look as good as the people they’re copying.  It’s all because they don’t have the same eye for light that the more experienced photographers have.  I remember when I was starting out I was so obsessed with getting blue skies.  Whenever I would see a photo with a blue sky, I would always beg the photographer to tell me their settings, what lens they used, what they did in Photoshop, all that jazz, and even when I recreated all of that, I still couldn’t get a blue sky.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that getting a blue sky was all about lighting the subject extremely well (either with the sun or with a flash) so that you didn’t have to overexpose the sky.  I think the day my photography really jumped to the next level was the day I stopped obsessing over lenses and settings and Photoshop and especially backgrounds/locations, and started focusing on finding or creating good light.

There will be lost more responses to come, so keep checking back.


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