For Rae and I, our summers are organized around cameras and charging camera batteries. Our memories are almost entirely contained in our various photos of other’s weddings. Such is photography business—or part of it, at least.
It has come to seem normal, and no wonder: Yesterday my sister messaged me on LinkedIn to congratulate me on being 7 years in the business. I was shocked it’s been that long! It’s amusing to think back on our first year of business, when we went felt like big shots for earning cash with cameras, while the amount was so little that we slipped several thousand dollars into debt and were a small catastrophe from homelessness.
It’s been a wild, wild ride; and one that would have benefited from more caution. But the failures have been just tough enough to force me to grow. The success has been just enough to keep me hungry. It’s been exactly what I needed. All of it.
And now, 7 years in it’s getting more and more hearty, lovey, even (dare I say) … easy. In our first years we stressed and strained for glory, recognition, validation. Sad but common. At some point, we unfollowed most photographers, stopped entering photo contests and blogs, and we’ve got an instinct to mute the hype. We take pictures and we’re pretty good at it. So what?
Some of the “so what” is that we have enough money to live. The rest of the “so what” is that we get to be with people on the milestones of life. On graduations, engagements, weddings, births. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t just tug the heartstrings: it grabs them with both hands and yanks them to the surface.
It’s even more meaningful when we get to photograph a couple consecutive milestones. We photographed A & A’s wedding just two short years ago, and recently, we were delighted to receive an email from them saying that they were expecting, and that they’d like to have us photograph their bump. 🙂 That bump is probably a baby by now.
Cheers to things that really matter, those things that fill our hearts.