Five years ago, I walked into the Williamson County Courthouse to apply for a business license. It was a little bit scary for me. While nothing was physically threatening to harm me at that time, I was afraid of announcing to the world what I wanted and possibly failing at it. People that I loved and trusted told me I wasn’t going to make it, that I was making a mistake, and that I should keep my “real job.” I can’t tell you how many times I had people in my life tell me “I’ve heard photographers don’t make any money and don’t survive” or “I know this other photographer” or “small business fail within 5 years” and so many more. Well, little did they know that every time I heard a negative about my decision to start a photography business, it lit a flame inside me to prove them wrong – to work even harder to be the exception to their “rule.” It made me want to go ABOVE AND BEYOND for anyone willing to take a chance on me.
I also had a few people that I love and trust who were the strongest supporters throughout the scary beginning of not having any clients booked, but wanting to start a business, anyway. Dylan, my husband, was and is, of course, at the top of that list. He’s a freaking rockstar and believed in me even when I wanted to quit. He held my hand on stressful wedding days when I just needed a minute to breath. He encouraged me through ALL the “what if” questions (and, believe me, there were a TON of those). He bought me my first camera (3 years before I officially started the business). He’s the one who researches all of the gear we buy. He’s my second shooter on wedding days and that job description is ever-changing (including bringing me a Cranberry Red Bull at some point during every wedding reception). He makes sure I have coffee before going to work. He makes sure I stop to take a break at lunch to step away from the computer during the busy season. He was the one who took me out to celebrate when one of our images landed on the cover of a magazine and is the one who opens the wine bottle every time we get news we were featured in a magazine (we had at least five that we know of last year). He is the one that reminds me to celebrate all the wins, both big and small. Dylan is my life support and I absolutely adore him!
All four of our parents have all played big roles in the success of our business, as well. When we did big shows, Dylan’s parents would drive down to help decorate our booth. Dylan’s mom made sure my set-up wasn’t sad. She really put us in the right direction for our set-ups. Dylan’s dad built this incredible easel for us, that looks like a teepee. He also brought his truck so we could pack everything in his vehicle. Dylan’s dad has also kept our puppies on more than one occasion, like when we shot a wedding in Belize.
My parents have ALWAYS been encouraging and supportive. Every wedding day, one of them (or one of my sweet sisters) will drive to our house to let our puppies outside to play and potty. My dad will usually send a video or photo of them, which we get way too much joy out of, as parents of two great danes (they really are our babies and we miss them when we’re away). My dad also checks EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST I write for spelling and grammatical errors. As a child, I would get all A’s in all subjects, except… spelling. So, when my dad noticed this trend, he started making me write every single spelling word down ten times a day Monday-Thursday, so I would pass the quiz on Friday. He still helps me in that way by proof-reading my blog posts. He would also help on show days, by driving in (even once on Father’s Day) to help tear down those booths AND have a cocktail with me after those shows (as an introvert, those shows would drain me quite a bit). My mom sends encouraging comments on blog posts and has been known to strike up conversations with strangers that are in need of a wedding photographer and refers us. She has also done this at church on more than one occasion. She shares our work with others. She’s also my insurance agent. When we break or upgrade gear, she’s our go-to. My parents have been unwavering encouragement and support for the last 5 years (and my whole life).
Of course, the “thank you” list wouldn’t be complete without thanking our sweet #eurekabrides and grooms! They are the ones who took a bet on us every time they book us! They believe we’re the best ones to capture their wedding days and treasured memories. They say yes to us and invite us in to sentimental moments. Without that love and trust, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love.
We believe GOD has blessed this business and thank HIM for every good and perfect gift. We know HE sends us the support we need and the brides we love! HE has given us this business and allows us to be a part of so many couple’s first day of marriage. We hope and pray that we’re able to show HIS love to them.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for believing in me. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for encouraging me throughout the last 5 years. It’s funny to think back about all I’ve learned and I’m hopeful that GOD still has bigger plans than I can imagine for this photography business.
Happy Birthday, Eureka Photography!