I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a chillier-than-usual July Saturday. It had rained earlier that day, but I packed up my monogram tote anyway. I’d been checking the forecast all morning and it had finally promised late-afternoon sun. Along the way, I stopped at Target to pick up two essentials: a foldable chair (the very unfancy kind that is typically reserved for sidelines and soccer parents) and a pack of my favorite gummies.
There was a dream brimming in my heart and I wanted to get all my thoughts out on paper. I had so many big ideas and hoped that my little outing would help me build a plan to take action. At that point, I knew what I wanted, without a shadow of a doubt: Build a successful wedding photography business. Help others to build meaningful legacies. Build a brand that is a reflection of my heart. I kept writing, filling the pages of the cheap college-ruled notebook I liked to tote along on adventures. I felt incredible peace as I remembered the word I’d chosen to represent my hopes for the year at the beginning of 2021: build. At that moment, it all made sense.
I spent hours at the beach that day, desperate to leave with an action plan. I jotted down things like:
- buy all necessary gear (cameras, lenses, flashes, bags, etc)
- gain more experience
- build a strong portfolio
- set up contracts and workflows
- define my pricing
- form an LLC
- set up business insurance
- build an editorial calendar
- design my branding
- build a website I love
The foundation of KSP was starting to come together. But honestly, at the time, it all felt so far away. At that moment, I knew I had ability and experience, but there was a missing piece that I had no clue how I would fill: momentum. I had so much passion and motivation but was lacking opportunity. I saw industry peers with filled-to-the-brim calendars and wanted so deeply to find my place in it all. God must have been smiling so big because he knew that a door would soon open that was exactly what I needed.
Fast-Forward to Today
I am absolutely pinching myself when I look at where I am today. Wedding season starts on Friday and I have dozens of weddings on my calendar. From serving couples of my own (you all have the *most* special place in my heart!) to second shooting alongside some of the most esteemed photographers in New England, I am honored to have the opportunities that I have. In less than nine months, I’ve finished every single objective outlined above. Every 👏 single 👏 one 👏.
I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before to build a strong foundation for KSP. Last year, I second shot and assisted at 20 different weddings to gain experience, build my portfolio, and save up to buy my camera gear. I’ve since purchased every piece of equipment on my list, paying cash for each one. I designed my branding and built a website that feels like the perfect internet home for me. I set myself up for success on the back-end, officially forming KSP as an LLC and setting up insurance. I’ve defined my workflows and built systems to scale my business as I serve more and more couples. It feels incredible to look at how far I’ve come, or more importantly, how much God has provided for me and made way for this dream of mine.
I share all of this not only to look back on someday for my own memories but more importantly because I want to encourage others to simply begin. This is how I started to build my dream, but you can build yours too! If there is a dream in your heart, especially if you’ve prayed about it and sought wise counsel about it, start anywhere. Maybe that looks like picking up a long-forgotten goal. Or perhaps it means signing up for a class, joining a gym, or volunteering for a project.
If those things feel too big, I recommend grabbing a notebook and a pen and going somewhere quiet, somewhere that you can think (I’ve affectionally dubbed this “notebook time” in my life and I make time for it often!). It doesn’t need to be fancy to be meaningful. Believe in yourself, find the people who will cheer you on, and put one foot in front of the other. You can do it, and as someone who has stood exactly where you might be: I believe in you!