An Open Letter To All Small Business Owners

Straight out of college I thought I would be set. I had a commercial photography degree and a business minor. I was ready to take on the world, start my own business, work when and where I wanted to, never have to wake up early, basically it was going to be vacation every single day! Boy was I wrong. I had absolutely no idea how hard it was going to be to not only start, but run a legitimate business. There is no check list of all the things you need to do your first year in business (trust me, I've checked.) Also, I have this irrational fear that I'm filing my quarterly sales taxes incorrectly and I'm going to get audited by the IRS, and then I remind myself I'm probably not making enough money for them to care.

Here's the thing, sure, I could be like every other so-called photographer and start a facebook page, slap some pictures up and start taking paid gigs for next to nothing. But there's a catch. I'm not like every other person with a DSLR. I went to school for four years and paid to get a degree in photography. So right off the bat I have overhead costs that are much higher than most people's, but along with that debt, come's experience. I actually know what I'm doing. So yeah, you can hire your friend and they can show up to your wedding with a decent camera and get some okay photos but what if something goes wrong? I have the knowledge, the skills, and the ability to overcome the unknown and you'll be able to tell a difference in our photos. So yes, the market may be saturated, but you get what you pay for. 

I don't have to set an alarm and wake up at 6 a.m. every day, thankfully, because I am NOT a morning person. But some days I wish I had the luxury of a set schedule. I don't go in to work at 8 and get off at 5. If I get an email or a Facebook message at 11pm, people expect me to respond immediately. I always have to worry that if I don't respond quickly enough, a potential client will move right on past me to the next possible photographer. It's frustrating but it's the way of the world. I am always on social media trying to keep up with wedding trends, answer client's questions, and posting on Instagram daily (do you know how hard it is to come up with something interesting to say EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I promise my life isn't that interesting, y'all!) 

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job. Meeting new people and connecting with old friends is what makes this so much fun. I love that I get to be with people on the happiest days of their lives and I wouldn't trade it for anything. However, you always have to remember that life isn't always as easy or as much fun as it appears on social media, we all struggle sometimes.