Growing up, I LOVED the camera. And I mean loved it. My mom has scolded me on numerous occasions that I used too much film, or I wasted another disposable camera. I couldn’t help it! I wanted to document every last thing. It all mattered to me. So when my dad gave me my first digital camera in 7th grade for my birthday, I was ecstatic, to say the least! That camera was so loved.
Throughout my youth I steadily got bigger and better cameras. I worked hard and saved, as well as capitalized on birthday money! When I was in high school I started a thriving swim lessons business from my backyard pool. I took my earnings and bought a camera, then a year later, a better one, and the next year, an even better one, and before I knew it, I had a Sony a55 and I was on top of the freaking world.
By this time I was in college, and I really wanted to be a photographer. Not just taking free photos but I knew it was going to be my career. I started actually booking clients, and a couple of years later, I was making pretty decent money and had upgraded to a Canon 6D, a nice full frame camera. I still laugh thinking of the foreshadowing of my youth, OF COURSE, this was going to be my career! I’d wasted SO MUCH film!
But for some reason, I didn’t really want to study photography. I was always more interested in business. I knew I could learn photography from workshops and practice, and honestly, I didn’t really want an art degree. I didn’t have the money to hire someone to design my website, so I spent probably 100+ hours figuring it out and I did it! AND I absolutely loved designing my website. It was creative and technical and got me so hyped up.
And this crazy thing happened. I really started pivoting to want to do more web design and business marketing. Just as I was getting good, just as I was seeing results, I changed my path. And I have no regrets. What I realized is that photography wasn’t the perfect culmination, owning a creative business was the perfect blend of my year’s of hard work, experience, and interests.
I started a web design and branding company called “Waverley Design Co.” I even won some money for my new business from the Hall Global Entrepreneurship Program up at Weber State! The business was a success, but I decided to pivot again.
So I got my degree in Web Design with a minor in Entrepreneurship! It was a great combo for me. It had the perfect amount of art and design as well as the business component that I’d known I’d always wanted. I even was the Vice President of the Entrepreneurship Club at Weber and worked for the Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center, too!
It was a freeing revelation to know that I didn’t want to be a photographer anymore. And one that has taken just as much time to set up and get comfortable in again. But I get to do what I love. I love that I get to empower business owners by giving them their finished websites, helping them formulate a brand, and seeing their marketing come to life. And I’m obsessed with my employees who help make that dream a reality for me and for the other business owners alike.
A big reason I also was happy to take a step back from my photography business was because it wasn’t exactly cohesive with my lifestyle. I know a lot of moms who are photographer’s and it works out so great for them! I just am not one of them. I need time as a family at night and on weekends to be with my husband, and unfortunately that’s when most people need pictures taken. Even though I stepped back from my camera before I had kids, it’s one of the best decisions I made for us now that I’m a mom.
I would still call myself a photographer. People still pay me to shoot, and I still love it. But it’s not my dream any longer. And that’s ok. Sometimes I still get a bit jealous seeing other people take gorgeous photos, and I still definitely can’t help but location scout as I drive around! But employing other stay at home moms, and empowering other business owners to do what they love, that’s my dream. And I’m working really hard to make it a reality for all of us.