This post has been on my mind for a longggg time, but it has just never quite seemed like the appropriate time to write it (keep reading to find out why NOW is the right time!). A lot of what you see on my blog are photographs of beautiful weddings, adorable babies & loving families. Today’s post is a little more about the nitty gritty… the business side of things! Today I’m sharing a KEY way that I’ve grown my business in the past 2 years…
I get the question a lot, “Is photography your full-time job?” The answer is yes. And no. Yes, my photography business is a full time job. I live & breathe Kelsey DeWitt Photography (probably more than I should… I’m working on that!). My business is always on my mind. It takes up well more than a 40-hour week but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! But in addition to my photography career, I’ve also had a part-time job as a nanny for the past 2 years.
As I was finishing up photography school almost 2 years ago, I had my weddings booked for that summer of 2013, but beyond that I had no clue about what my business would be like. I was moving to a new area to me (Hanover, NH) where my husband had 2 years of medical school left. As implied, my husband has been a student, so obviously has not had an income (don’t worry, he’ll well make up for it later ;) ). I knew I needed another job to pay everyday expenses, so I could invest all of my photography income back into my business. As I was looking for jobs, I knew that I needed a job that allowed me to put my photography business first and would only help to build up my business, and not inhibit it in any way. I used to nanny during the summers in college and never really imagined it was something I would do again. But as I was searching for jobs that would not include any weekends or many evenings, I found this local family searching for a part-time nanny. As they say, the rest is history :)
I have no doubt that my photography business would not be where it is today without this job. Besides providing additional income, nannying was a great way for me to get to know people in this community I was new to. I’ve met so many wonderful people (many who have turned into portrait clients!) and I’m so thankful to the Upper Valley community for supporting my business as it has grown over the past two years!
I need to give an especially big thank you from the very bottom of my heart to my wonderful employers. They have been the some of the biggest cheerleaders for my business and for that I am so grateful. Lending advice, referring me to friends, giving me time off to attend workshops… Like I said, my business would not be where it is today without their love & support!
To any new photographers (or any other creatives!) out there, please know that having another job should in NO WAY diminish your confidence in your business. Having another job for the past 2 years has in no way made me any less of a photographer. In fact, it’s made me a more successful one if anything! I think there’s this insecurity a lot of photographers feel if they’re not “full time”… Well like I said, my photography business has more than taken up the time of a full-time job, I just also happen to have another part-time job on top of that! I know so many fabulous photographers who have other jobs too. Yes, it can be A LOT during your busy season, but if it is only helping and not hurting your business, then keep that in mind until you’re confident that you’re fully ready to support yourself with your business! If I had tried to go full-time when I first got out of photography school, who knows what would have happened to my business?! Probably nothing good, I can tell you that. Everyone’s life, business & financial situation is different, so make sure you do what is right for YOU.
As many of you know by now, my husband got accepted into his Dermatology residency in Burlington, VT. In just a few short weeks, we will be packing up our life in Hanover to make the trek north to Burlington! As he transitions from being a medical student to becoming a resident, that means he will have income next year! Woohoo!!
And of course, with that comes the end of this era. This nannying job has allowed my business to grow beyond my wildest dreams, but because we’re moving & because of where my business is at, next Friday will be my last day as a nanny. I’m definitely going to miss these kiddos and just looking at these pictures makes me a little sappy! (For the record, I hardly EVER take selfies, unless either Oscar (my cat) or one of these cute kiddos is in it. Never, ever will you ever see this many selfies of me again in one place).
So if you haven’t put two & two together by now, are you ready for the big announcement?! One week from today…………
KDP WILL BE GOING FULL-TIME!!!!!
I am SO excited! This means that I can put 110% of my time and energy into my business and continue to grow as we move to Vermont. And with a very full plate for wedding season this year, I am definitely going to appreciate those extra hours in the week! This will be such a big change, but I’m so ready for it! There will be a big blog celebration next week and perhaps even a giveaway :) Stay tuned!!