That word- bold- it’s one I’ve heard a lot lately. A friend recently described me as such when it comes to my faith, someone else used it to describe the way I ask questions, and just yesterday my designer used it to describe my personality as a whole. That word just keeps cropping up. I like being described that way, it makes me feel brave.
And yet somehow, that boldness never seems to make it over into my photography business. It’s like I’ve compartmentalized boldness into other areas of my life, but refuse to let it spill over to my job. Making decisions when it comes to my business has always been excruciating- I spent an entire HOUR one time debating between a particular editing style for a single photo. I put all these constraints on myself based on what I see other people doing (we all do that, I know I’m not unique in this), and I get so scared of declaring what I want because I’m worried what other
people photographers will say.
Newsflash, Abby: it doesn’t really matter what other photographers are saying. It matters what my CLIENTS are saying. It matters how happy my brides, grooms, and anniversary couples are. If they’re thrilled with what I’m giving them, the idle chattering of others in the industry doesn’t make a lick of difference. Also, how narcissistic of me to think that others photographers are even paying attention? They’re almost certainly so occupied with making their own businesses successful that they don’t have time to give thought to what a random photographer from Virginia is doing. Ha! That’ll knock me down a few pegs.
I’m sure anyone who reads the blog with any level of consistency has noticed an upswing in the frequency of anniversary sessions posted here, and that’s not a coincidence. My heart’s been changing over the past year from caring solely about weddings, to desiring anniversary sessions as well. But… I don’t just want to shoot them occasionally. (This is where that whole issue of “boldness” comes in- I haven’t seen anyone else state this kind of vision for their business, which makes me scared to be the first. But there’s a certain level of AWESOMENESS with being the first one that I know of, so here we go.)
My perfect vision for my business would be this: a handful of weddings each year with clients who are the perfect fit for my business, with the rest of my schedule devoted to photographing Anniversary Experience sessions.
There, I said it! I love weddings and can’t imagine giving those up- my brides & grooms are the best and I absolutely treasure the opportunity to photograph their big days! But my heart for my couples also goes so far beyond their wedding. I want them to have, as the saying goes, a marriage more beautiful than their wedding day. I believe that the Anniversary Experience is a way to help that vision continue in the years following Day 1 of their marriage- the opportunity to document just how far they’ve come.
This isn’t the kind of change that happens overnight- I’m absolutely still accepting weddings! There’s just more intention behind the process, and the number of weddings I’m booking for next year and beyond will be a bit lower than in years past. It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. I both want to pop a bottle of champagne and hyperventilate. Change is hard, and jumping into the unknown without anyone else’s past success to cling to for hope? That’s scary.
But I didn’t quit my secure, comfortable corporate job to pursue a career in “being safe.” I did it pursue something I love, something that makes my heart swell with affection, something that quickens my pace and brightens my eyes. Both weddings and anniversaries do that for me, so here we go.
Let’s do this.
And in case you’ve been considering a session, feel free to click HERE to learn more about the Anniversary Experience. It’s a work in progress as we make site adjustments!