The last year has been a huge year of growth for me and my business. Most of you already know this but for my new friends and followers joining in, you may not know that I shot the first weddings as Andrea Pesce Photography last October. I am very fortunate in that I was able to intern and shoot over 15 weddings with a fantastic wedding photographer and my sweet friend Jessica before ever shooting someone's special day on my own. That experience was the most valuable contribution to my business and something I think everyone who is starting out should do. So in this incredibly amazing first year of business I have had the privilege of working with the most spectacular brides and grooms, business owners, planners, vendors and gotten to know some amazing industry friends. (hey ya'll!) I am incredibly thankful for each of you and well aware of the honor of being a part of your moments, businesses and lives. Well, with rapid growth came a lot more stress than I ever dreamed possible. Like a LOT. I love what I get to do, but I knew there were some things that needed to change for the next year.
Back in May Frank and I moved across the state to Richmond, Virginia and at the same time wedding season began. During that time I decided the bottleneck that was blogging needed to be given a break. So I gave myself permission to not blog anything but weddings and sessions that I was working on. During this time I did a lot of soul searching and praying. There are so many unknowns when starting a business that I couldn't help but look to what others were doing and for lack of a better term "copy" them. I mean, they were successful so why not?! Well, in my soul searching and taking the time to really think things through I have come to realize several truths that I really needed to know. Breaking them down for you in a good old fashioned list -
1. Do what I love. It should go without saying but somewhere in the stress and the pile of unknowns I lost track of my WHY and essentially myself. Somehow I was convinced that to be successful I had to do this, this and that. So not true! Some of the best advice people have given me is to just do what I love and people will love it too. You know what? Some people won't. And that is totally okay with me.
2. Ask WHY. Without asking why - I was lost in a sea of endless directions I could go for every part of my business. So when I finally said enough is enough and started asking myself WHY I was using filters instead of lens hoods, shooting that way, blogging this way etc... I started to see the things that just didn't have a reason and started to actually find my own groove.
3. More doesn't mean Better. 15 weddings for some photographers seems like a small number, but for me it was a very busy year! I have learned that shooting fewer weddings is what works for me, and that it means more to me to better serve each one of my clients than aim for a certain number of weddings. Busy looks attractive from the outside, but I am not ready to watch life pass us by for the sake of looking busy. I want to live a balanced life for the sake of me and my clients, so I will be taking on a smaller number of weddings next year.
4. Professional will never go out of style. From my short time in the wedding photography industry I have seen (and been a part of) the movement of a personality based business model. While I really do believe that works well for some people, it just isn't something I think is important to me moving forward. I don't think you can separate me from my business, because essentially we are one and the same so clearly I'm not going anywhere. However, I believe that focusing on professionalism and quality photography are something you can't over value. If my clients think I'm awesome, that is fantastic! But I would rather they have me as a part of their moments, businesses and wedding days because they trust me as a professional, an artist and a photographer. You have these photos for the rest of your life!
So with all of this and wedding season slowing down...I am so excited for the journey ahead! Up first is a whole new look and a new (but mostly just fine tuned and improved) WHY! These things and much more are coming NEXT WEEK, which is so so soon! If you don't want to miss out on some amazing changes, improvements and find out more about why I'm passionate about the changes that are being made be sure to follow along on here, Facebook, or Instagram. I'm already so honored so many of you are following along!