I've been keeping it under wraps for a while because I've been really excited to announce this in one of my Friday 5's...but FEBRUARY 9TH WAS MY 100TH WEDDING! You guys, we are now up in the triple digits, and I can honestly say that for some reason, reaching this lofty number makes me feel like more of an expert in the industry. I'm thrilled to be celebrating this milestone in my business....really. I've come a long way.
My first wedding was a friend's I did in August of 2013 in Colorado Springs. I was paid $200.00, and at the time, I could not believe someone was willing to pay me that much! Fast forward quite a few weddings, and I remember the moment I started booking people I had never even met before! I think as entrepreneurs, when we start getting clients who aren't people we know, that becomes the validation we need to know our business is reaching more people than our small circle...
It's safe to say that through my years of photographing weddings, I've made a lot of mistakes...but I've also had a lot of successes. THANK YOU for celebrating this milestone with me! Because I now have 100 weddings under my belt, here's the top 5 things I've learned in 100 weddings:
1. Thank you goes a really long way
I want my clients to know that I care more about them than what they can give me (i.e. their money). I've learned that saying "thank you" is the most important phrase you can adopt...not only that, but actually showing it. I'm really THANKFUL for my clients, and how their belief in me allows me to work my dream job FULL TIME. I'm thankful for their parents for supporting their marriage, I'm thankful for all the vendors I get the chance to work as a team with on each wedding day. Being thankful has really helped my business grow, and adopting a heart of gratitude is more important than being the most powerful, strong business leader.
2. Weddings are about people, not things
I love a gorgeous designer gown, and that really beautiful ethereal bouquet, and don't even get me started on flashy rings, like, omg! But I also know that when you look back on your wedding day, you'll be looking for the people who mean the most to you. Were they having a good time? Did I happen to take the last image of your Grandpa dancing with you? That's a really invaluable thing to me to know that I'm capturing a moment in time that may very well be a moment my brides will look back on with joy knowing they have that image.
3. There's no such thing as overnight success.
It took me 6 years to get to 100 weddings -----SIX YEARS! My growth has been steady and slow. I just hit my fifth year full time and let me tell you, success is NOT something that happens over night. Are you believing that lie today? Are you comparing yourself to someone else who "looks" more successful than you? You may be, but if you're choosing to entertain those thoughts, I want to challenge you to also entertain the question: "what did that person have to do to get there? How much hard work and long hours did it actually take?"
4. There is ALWAYS room for growth
Whether I'm photographing my 5th wedding, or my 350th wedding, there will ALWAYS be room for growth, there will always be a way for me to become a better business owner, there will always be better ways to take care of my clients. Just because I've "made it" to this magical number, doesn't mean that I won't stop growing and learning!
5. Comparison is the thief of all joy
If I want to grow and continue to be successful, I will need to continue to put my blinders on and stay in my lane. Not only that, but if I want to continue to make my work stand out among my clients, I need to make work that truly is my OWN. Therefore, I must not compare myself to others in the industry. I should celebrate their successes, and cheer them on and that's it. There should be no room for comparison if I only make room for growth and uplifting others.
WOW! It's been a wonderful 100 weddings! I look forward to continuing this journey as a wedding photographer, and this year also expanding my business even more with my podcast launch and upcoming courses I plan on launching! What a great journey this has been! I also can't thank my brides enough for allowing me into their special days and for entrusting me to capture the most special time in their lives!
P.S. Thank you Patrick and Chelsea for being my 100th wedding!!!