When I picked up the camera 4 years ago, it was a life changing moment for me. It has taken me to places that I never imagined I would see in my lifetime. I am extremely thankful every day for the gift of being able to do what I am most passionate about and being paid to do it.
Over the course of my 4 years, I have juggled a full time job in the crazy world of Supply Chain while also pursuing my career as a photographer. Some days it’s easy, some day’s it’s rough but I believe being able to do this takes more than just dedication. My friends have all asked me how I do it but I believe that it all boils down to being disciplined. Yes, you will lose your weekends, yes you will miss out on family gatherings but that’s where my wife really comes into the mix. She has been my biggest support system and the reason I continue to do what I do.
While Wedding Photography is an amazing career, it is also risky like any other small business. One month I can make a substantial amount of money and the next month, I can be completely broke. My day job gives me the safety blanket of a guaranteed pay check. I know when I get paid and how much I will get paid. I would say that this is the main reason why I continue to juggle two lives. Somedays, I just want to go home and enjoy a good episode of Stranger Things but I have to edit so Stranger Things will have to wait. My fellow photographers will tell you that being a photographer is more than taking photos. It is being a business owner, editor, web designer, accountant, customer service rep and so much more. What I want to get at is that balancing the two lives is extremely difficult but if I have to put food on the table, I will do whatever it takes.
Time management is not just important, I need to still put enough time to the side for my loved ones. Even with the busy schedule, I will prioritize my family before anything else. I had to learn to be as organized as possible. I place everything from family events to weddings on my calendar. Organization and work flow is the key to this double life. Once I figured out my work flow, life became much easier. Throughout the day, I will do my job and when I get home, I know to turn on my creator hat. While this might seem easy, it is something that took me years to master.
I wanted to write this blog for all my aspiring photographers. I want to let you know that it is completely possible to do both. It may be hard but the aspect of being disciplined is the driving force in making this life possible. While the life of being a full time Wedding Photographer can be tempting, being full time means you are now stressed about photography. I never want to get to the point where I become burned out and lose my creativity. Trust me, I would love to be off every week day but as of right now I will ride it out until I can’t anymore. Who knows, I might revisit this blog in the next few years and provide an update letting you know that I am now doing this full time.
My main advice to all my aspiring full timers is that you will know when it is the right time and if you can keep on making extra income, you should just stick to it as long as you can. Do what you’re passionate about but do it in a smart way.