When Michael and I first decided to start a photography business, we waited 6 months to announce it officially to anyone. We were nervous, embarrassed, excited and a million different emotions. We wanted our initial launch to be strong and successful. I remember being SO afraid of the comments and opinions. I cared way too much what people thought, and the first time I heard those “oh my gosh ANOTHER photography business” comments, I was crushed. I wanted to give up before we barely started. I have struggled for years with overcoming jealousy, approval and comparison in the photography industry. Every time I would see someone with more success than us, it would push me to do better, go harder, shoot more. I obsessed over our clients approval of us and our work. I lived for those “I love my photos!” emails and if that didn’t happen, my whole world would fall apart. What if they didn’t like their photos? What if they didn’t like us? What if they told everyone they didn’t like us and not to hire us? Fear was the leading factor making decisions for my business. Approval addiction was running my business. It was incredibly difficult to overcome, and I’m not there yet, but have made huge victories in this area over the last few years.
Photography is actually an incredibly easy business to get into, with low initial costs compared to other start-ups. It’s a business that allows you to be creative, meet new people, work from home and travel. It’s fun and there are tons of people who want to be part of it! As more and more photographers enter the industry every year, it’s difficult to want to embrace those people. It’s easy for us to assume or hope they’ll fail (just being completely real here!) And it’s statistically proven that 8 out of 10 small business fail in the first five years. Why? Because you can’t just take beautiful pictures, or make pretty stationary, or design a killer website… you have to know how to run a business. You have to understand your finances, know how to market… you have to be equipped with the skills needed to not be a statistic. I believe community is the answer. We don’t have to be alone. Owning a small business can be incredibly lonely and difficult as you struggle to overcome and grow. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When I first saw Natalie Franke was hosting a “Creative Cafe” in Annapolis for creatives to get together and work from a cafe instead of from home, I emailed her and mentioned how I wished I could host something like that in Delaware. I’ve frequently met with new photographers for coffee to answer their questions, but had dreams of doing something bigger without jumping on the workshop bandwagon. Tuesdays Together was the answer! Natalie and Krista recently launched the Rising Tide Society as a resource for creative entrepreneurs. Photographers from all over the East Coast are getting together on Tuesday May 5 to casually meet with other entrepreneurs, bring their laptops and get some work done. It’s the perfect safe environment for business owners with questions to bring them to a group of people with various skills and abilities.
The Delaware group is meeting on Tuesday May 5, 2015 at Paradigm Restaurant (formerly Gallery Espresso) in Lewes from 2-4 pm.
My hope and prayer for this group is that we can come together in the midst of our struggles and victories, not caring about what we look like or what people think of us, grab a cup of coffee, sit and chat for awhile. Bring your laptops and get some work done, or come with questions for the group. I have no idea if 3 or 30 people will show up, and it truly doesn’t matter. I just want to encourage people and start building a community. I hope to see you there!