Hey y’all. It’s me. And I’m here to drop a little truth, a little honesty, a little bit of realness on the good ol’ photo blog. Bear with me on this…I may ramble a little. Which I tend to do when I get stuck on something.
This weekend I learned something about myself as a photographer. You know what I learned? Hear me out on this…..
I learned that I’m valuable.
I learned that I am worth something.
I learned that people can trust and depend on me to be there for them.
To have their back.
To capture the moments they need captured.
To laugh with them.
To cry with them.
To create that image, that could be a last, that could be a first that could be the start of something beautiful, that could be a fleeting moment, that could be the end.
And you know what else I finally learned?
I’m worth every single dollar that I am paid as a photographer. Yes, that’s right. I’m totally, 100% worth every single penny.
Because you know what? I’ve got your back. You’re not just clients to me. Once I photograph you. I know you. I’ve seen you, your eyes, your smiles, your frustrations with your kids being crazy, the half smiling, half pissed husband that doesn’t want to be there taking photos (don’t worry, I have one too), the kids that won’t smile, the kids that just want to be kids, you worrying so much about getting good pictures (we always do) but through all of this. I reassure you, we’re good, we’ve got this, you’ve got this. But I know you. You’re paying me to make this happen, and we do! Every time! And if I fail, we’ll do it again. But I will create these images for you to treasure.
Now, with all of that being said. I’m going to tell you how many times I’ve been completely ghosted this year. Just this year alone. And yes, I went back and counted for this blog.
That’s right. 57. I have been ghosted this year by “potential” clients. Want to know why? I’m too expensive. They LOVE my work, but they don’t value me or my work enough to pay for it. And trust me, I’m by far NOT the most expensive photographer in Louisville. In fact, I actually need to RAISE my prices more because I barely make anything after Uncle Sam takes his cut. (Yes, I operate a real, legit, legal business.) Oh, and let’s not talk about expenses. I could go on for days on those.
But seriously y’all. 57 times I followed up…I took time out of my day (mind you this isn’t my full time career, I have one of those too that I love) but this is a passion that I pursue because I love it so much. But I take time out of my day, time away from my family, from my time….to check back with people that don’t even bother to give me a courtesy “I’m so sorry, we love your work but we just can’t afford you.”
And I know that’s hard to say to someone, especially someone you don’t know. But just ghosting me…that’s just rude.
But ya know what, I’ve made my peace with it. Because those aren’t the type of people that I want as my clients, as my friends. I want people that value me. That value my work as a photographer. People that want to pay me my full price, because they know that it’s absolutely worth it.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize this. I was CONSTANTLY under valuing myself, discounting my sessions, busting my ass, spending time away from my family for next to nothing and you know what? I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m not discounting sessions, and I’m not sorry. I’ve come to the realization, that there are people out there that I just can’t be their photographer. They can’t afford me, and that’s TOTALLY OK. There is someone out there for them, I was probably that photographer 5-8 years ago. But I’m not anymore. I’ve grown, I’m confident in my work, in my editing, in my process. I know what I’m doing, and I’m proud of my photography. And I want to work for people that are confident in me to create beautiful images for them.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
To all my clients, I love you all. Thanks for allowing me to capture your memories year after year and for the referrals and all that jazz. THANK YOU, ILY.
To my future and potential clients. I’M WORTH IT.
ps…Congrats to my sister and future bro in law on getting engaged tonight. You both deserve all the happiness in the world. LIVE YOUR LIFE….don’t worry about people that don’t VALUE your happiness. ILY.