“Did you just say we made $6,200 this weekend!?!?!?” My blank stare of sheer disbelief spoke volumes about my photographic self-doubt! This doubt may come as a surprise to those who now know me as the energetic, take-no-prisoners photographer I’ve become. The term “failure to launch” comes to mind when I think about how my photography career started out. Just like many people, I began taking pictures while “on location,” aka vacation. I had zero camera skills. The only things I really had going for me were a keen eye for the unusual and an unusually patient husband who owned a camera. Working a normal/miserable, 9 to 5 job, I just took pictures for myself, as a form of therapy or meditation. And no matter how many people told me I had great potential, I never thought my photography could be worth anything. After years of hoarding hobby-shots, I began learning about my camera, refining my style and skills, and found lightning and storms to be my favorite subject. However, it took my family hosting, what I call, a photography intervention in order for me to realize… I… was… my… biggest… obstacle! I had an excuse for EVERYTHING… I’m too busy… I’m terrible with editing… nothing is ready… and on and on and on! Truth be told, it was nothing more than a fear of failure. The day I finally got out of my own way, was the BEST thing I could have done for myself. I attended the Ultimate Money-Making Photo Workshop in Phoenix, absorbed every piece of information I could, got out and met other photographers, and set myself up to succeed. I began entering photography contests, applying to stock sites, and printing my best shots to sell at craft fairs. Which brings me back to this $6,200 I mentioned earlier… Here I am, wrapping up a long weekend of craft-fair extravaganza, and Matt, my ever loyal assistant and hubby, pops out of his fold-up camping chair behind the till and yells, “We made $6,200 this weekend!” I nearly knocked over the table with excitement. And this was just the beginning… In the months to follow, we set up shop every chance we got, weekend after weekend. Shortly after, I received a call about one of the contests I entered… I won the 2012 Monsoon Photographer of the Year! And then more calls were coming in, and before I knew it my photos were everywhere. Once I got the ball rolling, it became easier and easier to approach people. Having photos featured on websites, printed as postcards, and hung as fine art, I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to finally be accomplishing my goals and dreams, loving what I do, and getting paid for it!
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