My First Year In Business
Hello, I’m Hannah! I’ve been a professional photographer for almost a year and I thought I’d start my first blog post by telling you how and why I got into it!
In a nutshell, I was pretty unhappy in my corporate job having returned to work after my 2nd maternity leave in Feb 2017. I wanted and needed to work, but I also wanted to spend that time doing work I felt fulfilled by, and that definitely wasn’t happening. So I’d written a list of things I enjoy doing and whilst ‘taking pictures’ was on there I hadn’t given that any serious thought because I was only taking them on my iPhone! And then one night I took this picture of the kids in the bath (still using my phone!)
I uploaded it to Facebook, not because I thought it was a particularly amazing picture (it actually isn’t!), it was more to do with the fact I’d survived a week of juggling work, kids and my husband being away. But I got lots of lovely comments from people along the lines of ‘wish you’d come and photograph my kids!’ and this ended up being my lightbulb moment.
What if….I bought a proper camera and took pictures for other people?
I was immediately consumed by negative self talk that said things like “Don’t be silly, you can’t even use a camera!’ (True) and “there’s loads of family photographers already out there!” (also true) and “what makes you think anyone would book you?” (false – hurrah!)
Thankfully I listened to my gut. I bought the camera, I attended the course and I practised, practised, practised taking pictures of my kids, other people’s kids, my Mum, the dog, anyone who would let me basically! Until one day I got an enquiry for a PAID PHOTOSHOOT. Say what?
I’ll never forget my first one, they were a lovely little family and I chased their daughter all over the park. It was a sunny autumnal day and I was pleased with how it went. I had a steady stream of family bookings, which I squeezed in amongst work, the kids etc and then one day, I was asked about photographing a wedding. Gulp.
And I took the booking. I was always really clear that I wasn’t an experienced wedding photographer and the price was set accordingly. I prepared and planned as much as I could in advance by visiting the venue and stalking other wedding photographers online. On the day I felt SO nervous but as I stood at the front of the ceremony room clicking away I have never felt more like this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life! I love weddings, all the emotion and happiness and it feels amazing to be able to capture those priceless memories for people to look back on again and again.
I’m by no means the finished article and I’m still practicing and improving all the time. Here’s the 2018 bath shoot of my two children – definite improvement in quality thanks to the proper camera. It also feels wonderful to be able to capture them as they grow and change (so, so quickly!)
But most of all I love freezing perfect little moments in time for my customers, because their little ones won’t ever be quite that little again.
I still take photos everywhere I go on my iPhone and I’ll always love sky scenes, landscapes and beautiful buildings – but my real photographic talents lie with capturing people, real life stories and personalities in those perfectly imperfect moments.
Thanks for reading!