The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
In many areas of my life in the past, I’ve struggled with comparison, but when I stepped into this industry I was intentional not to compare myself to others, because I knew that it’s not a healthy place to be, and what would hold me back. What is healthy is to be inspired by others, to see other creatives’ art and take inspiration to create your own art. A big challenge for me is that I’m my own biggest critic, so when I look at my work, I always see imperfection. I guess it’s good in a sense that I always want to improve, but challenging when you don’t stop to appreciate your work. It’s a journey, and we’re all on one.
I know I’m not alone with my struggle with comparison and see myself in a privileged position through interactions and photography to show people their beauty, grace and greater self-love. This is a huge drive for me, showing women and encouraging them through their photo session that they are beautiful!
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
My brain never stops ticking over with ideas. I am limitless in what I can dream and achieve. I’m the only person stopping me. There is so much possibility, and it’s exciting!
Time is my limit, having only x amount of hours in a day, but everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so we’re all faced with that challenge. I’m a real people person so have LOVED getting to know new people, hearing their stories and capturing beautiful memories for them to cherish.
I would say the ‘con’ for a sole trader photographer in general is that there is a big business administration element to it and if you’re not business savvy it can become a challenge. There are systems you need to set in place and procedures, contracts, design, website building and maintenance, marketing, accounts, etc., which I see as an area which could potentially limit your growth if you don’t do it properly.
So not only am I on a journey of establishing myself as a photographer, running a sustainable business is new for me too. Thankfully, my husband and friends have given me a lot of help and pointers along the way. I wouldn’t have been able to start this without the amazing support network around me.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
If you’re still reading my post, well done, I’m now letting you in on my dream and vision for Birth Collective!
Dreams are free so I thought I’d dream a big one up and go from there: The vision is to grow Birth Collective to be a community of birth photographers across the South Island, and wider (because who knows, it can sometimes be lonely working on your own!?). Also, because the hours for a birth photographer are similar to a midwife, I’d like to build a structure/team/support network around this job. If you’re reading this and interested in getting into birth photography and being a part of a wider community, please reach out to me via my links below, I would love to hear from you.
Now that I’m in the field of photography, I want to try my hand at so many different things. I’ve heard advisors say “focus on one thing and get really good at it”, so I’m trying to do that. Every time I try something new though, I just LOVE it. I have a sister company called VSTO, meaning visual storytelling, which is a platform for other photography. We have dreams for this page and are just at the beginning part of it too, so follow along and be a part of our journey.