2011: Age 22/First year out of college:
At this point, I still had no idea what I was doing. I just started online school at USU, which I loved because I love school, and was about to go into the most life changing year of my life, so really nothing was picking up traction for my future yet.
While I was in France, I practiced photography all the time, non stop, day dreamed about it, ADIDAP. STILL had no clue it’s what I wanted to do.
February of my first year out of college, I decided I really wanted to fly home and surprise my best friend for his birthday. We hadn’t spent his birthday apart since we had known each other, and I was not down to let France get in the way of that. So, I posted on Facebook that I needed six photoshoots to be able to afford the flight home, and I got double. That’s the first time I realized I could get paid doing what I loved (STILL not that I knew at that time that’s what was going on).
June of my first year out of college, I moved back to SLO to... do something, who knew. The day I landed, the car I was going to buy fell through, my old learning therapy job told me they didn’t have enough hours for me, and the lease for the house I was going to move into didn’t start for another month. So in short, I was carless, jobless, and homeless.
Age 23/Second year out of college/2012:
By the grace of God, all things were fine (like always), and I accepted a nanny position with an amazing family in SLO where I would watch the kids 3 days a week and get free rent. CHILL.
I worked part time doing about 100 zillion things:
-Chase bank driver from 5 pm to 2 am twice a week
-Learning therapist 10-20 hours a week
-Nanny 3 days a week
-Real estate assistant
-Data processor for a solar company
- (and finally!) Photographer (but only kind of)
I asked a random guy who was a friend of a friend if he thought I should quit going to school to be a Speech Therapist and pretty much sacrifice all future’s stability, and take the leap to start a business, because I loved it. I really wanted an objective perspective, and pretty much told God to speak through this random dude and I would take whatever he said as a straight up sign from God. That random dude ended up being John, he told me to start the business, and we've been together ever since :)
I got my business license in October of 2012 and quit school, and by January I knew that photography was something that could probably really happen for me, with a freaking lot of work and a lot more skill.
I got an office for photography in March of 2013/ my second year out of college, and at that time I half felt like I made it and half felt like I was tricking everybody (which is, surprise!, how I will continue to feel til like the day I die).
Age 24/Third year out of college/2013:
I moved out of the nanny house into a cute little apartment downtown (where I still live!), and pulled more hours at the other hundreds of jobs I had to support myself while trying to build up the business (which costs mucho money and takes mucho time).
I did my very first Fall Photo Off with sororities, and knew it was going to be a long haul until that paid off, but felt FREAKING BRILLIANT for thinking of that idea (which ended up being the best move I could’ve made as these sororities have been the most loyal & gorgeous foundations of my photography and business since).
I started panicking that I couldn’t sustain myself on a zillion part time jobs and a full time photography business (the first few years take A LOT OF FREAKING WORK), so I started working full time at the Learning Therapy place, out of fear, and self doubt, and impatience. I can’t say I’ve made too many decisions with those motivations, but, again, I had no idea what I was doing.
I loved that job, let me tell you, but January came and business picked up FAST and I was taking days off to photoshoot, not sleeping to finish editing, and knew I was half-assing both my full time jobs. I had to make a really tough choice in deciding, again, do I quit stability or do I take some risks and follow what I love?
Let me check in with you: At this point, I KNEW what I wanted to do, I didn’t know IF I could- which was stupid. I knew I would put a shit ton of work into it, and I knew that people wanted my business. Those are just a few of the prereqs for quitting something to do your own thing.